All posts tagged: Mantra

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.07.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.07.19

Many images this week are from our short visit to Querétaro, Mexico this week – where, among other things, we saw first hand many of the murals mounted by the festival Nueve Arte Urbano over the past few years.  Each festival around the world is unique to its local culture – with the possible exception of the highly commercial ones that are self-styling as a franchise of cool McArt dipped in tangy “Street” flavored sauce. We had a good survey of this mural/street art/graffiti scene in the context of Mexico’s historic mural masters, and a true sense of how counterculture can be embraced by so-called “mainstream” culture for the betterment of both.

In short, the DNA of this festival is not about self-promotion but engaging community in meaningful dialogue, respecting tradition of indigenous culture, and embracing the modern day rebels who have brought art to the streets in myriad ways. Combined with an unprecedented 101 photo exhibition of graffiti, Street Art, and urban culture mounted on the streets that was too meta for our brains, we saw people walking the walk, not just talking the talk. We only wish we had more time, and a drone!

Additionally this week we have a few more favorite shots from a quick trip to Berlin last week. Berlin is basically Brooklyn’s sister city and it was also in the full throes of Spring, with long lines at the all-night dance clubs way after the sun came up. This weekend it looks like Brooklyn is warming up too – almost beer garden time!

Until then, let’s head over to Bamonte’s for a vodka martini with the fine men and women of what’s left of Italian American Williamsburg here in Brooklyn. This is an institution that’s 119 years old lined with framed photos of famous Italian Americans and celebrities who ate there like Telly Savalas and that guy from the Sopranos!

No music, only the clinking of glasses and animated storytelling and some people who may have been dining here when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn – all eating lobster tails, shrimp cocktail, clams oreganata, iceberg lettuce salads, pastas, meat balls, fish, sautéed porkchops, scalloped potatoes, green beans, chicken parmesan, and blueberry pie or tiramisu. Okay it’s not five star, you big hotshot, but it’s at least as good as your Aunt Rosa’s kitchen, amiright? Bamontes not good enough for you now, you big Broccolini?

And the portions, my god, you won’t need to eat again until Good Friday.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring 007, 1UP Crew, Calladitos, City Kitty, Clown Soldier, CS SZYMAN, Deih XLF, drsc0, Ger-Man, La Madriguera Grafica, Mantra, Nespoon, Paola Delfin, Santiago Savi, Victor Lopez, and Voxx Romana.

007 Unicorn in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew. Urban Spree Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Calladitos. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eduardo Ruiz . Santiago Savi. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eduardo Ruiz . Santiago Savi. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Victor Lopez / La Madriguera Grafica. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Victor Lopez / La Madriguera Grafica. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paola Delfin on the dome. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tania Quezada . Diego Afro-Cruz. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SC SZYMAN. Urban Spree Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ger-Man. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
NeSpoon. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
City Kitty . Clown Soldier . Dr. Drsc0 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ali Six. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Deih. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
VOXX. Urban Spree Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Queretaro, Mexico. April 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Please follow and like us:
Read more
Bayonne Diary, From Alban Morlot’s Point of View

Bayonne Diary, From Alban Morlot’s Point of View

Here in Basque country you can casually drive between Bilbao (Spain) and Bayonne (France) as if you were just heading out to the shopping mall to buy new kicks. The signs of course are in multiple languages (Spanish, French, Basque) and there is much more political street art in these towns- addressing topics like fracking, racism, women’s rights and amnesty for political prisoners.

With an atmosphere that is more politically charged than other parts of the world, you can quickly forget it when you see so many rolling green hills dotted with puffy round sheep and old white farm houses along the highway.

1UP Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arriving in Bayonne we were happy to see many of the medieval small streets still boast Gothic-style cathedrals, a cloister here, the occasional castle there. It’s a walkable city with centuries of history, conservative cultural values, and a cool Street Art festival from the last few years called Points de Vue. Co-Founder Alban Morlot obliged us with a tour of the city and a multitude of murals produced over the past few years (You can read here our article of the recent 2018 edition of the festival with exclusive images from Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer).

Pantonio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Headquartered in the public/privately run community center/gallery called SpaceJunk since the early 2000’s Alban and director Jérome Catz have been organizing shows here and in Lyons and Grenoble as their interests and network of artists has expanded. The two met when Catz was better known as a celebrity snowboarder organizing an art show for a sponsoring brand, and Marlot attended the show as a self-described “groupie”.

With a common interest is providing artists a platform and complementary abilities with funding and collecting, the two have gone on to mount shows and festivals in their organic path through the lenses of “board culture”, graffiti, Street Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism.

Shows and exhibitions over the last decade and a half have included artists such as Lucy McLauchlan, Adam Neate, Will Barras, Jeff Soto, Laurence Vallières, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Isaac Cordal, Vhils, C215, Slinkachu, Ron English, Zevs, Shepard Fairey, JR, Lister, Augustine Kofie, Beast, NeverCrew, Monkey Bird, Daleast, and Seth.

A topic close to our heart for a decade, they also began a new film festival for there 2017 edition of the Grenoble Street Art Fest.

RNST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Headquartered in the public/privately run community center/gallery called SpaceJunk since the early 2000’s Alban and director Jérome Catz have been organizing shows here, Lyons, and Grenoble as their interests and network of artists has expanded. The two met when Catz was better known as a celebrity snowboarder organizing an art show for a sponsoring brand, and Marlot attended the show as a self-described “groupie”.

With a common interest is providing artists a platform and complementary abilities with funding and collecting, the two have gone on to mount shows and festivals in their organic path through the lenses of “board culture”, graffiti, Street Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism. Shows and exhibitions over the last decade and a half have included artists such as Lucy McLauchlan, Adam Neate, Will Barras, Jeff Soto, Laurence Vallières, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Isaac Cordal, Vhils, C215, Slinkachu, Ron English, Zevs, Shepard Fairey, JR, Lister, Augustine Kofie, Beast, NeverCrew, Monkey Bird, Daleast, and Seth. A topic close to our heart for a decade, they have also began a film festival for there 2017 edition of the Grenoble Street Art Fest.

RNST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As we walk through a very windy afternoon that kicks up the new construction dust that coats this neighborhood by the river, Alban talks to us about the suspicious embrace of locals and politicians of his work, the various working personalities of artists for the festival, the creation of a new currency by the Basque community, the tradition of socialist bars and political activists in the neighborhood, and his own connection to graffiti that began when he was hanging out in his hometown of Pau as a teenager with other skaters.

“We would listen to music, smoke a blunt, and skate all day. At some point graffiti became my culture,” he says of those times that formed his character and informed his aesthetic eye. “I don’t think I realized it at the time when I was a teenager but by the time I was 25 I said to myself ‘this is my culture’. I know I’m not the only one to feel this way but I knew that I wanted to share this experience and make it visible for other people in my generation.”

Jaune (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Walking and riding in a car to see murals, small installations, illegal graffiti, and formally approved artworks, you may wonder how this organizer and curator looks at his position in an evolving urban art scene that has witnessed the arrival and departure of many over the last 15 years. He says that his work has always centered on the artists, and that despite the chaos and change, this may be why he perseveres.

“My job is to know the artist and learn where they want to go and what their context is,” says Alban. “Afterwards I let them express their hearts without any conditions because I want them to have the maximum pleasure to produce their art. This way you receive the best from them.”

Jaune (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You may wonder where this philosophy comes from, and ask if he always felt this way.

“I think I just love artists so much,” he says. “People at Space Junk often ask me if I am an artist and I am not. I just consider artists to be very important in our lives and in society and I think we have to put artists in the middle of the system and not like they are just observers. I think artists belong in the center of society and I think people have to learn again how to listen to what they have to say. The way they present society is a very different point of view that helps us to understand who we are, who our neighbors are and help us to drive together.”

Our sincere thanks to Alban and Jérome for their work and hospitality and we hope you enjoy some of these pics from Bayonne.

Jaune (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Oak Oak (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pixel Pancho (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Deuz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Arepo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Veksavan Hillik (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Veksavan Hillik (photo © Jaime Rojo)
C215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
C215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dourone (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Xabier Anunsibai & Sebas Velasco (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Please follow and like us:
Read more
“Points De Vue” Festival 2018 Spans Styles and the Basque Region in Bayonne, France.

“Points De Vue” Festival 2018 Spans Styles and the Basque Region in Bayonne, France.

“Today there are nearly 80 works – paintings and installations,” says Alban Morlot, “to discover in the inner city and its periphery.”

Mantra. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The founder and curator of Points de Vue is speaking about his city, Bayonne in the south of France, which straddles the Basque region and boasts the language throughout this region and neighboring Spain. Here on both sides of the the Adour river running through the small city, you will find new installations from this years invited 20 or so artists from the urban art scene including folks like the Portuguese Pantonio, Italian Pixel Pancho, French Mantra, French Koralie, Venezuelan Koz Dox, German 1UP Crew, and the American graffiti and Street Art documentarian Martha Cooper.

Spawned a few years ago from Morlot and his team at Spacejunk, the community/privately funded festival has produced a range of large public works throughout the city. Similarly, the storefront Spacejunk space on rue Sainte Catherine in the Saint-Esprit district of Bayonne had hosted a cultural and artistic association that spans genres and disciplines; hosting classes, talks, performances and exhibitions of modern artists drawn from the worlds of of Street Art, LowBrow, and Pop Surrealism. After a great number of group and solo shows Spacejunk is now entering their 11 year celebrating counter-culture.

Mantra. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bayonne is stitched together geographically and socially with nearby Biarritz and Anglet, so the Basque area of about 130,000 has enough fans and practioners to support this five day festival. Alban tells us that the usual staff of 3 who run Spacejunk couldn’t do the festival without the generous enthusiasm and efforts of 40 volunteers, 10 interns and 1 senior technician.

An eclectic mix of artists invited to create new works in the public space reflect the alternative environments that have been showcased at Spacejunk: influences from a number of subcultural narratives including comics, punk, tattoo, skater culture, graffiti, and of course, Street Art.

Mantra. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

With very special thanks to Ms. Cooper and Ms. Kramer we have today new images to share with BSA readers from this autumns’ edition of Points de Vue. We also had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Morlot about his approach to the festival.

BSA: How did you conceive of Points de Vue?
Alban Morlot:
I have work for Spacejunk art center for almost 15 years and have run the art center of Bayonne – Basque Country – since 2007. During this time I’ve met many artists from all over the world who have work in public space previously. At that time, French public authorities were under-informed about street art mutations so it was difficult to organize outside projects with street artists – who many people automatically associated to vandalism.

I was frustrated at not being able to take advantage of their presence and their talent to develop their aesthetics in situ. It was during that time that the idea of a festival sprouted in my mind – but it was only later that the planets were aligned!

Equipped with years of experiences, I wanted to set up an event that could represent the variety of the creative styles being used in public space and to provide an educational approach in the same time. The underlying idea is to show the multiplicity of artistic points of view, to confront them, and to offer to the wider audience the opportunity to enrich themselves with others’ eyes.

Mantra. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: What’s your criteria as an organizer when inviting the artists to participate?
Alban Morlot: First, I make sure that the artistic selection is consistent with the purpose of the festival: to discover the extent of the current creations happening in public space. Then it’s the walls that guide me in my research. The context, the format, the situation… are all criteria that I integrate before launching a personalized invitation to an artist.

Most of the time, I invite artists whom I have already met because I like building relationships that go beyond the “one shot”. I know that it could be possible to pass up several editions before I can propose an invitation to such and such artist, but I prefer to wait the right moment, try to gather the best conditions and do a serious proposal so that from the artworks there emerges the pleasure of painting.

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Then I try to build a singular identity for the festival “Points of View”. The Basque Country is located between France and Spain. It is important in this context to boost cross-border artistic exchanges between the northern Basque Country (Iparralde) and the south (Hegoalde).

Last but not least, I try to encourage the presence of female artists because they remain largely underrepresented in this artistic scene.

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Bayonne is also known for its political murals. Do you encourage the artists to be political with their work as well?
Alban Morlot: Generally, I do not allow myself to intervene in the process of artistic creation. I give my opinion if necessary but for me, once the selection is complete, I trust them. I want to allow everyone to practice his or her job with good conditions and it can happen if each part knows his appropriate place.

That said, I do not hesitate to convey the history of the region that welcomes them, because here as elsewhere, there is a story, a people and a language. It is political in a sense, but in the noble meaning!

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

BSA: Do you see Points de Vue purely as a beautification of the city or do you see it to make a social impact within the community?
Alban Morlot:
In no way should our action be seen as decoration. Otherwise, I would not give carte blanche to the artists. No, I undertake a cultural project that aims to promote the meeting between artists and the public, generates exchanges, curiosity, in order to support everyone to be emancipated as a citizen.

Of course, I am not unaware of the social, economic, touristic considerations nor the impact of the festival on urban renewal programs. Culture is transversal and this is its strength, but I do not want to be polluted by other considerations that could divert me from the basics of the festival. I want to give artists the opportunity to work on a wall as they would in their studios and give them the opportunity to meet each other.

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

BSA: How do you see the arts in public space making a difference to society? Should that be the mission or art in public space?
Alban Morlot: Art in the private space or in the public space plays the same role. The unprecedented recognition of urban art is one of all manifestations of social upheaval that we go through in modern societies. I think there’s a break with previous artistic movements because it more closely allies with the aspirations of today’s people – with think tanks who want to reinvest public spaces, etcetera. Art has always been an indicator of the evolution of society.

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: What sort of support do you get from the city’s government for the implementation of the festival?
Alban Morlot: Since the Spacejunk art center is already identified by public authorities, we also receive support from these partners for the festival; This is a form of financial and logistical support. In addition, the festival is also supported by private companies and, thanks to all of these contributors, we manage to present a festival that is both qualitative and open to all.

Lorcolors. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: What’s the reaction of the residents of Bayonne when they see the artists at work and the completed murals?
Alban Morlot:
I must say that I was surprised by the reception that the Bayonne’s inhabitants (and vistors from nearby) have reserved for the festival. I spent almost 6 years defending this project with people who were ultimately quite afraid of the reaction of the public. But the reactions of the population were immediately enthusiastic! Martha (Cooper) even told me that it was quite unusual to see so many people on the streets coming to see the artists work. It is true that I strongly emphasized that it was a chance to see the artists in creation residencies!

Additionally, different from other events, an urban art festival leaves traces on the city which gain a certain value in time, and we are pleased that so many artists have come to the Basque country.

Lorcolors. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Lorcolors. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Remy Uno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Remy Uno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Taroe. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Pixel Pancho. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pixel Pancho. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pixel Pancho. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pantonio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pantonio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pantonio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Pantonio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Koralie. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

 

Fermin Moreno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Fermin Moreno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Fermin Moreno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Deuz. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Deuz. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Deuz. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Deuz. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Petite Poissone. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Petite Poissone. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Reskate Studio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Reskate Studio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Reskate Studio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Koz Dos. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

KOZ DOS
“Punto y flecha sobre el plano”

“Dreams and the subconscious have been the genesis of my work lately. I do try not to put limits on myself or to follow a pattern when I create. The elements that are in my subconscious are the sketches to draw information from. At the same time it’s also the beginning of something that exists and that might be real and logic in our minds. It is the treatment of color, composition and form that unify all the elements and symbols, creating fantastic characters that in turn shed light to a parallel universe.

A central theme in my research for quite a while now, is the confrontation of the human versus the beast and nature. I look for harmony and coexistence through the treatment of images and the plastic arts.

In this project, titled “Punto y flecha sobre el plano” I wanted to work with the construction of the elements within the piece as something tangible, like our dreams, using lines and points on the plane or the wall in this case. Most of everything in our universe is composed of circles and lines so in this piece I wanted to give importance to the geometric form but imbued with a dreamlike quality.

When we are able to verbally communicate with each other we are able to arrive to important accords. Reaching an agreement means that we can coexist with each other. We have the tools at our disposal to do so but very often we put our focus on damaging ourselves by rejecting our origins, destroying our cultures and traditions and mowing over everything as we march on.”

Koz Dos. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Udatxo. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Landroid. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Landroid. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Landroid. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Flow . Deza. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Untay. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Untay. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. Photo of Martha Cooper by Nika Kramer.

Vintage political mural in Bayonne, France written in the Basque language, translated as “The People Must Live”. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Vintage political mural in Bayonne. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Vintage political mural in Bayonne, France written in the Basque language. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Please follow and like us:
Read more
UPEA Finland 2018, A Cross Country Installation of Quality Murals

UPEA Finland 2018, A Cross Country Installation of Quality Murals

UPEART 2018 in Finland took place during the month of September including 20 international and local artists in 12 different cities across the country.

Case Maclaim. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we give you a recap of some favorite scenes from the festival across many cities of Finland thanks to the vision and organizing of Jorgos Fanaris and his team who collectively direct the festival from their headquarters in a post-industrial neighborhood of Helsinki. While there is a proud graff scene and history here, and the city has areas like the Pasila Street Art District, the capital is usually known as a sparkling international city of islands and a peninsula by the Gulf of Finland facing Tallinn, Estonia across the bay.

Proudly humble, elegant and rationally romantic, the city is flanked on all sides by arts and culture, low and high, with historical art institutions like the National Museum as well as the more contemporary Kiasma and cross disciplinary Kunsthalle Helsinki. A deeper rooted cultural history is also apparent in the traditional wooden architecture, the influence of its neighbors Sweden and Russia, and its ability even today to evolve with the most modern of global design practice.

Case Maclaim. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For urban explorers like ourselves who wander the margins and explore the forgotten, neglected parts of the metropolis, it was a bit of a shock to see 8 charming Finnish cities and towns in only a few days – interspersed with millions of birch tree forests and sweeping vistas of farmland, with Russia visible at one point just across a canal.

We drove from uncongested towns surrounded by woodlands like Joensuu and Hyvinkää to midsized cities like Tampere and Espoo, using a stick shift Volkswagen and minding the speed cameras on a smooth and well maintained system of roads and highways. Usually we’re looking out for rats and broken glass and homeless drug users, not slow-moving farming tractors and wily-eyed moose who may cross your path.

Case Maclaim. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But the murals! Choosing from among some of the most accomplished painters and planners of design in the current international scene, Fanaris relies on his own history with graffiti, hip hop, and perhaps the Finnish National Opera when selecting participants to invite.

The quality is high in many instances throughout the mural program and municipalities are gifted with some works may prove timeless – until they fade. Perhaps more decorative than transgressive as a whole, these are public works made in collaboration with local tastes. Some meanings are buried beneath layers, others more obvious and on the surface. An unrealized irony of many “legit” mural programs like this one is many of these artists used to do the illegal stuff too.

As UPEART travels and evolves it will be interesting to see how it changes. Fanaris tells us that the future will include installations, sculpture, even performance as the festival becomes more integrated with communities. With a solid foundation of curation on a massive country-wide scale in these first three years, we look forward to see where UPEART moves next.

Mantra. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When I was a child I was not curious about painting,” Mantra says, “I was more curious about what I could find in the garden so that’s why I spent a lot of time studying these insects and these animals.” Later he shows us images of butterflies and other winged creatures rendered in high fidelity inside decaying factory rooms, including a large dead bird lying on its side. “I painted this because I had seen a dead bird in the garden only a week before.”

Read more: Mantra in Hyvinkää for UPEART Festival 2018 Finland – Dispatch 5

Mantra. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Mantra)

Mantra. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Mantra)

Sainer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think my work is changing recently,” he says. “I have liked to do plainer paintings – like small landscapes . I’m not really into the characters that much in the same way that I was. When I do paint characters they are in the shadow. I like the idea of making portraits where the portrait is not the most important part of the painting.”

BSA: That’s so anti-intuitive – because normally that would be the center focal point, right?

Sainer: Yes – even here the portrait is central but I am trying to play all around it just to hide it. It’s just one of the ideas that I am trying to work with these days.

Read more from our interview with Sainer here.

Sainer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Waone. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ukrainian artist Waone, of Interesni Kazki titled his mural “Spirit of Antique Book”.

“Reading the real book in the age of technology and internet may look rare and a kind of old fashioned, but not for me,” he says. “This mural ‘Spirit of Antique Book’ I dedicated to all book lovers. It represents the wonderful way to escape from ordinary life to extraordinary worlds, and depicts that magic moment when you read the book and lose yourself between the pages.”

BSA: Does it concern you that school children today are becoming unfamiliar with reading traditional books on paper?

Waone: Hmm I didn’t think about books in schools, in Ukraine we still use “normal” books… But I’m sure normal books will become more and more rare. I don’t judge it and I’m not saying that’s good or bad. I just love the book esthetic, a strong symbol of knowledge.”

Waone. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Natalia Rak. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Natalia Rak. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sepe. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Helen Bur. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eero Lampinen. Work in progress. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of his own work, he says, “It’s like a mix of fantasy with contemporary and realistic elements – kind of magic realism. I like to play around with fashion different types of characters.”

The characters are here in the evolving mural – three figures who are working the runways of the street in distinctly different styles.

“There is a night demon, a rubber-outfit person, and then an older character,” he says, “They are all walking separate ways in the streets – and it plays around with this street.”

Read more with Eero Lampinen here.

Eero Lampinen. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Eero Lampinen)

Pertti Jarla. UPEArt Finland 2018. Tampere, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How & Nosm. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Lisalmi, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How & Nosm. UPEArt Finland 2018. Lisalmi, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Proch. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Proch. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal made a number of interesting installations in Karakallio in Espoo, including a haunting series of small buildings attached on trees throughout the forest.

Read more about Isaac Cordal at UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 3

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

NOTE: No trees were damaged by installing the birdhouse sculptures on them.


All the participating artists on UPEArt 2018 are: Andrew Hem, Case Maclaim, David De La Mano, Eero Lampinen, Fabio Petani, Gummy Gue, Helen Bur, How & Nosm, Isaac Cordal, Jussi Twoseven, Kenor, Leon Keer, Mantra, Natalia Rak, Pertti Jarla, Robert Proch, Sainer, Sepe, Silja Selonen and Waone.

 

Please follow and like us:
Read more
Mantra in Hyvinkää for UPEART Festival 2018 Finland – Dispatch 5

Mantra in Hyvinkää for UPEART Festival 2018 Finland – Dispatch 5


BSA is in Finland this week to see firsthand the work of UPEART, an expansive mural art festival in its third iteration. Unique for its geographical breadth as well as it’s curatorial depth, UPEART has quietly revealed its amazing strengths without being self-aggrandizing or showy, slowly transforming cities and towns across the entire country with consultation of the locals and an eye toward the incredible international. Come with us this week as we traverse the country with you.


French entomologist, former graffiti writer, and muralist Mantra grew up in the country surrounded by nature – much like the rolling grassy hills and forests and farmland that we have been driving through this week in Finland. Naturally, when he moved to the city to do graffiti in the margins of the neglected sector of the modern metropolis he also brought his scientific/artistic studies of animals, insects and nature.

Mantra. Work in progress in Hyvinkää. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On a cold and damp September day here in Hyvinkää, about 50 kilometers north of Helsinki, for the UPEART 2018 mural festival, we find Mantra high atop a cherry picker finishing the antennae of a butterfly and the shadow of a moth’s wing. He uses aerosol cans, rollers, and brushes to accurately represent a winged fivesome on the side of a residential apartment building.

As we gaze at the nearly-finished mural from across the katu on a slippery, grassy knoll that is littered with yellow leaves we see an oversized yet  realistic display box. To the right and see a man in his t-shirt pulling aside a curtain and looking out his window at the wall where Mantra had stood only a moment before – his wife coming behind him in her house dress to see what he is trying to peer at.

Mantra. Work in progress in Hyvinkää. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When I was a child I was not curious about painting,” Mantra says, “I was more curious about what I could find in the garden so that’s why I spent a lot of time studying these insects and these animals.” Later he shows us images of butterflies and other winged creatures rendered in high fidelity inside decaying factory rooms, including a large dead bird lying on its side. “I painted this because I had seen a dead bird in the garden only a week before.”

Recent years have brought some adamant critique to the Street Art world from so-called academics and thinkers due to commercial festivals that bring murals that lack social or political critique or have little sense of context with their surroundings; simply attractive and pleasant eye candy. While most people will like the image of a butterfly, Mantra’s wants to be clear that his interest is as an entomologist, not simply decorative.

Mantra. Work in progress in Hyvinkää. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“For me it makes sense to paint them scientifically the way a scientist would see them and not like a decorative motif for an illustration or an interpretation of them.”
He has often done extensive research to select the appropriate butterflies, even consulting experts to make sure he has chosen the correct ones – like the research he just did to prepare for a wall he will paint in Chile. “I recently traveled to Paris to meet two entomologists who are quite senior to this study – they are working with the Paris Museumand many other museums across the world,” he says.

Mantra. Work in progress in Hyvinkää. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So are these new insects in Hyvinkää relevant to this region?

“These five species are living here in Finland or are migratory so that is why I have selected these five for this wall,” he says. “All of these you can find in Russia or Finland or Sweden…There’s not one that is endemic to this region because we are not really a butterfly paradise here because of the climate.”

And how did he make the mural work so well with the location and the building?

“Because of the architecture of the wall, because of the shape in the format I always have to compose. So in this case because it was very vertical I have not many options. I also use the window frames in the architecture as inspiration to create a frame of the same color.”

Because he insists on scientific accuracy, even the relative size of the moth and butterflies are appropriate. “I always paint them in the same proportion that they would be to one another in reality so we have four butterflies and I saved the middle for the moth. The moth is much larger in reality then the butterflies so for the composition it feels right.”

Mantra. Work in progress in Hyvinkää. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Mantra. Work in progress in Hyvinkää. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mantra. Work in progress in Hyvinkää. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please follow and like us:
Read more
BSA Film Friday 9.24.18 – From UPEART in Finland. Dispatch 4

BSA Film Friday 9.24.18 – From UPEART in Finland. Dispatch 4

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

BSA is in Finland this week to see firsthand the work of UPEART, an expansive mural art festival in its third iteration. Unique for its geographical breadth as well as it’s curatorial depth, UPEART has quietly revealed its amazing strengths without being self-aggrandizing or showy, slowly transforming cities and towns across the entire country with consultation of the locals and an eye toward the incredible international. Come with us this week as we traverse the country with you.


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

Now screening :
1. Mantra in Hyvinkää
2. Isaac Cordal in Espoo
3. Sainer in Helsinki
4. Eero Lampinen in Helsinki

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Scenes from UPEART this Week

This week BSA had the privilege of touring the sites from the mural arts program called UPEART in Finland which continues to showcase the work of many artists from graffiti/Street Art culture, their work now often morphing into public art. While on the road from city to city in this Nordic country full of natural lakes, forests and sparkling clean cities during the advent of fall, we also caught some past and present murals as well as a few artists in action. Here are a few quick home-made videos to share with BSA readers what we found.

Mantra in Hyvinkää

French entomologist and former graffiti writer Mantra studies insects – here specifically butterflies and a large moth that are all found in this region of the world. We found him just as he was finishing his newest work for UPEART in Hyvinkää.

Isaac Cordal in Espoo

Spanish Street Artist and sculptor Isaac Cordal has begun his nearly surreptitious installations of his concrete figures here above Finnish heads. Often businessmen, they contemplate existentially as you walk by them a number of times during your daily travails – until one day you discover them.

Sainer in Helsinki

Polish artist Sainer completed a massive portrait here in Helsinki this week on the side of a multi-story building – yet he tells us that he is less concerned with the mystery woman in the center than his is with the planes and palette that back her.

Read more here: UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 1 – Sainer

Eero Lampinen in Helsinki

Helsinki native, illustrator and graphic designer Eero Laminen is at work on his second large scale mural here behind a complex scaffolding. We walked with him during a break to see the characters that he is imagining for this neighborhood.

Read more here: Eero Lampinen at UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 2

Please follow and like us:
Read more
BSA + UPEA in Finland

BSA + UPEA in Finland

BSA is excited to bringing you new works from Finland next week as we explore Helsinki and nearby cities that are part of the UPEA 2018 Festival. A unique model of mural festival that invites international and local artists to paint across the entire country, UPEART has quietly entered the global Street Art and graffiti stage without entering the fray: providing top caliber artists with uncommon opportunities to create works in cities for a handful of years now.

Waone Interesni Kazki at UPEART (image © the artist)

The full line up for this year’s stellar UPEART edition is:

Andrew Hem, Case Maclaim, David de la Mano, Eero Lampinen, Fabio Petani, Gummy Gue, Helen Bur, How & Nosm, Isaac Cordal, Jussi TwoSeven, Kenor, Leon Keer, Mantra, Natalia Rak, Pertti Jarla, Robert Proch, Sainer, Sepeusz, Silja Selonen and Waone Interesni Kazki, who poses here yesterday with the mural he’s been working on for 10 days


To keep on top of the action on the ground and up on the lifts click on UPEA’s FB link below:

https://www.facebook.com/upeart/

Please follow and like us:
Read more
Trans-graffiti and the Trans-National “Mextonia” Festival

Trans-graffiti and the Trans-National “Mextonia” Festival

Mexico and Estonia; an unlikely couple. But sometimes love is like that. In a time when orthodoxy globally is seemingly self-combusting and obviously falling short in meeting the needs of people, it is perhaps no surprise that the unique hybrids of shared strengths are those that arise and can lead.

Consider “Mextonia”.

Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel. Mextonia Co-Founders. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A cultural love child combining the traditions of these two nations has resulted in a surprising amount of cross-cultural exchange and mural making in the last year or two. Today we have just some of the artworks made during a two-part event held in each country, the first in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2017 and the second in Querétaro, Mexico during March 2018.

The unlikely pairing by two sociological searchers who love graffiti, Street Art, and the mural traditions of the past as much as the modern mural phenomena now speaks a common language of aesthetics in multiple spheres.

Renata Mtz. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Together Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel have mounted two large cross-culture jams, attracting numerous artists and trans-national interpreters (nearly 100), presenting and renewing interests in history, indigenous people, traditions, and the environment challenges of today.

By highlighting the similarities and distinct differences in traditional and modern culture, these two are the magnetic field around whom a multi-faceted public art practice is developing that showcases urban and mural artists.

You haven’t seen a hybrid like this before.

Goal. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Together the two say that the effort is “a reminder of what makes us feel proud of being Mexicans, Estonians, and even better, what unites us beyond our nationalities: our cultural freedom. Our responsibility of making this place, this world, a better place than how we found it.”

The enterprise is frequently steeped in metaphor and symbolism and a search for meanings in the overlapping of traditions. One that is often sited is the Blue Deer/Fern Blossom intersection.

In México, according to ancient Huichol tribe tradition, people go to hunt Blue Deer to search for wisdom and inner vision. Searching is also involved in the Estonian ancient tradition of searching for the Fern Blossom that is said to appear only during the summer equinox of June, which they call Jaaniöö. Both traditional cultural stories represent prosperity, protection and fertility, they say.

Sänk. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Mextonia is a gift to remind the world about the Spirit; a collective soul in the shape of a Blue Deer, in finally finding a Fern Blossom,” say Sánchez and Tompel.

For Mr. Sánchez, the Mexican co-creator and author of the Mextonia Manifesto, there is a belief that there are larger forces at work in the Universe and that Mextonia is a platform and vehicle for the new generation.

When reading his observations you will see that the platform is hoping to lead Millennial artists to reconnect with a sense of culture and identity, two things that are sadly slipping away due to the dopamine-laced fire hose of mass media stimuli, social and otherwise, that we are collectively exposed to.

Brushleee. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

For Tompel, the Estonian co-director of this bi-national transcultural journey, “Mextonia was born from a personal ‘vision quest’ to better understand the native wisdom of Mesoamerican natives.”

She says the enthusiasm and knowledge of Sánchez guided her to better appreciate ancient traditions like those of the Mexican Huichol tribe, and that this new appreciation enlivened her interest in her own homeland of Estonia, which she began to study in earnest. Together, the two of them have poured the molten iron of their combined roots and cast a foundation that many artists are now adding their interpretation to.

Markus Richard Tallvee. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Whether it is costume or symbols or rites or ceremony, you can see a deep desire to be inclusive in the styles and expressions. The spring festival, for example, extended its message with the collaboration with the PangeaSeed Sea Walls effort, headed by Tré Packard and his team in pursuit of “combining art and activism on this level and caliber to champion for the oceans,” and often sited aspiration.

Tania Quezada. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Art and public activism can educate and inspire the global community to help save our water resources,” says Packard. “Regardless of its location, large metropolitan city or small coastal town, all drains lead to the ocean and the ocean provides every breath we take. The Earth cannot exist without healthy oceans and water resources.”

With this in mind the city of Querétaro was chosen for the multiple aqua-related public artworks as a way to draw attention to the city’s own reliance on water that is transported from a hundred kilometers outside the city. This chapter of “Mextonia” was also known as “Water is One”.

Ricardo Moste. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The experience and study has even helped coin new terms, like transgraffiti and transgraffiti muralism.

“Muralism and Street Art have proven to transform cultural symbols and catalyze culture,” says Sánchez. “Now, Transgraffitti is a trans-personal kind of muralism, which distances itself from both; names and pop culture, by taking deep cultural symbols and re-expressing them in a transcendental and contemporary way.”

Reyben. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

In this respect, it is a unique view of Street Artist and graffiti writers in contemporary practice from an evolutionary perspective. In the Water is One Manifesto 2.0 that was released this spring the organizers write:

“In today’s world we see millions of young people expressing on walls, influencing the streets and society. They write their names to identify with their space: we call them graffiti writers. As they grow and explore, some look beyond the writing of a personal name and embark into trans-personal-creation.

They research social challenges, paint visual metaphors and transcend borders. They discover the power of their painting over streets and culture. They become a kind of contemporary shaman, producing street incantations.

This is the transpersonal-graffiti, and we call it Transgraffiti muralism.”

Mr. Cinzah. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sermob. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jonky. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As BSA correspondent from Tallinn and Querétaro, veteran photojournalist and ethnographer Martha Cooper attended the installations, exhibitions, celebrations, and ceremonies in both countries and she collected a wealth of important information to share.

In her own words Cooper says, “Street art is a worldwide art movement and Mextonia has shown how creative two different cultures can be when combined. Excellent idea – brilliantly realized.”

As mentioned Part 2 in Querétaro, Mexico was a collaboration with Pangea Seed and it was a concerted effort to highlight water resources,  and “The Water Is One” theme was reflected in the murals.

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.”
~Jacques Yves Cousteau

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

While these 40 or so photos are resplendent in conveying the spirit and dedication shown daily by participants, they are ultimately a very small sample of the hundreds Cooper took.

Similarly a blog platform like this cannot comprehensively cover the events or the perspectives in their entirety, but we hope that you can gain a greater appreciation for the depth of feeling, scholarship, and talent that is represented here in Martha’s photographs and our descriptions.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

We conclude our text here with an interview that Ms. Cooper conducted for BSA with Sigre Tompel to better understand the breadth of the festival and also to get more detail about a sacred spiritual ceremony that Cooper attended with native peoples and the artists during her Mexican visit this spring.

Martha Cooper: Can we call “Water Is One” in Querétaro Part 2 of Mextonia? Are you planning Part 3?
Sigre Tompel: Yes, it is a sequence of Mextonia, part 2 (Mextonia in Estonia was the element of Fire, Water Is One was the element of Water. Yes, we are planning part 3 and 4 (Earth and Air).

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Montreal-based artist Jason Botkin met and exceeded human and creative limits at one point by successfully and arduously rappelling down, up, and around this great dome to recreate an astounding version of the Aztec calendar which can only be appreciated by flying overhead. Ms. Cooper tells us that all artists working on the cupola or dome were required to have a periodic medical check to ensure their good health during the installation of the frescoes.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Nueve Art Urbano Team)

Martha Cooper: How many artists participated in both the Estonian and Mexican festivals?
Sigre Tompel: In Estonia we had 60 artists and in Mexico 33 – together with graffiti writers and neighboring walls of the Dome. These 5 artists were actually in both festivals – Aaron Glasson (New Zealand), Sänk (Estonia), Sermob (Mexico), Renata (Mexico), Goal (Mexico). Our whole core crew is a total of 15 people.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martha Cooper: What was the name for the type of group that performed the ceremony at the walls? What was burning in the pot that produced the smoke? Copal?
Sigre Tompel: They are called Concheros, they use Copal , smudging for blessing. The message was smudging the artists to thank them for their work and to bless their way back home, so they can arrive healthy and happy. The name of this particular group of Concheros is “In Xochitl In Cuicatl”, Flor y Canto (Flower and Singing) and they are lead by Conchero General Manuel Rodriguez. The name is in Nahuatl, the ancient language of the Mexica.

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Paola Delfín. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martha Cooper: Does the ceremony have a name? Can you say a few words about what kind of blessing it was or what message they were sending the artists?
Sigre Tompel: The Concheros hold the tradition of the old Mexican belief system. After being conquered by the Spanish, they decided to hold balance and harmony between the two belief symbols, so they started honoring Christian symbols, while honoring also Mexican symbols, usually in secret. Concheros need to be reconsidered as a Cultural Heritage of the World, they are not “syncretic” by ignorance, but to keep the sacred balance of cultural hybridization.

The Concheros were very happy because the artists expressed the metaphors of their dances into the murals, and because this represents a kind of Mexican renaissance that returns to an earlier time, reinterpreting the ancient classic pre-religious Mexican belief systems.

Paola Delfín. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ryper . Goal. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ryper . Goal. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Curiot. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Demencia. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Nosego. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Smithe. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

Pogo. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Aaron Glasson. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Nueve Art Urbano Team)

Renata. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sermob. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Juez. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Valiñas. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Atole Parra . Solé. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Graffiti Wall. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Artists participating include:

Aaron Glasson (New Zealand)
Curiot Tlapazotl (Mexico)
Dementia (Mexico)
Goal (Mexico)
Jason Botkin (Canada)
Mantra (France)
Nosego (United States)
Paola Delfín (Mexico)
Pogo (Mexico)
Renata (Mexico)
Ryper (Mexico)
Sermob (Mexico)
Smithe (Mexico)
Sänk (Estonia)


For more information on Mextonia please visit Mextonia.com

For more information on PangeaSeed please visit PangeaSeed Foundation

Read this article in Spanish / Leer este articulo in Espanol aqui:

TRANS-GRAFFITI Y EL FESTIVAL TRANSNACIONAL “MEXTONIA

Publicado el 26 de Mayo, 2018

México y Estonia; una pareja improbable. Pero a veces el amor es así. En una época en la que la ortodoxia global es autocomplaciente y obviamente no satisface las necesidades de las personas, quizás no sorprenda que sean los híbridos únicos de fortalezas compartidas los que pueden liderar en el mundo.

Consideremos “Mextonia”.

El retoño que combina las tradiciones… MAS


Our sincere thanks to Martha Cooper for her leadership on this effort as well as her talents documenting the action.

Please follow and like us:

Read more