All posts tagged: Mark Bode

BSA Images Of The Week 02.25.18 / Stockholm Special

BSA Images Of The Week 02.25.18 / Stockholm Special

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For about seven years (2007-14) the city of Stockholm practiced a so-called “zero tolerance” policy against graffiti and Street Art, following the exalted/derided ‘broken windows’ theory (Wilson and Kelling, 1982). As recently as 2011 the touring national theatre company named Riksteartern ran into serious trouble with city leaders when promoting an international Street Art convention called “Art of the Streets” because it violated the spirit of the policy.

The loosening of the strict approach in 2014 coincided with the dawn of Snösätra, a bastion of urban art practice in a rough and industrial part of southern Stockholm. Landowners there gave permission for the painting of pieces, burners, productions, and murals by graffiti writers and Street Artists all along the streets of this sector in the suburb of Rågsved where about 30 businesses cater to construction, recycling, and mechanics. A new annual festival has popped up there with DJs and live painting and various shows and celebrations throughout the summer.

Magic City, the traveling exhibition celebrating 50+ years of a wide swath of urban art practice globally, has been successfully drawing audiences here down in the industrial docks of Stockholm since last year as well, a sign of the evolving perspective on the topic. We’ve had the honor of being in both of these venues inside and outside this week and can tell you that the results in many cases are spectacular.

In addition to exploring the current works in Snösätra with local artist Vegan Flava, we hit some of the larger commissioned murals in the more bohemian streets of Stockholm and helped celebrate Magic City’s HUGE weekend, named after the local graffiti writer who specializes in photorealistic lettering in the style of helium balloons.

Both of our BSA Film Weekend programs Friday and Saturday night were a lot of fun – complete with families and kids and a few scholars and graff historians sprinkled in for flavor. We thank everyone who came up to introduce themselves and even the shy ones whom we saw from a distance.

Our sincere thanks to Vegan Flava, whose work is on the streets and in Magic City, all of the artists, curators Carlo McCormick and Ethel Seno, and director Christoph Scholz with the whole Magic City team.

Here are some of the images from our travels during this quick visit to Stockholm.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1Up, Alkie,Amara Por Dios, Arrow, Biesk, Disk, BrasilSuecia, Frankie Strand, Holem, Hop Louie, Mark Bode, Mnek, Os Gemeos, Peter Birk, RCW, Sweet Toof, Sibylla Nohrborh, Tear, Tonk, Vegan Flava, Vickan Art, Yash, CAS Crew,Cheat,Poker One,Kiss, and Ziggy.

Top Image: Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arrow. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Amara Por Dios. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vegan Flava. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vegan Flava. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vickan Art. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Peter Birk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hop Louie. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ziggy. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sibylla Nohrborg. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Frankie Strand. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BrasilSuecia. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Disk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sweet Toof . Tear . RCW. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Menk . Biesk . Alkie. Tribute to Mark Bode. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Yash. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tonk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tonk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. February, 2018. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Le Rat Has Arrived, Police Remove Cars from “Art Mile”, 2 Days to “Unstoppable” in Berlin : BSA Dispatch 3

Le Rat Has Arrived, Police Remove Cars from “Art Mile”, 2 Days to “Unstoppable” in Berlin : BSA Dispatch 3

Blek Le Rat arrived at the Urban Nation office today with his wife Sybille after a long car ride from Paris, ready for a coffee and possibly to take a look at the wall he’ll be painting here to celebrate “UNSTOPPABLE”, the inaugural exhibition of the UN museum this weekend. The wind taunted BustArt as he attempted to lay his irreverent stencil of Mother Mary coddling Pluto Jr. and the sliced cutout cardboard bent and bowed beyond an average person’s patience while his buddy Stephan helped hold it down for spraying.

Isaac Cordal. Detail of a larger outdoor installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Under the elevated train a legion of police and traffic cops removed 80 or so cars so the team could begin building stages, cages, platforms, lighting, electricity – for a slew of fresh outdoor pieces which will be installed Thursday and Friday for the weekend outside component.

Who is going to be on display as part of the Art Mile? Try Pixel Pancho, Franco JAZ Fasoli, Bordalo II, Mimi S., HowNosm, Zezao, Isaac Cordal, Olek, Seth Globepainter, Blek Le Rat, Hottea, Dot Dot Dot, Borondo, Herakut, Deih XLF, Faith 47, David De La Mano, Nespoon, Tank Patrol, Lister, Cranio, Sandra Chevrier, Aaron Woes M, Yok & Sheryo, Haroshi, Don John, Ben Frost, Various & Gould, Icy & Sot, Mademoiselle Maurice, the Juxtapoz newsstand, Mark Bode, Shepard Fairey, 1 Up, James Bullough, and 2501. It’s a real cross section of styles, influences, and voice that will be engaging guests this weekend.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Berlin police actually use a truss and truck that picks up the offending car, puts it on a flatbed. Then, believe or not, they look for an empty parking spot in the neighborhood an place the car into the new place – also signs are posted to let you know where your car was re-located to.

In New York City if you are unfortunate enough to park your car in the wrong place it is simply towed away to a massive car yard somewhere, banging into things occasionally on the way and flying through potholes – and then held for a King’s ransom. Then you have to simply guess if it was towed or stolen.  No word on what the London Police do in regards to cars parked illegally.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Florian couldn’t wait to take a peek. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Hot Tea)

Up on a lift for painting today also were Mademoiselle Maurice, David De La Mano, and James Bullough, and the company plastering the corner façade of the museum with pink letters. When the winds got to strong everybody was forced to bring the lifts down for an hour. Intrepid and lucky photographers like Jaime Rojo and Nika Kramer still managed to go up in the buckets to get some good shots in.

Hot Tea is spraying a big installation space with a rainbow of colors – on the walls and floors completely. People who are peeking through the plastic sheeting that protects the windows are wondering what this world of color is going to be.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meanwhile the onslaught of arrivals continues, including hopefully we’ll see Martha Cooper and Carlo McCormick. Martha of course will be here to celebrate the beginning of the Martha Cooper Library within the museum and Carlo will be here to see the didactics and texts he wrote for the exhibition and catalogue –as well as speaking at the Unlock Book Fair. This publishing fair for graffiti, street art and related practices is a must see for those who relish the independent thinking minds who publish on paper in this scene. Other great speakers featured will be Pedro Soares, Jens Besser, Susan Phillips, Thomas Chambers, and Javier Abarca.

Okay that’s your update for today. See you on the streets tomorrow.

Ron English. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE at work for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bustart fights with the wind. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

Tankpetrol at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice detail and process shot of her installation for Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice detail and process shot of her installation for Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Coney Art Walls Class of 2017

Coney Art Walls Class of 2017

With ten fresh new murals, Coney Art Walls 2017 has made its official debut for summer. Starting this past weekend with the Mermaid Parade in full swing with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein as Queen and King and aquatic beauties in shimmering costumes wending their way through the pavement paradise by the sea.

The new Crash wall welcomes you to summer 2017 at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we bring you the class of 2017; all ten new walls at Coney plus a re-freshed one by sculptor and Street Art pioneer John Ahearn.Mr. Ahearn re-casted fresh sculptures of his Boy in the Beach With Divers piece which he debuted at last year’s edition of Coney Art Walls. With fresh paint and fresh bodies the piece looks even more stunning this year.

Another updated blast from the past, Lee Quinones brings back a mural he first completed on a handball court back when he was hitting trains on the MTA 38 years ago. The center word “Graffiti” reminds us where this scene sprang from.

Lee Quinones in action at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lee Quinoes. “Graffiti 20/20”. “If The Battle Chooses You. Choose What You Battle With” reads the caption on top of the mural. Lee recreates an updated version of his original “Graffiti 1979” mural painted on a handball court on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which he updated as “1990” and climbed down it in the opening of “Wild Style”, directed by Charlie Ahearn. Bringing the graffiti explosion back for a third time, you see he’s already planned ahead three years. This is one of the new walls for Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lee Quinones. Coney Art Walls 2017. Lee shows us a photo of the original mural that was featured in the book “Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in NYC” by Craig Castleman published in 1982 by MIT Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain’s mural for Coney Art Walls 2017 integrates a photo taken by Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A side view of John Ahearn’s casted sculptures mounted on his wall at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn before his work. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ad from Skewville tightens the line. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skewville. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marie Roberts seeks shelter from the sun as she works on her mural for Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marie Roberts. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain and his team at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alexis Diaz does fine line work on his creature for Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alexis Diaz. Work in Progress. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shantell Martin. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mark Bode. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Artists Re-Fresh “Coney Art Walls” for ’17

Artists Re-Fresh “Coney Art Walls” for ’17

After all that sun and surf and sashaying up the boardwalk in espadrilles and a big hat, what smashing city girl doesn’t like to throw on a fresh coat fire-engine-red lipstick ? Smart Sallys know that fresh paint on the kisser can bring a bevy of new beaus to take those lips for a ride.

Crash is actually a returning Coney Art Walls champion, here doing a brand new 2017 welcome and giving a shout out to Tats Cru. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coney Art Walls is getting a solid touch-up for the new summer season too here in this waterside Brooklyn hotspot as a number of new artists have just joined the procession.

Unofficially the first weekend of summer tomorrow, you can be assured that there will be popcorn, cotton candy, beer, flip-flops, a bit of sleaze and a lot of freak show parading around these newly painted pieces by Crash, Alexis Diaz, Jim Drain, Ganzeer, Shantell Martin, Lee Quinones, Marie Roberts, Mark Bodé, Skewville and Chris Stain.

Chris Stain reprises a classic Martha Cooper photograph in his new mural for Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This outdoor museum of murals by Street Artists and graffiti writers is again curated by that two headed curiosity of the “Art Hypnotist” Jeffrey Deitch and “Real Estate Lion” Joseph Sitt for the third colorful year. Curious visitors to the Coney Art Walls are once again regaled with a labyrinthine tour of walls painted by artists of all backgrounds here on this gritty city beachfront that roils with raven-haired shimmery mermaids and muscled snake handlers with handle bar mustaches.

The elegant ring master Deitch tells us that many of the previous years walls are returning for another show season but that the program has added artists from as far away as equestrian England, enticing Egypt, passionate Puerto Rico, cray-cray California and good old fast-talking New York – a place so nice they had to name it twice.

Chris Stain in collaboration with Martha Cooper. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One particular attraction for the hometown crowd will be the spectacular and splendiferous Lee Quinones, who famously painted hundreds of whole-cars on the NYC subway during graffiti’s halcyon days of the late 70s and early 80s.

Only a lucky few ladies and gentlemen will get to see this punctilious wizard of aerosol painting his wall LIVE with their own eyes. The rest of the crowd will undoubtedly be screaming on a nearby mechanized tilty-ride or looking longingly for someone to smooch under the boardwalk.

Alexis Diaz sketching his wall. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Returning champion Coney Art Walls this summer will include those by John Ahearn, Aiko, Buff Monster, D*Face, Daze, Eine, eL Seed, Haze, How & Nosm, Icy & Sot, IRAK, Kashink, Lady Pink, The London Police, Miss Van, Mister Cartoon, Nina Chanel Abney, Nychos, RETNA, Ron English, Pose, Sheryo & Yok, Tats Cru, and Tristan Eaton.

Alexis Diaz process shot. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marie Roberts will bring the circus animals out this time. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marie Roberts at work…nothing much is happening next to her. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain at work on his wall. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer at work on his wall. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer at work on his wall. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer at work on his wall. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shantell Martin. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skewville dramatically at work on his new color-blocked composition. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Like Madonna said, “Strike a pose.” Skewville at work. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mark Bodé. Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.20.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.20.16

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New York is bracing, as is the rest of the country, for the fallout of the election.

We’ve seen an uptick in anti-semitic graffiti on the street, but not a great deal of other stuff aside from acidic disgust toward Trump – but that was true before the election. The governor and the mayor are warning the new administration that no discrimination or hate will be welcomed in the State or City. Most of the time the president elect is still hanging out at his towers in Manhattan choosing rich, connected, white men to fill all his cabinet posts. Almost every one those choices have people up in arms.

Meanwhile, the autumn has been spectacular and we’re all reminding ourselves and each other that we have a lot to be thankful for, and to fight for – for all of us across the country in every city, town, suburb, and rural home.  It looks like winter is coming, so gather wood for the fire.

It’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Aaron Ki, C-3, Dan Witz, Ganzeer, Individualactivist, Livio Ninni, Mark Bode, Mr. Fijodor, ODeith, Ouizi, Qi Xinghau, Raphael Federici, Roteo, SpY, and Voxx Romana.

Our top photo: Raphael Federici #parissketchculture (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ouizi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invididualactivist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aaron Kai (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Voxx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LOVE indeed. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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C_3 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ganzeer at Magic City Life. Dresden, Germany. November 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SpY (Andy K and Jens Besser on the bottom) at Magic City Life. Dresden, Germany. November 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This 3-D effect totally works by the way. Odeith at Magic City Life. Dresden, Germany. November 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz at Magic City Life. Dresden, Germany. November 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Qi Xinghua at Magic City Life. Dresden, Germany. November 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mark Bode at Magic City Life. Dresden, Germany. November 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Fijodor somewhere in Italy. (photo © Livio Ninni)

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Mr. Fijodor somewhere in Italy. (photo © Livio Ninni)

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Roteo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Men’s bathroom talk… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The former Pearl Paint store on Canal in Manhattan where so many students and Street Artists and artists of all kinds used to congregate. Still looking good, now festooned with big bubble tags. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Manhattan. Fall 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Magic City” in Dresden : Exhibition of Street Artists and City as Muse

“Magic City” in Dresden : Exhibition of Street Artists and City as Muse

An unusual amalgam of the interactivity of the street combined with the formality of a gallery environment, Magic City opened this fall in a converted factory in Dresden, Germany with an eclectic selection of 40+ artists spanning the current and past practices of art in the street.

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Skewville. Children enjoying Skewville’s “tete-a-tete” shopping cart. Ernest Zacharevic’s mobile in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With revered culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick at the helm alongside curator Ethel Seno, the richly marbled show runs a gamut from 70’s subway train writers and photographers like Americans Daze, Henry Chalfant, and Martha Cooper to the Egyptian activist Ganzeer, Italian interventionist Biancoshock, popagandist Ron English, and the eye-tricking anamorphic artist from the Netherlands, Leon Keer.

Veering from the hedonistic to the satiric to head-scratching illusions, the collection allows you to go as deep into your education about this multifaceted practice of intervening public space as you like, including just staying on the surface.

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Ernest Zacharevic mobile with a “listening station” on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s not an easy balance to strike – some of these artists have heavy hearts and withering critiques of human behaviors and institutional hypocrisies ranging from 1st World treatment of refugees to celebrity culture to encroaching surveillance on individual rights, government oppression, and urban blight.

Magic City doesn’t try to shield you from the difficult topics, but the exhibition also contains enough mystery, fanboy cheer, eye candy and child-like delight that the kids still have plenty of fun discoveries to take selfies with. We also saw a few kissing couples, so apparently there is room for some romance as well.

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 A visitor to Magic City enjoys a “listening station”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We believe that even the typical city is uncommon, and that the idiosyncrasies that make each city unique are collectively something they all have in common,” says McCormick in his text describing the exhibition. “This is then a celebration of the universal character of cities as well as a love letter to their infinite diversity. The special magic that comes from our cities is germinated in the mad sum of their improbable juxtapositions and impossible contradictions.”

Of particular note is the sound design throughout the exhibition by Sebastian Purfürst and Hendrick Neumerkel of LEM Studios that frequently evokes an experiential atmosphere of incidental city sounds like sirens, rumbling trains, snatches of conversations and musical interludes. Played at varying volumes, locations, and textures throughout the exhibition, the evocative city soundscape all adds to a feeling of unexpected possibilities and an increased probability for new discovery.

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Olek’s carousel from above. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Obviously this Magic City cannot be all things to all people, and some will criticize the crisp presentation of a notably gritty series of subcultures, or perhaps the omission of one genre or technique or important artist. It’s not meant to be encyclopedic, rather a series of insights into a grassroots art and activism practice that continues to evolve in cities before our eyes.

For full disclosure, we curated the accompanying BSA Film Program for Magic City by 12 artists and collectives which runs at one end of the vast hall – and Mr. Rojo is on the artist roster with 15 photographs of his throughout the exhibition, so our view of this show is somewhat skewed.

Here we share photographs from the exhibition taken recently inside the exhibition for you to have a look for yourself.

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Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A MadC installation made with thousands of spray can caps. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Belgian urban naturalist ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville . ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martha Cooper at the gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Henry Chalfant at the gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bordalo II (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andy K. detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anders Gjennestad AKA Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot with Asbestos on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Replete (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Truly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leon Keer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jaime Rojo. A young visitor enjoying the Kids Trail through a peephole with Jaime’s photos inside an “electrical box”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jaime Rojo. The Kids Trail wasn’t only for kids it seems. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton on the right. Olek on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aiko at the Red Light District. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Yok & Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Full list of participating artists:

Aiko, AKRylonumérik, Andy K, Asbestos, Benus, Jens Besser, Biancoshock, Mark Bode, Bordalo II, Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas, Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Isaac Cordal, Daze, Brad Downey, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Fino’91, Ganzeer, Anders Gjennestad, Ben Heine, Herakut, Icy & Sot, Leon Keer, Loomit, MadC, OakOak, Odeith, Olek, Qi Xinghua, Replete, Roa, Jaime Rojo, Skewville, SpY, Truly, Juandres Vera, WENU, Dan Witz, Yok & Sheryo, Ernest Zacharevic.

 

Visit MAGIC CITY DRESDEN for more details, news, videos and the blog.

 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

40 Artists Up Along Main Street, 12 More in the BSA Film Program

brooklyn-street-art-740-ethel_seno_carlo_mccormick_magiccity-dresden-opening-2420-web2048pxl-adobergb-byrainerchristiankurzeder

Curators Ethel Seno and Carlo McCormick in front of a new mural by German duo Herakut announcing the premiere of Magic City in Dresden. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


 

“Nature is a petrified magic city.” – Novalis

Curator Carlo McCormick quotes Novalis by way of describing this new exhibit of an eclectic blend of terrific troublemakers, pop-culture hijackers, and show-stopping crowd pleasers drawn from cities all around the Street Art/ graffiti /urban art scene today – and forty years ago. This is a welcoming walk of unexpected intersections that only McCormick and co-curator Ethel Seno could imagine – and pull together as a panoply of street wizardry that acknowledges activism, artistry, anarchy, and aesthetics with a sincere respect for all. It will be interesting to see how this show is viewed by people who follow the chaotic street scene today in the context of its evolution and how they read the street signs in this city.

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Curator Ethel Seno with Managing Director Dieter Semmelmann and exhibition Designer Tobias Kunz cutting the ribbon at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

McCormick, in his customary self-effacing humor, expects there to be some shit flying – as anyone who is involved in this scene expects from the hard-scrabble rebellious margins and subcultures that this art-making interventionist practice rises from. There also are a growing and coalescing mini-legion of scholars and academics who are currently grappling with the nature and characteristics of this self-directed art-making practice rooted often in discontent – now organized inside an exhibition that is ticketed and sold as a family friendly show.

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Street Artist and pop mashup painter Tristan Eaton in front of his new mural wall at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

In his descriptions of the public sphere, the writer, historian, author, and cultural critic McCormick often refers to graffiti and street artists messing with “contested space”. It’s an apt description whether we are talking about the public space in high-density gleaming metropolises or the bombed-out grid-less and polluted quagmires of human fallibility and urban un-planning that dot our globe; all public space its nature is contested.

Here is a place used by many artists to protest, agitate, advocate, or deliver critique – and many of the artists in this exhibition have done exactly this in their street practice, often pushing limits and defining new ones. Dig a little into many of the individual story lines at play here and you’ll see that the vibrant roots of social revolution are pushing up from the streets through the clouds of propaganda and advertising, often mocking them and revealing them in the process.

Ultimately, this Magic City experience is an elixir for contemplating the lifelong romance we have with our cities and with these artists who cavort with us within them. “Our Magic City is a place and a non-place,” McCormick says in a position statement on the exhibit. “It is not the physical city of brick and mortar but rather the urban space of internalized meanings. It is the city as subject and canvas, neither theme park nor stage set, but an exhibition showcasing some of the most original and celebrated artists working on and in the city today.”

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Mixed media Street Artist Asbestos from Dublin, graffiti master/ painter Chris “Daze” Ellis from NYC, and Tristan Eaton from Los Angeles at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Curator Carlo McCormick with New York billboard/culture jammer and artist Ron English in front of his new wall mural at premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Dutch anamorphic art master Leon Keer with Polish crochet transformer/Street Artist Olek at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

BSA curated the film program for Magic City with a dynamic array of some of the best Street Art related films today presented together in a relaxed environment. In this video hosted by Andreas Schanzenbach you get a taste of the works that are showing that we draw from our weekly surveys on BSA Film Friday. Over the last few years we have had the honor of presenting live in-person to students and scholars and fans an ever-evolving collection of videos that speak to the spirit experimentation, discovery and culture-jamming outrageousness of urban interventions, graffiti and Street Art.  The BSA Film Program at Magic City presents a survey of some of the very best that we have seen recently.

Magic City artists include:
Akrylonumerik, Andy K, Asbestos, Ben Heine, Benuz, Biancoshock, Bordalo II, Brad, Downey, Dan Witz, Daze, Ernest Zacharevic, Ganzeer, Henry Chalfant, HERAKUT, Icy & Sot, Isaac Cordal, Jaime Rojo, Jens Besser, Juandres Vera, Lady Aiko, Leon Keer, Loomit, MAD C, Mark Bode, Martha Cooper, Oakoak, Odeith, Olek, Ori Carin / Benjamin Armas, Qi Xinghua, Replete, ROA, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Skewville, SpY, Tristan Eaton, Truly, WENU Crew, Yok & Sheryo

The BSA Film Program for Magic City includes the following artists:
Borondo, Brad Downey & Akay, Ella + Pitr, Faile, Farewell, Maxwell Rushton, Narcelio Grud, Plotbot Ken, Sofles, Vegan Flava, Vermibus

Some behind the scenes shots days before the Premiere

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Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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DAZE reviewing his work at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Urban naturalist ROA at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Sheryo strikes a pose while the guys build the installation she did with The Yok at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Fun Friday 10.19.12

Happy Friday Peepuls. Now before we all set our sights on Friday art parties and dancing and getting crazy and writing on people’s foreheads with markers, it’s time for us to get Debatified so we are all ready to vote. Obama is ahead in New York by like a hundred and five percent but apparently there are some states in the imperfect union where it is still a toss-up and people are just not sure who’s better. Moderator Candy Crowley scoured all of New York’s Long Island Tuesday and came up with only 82 people who still don’t know who they’re voting for – 12 of them polled just before airtime were also not sure who is on the one dollar bill, so there’s a clue for ya right there. Here’s a capsulized version of what went down.

1. Becca and Philip Lumbang (LA)
2. “Purple”, a Female Group Show in Williamsburg  (BKLN)
3. Fairey’s “Sound and Vision” (London)
4. Gregory Siff is “A Matter of Time” in LA
5. Shark Toof Takes a Bite out of LA
6. Meanwhile, Back in Haunted Brooklyn…Get Out Your Knife
7. “The Art of Basketball” at the Pop International Galleries (NYC)
8. Gallery For The People at Stonebook Court Estate (Los Altos)
9. “It’s Alive 2” at Urban Folk Art Gallery (BKLN)
10. “Art on the Seam” Documentary teaser  (VIDEO)
11. Vermibus – The Sting (VIDEO)
12. ROA in the Boneyard (VIDEO)

Becca and Philip Lumbang (LA)

Becca and Philip Lumbang, two of LA’s Street Art scene, are teaming at Lab Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA with their show titled “Babes & Bears” now open.

Becca in Los Angeles (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Purple”, a Female Group Show in Williamsburg  (BKLN)

“Purple” is the new color for this season as envisioned by a strong group of female Street Artists in a group exhibition in Brooklyn, NY at Causey Contemporary. This show opens tonight.

Queen Andrea in NYC for The Grassy Lot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

PURPLE includes Alice Mizrachi, Diana McClure, Gilf, Lady Pink, Lichiban, Miss Van, Olek, Priscila De Carvalho, Queen Andrea, Ritzy Periwinkle, and Sofia Maldonado

For further information regarding this show click here.

Fairey’s “Sound and Vision” (London)

Shepard Fairey’s  solo exhibition “Sound & Vision” opens tonight in London at the Stolen Space Gallery. His first London exhibition in 5 years, Fairey brings along friend and collaborator Z-Trip to supply the soundtrack to the artwork.

Shepard Fairey in NYC at the Houston St. Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Gregory Siff is “A Matter of Time” in LA

A “Matter of Time” is the title of Street Artist Gregory Siff’s new show at Gallery Brown in Los Angeles, CA opening tomorrow night.

For further information regarding this show click here.

Shark Toof Takes a Bite out of LA

If you have never seen a shark playing ping pong you’ll have your chance at C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice Beach, CA where Shark Toof’s new show “Ping Pong Show” opens tomorrow.

Shark Toof pokes Lister’s eye out in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Meanwhile, Back in Haunted Brooklyn…Get Out Your Knife

Fall is here, leaves are turning, the sweet smell of burning fires permeates many residential neighborhoods of the city, ACs are off and windows are open and you can hear the sounds of the streets are night. And now you get to stab a pumpkin and carve a face out of it at Crest Hardware. MWAH HAH HAH HAWWWW. Joe invites you and the whole family to come out and enjoy the 3rd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest, Saturday.

For entry rules, times and more details on this event click here.

Also happening this week:

“The Art of Basketball” is a group exhibition curated by Billi Kid at the Pop International Galleries in Manhattan featuring Mr. Brainwash, URNY, The Dude Company, Skewville, Shiro, Rene Gagnon, Joe Iurato, Ewok, One 5MH, Jack Aguire, David Cooper, Cope2, Chris Stain, Cern and Billi Kid. This show is now open to the general public and you can click here for more details.

Gallery For The People Fall Pop-Up show with Sage Vaughn, Deedee Cheriel, and Curtis Kulig is now open for the general public at The Stonebook Court Estate in Los Altos Hill, CA. Click here for more details on this show.

“It’s Alive 2” showcasing the art of Mark Bode, Dr.Revolt, and Stan 153 opens tonight at the Urban Folk Art Gallery in Brooklyn. Click here for more details on this show.

“Art on the Seam” Documentary teaser  (VIDEO)

An upcoming documentary by David Freid about the art work on the wall in the West Bank.

 

Vermibus – The Sting (VIDEO)

ROA in the Boneyard (VIDEO)

A new video from Jason Wawro for the Boneyard Project features ROA.

Screenshot from video by Jason Wawro of ROA in the Boneyard Project. © Jason Wawro for Boneyard

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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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Urban Folk Art Gallery Presents: “It’s Alive 2” The work of Mark Bode,Dr. Revolt and Stan 153. (Brooklyn, NYC)

It’s Alive 2

Urban Folk Art® Studios is proud to re- present the work of Mark Bode, Dr.Revolt, and Stan 153. The first ‘It’s Alive ‘ Show in March of 2010 was the 2nd gallery opening UFA® studios presented, and has stood as the most well received. The show will include new works from Dr. Revolt, Mark Bode, Stan 153. Lets recap if anyone hasn’t been doing their graffiti history homework, Dr Revolt is one of the founding members of The Rolling Thunder Writers (RTW) and is infamous for taking over the 1 subway line with his signature graffiti style (and creator of the ‘Yo MTV Raps’ logo). Stan 153, who got his start on the corner of 153rd Street and Eight Avenue defined the landscape of Harlem in the dawn of graffiti history, the 1970’s. He has been documented in The Faith of Graffiti by Norman Mailer. Mark Bode, son of the legendary comic book artist Vaughn Bode, has developed a worldwide following for taking his family legacy and applying it to the comic and tattoo industries, and has currently been showing art, painting murals (tributes to his own and his father’s notorious comic characters such as Cheech Wizard), and keeping his bloodline’s legacy alive worldwide.

The show opens Oct 19th and will be up Through Nov 19th. Urban Folk Art® Gallery is located at 101 Smith Street in South Brooklyn

About Urban Folk Art®

Urban Folk Art® Gallery is the latest physical manifestation of Urban Folk Art® Studios. Founded in ’91, UFA® is an artist collective based out of South Brooklyn working in any mediums, avenues and aspects of creating art. The collective is a mutually supportive effort to expose artists of many disciplines and levels of experience including undiscovered, emerging and established. From painting, illustration, comic book art, Legendary graffiti art, photography and more, UFA® exhibits a wide variety of mediums.The merchandising aspect represents the continual branding of Brooklyn Tattoo®, the Urban Folk Art® t-shirt line, and other such merchandise created by the members of UFA, BKT2 and affordable art by all the artists who show in the gallery.
Urban Folk Art® Studios

101 Smith Street

Brooklyn N.Y.

11201

urbanfolkart.com

brooklyntattoo.com

(718)6431610

 

 

 

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“See No Evil” in Bristol Brings Thousands to the Streets

Basking in the warm glow of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the “See No Evil” festival unabashedly celebrated Street Art in Bristol with thousands of fans thronging through the street while London was scurrying to deal with the threat of the unofficial Street Art of the Olympic kind.

In its second year, the one-week festival invited about 40 Street Artists from around the globe to hit up the walls of one long street while visitors traveled great distances to watch. In yet another sign of the full emergence of this first global art form, people witnessed live painting day and night, took photos, visited pop up galleries, attended graffiti workshops, danced to live music on six stages, and ate huge mountains of food at what organizers called a “New York Style” block party.

M City, Nick Walker, She One and El Mac. (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

On the map for the Street Art scene since the early 1980s, Bristol was known for its own style then, eventually giving rise to some of todays’ better known names. With this expansive celebration initiated by locally raised graffiti star Inkie, many styles from the worldwide scenes of graffiti and Street Art exist alongside one another in this grand thoroughfare. Notably only 3 of last years 72 or so works survived into this year (by Nick Walker, Aryz and El Mac), suggesting a very slim chance that many of these new pieces will last for long, but few seemed to mind this month.

El Mac. (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

The 2012 crop includes painters from Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Poland, Austria, and across the UK who used an estimated 3,500 cans of aerosol to collectively create a massive gallery of public art. With roots in what was once strictly illegal, it’s mind-bending to imagine how occasionally even a police officer or mayor has been photographed proudly adding to the artworks at festivals like these. Within the space of one small decade or so, the appreciation for this form of expression has skyrocketed and in fact this month thousands in Bristol are seeing no evil in it.

Our special thanks to the talent of photographer Ian Cox, who shares these images with BSA readers. Also thanks to Ben Merrington for his photo of the ROA piece.

M City, Nick Walker, She One. (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

M City (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

She One (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Conor Harrington (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Conor Harrington. Detail. (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

TCF Crew (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Sick Boy (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Sick Boy (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Pixel Pancho (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Mark Lyken (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Mark Lyken (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Paris (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Nychos, Flying Fortress (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Nychos (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Flying Fortress (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Cheo, Soker, CanTwo and Mark Bode. (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Mark Bode (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Duncan Jago (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Kashink (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Kashink (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

KTF Crew (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

She One (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

Lucy McLauchlan (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

ROA (photo © Ben Merrington 2012)

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FUN FRIDAY 04.08.11

Fun-FridayThis weekend brings a Spring bounty of delicious  Street Art related openings in many cities across this great country of ours. But FIRST, this OLD SKOOL Romanic Boogie Down Production …

Pump Up the Sculpture Jam from SAM3

Sticker Phiends in AZ

Brooklyn-Street-Art-WEB-Sticker-Phiends-April-2011

Tempeh is a soy product and meat substitute originally from Indonesia. Tempe is a city in Arizona that is hosting the 4th giant Sticker Phiends show tonight. Stickers continue to grow in influence in Street Art and in private collections in black books and refrigerator doors and this is a cool show that gives them away and sells them. They have limited edition “Sticker Phiends” tee-shirts designed by Brooklyn street art collective Robots Will Kill. Also cold beer. Possibly tempeh too because Chris RWK is a good veggie.

brooklyn-street-art-mad-one

FREE HANDOUTS provided by our sponsors
ALL ART for $ale!
Limited Merch for $ale!
Drinks with ID – 21+

Opens at 8pm April 8th!
Cartel Coffee Lab
25 w. University Dr.
Tempe, AZ.
480-225-3899

Some of the names include:

Abcnt, Age, Dolla, DumperFoo, Dissizit/Slick, 123 Klan,Griffin One, Clown Soldier, Mad One, Mat Curran, MBW, 20 MG, Obey, Pez One (U.K.), Sike’, U.W.P., Seizer One

*********************************************************************

Martha Cooper Remixed

Brooklyn-Street-Art-WEB-Martha-Cooper-Remix-Carmichael-Aril-2011

How & Nosm interpret Martha Cooper’s original photo from the 1970s (both photos © Martha Cooper)

The Carmichael Gallery will be throwing a memorable opening party for Martha Cooper’s REMIX show and, lazy hyperbole aside, this one is one NOT to miss.

brooklyn-street-art-martha-cooper-remix-carmichael-gallery

Photographs by Martha Cooper

with

Original remixes of these photographs in a range of media by Aeon, John Ahearn, Aiko, Bio, Nicer & B-Gee, Blade, Blanco, Mark Bode, Burning Candy, Victor Castillo, Cey, Cekis, Claw, Cosbe, Crash, Dabs & Myla, Anton van Dalen, Daze, Dearraindrop, Jane Dickson, Dr. Revolt, Shepard Fairey, Faust, Flying Fortress, Freedom, Fumakaka, Futura, Gaia, Grotesk, Logan Hicks, How & Nosm, LA II, Lady Pink, Anthony Lister, The London Police, Mare 139, Barry McGee, Nazza Stencil, Nunca, José Parlá, Quik, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, Sharp, Skewville, Chris Stain, Subway Art History, Swoon, T-Kid, Terror161 and more.

Carmichael Gallery

5795 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

April 9 – May 7, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 9, 6-8pm

Click on the link below for more information regarding this show:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=19900

Cern YMI in Greenpoint by Gandja Monteiro

ROA at White Walls in SF

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Image of ROA in Salton City (© and courtesy of White Walls)

In San Francisco ROA will have his opening at the White Walls Gallery with his iconic paintings of nature’s marginalized animals in large scale. Ever the hard worker, ROA paints non stop year round all over the globe on surfaces that are challenging, like this one on the side of a mobile home. If you have only seen his art on line and if you are in San Francisco this Saturday, it’s your turn!

For more information about this show contact the gallery.

White Walls Gallery

835 LARKIN ST.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. 94109

Phone: 415.931.1500

Chor Boogie in Washington DC

While the Rich Man Party of NO! brings the country to a halt in the Capitol, Chor Boogie will be bringing much needed healing color to Washington DC at The Fridge Gallery.

brooklyn-street-art-WEB-Chor-boogie-the-fridge-gallery

The Fridge Gallery Presents: Chor Boogie “This Aint No Place For No Hero” (Washington, DC)

For more information about this show click on the link below:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=19952

Chor Boogie is an artist, a conceptual genius, a street romantic, a master of illusion and technique, Chor Boogie is an original. His works can be described as having healing effects by his unique and unmatched use of color, which brings greater meaning and understanding to his works. Every vibrant piece has a story attached to it. Chor Boogie’s colorful paintings are attracting A-list celebrities, art galleries and museums. Originally from San Diego, the artist known as Chor Boogie currently resides in San Francisco but is an internationally known artist and has traveled extensively to exhibit his work around the world.

The Fridge is located at

516 8th Street, SE

REAR ALLEY

Washington, DC 20003

David Ellis and Blu in a collaboration of a loop video from 2009

Yo Son the Boyz from Queens are Comin out With New Jams Next Month!

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Carmichael Gallery Presents: Martha Cooper “Remix” (Culver City, CA)

Martha Cooper
brooklyn-street-art-martha-cooper-remix-carmichael-gallery

Photographs by Martha Cooper

with

Original remixes of these photographs in a range of media by Aeon, John Ahearn, Aiko, Bio, Nicer & B-Gee, Blade, Blanco, Mark Bode, Burning Candy, Victor Castillo, Cey, Cekis, Claw, Cosbe, Crash, Dabs & Myla, Anton van Dalen, Daze, Dearraindrop, Jane Dickson, Dr. Revolt, Shepard Fairey, Faust, Flying Fortress, Freedom, Fumakaka, Futura, Gaia, Grotesk, Logan Hicks, How & Nosm, LA II, Lady Pink, Anthony Lister, The London Police, Mare 139, Barry McGee, Nazza Stencil, Nunca, José Parlá, Quik, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, Sharp, Skewville, Chris Stain, Subway Art History, Swoon, T-Kid, Terror161 and more.

Carmichael Gallery

5795 Washington Blvd

Culver City, CA 90232

April 9 – May 7, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 9, 6-8pm

For Immediate Release:

Carmichael Gallery is pleased to announce Martha Cooper: Remix, an expansive group show featuring highlights from Martha Cooper’s photographic archive and works by over 50 artists who have created their own unique interpretations of her iconic, historically significant imagery. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday, April 9 from 6 to 8pm with Martha Cooper and several of the participating artists in attendance. The exhibition will run through May 7, 2011.

Martha Cooper, Photographer of Art on the Streets for Six Decades

Written by Steven P. Harrington, this article is featured in tasj vol ii – issue v.

The daughter of a Baltimore camera store owner, Martha Cooper’s romance with photography began in the 1940s when bobby-soxers and penny loafers were the sign of edgy youth culture. Her dad, an amateur photographer himself, gave his small girl a camera and together they hit the streets in search of adventure. “Yeah, my father used to take me out and we would take pictures. That’s what I thought photography was…we were just looking for pictures,” she recalls. Six decades later, Cooper is still looking for pictures; meanwhile, many works from her archive are cited as pivotal recordings of the birth of hip-hop culture and its plastic art form, graffiti.
During the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, Cooper earned a Bachelors of Art degree in Iowa, taught English for the Peace Corps in Thailand and rode a motorcycle from Bangkok to obtain a graduate degree at Oxford. As a freelancer and staff photographer in Japan, Maryland and Rhode Island in the early 1970s she moved to the media and art center of New York City to catch bigger fish. Landing a job on the staff of The New York Post in 1977, she discovered that the resistant and competitive boys club of photographers there were reluctant to countenance this scrappy young woman shooting hard news stories and Studio 54 celebrities.
Hungry for discovery, Cooper would spend her time to and from assignments in bombed-out neighborhoods, where she took pictures of kids entertaining themselves with games they devised on the street, often with the humblest of materials. It was during one of those trips that she stumbled on graffiti and the members of its community. She met a young boy who suggested she photograph the work she was seeing, then showed her a stylized drawing of his name, or piece, in his notebook.
Then he asked her if she wanted to meet “The King”.
Following this lead to Brooklyn, Cooper met Dondi, the citywide-famous graffiti writer who kept a published photo of hers in his black book because its background contained one of his graffiti throw-ups. Cooper quickly realized that she had stumbled into a lively street culture and became an avid student of the teen writers she befriended. By the time she took her last news picture for the New York Post in 1980, her primary desire was to capture as many pieces, tags, and trains as she possibly could find. Today, she remarks on her near-obsessive devotion to documenting New York’s graffiti: waking before dawn to hit the street, waiting five hours for a freshly painted #2 train to pass with the sun at her back and countless secret adventures with vandals in train yards, evading transit police in order to pursue a shot.
Joining efforts with fellow graffiti photographer, Henry Chalfant, Cooper proposed putting together a book of their documentation. The pair endured multiple rejections from publishers while lugging around a big “dummy” book with their pictures glued to the pages. Eventually, however, they landed a deal and Subway Art was published in 1984. Although not an immediate success, it came to sell half a million copies and established itself as a holy book for fans, aspiring artists and art historians worldwide. By the time the 25th anniversary edition was published in 2009, generations of graffiti and street artists had been influenced by it and the hip-hop culture Cooper and Chalfant had captured had gone global.

In the intervening years, Martha Cooper never stopped shooting. Her love of serendipity on the street and the exploration of cultures led her to publish thousands of photos in books such as R.I.P.: Memorial Wall Art, Hip Hop Files 1979-1984, We B*Girlz, Street Play, New York State of Mind, Tag Town, Going Postal, and Name Tagging. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, Natural History, and Vibe. While she is still shooting graffiti, street art and the occasional break dance competition today, Cooper’s current project involves documenting people and events in Sowebo, a drug-riddled neighborhood in her birthplace of Baltimore.

Steven P. Harrington is editor-in-chief of BrooklynStreetArt.com and co-author (with Jaime Rojo) of Brooklyn Street Art and Street Art New York, both by Prestel Publishing. He and Jaime Rojo are also contributing writers on street art for The Huffington Post.

About Carmichael Gallery:

Founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Seth and Elisa Carmichael, Carmichael Gallery focuses on a select group of artists breaking ground in painting, mixed media, photography and sculpture. Their annual program consists of a series of solo and group exhibitions that document the progress of these artists.

For information on current, past and upcoming shows, visit www.carmichaelgallery.com. For additional information and press materials on this show, please contact the gallery at art@carmichaelgallery.com and

+1 323 939 0600 and Andi Baker at andi@carmichaelgallery.com.

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