All posts tagged: Marrakech

“XXL” with Skunkdog, POES, and Mohamed Said Chair at Montresso Foundation

“XXL” with Skunkdog, POES, and Mohamed Said Chair at Montresso Foundation

Montresso Foundation at Jardin Rouge introduces a trio exhibition in its still-fresh exhibition space here just outside Marrakesh.  The three French speakers (two from France, one from Morocco) have a certain taste for fooling with modern cultural touchstones, each bended or blending original meanings to reflect the chaotic modern age often seen in street culture.

XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)

A haven for a be-jewelled collection of old-school graffiti writers and street artists and those simply absorbed with a family of “urban” aesthetics, Jardin Rouge has often mentored many of these self-taught artists in the professional practices of a modern artist. With the exhibition XXL they take these loosely related three in a direction toward museum exhibition and perhaps institutional recognition in the future.

Tangier-born Moroccan Mohamed Said Chair hasn’t hit 30 but has already jumped from a career in finance to a career in art like a superhero. With gallery exhibitions to organizing group shows, he’s managing the professional side as well as the technical and aesthetic.  

Mohamed Said Chair. XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)

Here his realistic folding of chiascuro technique with overbloated superheroes turns comic. A critique perhaps of Millenial star worship, here his anonymous consumers and porcine figures lie haplessly in costume, but not in reverie.

Globetrotter POES was born in Paris and lives in Lyon, a product of hiphop, the simplicity of 80s-90s cartoons, and his own explorations of Mesopotamian/ Sumerian, Greek, Roman traditions.  Here his mythologies freely borrow from historical works and contemporary pop to create stinging rebukes of the arms industry and various forms of political skullduggery.

Mohamed Said Chair. XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)

An abstract expressionist with punk roots and a doodlers aesthetic, Skunkdog prizes the piling up of paint and sculptural materials to make canvasses appear tactile and 3-D.  Each thought collides in a colorful hazard, sometimes resulting in unfettered madness, other times a low-fi feral and effervescent folk mud.  Anti-symmetric, the energy comes from the alchemy.

Poes. XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)
Poes. XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)
Poes. XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)
Sukunkdog. XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)
Skunkdog. XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)
Skunkdog. XXL. Montresso* Foundation. Marrakech, Morocco. April 2019. (photo © Cyril Boixel)

XXL

MOHAMED SAÏD CHAIR, POES and SKUNKDOG

Montresso* Art Space Marrakech, Morocco

From April 20 to June 30, 2019

Visits by appointment on Fridays and Saturdays at info@montresso.com

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Street Artists at the Marrakech Biennale: Urban, Contemporary & Public

Street Artists at the Marrakech Biennale: Urban, Contemporary & Public

Today BSA is pleased to announce our new partnership with Urban Nation (UN) Museum and their blog with our visit to Marrakech for the 6th Biennale, which runs through May 8th. We look forward to contributing special features to the UN Blog as it grows and evolves in the months to come.
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Marrakech. The Medina. Old City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marrakech’s old city greets you with winding narrow streets, speeding Vespas and razor thin margins for passing. There are insistent vendors, pointed mountains of spices, piles of oranges, the fragrance of roses and argan oil, hammam massage offers, un-metered taxis, slowly clopping horse drawn carriages and plenty of scruffy cats sitting in doorways and lying in patches of sun.

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One of the many cats living on the streets in Marrakech, photo © Jaime Rojo

This year the Medina also includes Street Art – or at least murals by graffiti and Street Artists.

As a parallel project to the 6th Marrakech Biennale, an 11-artist program called MB6 Street Art is bringing a series of murals scattered through the fortified 954-year old city upon second floor rooftops, larger multi-story walls abutting busy parking lots, and a couple of elongated one story pieces in the narrow souk alleys that make this city magic and easy to get lost in.

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Yes Bee. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The primarily European roster of street artists may deviate somewhat from the decolonizing goals of Biennale curator Reem Fadda, who says that she selected her nearly 50 artists primarily from Africa, Asia and the Diaspora, to “give what is regarded as the Global South a voice of its own, and in many ways, to own that voice.”

The Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art for the Abu Dhabi Project of the Solomon R. Guggenheim who is currently based at the Guggenheim in New York, Ms. Fadda presented the scope of this years program alongside Executive President Mohamed Amine Kabbaj during the opening press conference at the lushly appointed Hotel Mamounia, which was translated live for visitors through interpreters in French and English.

ART IN THE OPEN

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Alexey Luka. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unlike most of the Biennale pieces, which necessarily are displayed indoors under watchful eyes, all the new murals in this first-ever Street Art contingent are free to see and open to all members of the public on the street day and night. While this is typical for Street Art followers it is also in alignment with the root of Fadda’s concept of a ‘Living City’ and “that which has an active sense of participation, where art is socially and politically engaged, allowing for that dialogue with the place and with people and society.”

All during the initial week of the 11 week program we witnessed a level of engagement from passersby that rivaled the works in the grand historic sites mapped out by the Biennale, perhaps because the artists were alive and creating new works before your eyes in many cases. Many artists here have backgrounds in illegal graffiti and Street Art, at least when they were younger, and have adopted a hidden persona or nom de plume traditionally, one that prefers to go unnoticed. Here in Marrakech these artists found an inquisitive and appreciative audience, altering their experience a great deal, if not entirely.

ADAPTING WORKS WITHIN A CULTURE

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Remi Rough. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Obviously there are thousands of people marching past you and speeding by on motorbikes – but it is nice,” says London’s Remi Rough, whose origins are in graffiti and style-writing but in recent years has become known more as a “graffuturist” who blends abstraction and clean geometry on city walls. The large-scale piece he did on a scissor lift in Marrakech plays alongside an equally grand geometrically inspired piece by a frequent collaborator, the Strasbourg-born LX One. Describing the street scene, Rough echoes the sentiment of many visiting artists. “It’s kind of ‘organized chaotic’ here.”

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Colorful goods for sale in the Medina market, photo © Jaime Rojo

Because of the cultural considerations regarding content here – namely a sensitivity to bodies and politics – many of these artists found themselves concerning their choices of style and topic with greater care than usual. But taking into consideration the guidelines of his hosts doesn’t rankle Rough, not least because his geometric forms won’t easily run afoul of these suggestions.

Nonetheless, “I always do a bit of research on the place, on the people. I don’t want to be the artist who just turns up and goes, ‘Yeah I’m going to paint this wall’ and who doesn’t ask about who owns it, who lives there, what the area is like, what’s happening. I think as artists it’s our responsibility to ask those questions and I don’t think enough do.”

SYMBOLIC STORK SEES EXHIBIT INSIDE AND OUT

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A Stork guards the old Palais El Badii. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A sage and stately Moroccan stork sitting in her nest atop the perforated wall of Palais El Badii has an inside/outside vantage point of this Biennale. She looks at El Anatsui’s enormous new Kindred Viewpoints, a sculptural fabric of aluminum bottle caps and copper wire draped across a scaffolding among the sunken gardens of the ruins and at the end of 90 meter long pool.

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El Anatsui. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Anatsui. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Turning her long bill to look outside the fortified walls she can gaze upon a newly aerosoled rose motif carefully spaced across a red street wall by the London based Dotmasters, “I have had to find something non figurative to fit with the local culture,” says Dotmasters on his personal blog for his fans to see into his process, perhaps preparing for derisive remarks about his decorative design. Known more for stenciled irony and a wizened street sarcasm back home, the mid-career formally trained painter departs to the organic forms and hand-on-can approach here.

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Dot Masters. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This to-date is my fourth free-hand mural in my life,” he says from atop a scaffolding of his choice of roses. “Marrakech is the rose city and the Moroccan rose has the height among rose oil in the world because it’s a desert rose and it grows really slowly, so it really packs a punch in the fragrance quotient. Morocco is quite famed for their roses just for the perfume and oil industry.”

PARADOX IN THE APPROACH

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Dot Masters. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Without painting the situation with too broad a brush, one may be perplexed about the dichotomy of graffiti-spraying vandals having some appreciation for the norms of a host society while cherishing the practice of violating them where they grew up. Perhaps it is simply a matter of international diplomacy by a visitor, but still sort of a curious point that some may ponder.

This crossroads is not only North meeting South it is also illegal graffiti writers and street artists grappling with the growing popularity of legal murals at commercial, institutional, and community art festivals around the world. We continue to observe rebels being perfect schoolboys/girls in their host town and we wonder about the construction of persona, practice, and environment. Sickboy sat down to talk about his wall and said he had been avoiding some of his typical symbols like caskets and marijuana joints – and he revealed that he actually altered his painting because he was responding to the community.

Someone had crossed out the abbreviation letters of his crew back home “KKS” (Kold Krush Sisters). Not knowing French or Arabic, he tells us that he couldn’t figure out what the problem was, so he just painted a motif over it himself rather than risk offending further. A local elder with a gray beard asked us one day to explain a series of symbols on Sickboy’s mural – pointing to an eye and a heart which were meant to say something like “I love peace lovers”. He wanted to be assured that it was not about things about mysticism or of a sexual nature.

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Sickboy. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We asked Sickboy if he ever feels like this or other mural projects present a conflict for the original attitude of rebelliousness that he began with in the graffiti scene? To us it seemed an irony that he was talking about working with the shop owners nearby, including commissioning a pair of custom shoes from the cobbler and creating a new business sign for him. The anarchy-loving Sickboy also re-painted the tiny store of the tobacco seller whose cart was attached to the wall the artist was painting. “I painted all the details, I painted the star of Morocco on it. I didn’t do any symbols that he didn’t like,” he explains.

And then to our question he responds, “Yeah I think I’m one of the few artists here who has done more painting of the illegal side – the shutters, the fast letters – and I still use that as something of an extracurricular side of my studio practice – to be gangster but because it feels very free. But I think that as you get older your reasons for doing things changes. I like it because I feel dynamic when I do illegal graffiti and I feel like I’m getting one over – not Ninja, but I’m being super stealth. I think when you do this kind of project it just morphs slightly. I feel like this is in between what you do in the graffiti scene (and the reasons you do it) – and the art studio practice. There are different levels of compromise. Here you are just trying to respect the heritage of the building, the area, the people, the symbols.”

MIGRATION AND ARTS EDUCATION

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Giacomo RUN Bufarini. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Italy’s Giacomo Bufarini, or RUN, began as an illegal graffiti writer back home in Ancona running with crews in the mid-1990s long before he transitioned to a more character-based folk symbolism that has taken him to cities and festivals around the world as a brush and roller painter. After completing a massive 6,400 square meter mural in a public square during the previous week at seaside Essaouira that addresses the immigration/migration crises currently engulfing the Global North and South RUN created a series of seven flat fantastic characters and symbols on a long one-story wall outside of Palais Bahia, another location for the main biennale. He shows us his original hand sketches in his book that sits among the ladders and bucket paints, and tells us that he was very inspired by characters in the animated film “Kirikou” for these abstracted figures.

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Giacomo RUN Bufarini. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Further up the block there is a small craft art store that sells handmade lamps made from sardine cans by the shop owner, who introduces himself as Ahmed. We speak with him about the recycling work of El Anatsui and many African artists from a traditional perspective. We also ask him about the new paintings that RUN has just created while standing atop Ahmed’s roof across from a multi-domed Hamman; the images of a man sitting upon a camel and a depiction of the iconic storks from the region.

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Giacomo RUN Bufarini. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“What he did was beautiful – the symbol of the storks. This kind of stork is a symbol of the Medina, here on the wall, near the palace, a symbol of Marrakech. It is nice, and also the camel – it refers to our history,” say Ahmed. Talk turns to his view of an immediate needs for arts and education here in Marrakech, and Ahmed says he is cheered to see many come for the Biennale and hopes the focus on fine art translates into art programs for the kids and teenagers who live in the neighborhood.

“They don’t make art schools here. Also we don’t have any galleries to go to to learn about art, music, or crafts,” he says. “There is nothing here. We have a lot of people who love art, who have a hobby of making art, but they are lost. With art, everyone has it in the blood – it has no nationality, no borders.” In truth, Marrakech is reported to have twenty five or more galleries and in recent years there has been some development of arts programs for youth but obviously the perception in this part of the old city indicates a desire for more.

A DEAD EAGLE AND INTERPRETATIONS

A ten minute walk north of Djemaa El-Fna and above an open air souk clearing are four new murals by MB6 artists; Birmingham UK’s Lucy McLauchlan, local Moroccan artist Kalamour, Moscow’s Alexey Lucas, and France’s Yesbeee.

All four murals are visible from the market below and three of the artists work in the realms of abstract. Ironically it was the local artist named Kalamour who had some negative feedback from a local man who was watching the progression of the piece and who interpreted the two surrealistic male figures as being intertwined intimately. Fortunately the artist was on hand to explain to the neighbor that the metaphorical figures were actually more likely the same man split into two, showing a progression of time.

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Kalamour. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

McLauchlan’s piece is directly across a roof from Kalamour’s and she said their primary adjustment regarding surroundings was not the cacophony of commerce in the market below but was more related to the witch doctor who lived directly underfoot and who stored the remains of an eagle on the roof as preparation for using the animals’ body parts in his practice. We ask her if dead eagles are typically at the foot of her ladder when she is painting.

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Lucy McLauchlan. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’d have to say that this is a first,” says the artist, who has done plenty of painting in sketchy parts of town in the UK and elsewhere. “Excrement, the stench of urine, used needles and condoms, dead rats…that’s what I normally expect to contend with,” she laughs. “But a witch doctor’s store cupboard; owls, chameleons, the eagle, potion bottles filled with all sorts of things strewn around, no – that wasn’t what I was expecting from the rooftops of Marrakech. Then again, I doubt the witch doctor was ever expecting me to turn up and clamber all over his rooftop.”

CURATORS AND THE DEDICATION OF THE BIENNALE

Vestalia Chilton, curator of the MB6 Street Art project, and director Terence Rodrigues clearly made history with this inaugural program thanks to their combined knowledge of art dealing and the current urban art scene. Rodrigues has been a dealer, lecturer, and Christie’s auctioneer and has been involved with the Biennale since it was first founded by Vanessa Branson in the mid 2000s and was named Arts in Marrakech (AiM).

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Giacomo RUN Bufarini. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chilton tells us that she selected the artists partly from her experience with graffiti and street culture as owner of Attollo gallery in London, where she also curates the Croydon Mural Project and does a variety of art consulting activities. Formerly at Sotheby’s as an assistant she tells us that she appreciates the public nature of street art which allows for a dialogue with audiences of all backgrounds. She says that the MB6 project has been a great opportunity for her to work with the local population as well as this international collection of artists to create work that she hopes is rewarding for both.

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Zbel Manifesto. Tribute to Leila Alaoui. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Biennale Executive President Mr. Kabbaj also somberly noted during a public talk that this years’ biennale is dedicated to the 33 year old French-Moroccan artist and documentary photographer Leila Alaoui, who died in a terror attack on a restaurant this January 18th in Burkina Faso. A participant of the 2012 and 2014 Biennales, a full tribute displaying Alaoui’s large format photography is exhibited on the street in the Gueliz, or new city.

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Zbel Manifesto. Tribute to Leila Alaoui. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

By honoring Alaoui´s passing, the chosen out door sculptural installation feels alive and part of the streets because the photographs of her subjects are displayed in large format on a cube. Uprooted workers from an industrial car production center on Seguin Island on the outskirts of Paris, “I ile au Diable” puts these workers on another island here in a busy pedestrian and vehicular intersection where people are continually passing it. Touching on the themes of migration, dislocation and identify, the subjects again are in perhaps an unfamiliar street scene.

“NOT NEW NOW” BLENDS INSIDE/OUT IN BIENNALE 6

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Remi Rough . LX One . Yes Bee. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Not New Now” is the theme that the Palestinian-born Ms. Fadda has chosen to represent the curatorial vision and expressions by the artists this year. Analyzing and appreciating the similarities of works inside and outside in this historic city you may interpret the theme as a recognition that humans and our needs for artistic expression have always mined the same desires, regardless of the shiny trappings of the modern age, various cultural hegemonies and our current rather triumphalist technological and commercial wave that seems poised to take over every aspect of life.

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LX One. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Millennial generations’ romance with the D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) approach to art making was simply called “having a craft” for most of history. The recycling of found materials is as old as civilization, and even a resistance to rigid formalism in collaged works of discarded wood by Alexey Lucas in the MB6 gallery show also has certain parallels with artists of the Biennale like the American Al Loving – whose hundreds of pieces of torn fabric are reformed and overlapped, some extending to the floor in his own room at the Palais Bahia.

It is unclear how deliberate the coinciding results of the Biennale themes and the public mural practice of MB6 Street Art are but they are undeniable. It may have been more coincidence than plan as Ms. Fadda told us that the acceptance of the mural arts project as a parallel one was as a result of an “open call” rather than an intentionally calculated program of inclusion. Regardless this is not the first overlapping we have witnessed of the formal intentions of institutions and the expressions of so-called Urban Art. As the established art world continues to assess the meaning and merit of art-in-the-streets as part of a contemporary art conversation, we see intellectual rigor on both sides of the wall and this year in Marrakech, many things are running parallel.

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Mad C. MB6 Street Art. Marrakech Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Participating artists in MB6 Street Art include:

Mad C (Germany), Dotmaster (UK), Giacomo RUN Bufarini (Italy), Dag Insky (France), Kalamour (Morocco), Alexey Luka (Russia), LX.ONE (France), Lucy McLauchlan (UK), Remi Rough (UK), Sickboy (UK) and Yesbeee (UK)

This visit to the Marrakech Biennale 6, which runs through May 8th, is a partnership project between Brooklyn Street Art (BSA) and Urban Nation (UN) and it was published first on the Urban Nation Blog. Click HERE to visit Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art.

 

 

 

 

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.10.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.10.16

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Our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 3rd World Pirate, A Pill NYC, Anglo, Augustine Kofie, Balu, CB23, City Kitty, Icy & Sot, Jerk Face, Jetski, LX One, Solus, Swiz, and WK Interact

Our top image: A warring door by WK Interact. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This dude lived in Williamsburg before all this happened. Balú (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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And this dude lived in Williamsburg only two summers ago. The wifi still has his name on it. Balú (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Subway ad take over. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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That’s one way to shine his buttons. 3rd World Pirate (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Augustine Kofie in Marrakech, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Solus looking up for guidance. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LX ONE in Marrakech, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CB23 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swiz in Marrakech, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swiz in Marrakech, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swiz in Marrakech, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swiz in Marrakech, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot offers some words of comfort to Stikman. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty and friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anglo . Jetski (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Pill NYC is just frothing at the mouth to see the consumers move in. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jerk Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. SOHO, NYC. April 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.06.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.06.16

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Armory Week : The art fairs are happening in NYC and folks are finding new, original and purely derivative ideas from the commercial shows that swarm with fans and lookyloos. The few folks we spoke with say that sales have been average to slow with guests carefully considering before purchasing, with the occasional big splurger. It could be that the market has been in an unspoken soft period for the last year or so due to a weak economy or the tumultuous political landscape in this election year. Nonetheless, there is nothing like the hivelike high you can get swimming through rivers of art fans at a New York fair, periodically bumping into a peer or a tanned celebrity.

Meanwhile, we have some dope street stuff for you from Jersey City to Morocco to Italy and Switzerland. Here’s our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Atomiko, Bifido, C215, Dmote, Bradley Theodore, Dylan Egon, El Anatsui, Fintan Magee, MSK, Obey, Otto “Osch” Schade, PK, Post, Rime, Sean9Lugo, Sharon Lee De La Cruz, Space Invader, and Toner.

Our top image: C215 at The Medina, Djama El Fna Central Square in Marrakech. (photo © Jaime Rojo) In the prolific work of French master stencilist C215 cats appear with some regularity. It is very fitting then to have found this kitty in the wild in a city where hundreds of cats roam the streets without a particular home to go to. While not officially kept as pets the cats are being fed next to doorways. Many of them struggle for food and are visibly in need of some medical care but you will see very some happy felines comfortably bathing under the warm Moroccan sun.

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C215 at The Medina, Djama El Fna Central Square in Marrakech. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee in Jersey City. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee in Jersey City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Space Invader  in Jersey City for Mana Urban Arts Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rime / MSK  in Jersey City for Mana Urban Arts Projects. PK added at a later time. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Obey / Toner / MSK in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Obey / Rime / Post / MSK in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Post in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rime in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Atomiko in Jersey City for Mana Urban Arts Project. The ENX wolves were painted at an earlier time and featured on BSA already. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dylan Egon in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bifido’s new work in Caserta, Italy. (photo © Bifido)

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Ruby Bridges stencil in Hunts Point by Sharon Lee De La Cruz AKA Maripussy inspired by the iconic Norman Rockwell painting depicting a seminal event in the USA during the civil rights movement. Ruby Nell Bridges Hall is an American activist known for being the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana during the 20th century. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dmote /RVCA in Hunts Point, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dmote /RVCA in Hunts Point, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Otto “Osch” Schade in Aargau, Switzerland. (photo © Urban Art International)

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Sean9Lugo in Jersey City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hey there, bear. Sean9Lugo in Jersey City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bradley Theodore in Jersey City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A monumental tapestry by El Anatsui at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. It is made entirely of metal bottle caps. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Anatsui’s monumental tapestry at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Anatsui’s monumental tapestry at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Anatsui’s monumental tapestry at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Anatsui’s monumental tapestry at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Water Bearer at The Medina, Djama El Fna Central Square in Marrakech, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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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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“RUN” on the Shores of Morocco With “Les Rives” Addresses Migration

“RUN” on the Shores of Morocco With “Les Rives” Addresses Migration

Now appearing an eight-hour car ride south from the Strait of Gibraltar along Morocco’s coast is North Africa’s largest new mural. Given its proximity to the eight mile Africa/Europe divide, the new painting by the London-based Italian Street Artist named RUN addresses the multiple immigration crises that are unfolding before our eyes.

“You could identify one figure as European and one as African but I like to think of it in a more universal perspective because migration is an issue worldwide,” says the artist Giacomo Bufarini (aka RUN) of his enormous metaphorical piece in Essaouira just a few hundred meters from The Atlantic.

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Giacomo Bufarini for MB6Street Art/Marrakech Biennale 06. Essaouira, Morocco. February 2016. (photo © Gastone Clementi)

“First of all I could not avoid thinking about Europe and North Africa and all the stuff that is going on with immigration and all the refugees. So I created two continents divided by the sea, or a channel. But those two continents could easily be Mexico and America, they could be China and Mongolia – they can be across with any border.

Realized in conjunction with the MB6 Street Art project that runs parallel with the 6th Marrakech Biennale this year, this 6,400 square meter public art piece features two figures communicating with music as the intermediary.

Video by Gastone Clementi

 

 

RUN says the regional Gnaoua World Music Festival held in this city for almost two decades provided the inspiration for his theme – not least because this square is one of the multiple sites where hundreds of thousands of fans annually enjoy the often-hypnotic music produced by the pizzicato sounding 3 string bass called Guembri (الكمبري) or sintir (سنتير‎), a camel-skin covered wood instrument that is closely associated with the culture of the Gnawa people.

“So the person in the south is playing and the person in the north is listening,” says RUN. “He is communicating with the instrument. Also the instrument is placed from one continent to the other so it makes a kind of bridge across the sea. It’s kind of subtle but there is a symbolism there.”

 

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Giacomo Bufarini for MB6Street Art/Marrakech Biennale 06. Essaouira, Morocco. February 2016. (photo © Gastone Clementi)

In the new video that documents the project, RUN features two musicians who appeared on the square during the 7 day installation, which required 280 liters of paint and 4 assistants, including one speaking to him on a walkie-talkie from a balcony above the square, verbally directing RUN’s brushwork.

Accustomed to doing almost all of his painting himself and moving fast, RUN divulges that the scope of and the concomitant complications of this week-long “performance” tested his maturity as a person and, somewhat surprisingly, he says that he discovered that he can be very patient.

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Giacomo Bufarini for MB6Street Art/Marrakech Biennale 06. Essaouira, Morocco. February 2016. (photo © Gastone Clementi)

“I discovered all of my patience with humanity. I am so fucking patient, and I love it,” he says, laughing, and explains that he treaures the personal interaction with passersby.

“Actually I get really stressed when I am in London and I paint and nobody stops to look, and here many people stop. I mean how many people do you see up on a ladder painting? When they don’t stop it’s frustrating to me. I mean, come on! Stop! I’m doing something special. I’m not wheat pasting an advertisement on the wall. I don’t know, just stop. Why not? The performance is important.”

Speaking of logistics, he notes that he could not consult the camera work of an overhead aerial drone, a tool that many artists have recently adopted to assess the progress of their large scale public works

“I never was able to do it because the only day that I had a drone was just before I left the city so by then everything was already done.” Since this was his largest mural ever and difficult to gauge, he was hoping that his work was in proportion. “I was crossing my fingers to hope that when the drone went up and we were looking at this little monitor to see what we were doing, I would be happy.”

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Giacomo Bufarini for MB6Street Art/Marrakech Biennale 06. Essaouira, Morocco. February 2016. (photo © Gastone Clementi)

He thinks the next time he tries a project like this he will do something geometric. Using reliable measuring devices literally on the ground, RUN says that mathematics will be 90 percent of the next piece, with only a little bit of improvisation, and no need for a drone or someone standing on a veranda above him describing what they see.

“In this case mathematics was important but I had to improvise a lot. There was no other way. I was trying to imagine my eye over top of it and to see what I was doing,” he says. “It was hard – it was really tricky. I think after the 6th or 7th day I was feeling like, ‘Oh my god the painting is winning!’ ”

Brooklyn Street Art: Well as a Street Artist you are always making adjustments; according to the scale of the wall, or the audience, or the weather or the materials…
RUN: Exactly, this it the nature of art in the street. You have the control over what you are doing only to a certain degree. Then the weather, the social situation, the place…anything can alter it.

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Giacomo Bufarini for MB6Street Art/Marrakech Biennale 06. Essaouira, Morocco. February 2016. (photo © Gastone Clementi)

Brooklyn Street Art: With all the labor you have put into this mural – your preconception, your philosophy, and the actual execution – does it bother you that it is being destroyed as well?
RUN: No, that was the deal from the beginning. I am precious about pieces that I do on the street, obviously. But I also know that I do not have control over it from the moment that I start.

Brooklyn Street Art: So that sense of perspective comes from your personal history and the work you have done in graffiti and street art over time.
RUN: Of course, I think that each artist who works on the street wants to have a piece that stays on the street for 50 or 100 years. And maybe that will happen with some of my pieces on the street that are somehow protected by the laws of nature and the randomness of the city. I’m not talking about the scenario where people will try to put a piece of plexi-glass over it. I don’t care about that. This piece was meant to be destroyed. This is the nature of this piece. It has to go. I think that the performance is more important.

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Giacomo Bufarini for MB6Street Art/Marrakech Biennale 06. Essaouira, Morocco. February 2016. (photo © Gastone Clementi)

Our coverage of MB6 Street Art at the Marrakech Biennale is BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN)

#urbannationberlin #allnationsunderoneroof #unblog #Marrakesh @mb6streetart #mb6streetart #MarrakeshBiennale #painting #mural #streetart #bkstreetart @bkstreetart

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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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

 

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MB6 Street Art Update II : Dotmasters, Giacomo Buffarini (RUN), SickBoy

MB6 Street Art Update II : Dotmasters, Giacomo Buffarini (RUN), SickBoy

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The 6th Marrakech Biennale brings a number of parallel projects into the Medina this year, including performances and public education programs. MB6 Street Art brings the art to the streets for both serious art fans and everyday members of the public who can appreciate it entirely free.

Over the week in Marrakech we found that the people didn’t necessarily know about the large international art show happening in the historical heritage sites around them, but they certainly had impressions and opinions of these murals being put up by international (and one local) Street Artists.

As an update to the progress of the new murals going up under the direction of the MB6 team, here are some shots on the street with Dotmasters, Giacomo Buffarini (RUN), and SickBoy.

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Giacomo Buffarini aka RUN had a number of questions from school kids about his work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Giacomo Buffarini looking through his sketch book to show some original inspirations for his walls here and in Essaouira. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Giacomo Buffarini work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dotmasters departs from his typical work to honor the Marrakech symbol of a rose. In a rare spate of rain the artist and our team went inside for tea but this person braved it with a walking stick. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dotmasters work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sickboy at work – initially the cigarette vendor next to him was not so interested, but eventually Sickboy gave his business a fresh coat of paint as well. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hassan, a great guy who assisted Sickboy and Alexey Luka at work – and us with ladders and sneaky rooftops.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sickboy work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Coverage of MB6 Street Art at the Marrakech Biennale is BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN).

#urbannationberlin #allnationsunderoneroof #unblog #Marrakesh @mb6streetart #mb6streetart #MarrakeshBiennale #painting #mural #streetart #bkstreetart @bkstreetart

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