All posts tagged: Martha Cooper

“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.

“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”

Style Wars Car by NOC 167 with Door Open, Man Reading Newspaper, 96th Street Station, New York, NY, 1981. (photo © Martha Cooper)

He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.

Guerrilla Girls at Abrons Art Center, New York, 2015. (photo © Andrew Hindrake)

“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.

The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.

Lil’ Crazy Legs during shoot for Wild Style, Riverside Park, NY, 1983. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi Murakami. 

More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.

“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.


BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM

Curator: Roger Gastman

Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente

Producer: Ian Mazie & Pressure Point Creative


Tickets and hours of operation can be found at: BEYONDTHESTREETS.COM


FEATURED ARTISTS INCLUDE:

A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André ​Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER

The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.

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“Titanes” at Work; New Murals and Social Inclusion in Don Quixote’s Land

“Titanes” at Work; New Murals and Social Inclusion in Don Quixote’s Land


“Every man is the son of his own works” ~ Miguel de Cervantes.


The greatest writer in the Spanish language was inspired by the character of this region and its arid but fertile elevated plateau when creating his greatest work Don Quixote, a true titan of historical literature and one of the world’s most translated books after the Bible.

His central character is a delusional would-be knight who calls himself The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. His absurdist but imaginative self-regard is echoed in the sheer scale of the grand new Titanes (Titan) mural project. Given the camaraderie among artists and organizers here you may say that the heart of Titanes is more likely aligned with the earthy wit of his sidekick Sancho Panza.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Naturally when these characters are intermingled by an imaginative multi-disciplinary artist like Okuda San Miguel you are not surprised to see the image of movie director Pedro Almodovar co-starring along with Quixote; Okuda’s silo is seated in the filmmaker’s town of Calzada de Calatrava and Almodovar’s richly drawn characters have captured a generation of Spaniards happily. As a rainbow splits the storm clouded sky behind him, it’s precisely this painters intuitive alchemy of reality and fiction that may shake a viewers’ conscience while entertaining them, revealing Titanes as an enormous vehicle of communication.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The past and present are seen through my geometric and surrealist filters,” says Okuda, who is a principle architect of this audacious public mural project in La Mancha. In an era of perplexing social, political, and economic upheavals, it is comforting to see modern artists take on the messages of the classics, reinterpreting and re-presenting them.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

15 or so more murals on silos are on the way here from top talents before the year is complete. The societal outreach is ground-breaking in its own way with an uncommon integration and engagement with the neighboring communities.

“It’s an interesting story,” says photographer Martha Cooper, who shares her images with BSA readers today. “Okuda is working with organizations who help people with disabilities like autism and Down Syndrome. The part of the mural at the base of each one of the silos was painted by a number of these participants,” she says. “And they all seemed to be having a great time.”

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Startlingly original and indelibly context-specific, Titanes is a mural/public art project that resides at the intersection of social responsibility and community participation. Organizers say that the goal is not only to bring a roster of well-respected artists here to paint but to be completely inclusive of societal members who aren’t typically thought of as artists.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From now until October, a number of artists from the urban art scene will be transforming silos into art all across this region, including Bicicleta sem Freio, Daniel Muñoz, Demsky J., Equipo Plástico (comprised of Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4814 and Sixe Paredes), Fintan Magee, Hell’O, Smithe, Nychos, Ricardo Cavolo and Spok Brillor. In an unprecedented program of social inclusion through public art, 450 members of the Laborvalía association will also be working alongside the artists on various creative activities.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Already the program has proven life-changing in many ways, say participants, as perspectives and relationships are evolving during the initial painting program. “Okuda worked with one boy with autism while painting his mural,” Martha tells us. “He began to speak and interact after starting to paint – much to his parents’ delight. This part of the project gave it more weight than just the usual “artists-painting-walls” event.”

Organizers say that they hope Titanes will be an epic project that will go down in history as one of the world’s biggest events to promote social inclusion. At its core are Okuda’s own multi-faceted art agency called Ink and Movement, the Laborvalía organization, the Provincial Government of Ciudad Real, and a number of other municipalities and civic and tourism-related fields who are supporting the art and its message throughout society.

Laborvalía says in its mission statement that its principal goal is to promote the integration of people with disabilities in society and the workplace.

Titanes looks like it is the perfect project to make a big impression.

Hell’O, Okuda collaborates with Hell’O and a client from Laborvalía organization helps the artists with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Hell’O Our idea was to mix abstract shapes and figurative elements in a colorful environment. We enjoy playing with the balance between different shapes and finding a homogeneous composition. We wanted to give it an optimistic, pop, fresh touch, something that speaks to everyone

Hell’O and Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bicicleta sem Freio “Os Gigantes de la Mancha” (The Giants of La Mancha) represents the power of creativity and imagination and its indispensable role in the ability of human beings to make sense of the world and others, especially among children and people with disabilities.

Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio and clients from Laborvalía organization help the artist with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio and clients from Laborvalía organization help the artist with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Daniel Muñoz & Spok Brillor:

There are a number of concepts behind our intervention. First, it represents 15 years of working together as artists and friends: each medal symbolizes a story from some of the projects we’ve worked on in recent years.

It also reaffirms the building from an architectural standpoint: “decoration” in the sense of an award or honor and not just ornamentation. For us, it’s important to reaffirm the object in itself and not its political history. Finally, there’s an irony in the use of gold and its contrast with bread, a basic product produced by the silo and one that, in reality, was always represented as luminary and powerful in the imaginary of the 20th century.

Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. (Equipo Plastico on the right) “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Equipo Plástico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes)

“Meseta” (Plateau) is a homage to the countryside, to the intractable space surrounding these silos. The tones and patterns of the surrounding areas, their textures and shades, cover every centimetre of the wall like a blanket, giving the building a round, almost sculpted look. Ignoring the limits of the building and symbolically camouflaging it in its environment accentuates its current invisibility after years of neglect and helps lighten the weight of its history.

Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Demsky & Smithe

In “Parábolas del Pensamiento” (Parabolas of Thought), we have unified our style, based on the phases of the brain for creation and thinking: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.

Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Windmills at Campo de Criptana. Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. It is at the windmills that Quixote’s famous adventures begin, starting with his attack on the windmills, because he believes that they are ferocious giants. (photo © Martha Cooper)
An artist’s interpretation of Don Quixote & Sancho Panza. Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Okuda presented Ms. Cooper with a portrait of her.
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“Learn & Skate” in Mongolia Fundraises: Classic MC Skater Print circa NYC 1970

“Learn & Skate” in Mongolia Fundraises: Classic MC Skater Print circa NYC 1970

Shopping at an art fair this week? Why not buy something that directly benefits the culture that street art and graffiti came from?

In Mongolia.

Martha Cooper in collaboration with Learn & Skate. (photo courtesy of Learn & Skate)

Actually the photographic print is a shot from New York City in late 1970 of a skater jumping 3 barrels at a high speed. Ahead of her trip shortly to Mongolia photographer Martha Cooper is donating 55 copies of this print to a non-profit there in Oulan Bator (also Ulaanbaatar) which supports a burgeoning skater scene and provides a safe space to learn skillz. 

Toulouse-based skater, organizer, DJ, and entrepreneur Jean Claude Geraud tells us, “Sales of this classic shot by Ms. Cooper will help to build a new cultural center and skate park in a poor area of the city.” 

Martha Cooper in collaboration with Learn & Skate. (photo courtesy of Learn & Skate)

So far he and partners have constructed a wonderland of ramps at Roule petit Ougandais, which hopes to open this month. Last month “Learn and Skate joined force with the museum of Les Abattoirs in Toulouse for a skate exhibition,” says Montana Cans blog.


With your help the whole team will be ready to open soon – and you’ll score a real piece of New York skater history.

Martha Cooper in collaboration with Learn & Skate. (photo courtesy of Learn & Skate)

Sérigraphie photographique / photography print
Couleur / Color : Noir et Blanc / Black and White
Taille / Size : 36 x 28 cm / 11 x 14 inches
Tirage limité / limited proof : 55 tirages / 55 proof
Signé par la main de l’artiste / signed by the hand of the artist
Année / Year : fin 1970 / Late 1970

https://learnandskate.bigcartel.com/product/martha-cooper

Click HERE to purchase the print.

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MARTHA: A Picture Story. World Premiere Today at TriBeCa (Video Teaser)

MARTHA: A Picture Story. World Premiere Today at TriBeCa (Video Teaser)

After two and a half years of intense filming, editing, and researching, Director Selina Miles will share her story of iconic photographer Martha Cooper on the big screen tonight at the World Premiere of “Martha: A Picture Story”.

A culmination of talents and passion from two great women in the graffiti-Street Art world, the film has been selected to screen in competition at the famed and respected TriBeCa Film Festival in New York City.

In the case of Ms. Cooper, it is a fascinating insight behind the scenes of the life of a person with a determined intellect and uncanny timing. You get a true sense of her focus and passion as she marches above and below the streets and the globe over more than five decades with camera in hand eager to discover and document. Only a director like Miles can tell the story like this, her sixth sense for detail and nuance driving her to the roots of a complex tale, complimented by her savvy ability for precisely timed editing and sound that keeps the viewer on pace for a story that takes many turns.

The first of four screenings (the newest added due to public demand) takes place today at the sold-out premiere.

Click HERE to read our interview with Martha and Selina.

All images here © “Martha: A Picture Story” 2019

Below are the screenings and times:

8:45 PM – THU 4/25Village East Cinema

8:00 PM – FRI 4/26Regal Cinemas Battery Park

9:30 PM – TUE 4/30Village East Cinema

3:45 PM – WED 5/1Village East Cinema

Click HERE to find out if tickets are still available.

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BSA Film Friday: 04.12.19

BSA Film Friday: 04.12.19

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

Now screening :
1. David Shillinglaw: Alive In The Human Hive
2. Flavita Banana in Barcelona for 12+1 Project
3. JR at the Louvre
4. A NYC Subway Train in Queretaro, Mexico

BSA Special Feature: David Shillinglaw: Alive In The Human Hive

“The artworks I make are an absurd visual taxonomy listed in no particular order the ingredients that we all consume and produce,” explains the British painter and Street Artist David Shillinglaw. Clearly, he’ll have enough to paint until his dying day, as we cannot stop producing.

Another gem here: “We are funky little space monkeys orbiting a ball of hot gas”

David Shillinglaw: Alive In The Human Hive

Flavita Banana in Barcelona for 12+1 Project

“With a nod to La Danse by Henri Matisse and many human tribes’ rites of Spring, artist Falvita Banana creates her new “Juntes sumem” (add together) here on the façade of Cotxeres Borrell in Barcelona,” we wrote a few weeks ago when she first finished her mural. Today we have video of the event. See the original article here: Flavita Banana & Women in a Springtime Dance

JR at the Louvre

This time-lapse movie shows the installation of street artist JR’s paper trompe l’oeil at the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, France.

“On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Louvre Pyramid, JR created a collaborative piece of art on the scale of the Napoleon Court. Three years after having made the Pyramid disappear, the artist brought a new light to the famed monument by realizing a gigantic collage, thanks to the help of 400 volunteers !

Each day hundreds of volunteers came to help cut and paste the 2000 strips of paper, making it the biggest pasting ever done by the artist.”

A NYC Subway Train in Queretaro, Mexico

When local graff writers in Queretaro, Mexico heard that New York’s famous photographer Martha Cooper was going to be in their town for a new exhibition they decided to welcome her in the best way they knew how: A graffiti jam on a train.

Read more here: A NYC Subway Train In Queretaro, Mexico

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A NYC Subway Train In Queretaro, Mexico

A NYC Subway Train In Queretaro, Mexico

When local graff writers in Queretaro, Mexico heard that New York’s famous photographer Martha Cooper was going to be in their town for a new exhibition they decided to welcome her in the best way they knew how: A graffiti jam on a train.

Queretaro Writers (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the help of the organizers at Nueve Arte Urbano, the local kings and queens scored a long wall on a busy major avenue that they could paint subway cars on and convert to an NYC train. They hoped Martha would feel at home seeing this and it looked like she definitely did.

Homa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s a fast-growing major city without a subway, even though it could definitely use a more inclusive and efficient public transportation system since its quick growth has swelled to a million inhabitants. Scores of multi-national corporations left the US and set up shop here since they wrote the NAFTA trade deal and now employ this highly educated population. Many universities, lower wages, and an easier regulatory environment have brought the big companies here as well as the fact that the city boasts an attractive protected historical area that was declared a World UNESCO zone. Now they have a subway, at least a temporary painted one.

Homa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The neighborhood where the wall is located is called “San Francisquito” or Little San Francisco – a sort of sister city for many of the folks who have family in that US city as well. Rich in character and history, the neighborhood retains a distinct connection to indigenous culture: For example this is the home of Los Concheros, a group of native indigenous people in Mexico who have roots in the Chichimecas, Aztecs and, Mexicas who perform traditional dances dating back to the early colonial period.

Mostly residential, with narrow cobblestone streets and family-owned small business and grocery stores, we saw many locals who appeared pleased for the industry of local youth in a mural that stirred some excitement and pride.

Sucia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

They stopped by and commented on the new works and wondered where the action was coming from as aerosol lettering and characters began to populate the train sides.

It was an interlude of serendipity that the visiting New Yorkers were not expecting – a sunny day full of love and art. Martha happily obliged to requests for photos, to write tags in black books and thanked each of them for their gifts of t shirts, stickers and even a miniature portrait of her drawn in pencil.

Dheos (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rosa . Diego Afro (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diego Afro painting a portrait of Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diego Afro painting a portrait of Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diego Afro with his muse…Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Foner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Foner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Evok (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Evok . Ternu (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hopper . Gofe . Ryper . Goal . Cres (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Toes (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Toes . Hopper (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Toes . Hopper . Gofe (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gofe (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ryper . Goal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ryper . Goal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Goal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres . Siet (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres . Siet (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mariana (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mariana (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Famer (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sckart (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sckart (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jhen (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jhen (photo © Jaime Rojo)
What the writers didn’t know was that Martha had a surprise for them too! A signed poster advertising her book Hip Hop Files. She signed it in front of them, one for each and those who couldn’t get one due to short stock will get one from NYC…(photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Film Friday: 04.05.19

BSA Film Friday: 04.05.19

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

Now screening :
1. Icy & Sot Overview
2. Imaginary City. Teaser from MZM Projects (UA)
3. “Martha Cooper: Evolucion de una Revolucion” Queretaro, Mexico.
4. Fanakapan x 1UP Crew in Berlin.

BSA Special Feature: Icy & Sot Overview

The Iranian brothers have been toiling and innovating and taking risks on the streets of Tabriz and Brooklyn now for more than a decade. Now commercial brands are discovering them as well. These guys just keep marching forward with purpose, staying true to their beliefs.

Icy & Sot Video Project

Imaginary City. Teaser from MZM Projects (UA)

Entirely of their own volition and vision, filmmakers Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk created this ode to Stavanger and the Street Art festival called Nuart.


Two BSA quickvids in a row here from our recent travels in Berlin and Queretero…

“Martha Cooper: Evolucion de una Revolucion” Queretaro, Mexico.

Urban photographer Martha Cooper now has 101 of her photographs on the streets — literally on the streets of Queretero, Mexico. Part of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival, the exhibition is called “Evolution of a Revolution” and we were pleased to be a part of the opening events with Ms. Cooper, who said she was very pleased with the quality of the large format photos and the reception of the people on the streets.

Thanks to Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel and their team for the vision and hard work. See more on “Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew in Berlin.

Thanks to a new big empty city lot this building seems primed for the big stage! First the Alanis angel has ridden on this wall for a long time with grace and beautiful realism. Secondly, Berlin Kidz climbed vertically down from the roof in their distinctive and colorful language.

But we were lucky to see the British Fanakapan working with the worldwide, Berlin-based, anonymous graffiti crew 1UP for a stunning collaboration. This kind of shit can turn you into a fanboy or fangirl in a heartbeat. If you had a heart.

Shout out YAP and team! Read more about the project on Vox Graffiti Roars in Berlin with New Fanakapan X 1UP Collabo.


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Nighttime Adventures in Queretaro

Nighttime Adventures in Queretaro

The city changes at night – the blinking, the beams, the shadows. The tires screech, the leaves scatter across pavement in the dusty breezes. The hushed voices, the silences. The spraying of gestures and earnest street choreography inside the tunnel while others sleep.

Ryper_One with mousy Cres on the bottom left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is an impromptu invitation to discover the creative spark as it reveals itself on the city in the dark; now part of the city loudly, quietly. To have this moment, with these people, in this place, with this history, on this precipice… it is a moment of wonder that lifts us all off of the ground, if only a few centimeters. Then we are back here, together, in the night.

Ryper_One. Coquina Voragine on the right. (photo © Jaime Rojo
Ryper_One (photo © Jaime Rojo
Ryper_One (photo © Jaime Rojo
Coquina Voragine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Coquina Voragine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Coquina Voragine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres. Graffiti All Night… (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tosk 01 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tosk 01 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tosk 01 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tosk 01 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico

“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico


“Martha Cooper isn’t only a photographer, she’s a historian as well and you are here with us today to pay homage to her work. Martha is my teacher and she taught me more than graffiti, she’s taught me the way in which we live with art every day. When we see a piece of art on the street we bring it into our daily lives. That’s precisely Martha’s contribution to our lives”

Edgar Sánchez, co-founder of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival.


Someone left a love message for Martha on the board of the explanatory text for the exhibition. It reads in Spanish: “Martita I love you in secret”

Under the magical spell of the Jacarandas in full bloom, a spirit of Pax Urbana flowed through Queretaro’s lush public park Alameda Central this weekend as dignitaries from the city, including the honorable Andrea Avendaño, the Minister of Culture of the City of Queretaro, and the Nueve Arte Urbano team hosted the opening of an outdoor exhibition by famed photographer Martha Cooper.

The 101 photographs spanning four decades were enlarged and mounted in weather resistant vinyl throughout the park, representing the full range of Ms. Cooper’s continued focus on art in the streets.

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Named “Evolucion de una Revolucion” (Evolution of a Revolution), produced by Nueve Arte Urbano in collaboration with the Secretariat for Culture of the city of Queretaro, the open air exhibit champions the grassroots art movement that continues to evolve in cities around the world. It also references the social and political revolutions in countries like Mexico that reflect the will of people and produce upheaval that change the course of history.

The welcoming ceremony featured bboys, bgirls, djs, and speeches by the Minister of Culture, representatives of the municipality, and Edgar Sánchez, co-founder of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival.

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the arte libre espiritu of New York graffiti writers like Dondi, Lee, and Futura mingling in the air with Mexican muralists Siqueiros, Rivera, and Orozco – a rather transnational reverence for the powerful engagement of art in the streets was at play.

Notably, the audience here were again the youth of the city who feel the powerful magnetism of this grassroots people’s movement that opens doors to them to create and express themselves, giving them a sense of agency over their own environment. 

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It has always been the kids, teens, and young adults who have driven this global urban culture and Ms. Cooper has steadfastly sought the clues to our future by consulting the opinions and creative expressions of these folks.

That may explain why Cooper today embodies that precise sense of discovery and vitality – an enthusiasm that shined during a personal tour she gave of her new photo exhibition here outside in Mexico.

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“On a path where thousands of people walk every day
we’ll be welcomed by urban art in an urban space. “Evolution of a Revolution” is an exhibition by famed photographer Martha Cooper under the project PaxUrbana, a collaborative project that’s rooted in a dialogue between several sectors of our society and includes the graffiti writers from different neighborhoods of the city of Queretaro”

Andrea Avendaño, Minister of Culture of the City of Queretaro


Diego Afro. DJ, bboy and artist. Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
In no particular order: @arthlets @bgirljenko @oness_tor Diego Afro Cruz, @mexicanitolibre @cirujanomalagon @andynmt07 Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“MARTHA: A Picture Story” Premieres at Tribeca. A Film By Selina Miles.

“MARTHA: A Picture Story” Premieres at Tribeca. A Film By Selina Miles.


BSA Exclusive Announcement
and interview with the director and the star of


MARTHA

A Picture Story

A Documentary by Selina Miles

MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (still from the movie)

BSA is proud to announce the world premiere of Selina Miles’ new full-length documentary on the life and career of New York photographer Martha Cooper at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.  Separated by four decades and an ocean or two, the Australian film director and the American photographer – each of whom has garnered serious respect in the myriad subcultures of art-in-the-streets with phenomenal storytelling abilities and an innate sense of timing – together land a remarkable film capturing life as a street-shooter, making the multi-chaptered story sing.

It is a fascinating visual sweep that illustrates the unusually gratifying paths that this ever-curious ethnologist charts on the streets (and below them) worldwide since receiving her first camera from her father at age three. The film is a well illustrated collage of a remarkable 70 plus year span showcasing Coopers’ 6th sense for people, urban culture, and burgeoning subculture. Viewers get to see the huge variety of interests she has investigated with amiable warmth and academic rigor – from the Peace Corps in Thailand to tattoos in Japan to graffiti train writing in New York to the daily lives of people in her native Baltimore.

MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (still from the movie)

With ample interviews and vintage video footage never seen before, “MARTHA: A Picture Story” follows Ms. Cooper across continents into the streets, through tunnels and over rooftops to provide illustrative background contexts for her decisions, her driving motivations, and her pure determination to succeed as a professional photographer – despite man-made and societal adversity.

We’ve been very fortunate to see this diamond of a documentary up close, and we can say that MARTHA is legitimate crowd-pleaser.

MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (still from the movie)

BSA spoke with Ms. Cooper and Ms. Miles for this auspicious announcement day about the new movie:

BSA: Your personal and professional history has often been about overcoming challenges and pushing aside barriers. Is there one new challenge you have gone beyond to participate fully in a documentary about you?
Martha Cooper: Well like most photographers, I’m more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it especially when speaking. I can’t say I’ve gotten good about overcoming being filmed, but I tried hard to give good footage.

MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (still from the movie)

BSA: One of the challenges of being a doc filmmaker is the number of hats you have to wear – sometimes perhaps feeling like you have to do everything yourself.  What did you discover about your preferred role/s on a film?
Selina Miles: Making a documentary is certainly a dynamic job and requires a mix of technical, social and creative skills. Learning from a photojournalist with 50 years experience such as Martha has been a wonderful experience. I started my career in video making by mucking around with friends making graffiti videos and shooting street art festivals, and the DIY spirit of both of these art forms really gave me an advantage on this project.

Not all directors know how to shoot or how to edit, but thanks to these early experiences I do know a little about all of these disciplines. Being able to just grab a camera and shoot, or to edit my own little concept videos was very handy in getting the project off the ground. That being said, being able to employ an amazing editor like Simon Njoo and having the mentorship of producers like Jennifer Peedom has also been a dream come true and really helped take this film to the next level. 

BSA: With the new documentary many people will learn about a more dimensional photographer than the one they most frequently associate with the name Martha Cooper. Why is this important?
Martha Cooper: I’m often called a graffiti, street art, or hip hop photographer but I don’t put myself into those categories. I would like people to understand that the common denominator in my choice of subjects is art in everyday life. I’m always looking for examples of how people are creative in their everyday lives. Graffiti is just one of many different examples.

MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (still from the movie)

BSA: Is there a special approach or formula that one tries to follow when making a story like this for a more general audience.
Selina Miles: I think that the interesting thing about this story, in particular, is that it explores a subculture that is so misunderstood by so many people. Everybody has seen graffiti and has an idea of what it is, but I still think that few people really understand why it exists and where it came from. There’s so many tropes and ideas about graffiti and those who practice it that are just plain wrong or oversimplify a very complex idea. It’s been an enjoyable and interesting challenge for me to unpack the facts and rules of this subculture as I see them, and step them out in a way that somebody completely new to the culture can understand and appreciate Martha’s story. 

BSA: Your photos capture a time and a moment and a technique of creation, but also often the more atmospheric and cultural energy of the street. What has drawn you time and again to capture this to share? Your own curiosity?
Martha Cooper: Not exactly. As you know, I like looking for things and collecting them. Photography is a challenging quest and taking a good photo is the reward. The nature of what I’m questing for can change according to time and place but in general, the world is more interesting to me if I have a camera. The possibility of photographing something makes me look at my surroundings with a keener eye than I would without a camera.

MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (still from the movie)

BSA: Martha stood on the shoulders of feminists before her, yet blazed some paths that were very much her own – frequently without support. What is one lesson a younger person may take from Martha Cooper when they watch this movie?
Selina Miles: Marty often says that people today don’t understand what it took to survive as a freelancer in earlier decades, especially as a woman and I completely agree. It’s a common thing that you hear but it’s very true, we are lucky these days to live in a world so connected and relatively accepting of all kinds of races, ages and sexes. That being said, there’s always going to be a frontier, and I hope that young people watching Martha’s story will be inspired to push beyond that frontier in their own way, and not be held back by anybody’s expectations of who or what they should be. And do it all the time with a smile and a sense of humor! 


MARTHA: A Picture Story.

Premiering at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place from April 24 – May 5th. Public tickets will go on sale on Tuesday March 26 at 11am ET. Tickets are extremely limited and we recommend purchasing tickets early.

https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/

https://www.tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets

Hashtags: #marthathemovie

Film Instagram: @marthathemovie

Martha Cooper Instagram: @marthacoopergram

Director’s Instagram: @selinamiles

For screening dates and locations and to purchase tickets click HERE

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Mural Kings Tats Cru At The Houston/Bowery Wall

Mural Kings Tats Cru At The Houston/Bowery Wall

Boogie Down bombers the Tats Cru representing New York in its classic flava, the Houston Wall is now blessed by some of the original mural kings, and all seems right with the world for a moment. 

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a legion of fans on the sidewalk and on social media saying that Bio, Nicer, and BG183 were finally bringing New York back to this New York wall, the trio was joined by a who’s who of peers and fans over a cold 4-day installation in a way that reminds this town of its proud roots in graffiti and the myriad styles it spawned.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the end, this is a love letter to New York on many levels. It’s a memorial to Tony Goldman, who captured the zeitgeist of the early graffiti/Street Art movement and provided opportunities for artists.

There is a black and white VIP section that reinvents a Tseng Kwong Chi of Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf standing infront of the wall – a meta experience to see NY graff royalty stopping by to tag the image of the Houston Wall that showed people tagging the Houston Wall. New aerosol contributors included people like Zepher, Terror 161, Duster, and Dez and many others.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Among other pop imagery and classic fonts and letter styles sits a stylized heart from the famous Milton Glaser design of I (heart) NY at the very center. Additional work was contributed by Daze and Crash and a special tribute is made for local activist Liz Christy who began the First Community Garden in New York City in 1973 nearby.

“’Bout time we got some real NY graff writers to rock that wall,” said Da Kid Tac on Instagram, a possible reference to the number of Street Artists who have been invited to paint here over the last few years. Based on the responses and happy reunions of writers and fans we saw over many visits to the wall during its production, Tats Cru has again created an instant classic.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Original image of Haring in front of the Houston Wall reprised by Tats crew. Tseng Kwong Chi © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Famed photographer Martha Cooper helps to fill in the VIP Tags section of the wall. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Graffiti writer Duster was also on hand to tag the VIP section of the wall. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Futura 2000 In Studio and “The 5 Elements”

Futura 2000 In Studio and “The 5 Elements”

EARTH, AIR, FIRE, and WATER. And FUTURA 2000.

These are the five elements.

“Hey Guys!” he bellows from the doorway and invites us in.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A non-stop full-voiced welcome fills the air of this factory loft space with stories and smoke and sports talk radio as you ascend steps from the truck-traffic cacophony of cold and rain on this Bushwick thoroughfare. For the next hour and a half, you are warmly surrounded by clothes racks and boxes and spray cans and multi-faceted anecdotes and impressions and fragments of memories that get shaken and sprayed and circled back to.

Here is a fond remembrance of something his mom or dad said from his childhood, an adroitly drawn quip about a curious gallerist, an excited discovery of new Super 8 footage of a mission with famed NYC graffiti writer Dondi in Japan to promote Wild Style. Elsewhere he recounts a meeting with Joe Strummer in a New York studio to share and record his own penned rap lyrics with The Clash, a trip to Berlin in ’85 with Keith Haring, a recent conversation with MODE2 who lives there now, a description of his personal misgivings about wearing his US military uniform into town while stationed at Yakuska Naval Base as a 20 year old.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An omnivore of ideas and initiatives and world cities, his march as a creative force of nature only gathers speed as he nears 40 years since first emerging from graffiti writing as a studio artist.

“1980 was the breakout year for us because we were all beginning to surface,” he says of the number of events that occurred that year and brought graffiti and street culture to a larger, more mainstream audience, and hopefully, a collector base. That was the year of the “Times Square Show” by Colab that introduced art and performance from the “Downtown” and “Uptown” scenes. It was also the year that Stefan Eins’ Fashion Moda gallery in the South Bronx had its first exhibition of graffiti art – Graffiti Art Success for America (GAS) – curated by artist John Matos (aka Crash), the show included work by graffiti culture artists such as Futura, Lady Pink, John Fekner, Disco 107, Fab Five Freddie, Futura, Kel 139th, Lee, Mitch 77, Nac 143, Noc 167, Stan 153, Tom McCutcheon, and Zephyr.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We were all willing to come above ground and investigate what was happening,” he says. “That was also the year I did the ‘Break Car’,” he says of the uniquely abstract whole graffiti car he painted that set him apart stylistically from the NYC graffiti writing pack and was captured famously by photographer Martha Cooper. That car and that style would proved to be the Cold War inspired rocketship that launched Futura 2000 into a forty year exploration of the Cosmos.

Fast forward to April 2018 in Lille, France, and Futura toils and emerges with a new body of work incorporating his long-held love for the interconnectedness of the galaxy, the stars, and the planet.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’ve been a child of the planet since I was a kid,” he says as he recalls the impact of the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens and how it tapped into his innate desire for exploration. “Every nation had a pavilion,” he says, and suddenly you see his collection of miniature architectural wonders from around the world, all grouped together for an idealized cityscape.

“I’ve got Berlin, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers, Roma, Peru (Easter Island), the Blue Mosque in Turkey, Sheik Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi,” he says. “I don’t have Taj Mahal, but I’ve been to it. I need that.”

“The 5 Elements” is the exhibition that opens this week at Urban Spree in Berlin and of course refers as well to the so-called “Five Elements of Hip-Hop”, of which graffiti is one. But he reserves this reference to a greater sweep, expressed in about an expansive show. “There’s a whole series on water, air, on fire,” he says, “It’s all at some point color coated for each element.” He also creates a series of circular canvasses hung in relation to each other to evoke the planetary system.

“I think they’re like 70 pieces, in terms of that I don’t think I’ve ever done anything this extensive,” he says.

But “The 5 Elements” is not a retrospective show, says Urban Spree founder and curator Pascal Feucher, who has been preparing the show with co-host Art Together. “On the contrary,” he writes, “Futura worked specifically on a large museum-style conceptual exhibition, tackling the ambitious theme of the Creation of the Universe, confronting himself to the cosmos, the planets, the infinitely small, the Big Bang and the fundamental elements, producing a corpus of works that becomes a path to the exploration of the universe as well as providing a backdoor into Futura’s internal galaxy.”

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coinciding with the show will be the release of a 128-page companion book titled “Futura, les 5 éléments” – certain to be sought after.

For the ever expansive graphic designer, clothing designer, wordsmith, musician, sneaker head, graffiti writer, abstract painter, photographer, the dots are all connected – and it always also connects to his roots.

“I like it when it’s a degree removed, yet connected – when you realize that the whole school – at least the whole New York City school, is vast,” he says. “It has touched a lot of people.”

Rather like Futura 2000.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura sharing a picture of Lee Quinones on a moped in Roma (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Below are images of the 4 screen prints that will be released at the opening of “The 5 Elements”, based on the painting series “Pure”. Each 8-color screen print is hand-pulled by Dolly Demoratti (Mother Drucker/Urban Spree Studio), signed and numbered by Futura. The 50 x 50 cm prints are only sold as a limited edition of 100 sets.

Futura. Pure Earth. (photo courtesy of Urban Spree Gallery)

Futura. Pure Air. (photo courtesy of Urban Spree Gallery)

Futura. Pure Water. (photo courtesy of Urban Spree Gallery)

Futura. Pure Fire. (photo courtesy of Urban Spree Gallery)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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