All posts tagged: Martha Cooper

BSA Images of the Week: 09.13.20

BSA Images of the Week: 09.13.20

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring CAM, David F. Barthold, JJ Veronis, Martha Cooper, Poi Everywhere, REVS, SoulOne, Tones, UFO 907, Winston Tseng, and WK Interact.

Tones (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tones. Wolf Pack. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tones tribute to SoulOne (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Poi Everywhere (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)
David F Barthold (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JJ Veronis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JJ Veronis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
REVS SuperSport has been updated one more time. This piece has been running for more than a decade going from black to silver to red and blue. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO 907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. ACAb (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
As it’s become customary every year, the FDNY honored their fallen brothers and sisters who rushed to save the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in NYC 19 years ago. Hundreds of firemen in uniform gathered at the Firemen’s Memorial Monument at Riverside Park in Manhattan. The names of the 343 members of the New York City Fire Department who were killed at the site of the attacks were read. In addition to those killed 19 years ago, 227 firemen have died of illnesses related to their rescue and recovery efforts at the WTC, their names were read as well. Riverside Park, Manhattan, NYC September 11, 2020. (photo © Martha Cooper)
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European Month Of Photography 2020 in Berlin Features “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” Exhibition at UN

European Month Of Photography 2020 in Berlin Features “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” Exhibition at UN

We’re proud to announce that our exhibition Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures will be featured during the prestigious European Month of Photography (EMOP) in Berlin this October for Urban Nation Museum’s very first photography-based program.

The European Month of Photography is a network of European photo festivals which began in 2004 when photography enthusiasts in Berlin, Paris and Vienna decided to put photographic art at the center of public attention for one month at least every two years. It is Germany’s largest photography festival.

Today EMOP it is a network of photography and visual arts institutions from seven European capitals: Berlin, Budapest, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Luxembourg, Paris, and Vienna with aims “to confront expertise in curatorial practice in photography and the intention to develop common projects, notably exhibitions, including exchange of information about the local photographers and artists concerned with photography. Founding members include the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, the Cultural Department of the City of Berlin (Museumspädagogischer Dienst Berlin headed by Thomas Friedrich) and the Department for Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna (director Bernhard Denscher).

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures combine photographs and personal artefacts in this retrospective that traces her life from her first camera in nursery school in 1946 to her reputation today as a world-renowned photographer. The exhibition covers Cooper’s wide range of subject matter. Many of her photographs have become iconic representations of a time, place, or culture and are distinguished by their frank human vitality, with an eye for preserving details and traditions of cultural significance.

#emopberlin

We’re grateful for this recognition of the exhibition and look forward to participating in the EMOP 2020 this October and we hope you can join us at Urban Nation – if not in person then please join us ONLINE for our LIVESTREAM opening October 2 ! https://www.facebook.com/events/3400074053384213  All are welcome!

Our special thanks to our entire team at Urban Nation including but not limited to Martha Cooper and Director Jan Sauerwald and
Melanie Achilles, Dr. Hans-Michael Brey, Carsten Cielobatzki, Sean Corcoran, Annette Dooman, Steve Fiedler, Seth Globepainter, Florian Groß, Sven Harke-Kajuth, Nancy Henze, Michelle Houston, Hendrik Jellema, René Kaestner, Kerstin Küppers, Nika Kramer, Barbara Krimm, Tobias Kunz, Jean-Paul Laue, Beatrice Lindhorst, Nicola Petek, Carlo McCormick, Selina Miles, Michelle Nimpsch, Christian Omodeo, Christiane Pietsch, Dennis Rodenhauser, Jens Rueberg, Dr. Anne Schmedding, Malte Schurau, Janika Seitz, Anna Piera di Silvestre, Skeme, Markus Terboven, Reinaldo Verde, Lennart Volber, Akim Walta, Samuel Walter, Rebecca Ward, and Susan Welchman.

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Reflecting on Acts of Art, History and Today: “Black Lives Matter” Mural in Manhattan

Reflecting on Acts of Art, History and Today: “Black Lives Matter” Mural in Manhattan

An outstanding and unprecedented cohesion of many communities has been on display in cities across the United States this spring and summer as “Black Lives Matter” is painted across the streets in expansive letters. In New York City, where the marches are wide, the speeches are forceful, and the conversations go deep – this panoply of painted colors and patterns is no joke.

#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The slogan, a rallying cry that is objectionable to some and painfully, obviously necessary to others has been painted in myriad styles across city streets in 8 prominent locations; Brooklyn (2), Staten Island, Harlem, Queens, The Bronx, and Manhattan (2) – making it a mural program that is truly All-City, as the graffiti writers used to say in the 1970s and 80s.

#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)

On a serious and joyful day in July, we donned our masks and met up with photographer Martha Cooper to safely shoot and talk with members of the Tats Cru, and a number of other artists, activists, community members, media, and elected leaders along Center Street and Foley Square in the City Hall section of downtown Manhattan to see the installation of one of Manhattan’s two BLM street murals. (The second one is on 5th Avenue in front of Trump “Tower” – a soaring glitzy paean to shallow values and a deep disdain for civic ones, but that is a well-worn critique we’re all tired of). This site is only yards away, a five-minute walk, really, from “a graveyard where historians estimate there may have been as many as 10,000[6]–20,000 burials in what was called the “Negroes Burial Ground” in the 1700s.”

#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As you scan through these photos taken by Martha we notice the determination in the body language of those involved. The weight of the moment escapes no one this time as police and state violence seem to have tipped the scale this spring and summer in the US. It is as if everyone is awash with layers of history – drawing direct connections to the present in this, a society whose very foundations are built upon enslavement.

Intertwined is a celebration of the struggle, and of the colors that artists can facilitate to help us tell our individual and communal stories as the city proclaims something that wouldn’t be necessary if it were obvious in all our actions and across our societal systems.

“I’m very, very supportive of the arts and I think that the Black Lives Matter movement needs to incorporate the arts, whether it is murals on plywood, or poetry, or prose, or music, or this amazing outdoors public art on the street. People relate to the arts, they can express themselves in a much more dramatic way,” said Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President.


#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatterss Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. From L to R: Chivona Newsom, Hawk Newsom, Tljay Mohammed, and artist Patrice Hayne. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. Forefront: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and artist Sophia Dawson. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. At the podium artist Cara Michell. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)

We wish to thank Martha for sharing her photos with us for this article.

Additional Information and Resources:

The mural was conceived in a partnership with Black Lives Matter of Greater NY and Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. Spearheaded by WXY Studio, the project was supported by a group of architects and allies. Artists installed the mural July 1-3, 2020.

The project was completed with youth arts nonprofit Thrive Collective with additional technical support from Bronx-based graffiti artists TATS CRU, with WXY Architecture + Urban Design on planning and logistics.

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“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” : Retrospective Opens This October at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” : Retrospective Opens This October at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin


The URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART
presents a six-decade retrospective of Martha Cooper’s photographs.



MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES

October 2nd 2020 – August 1st 2021

Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo



Skeme, the Bronx, 1982. Copyright Martha Cooper. 

Combining photographs and personal artifacts, MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES traces her life from her first camera in nursery school in 1946 to her reputation today as a world-renowned photographer.

This retrospective is the first documentary exhibition to be presented at the URBAN NATION Museum and it ushers in a new era for the museum under its new director Mr. Jan Sauerwald.

MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES presents the photographer’s versatile vision of the world, with creativity found on every corner. The exhibition opens with the images from Subway Art, her landmark 1984 book with Henry Chalfant, now credited with jump-starting the worldwide urban art movement. Martha’s photographs documented the secret subculture of writers and the coded artworks they created illegally on thousands of New York City trains.

Martha’s photographs are distinguished by their frank human vitality, with an eye to preserving details and traditions of cultural significance. Many of her photographs have become iconic representations of a time, place or culture. The exhibition will offer a rare insight into Martha’s archives through previously unpublished photographs, drawings, journals, articles, letters, and artifacts. As a lifelong and avid collector, her private trove of black books, stickers, Kodak film wallets and child-made toys will also be on display. Emphasis is placed on Martha’s extensive travels and the artistic friendships that she has fostered internationally.

180th Street Station Platform, the Bronx, 1980. Copyright Martha Cooper. 

Fans will recognize images from her books Hip Hop Files (with Akim Walta, 2004), Street Play (2005), We B*Girlz (with Nika Kramer, 2005), New York State of Mind (2007), Name Tagging (2010), and Tokyo Tattoo 1970 (2011). As an exhibition highlight, the original mock-up of her legendary book Subway Art (with Henry Chalfant, 1984) will be on display, as well as artworks from her personal collection including a pair of original paintings by graffiti king, Dondi.

A multi-channel video installation called “The Rushes” will debut in the exhibition by filmmaker Selina Miles, who directed the documentary Martha: A Picture Story and premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in NYC.

An extensive section called “Martha Remixed” showcases the work of over 35 artists who have reinterpreted Cooper’s photographs or paid personal tribute with portraits in an array of styles and mediums and locations. Unique to the exhibition, visitors will see the new collaboration between Martha and multidisciplinary Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic who will create a two-story mural onsite inside the museum.

“We were immediately excited to be given the opportunity to present the world’s first major retrospective of photographer Martha Cooper and to introduce her body of work to URBAN NATION Museum visitors. We are interested in focusing on Cooper’s photographic work and expounding on her working methods. In addition, we will present her worldwide collaborations with artists and protagonists of the street art and graffiti movement and provide audiences the opportunity to delve deeply into the cosmos of Martha Cooper’s work. We are delighted to be able to present and convey a unique compilation of photographs and artifacts from her personal collections.” – Jan Sauerwald, Director of the URBAN NATION Museum.   

Lower East Side, Manhattan. NYC, 1978. Copyright Martha Cooper.

Martha’s specialty is documenting artistic process in public space. Her formal training in art and ethnology set a unique template to better understand cultural practices and techniques and her friendships with artists gave her close and personal access to show materials, tools and techniques in detail as they evolve over several generations. As part of this larger practice, Cooper’s iconic photos of clandestine graffiti activities have proven to be a valuable record and an important key to understanding the story of the movement’s proliferation around the world.

Martha’s curiosity has always driven her documentation. Her black and white photographs from her book Tokyo Tattoo 1970 (2011), represent her first foray into an underground art world and hidden practices. In Street Play she concentrated on the invincible spirit of city kids who are creatively rising above their bleak environment. Her photographs of 1980s breakers are the earliest published images of an unknown dance form at the time that became known as central to the definition of Hip Hop culture. As the first female staff photographer on the New York Post, Cooper sought out subjects to pursue independently. Her intrepid and sometimes risky pursuit of taking pictures has inspired many young people to pursue their own artwork and career paths. 

Exhibition curators Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo (New York) have been curators and co-curators for the URBAN NATION Museum since 2015 (Project M/7 Persons of Interest, 2015, URBAN NATION opening exhibition UNique. UNited. UNstoppable., 2017). They are also founders and editors of the influential art site Brooklyn Street Art (BSA) since 2008, a respected daily clearinghouse of the global street art scene.

1UP Crew Mural. Detail. Urban Spree, Berlin, 2017. Copyright Nika Kramer. 

Martha’s style is to dive in and be fearless, immersing herself in the moment – and she’s been documenting what she finds around the world for six decades. That’s the attitude we took curating this exhibition, knowing that each element captured in her work is genuine and transient. It is our goal for visitors to be transformed by her unique eye for a historic preservation of the ordinary that is often exceptional – whether it is documenting the verboten process of making 1970s graffiti, capturing youths performing moves that were later called “breaking”, the inking processes of Japanese tattoo culture, or the ingenious games kids devised for play in New York’s abandoned neighborhoods,” say Harrington and Rojo about MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES.

MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES
Exhibition Opening
Friday, October 2nd, 2020, 8 pm

URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART
Bülowstraße 7, 10783 Berlin-Schöneberg

Interviews will be offered in prior with Martha Cooper, Curators Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, and Director of the URBAN NATION Museum, Jan Sauerwald. Requests can be send to pr@urban-nation.com

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Lady Pink Blossoms in Welling Court Mural Project NYC – 2020

Lady Pink Blossoms in Welling Court Mural Project NYC – 2020

Free spirit Lady Pink has sprinkled a summer bouquet across a wall here with friends in Queens for the Welling Court Mural Project this year. The Ecuadorian-American artist is known by many for her graffiti writing on trains in the 1970s and 1980s and her latter day murals empowering women, exploring the cityscape – and themes of rebellion or self-expression.

Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here she has decided to keep it simple for summer 2020, perhaps in the face of the complexity of our lives at the moment. These colors and motifs of flora are reassuring and soothing – possibly to give a salve for our collective wounds as she subtly pays tribute to those names of black and brown people brutalized by our system.

The city is hurting, black people are hurting, poor folks are hurting. In times like these, Lady Pink and her painting family know what you need, because they need it too.

Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shout out to Alison Wallis for organizing this years Welling Court Mural Project, despite the challenges of Covid-19. Read more about the project at wellingcourtmuralprojectnyc on Instagram.

Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink with the crew. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Martha Cooper)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper x Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France / Dispatch From Isolation # 66

Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper x Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France / Dispatch From Isolation # 66

“One paste up per month for the public health,” is the theme for this program called Le Mur, now on their 84th piece. In our time of self-imposed quarantines, invariably we feel our liberties are being infringed. Yet seeing this lad skipping down roof-tops of trains may provide the viewer an imaginary doorway to jump through – a momentary mental health break.

Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)

“I guess you could say that the boy running on the train reminds us of the innocent freedom to play that we don’t now have,” says photographer Martha Cooper of this youthful romp taken forty or so years ago. The original plan was for Martha to be there documenting Ella & Pitr at work pasting her photograph on the wall. Alas, Covid-19 thwarted those plans, just like millions upon millions of people all over the world have seen their own plans derailed, canceled, and postponed.

In the middle of a pandemic, artists Ella and Pitr succeeded in getting this image printed large format and pasted it here in St. Etienne. There is something reassuring about seeing this image persisting through time, emancipated into the public realm, waving its flag of self-directed liberation here on the street.

Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
Ella & Pitr x Martha Cooper. “Boy running on top of train” Subway Art, 1982. Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne, France. (photo © E. Grange / Le M.U.R. Saint Etienne)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.05.20/Dispatch From Isolation #14

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.05.20/Dispatch From Isolation #14

The numbers of sick and dying continue to climb this week in New York, and so does our determination.

And our appreciation. Stuck inside a building full of artists and weirdos, we hang our heads and hands out the window to clap loudly at 7 o’clock, our Hasidic neighbors across the street gathered on their tiny verandas to do the same. United in our illness, fears, and pain, we are reminded of our common heroes; doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, grocery store workers, restaurant workers, truck drivers, sanitation workers, friends, neighbors and colleagues

“I keep a saucepan and spoon at my window to join in the 7 pm clapping every night,” says photographer Martha Cooper as she describes her solo venture out the window while her cat Melia most likely hides under the bed. “People have even started beating drums. Of course, I never cook in the saucepan but it was my dear mom’s and I remember her cooking in it so I think of her when I’m beating it.”

“The healthcare workers deserve more than applause,” she adds. Amen.

Also, applause can go to at least one landlord in the Williamsburg-Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Mario Salerno reportedly has waived the rent for April, relieving hundreds of people from fear and stress during this economic crash.

Elsewhere in Brooklyn, tenants allege their “Landlord Wants To “Take Advantage” Of Coronavirus To Deregulate Loft Law Units. ” Egad.

Bottom line is, we need BIG thinkers, BIG proposals, and BIG solutions for the hundreds of thousands of people who cannot pay the rent in this expensive city – and around the world. We need a Rent Forgiveness Jubilee, a Universal Basic Income and an actual Infrastructure building mass jobs program. The idea is not going to come from all the millionaires in the White House, the Congress, or the Senate. If people get desperate enough, these changes will be born from the street.

Let’s keep positive, safe, and strong as we weather what comes next.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Berlin Kidz, Chris RWK, City Kitty, Darla Kitty, David Saenz, Food Baby Soul, Surface of Beauty, The Postman Art, TiHumph, Martha Cooper and TV Boy.

Darla Kitty – HOME OFFICE – (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rent Freeze – Chris RWK (photo © Jaime Rojo)
TV Boy in Barcelona (photo © eiwob62)
The Postman Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Surface Of Beauty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Graff pieces in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Berlin Kidz in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
David Saenz en Madrid (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)
Trihumph (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Food Baby Soul (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Food Baby Soul (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. NY In The Time of Corona. April 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Laurence Vallières and Red-Handed Mickey at Urvanity 2020

Laurence Vallières and Red-Handed Mickey at Urvanity 2020

Presented by Swinton Gallery at this year’s edition of Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Canadian artists Laurence Vallières’ installation turned heads and made people think. Ms. Vallières is well known for her sculptures, mostly of animals in peril made out of hard cardboard. Her outdoor installation at Urvanity had a lot to say with two images that stop people in their tracks.

Laurence Vallières. Urvanity Art Fair. Madrid, March 2020. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The center stage in the outdoor area features a murdered triceratops and a triumphant Mickey Mouse astride the hapless animal with blood on his hands, possibly dining on its entrails. Art, of course, can be interpreted in so many ways, and that’s one of its inherent powers. To us, this sculpture represents the centuries of American colonialism around the world and the trail of blood and misery left behind by the conquerors. At the least its a stab at corporate power.

Or does this represent a more generalized corruption in the highest offices – with unashamed displays of nepotism and greed run amok. More literally you may think of those clueless bounty hunters who boast about their kill of the last members of species.

No matter your analysis of the art piece and what it represents to you in particular, this is a powerful socio-political critique given the mainstage at Urvanity Madrid 2020, and many will have an opportunity to see it firsthand.

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2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

BSA has been here with you for this entire decade – an honor and a privilege. Reviewing the many interventions and events we witnessed and shared with our readers, we realize that this grassroots people’s art movement is reflecting our society in fundamental ways and reaching deep as well as wide. Here in roughly chronological order we recount for you a Top 10 for BSA that have impacted our way of seeing art on the streets.


1.

The “Girl In The Blue Bra” – December 2011

Oppressive regimes worldwide have a few commonalities. One of them is patriarchy. Over the last decade we have seen many female artists rise powerfully to smash it, harnessing their rage and power and taking their voice to the street.

There were countless images that encapsulated the ferocity and the tenacity of the protesters during the Arab Spring uprisings in Cairo, Egypt in December of 2011. One image, in particular, captured the attention of the media and the public. The image is commonly referred to as the “Girl In The Blue Bra”. The image depicts a young woman, whose identity remains anonymous, being beaten and dragged by soldiers as she was taking part in the protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo, against Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Her face is veiled and her jeans are still on but as she was being dragged by the soldiers her abaya came undone exposing her bare torso and revealing her blue bra as a soldier was about to kick her in her abdomen.

A young woman is being dragged and kicked, exposing her bare torso in the act by the military in Tahiri Square. Cairo, Egypt. December 17, 2011. (Stringer/Reuters/Landov)

While the image exposed the abusive practices and of power of the military in Egypt – it also swiftly sparked ferocious reactions around the globe, particularly with women who subsequently staged their own march in Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand the end of military rule.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)

Among the artists who carried the Blue Bra theme to the streets was one artist, Bahia Shehab, whom BSA and its readers helped to get a movie made about Street Artists in the Arab Spring, called Nefertiti’s Daughters, directed by Mark Nicolas. Later we were the first to debut a scene from it at the Nuart Festival in Norway (“#Activism on the Street Now”), and years after that Nuart actually hosted professor Shehab. This is a small world, this Street Art community.

The actions of the young woman, the violent response of the military, and the overwhelming support of the public, in general, sparked a new wave of feminism in Egypt and inspired artists to create and display their artworks on the streets in protest.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)
An unidentified artist in Cairo. (photo from Pinterest)

2.

“Art In The Streets” Opens at LA MOCA – April 2011

Art in the Streets was the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art, curated by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch and Associate Curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose, an exhibition tracing the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it had evolved to. BSA was there to capture and share some of what was happening.

Red Hot and Street: “Art in the Streets” Brings Fire to MOCA

From BSA

“Yes, Banksy is here. The giant ‘Art in the Streets’ show opening this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles gives a patch of real estate to the international man of mystery who has contributed greatly to the worldwide profile of what is soon to be, maybe already is, a mainstream phenomenon known as street art. A smattering of his pranksterism is an absolute must for any show staking claim to the mantle of comprehensive survey and an excellent way to garner attention. But “Streets” gets its momentum by presenting a multi-torch colorful and explosive people’s history that began way before Banksy was born and likely will continue for a while after.

The show is an audacious multi-platform, colorful endeavor; part history lesson and part theme park bringing about 50 years of graffiti and street art history, it’s influences and influencers, under one roof. Then there is the stuff outside. Engaging and educational, “Art in the Streets” makes sure visitors have the opportunity to learn how certain tributaries lead to this one river of swirling urban goo, mapping connections between cultural movements, communities, and relationships within it. When it does this, the museum system effectively differentiates its value apart from a mere gallery show. “

“Art In The Streets” Blade . Os Gemeos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“Art In The Streets” Invader’s invasion of Martha Cooper’s installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3.

Banksy’s NYC Residency – “Better Out Than In” – October 2013

An unprecedented city-wide near daily installation of works in New York established a new high-water mark in the flood of Street Art that took many cities in the 2010s. The British Street Artist played to a media capital in such an effective campaign that even the least interested residents became familiar with the elusive prankster.

Banksy’s Final Trick

From BSA

A Genuine October Surprise for New York Street Art Friends and Foes Alike.

“In a series of communiqués beamed from his website, the global Street Artist Banksy gave graffiti and Street Art followers a near-daily jolt of mystery and mouse clicking that had people looking at every street scene as a possible Banksy by the time it ended. While few can confirm the exact level of involvement the actual artist had in the five boroughs, if any, none will deny that the Banksy brand underwent a major “refresh” this month that again put his name on the lips of those who had begun to forget him and many who had never heard of him.

Thanks to this masterful marketing campaign billed as a month-long ‘residency’ on New York’s streets, many thousands were talking about him daily on the street, on television, radio, social media, in galleries, studios, office cubicles, art parties, and the mayors’ office. By effectively combining the sport of treasure hunting with humor and populism, each new cryptic appearance of something-anything gradually conditioned some grand art doyennes and the plainer mongrels amongst us to drool on command and lift a leg in salute to the curiously still anonymous artist and the team who helped him pull it off.”

BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

4.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Exhibitions with Swoon, Faile, BÄST, Haring, Basquiat, ESPO, JR Expand Knowledge, Appreciation

One cultural institution in New York City and indeed in the United States has been notable throughout the decade for its commitment to organizing exhibitions where graffiti, street art, and the artists whom have shaped it are given recognition for their contribution to the arts. The Brooklyn Museum’s leadership, including former director Arnold L. Lehman, current director Anne Pasternak, and Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives have been channeling resources and focus to the study, promotion, and exhibition of the works of important figures in the contemporary graffiti and Street Art movement. It notable that the museum has in its permanent collection the works of distinguished graffiti and Street Artists dating back to the dawn of the modern scene; something that other important cultural institutions in New York City that are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of modern, contemporary, and American art lack in their collections.

It’s for this reason that we have selected the Brooklyn Museum as one of the top ten graffiti and street art movers of the decade. Predated by 2006’s “Graffiti” exhibition the museum has mounted several important presentations during this decade that have not only been blockbusters but they have contributed to the cultural enrichment of all New Yorkers and the expanded discussion of the relevance of these art forms to established canons. Here are some highlights:

Keith Haring – March 2012

From BSA

Keith Haring 1978-1982 : Early Keith at The Brooklyn Museum

Keith Haring: 1978-1982, a traveling exhibition first shown in Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna and The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, introduces a period of his work not often examined, taking you up to the edge of the seemingly sudden international fame he experienced as artist, activist and public figure through the rest of the 1980s.

… At a time when the small-town boy was developing his visual vocabulary as an artist, Haring was also discovering himself as a man in the world and in a city that he found endlessly fascinating and worthy of exploration. Capturing his spirit of hands-on experimentation, the show is almost entirely comprised of works on paper with one collaborative piece on plywood with his contemporary Jean Michel Basquiat, paper collage, video, and documentary photos.”

Keith Haring. Matrix, 1983. Courtesy of and © Keith Haring Foundation, The Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon – April 2014

From BSA

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum

“Sharon brought me in here and said, ‘What is interesting to you in the building?’ and I really love that because the thing about working on the street is that you are always thinking site-specifically. And so that thinking has to translate into your work in all places. For me, if I make something in a museum I want it to be very site-specific and this is probably one of the most site-specific pieces I’ve ever done,” explains Swoon.

Under the advice and guidance of an engineer, the artist also modified her design process to allow for foundational considerations like truss sections and lift points. “I showed him an initial model and he showed me an engineered system and then I built another model based on the system that he engineered.”

It is probably unusual for a grand museum to be so amenable to the requests of an artist for a site-specific piece that literally inhabits the furthest reaches of space, and Swoon says she recognizes the leeway she received. “You know, they have been really adventurous in letting us create this. We’ve been sort of pushing a lot with the creation of this piece.”

For Matt Atkins, the opportunity to bring an internationally known street artist and neighbor into the museum has been the result of just over two years of planning. ‘It’s been so wonderful working with Swoon to realize her vision for this project. This is the first time we’ve really used the full height of the 72-foot dome, so it’s quite spectacular. I am thrilled to see her boats back in New York and for them to have this new life. The underlying ideas about climate change in the installation also make this project an appropriate tie into the Museum’s focus on activism with our other exhibitions and collections,’ she says.”

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks – April 2015

From BSA

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

“In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile & BÄST – July 2015

From BSA

Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

“FAILE may be a religious experience this summer at the Brooklyn Museum, but only one of the hallowed installations is called Temple. The seedier, more dimly lit venue will surely have the larger number of congregants by far, bless their sacred hearts.

Celebrating the duality and appropriation of words, slogans, and images have been the bailiwick of the duo since they first began hitting Brooklyn streets at the turn of the century with their stencils and wheat-pastes on illegal spots and neglected spaces. In FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, their new attention-commanding/refracting exhibit organized by Sharon Matt Atkins at the Brooklyn Museum, these guys pour it on, compelling you into a complex panoply of possible re-imaginings of meaning that reference pop, pulp, myth, art history, 50s sci-fi, 60s advertising, comics, punk zines, consumer culture and their own pure artistic and branded fiction.”

FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stephen ESPO Powers – November 2015

From BSA

Coney Island Dreaming: Following the Signs to Stephen Powers

Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull) is one of 3 new exhibits inspired by the historic attractions of Brooklyn’s seaside.

“Graffiti artist-turned-sign painter Stephen Powers is dreaming of Coney Island and he is bringing a colorful collection of found and freshly produced signage that evokes a forgotten era to climb the columns of a Brooklyn Museum gallery.

Given the boisterous parade of brands and logos into museums that is happening as part of the institutional funding and programming mix, it’s fun to see the ninth episodic installation of this traveling ICY SIGNS shop here; its simplicity and guile recalling amusing persuasive techniques from the mid-century American advertising lexicon. Simultaneously, for those who have been lucky enough to sicken themselves on cotton candy and The Wonder Wheel, the new show imparts a rather reassuring and seedy nostalgia for Coney Island, complete with an inexplicable hankering for a thick beef hot dog.”

Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR – October 2019

From BSA

“JR: Chronicles” Revels in His Explorations at Brooklyn Museum

“A retrospective at Brooklyn Museum currently showcases the photographic works and public projects envisioned and created by French Street Artist JR. Covering roughly two decades of work, JR: Chronicles dedicates an in-depth examination into his practices and personal philosophies when creating – as evidenced by this collection of his murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas, and archival materials.

Brooklyn Street Art: JR created a new digital collage for this exhibition featuring a thousand or so people individually interviewed and photographed. Can you tell us about what criterion he used for selecting his subjects?
Sharon Matt Atkins: JR’s main focus was on capturing the rich diversity of New York City. As such, he photographed people in all five boroughs of the city, including many neighborhoods that were new to him. While he did invite some guests to participate, most of the people were passersby or business owners and workers of local stores. “

JR. 28 Millimètres, Portrait d’une génération, Braquage (Holdup), Ladj Ly, 2004
JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5

Blu and Street Art – Banksy & Co.

Curated by Christian Omodeo, Luca Cinacabilla, and Sean Corcoran. March 2016

BLU buffing his own works in Bologna took the news cycle, his legion of compatriots armed with rollers and bucket paint. But it was the show that he was reacting to that brought thousands to the museum space to discuss the rightful place of Street Art, graffiti, and the relevance of preserving it for posterity.

From BSA

BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

“The contested Banksy and Co. exhibition contains, among many other works, walls removed from a privately owned abandoned building in Bologna that were painted by BLU. Displaying the walls and his artwork without his consent so angered the painter that he rallied artists and activists to help him snuff out all his remaining murals and paintings in this Northern Italian city last week. (See A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna)

The heavily attended Friday night opening of Street Art – Banksy & Co. at Palazzo Pepoli – Museo della Storia di Bologna was curated by Luca Ciancabilla, Christian Omodeo, and Sean Corcoran and features roughly 250 historical and contemporary works spanning about fifty years and highlighting a number of movements within the so-called Urban Art genre. On balance it appears that 90 percent of the works are studio works, paintings, sculpture, videos, original sketches, and ephermera and were probably collected in a more conventional way and the tagged posters, stickers, metal doors, and wall fragments are viewed in the context of the whole scene.”

About Ponny (photo © @around730)

A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna

From BSA

“Reality TV is usually completely devoid of reality. That isn’t the exact comparison Andreco said on his Facebook page but we thought it was a fitting analogy. Street Art in a museum or gallery can sometimes feel like taxidermy.

Andreco actually said ‘Deciding which wall to paint or not to paint has always been one of our free choices. This operation, to uncork the walls and move them elsewhere, oversteps this freedom.’ Fair enough.

Of course, that is not the primary reason why activists and Street Artists joined in to help BLU paint over the many murals that he completed on Bologna city walls over the last two decades or so. In an English titled press release on the Italian website Wumingfoundation the artist lays out a multi-layered justification for destroying his own murals, many of which have become beloved landmarks around the city and which have helped make him an art star in some circles.”

BLU action in Bologna. (photo © Andreco)

American conceptual, activist and street artist John Fekner, whose art and his art partner Don Leicht were represented in the exhibition Street Art: Bansky & Co weighs in the controversy by saying:

  • The bottom line is: what’s done in public-doesn’t remain in public. There’s no protection for artists who trespass. It’s the chance one takes outdoors.
  • If you create illegal art murals, street rules are always in effect:
  1. You can’t stop a drunk in the middle of the night from pissing on your wall.
  2. You can’t stop a bulldozer from razing your work.
  3. You can’t stop a neighborhood anti-graffiti squad from painting over your work.
  4. You can’t stop a well-dressed thief in a suit, or their hired slug with a chisel from removing your wall work and hauling it off to their laird, garage, museum or art market.

“Under any circumstances, don’t immediately and irrationally react. If your original aspirations were to be an artist- then just do what you were meant to do: be an artist. Don’t double shift and be a night watchman patrolling the streets to try and thwart thieves of your work. Unique temporary outdoor creations engender a public conversation that includes everyone: art lovers and art haters, lowbrow and highbrow, and everyone who interacts with your public work.”

John Fekner (© John Fekner)

6.

Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art Opens in Berlin – September 2017

We had the unique perspective of being two of the foundational curators who made this exhibition happen and made the doors fly open to thousands of visitors, so it only made sense that we covered the opening that brought much promise to the institutional recognition of Street Art, graffiti, and its move into Urban Contemporary.

From BSA

“Inundated!” Scenes from the Opening: UN – Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin

“This week is Art Week in Berlin, and you just stole Art Week,” said a handsome and intensely opinionated German to us as we leaned on the arm rail of the M.C. Escher-inspired walkway before a Carlos Mare139 sculpture and above the capacity crowd on Saturday night at the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN).

Not sure if that was the exact goal, but we get his larger point; the UN has just made a massive entry into a number of societally and culturally influential minds when it comes to the relevancy of Street Art and graffiti to visual culture and art history. This movement into so-called Contemporary began as early as the 1970s and has overcome and weathered cultural and market ebbs and flows – persisted, if you will – yet somehow institutions have been wary of this work and these artists and unable to fully embrace their importance, you decide why.”

Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hot Tea’s installation. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

7.

Five Pointz: A Legal Case For Urban Artists Shifts the Focus – February 2018

From BSA

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

“In a ruling that many graffiti and Street Artists interpret as a validation of their artwork and which may spawn further legal claims by artists in the future, Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block, a United States Federal Judge for the Eastern District of New York, awarded $6.7 million in damages to a group of 21 artists in the high profile case of the former graffiti holy place in Queens called 5 Pointz.

Under the leadership of artist and organizer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, also a plaintiff, the award is in response to a suit that cried foul on the overnight destruction of multiple artworks on building walls without consultation or notification of the artists.

Citing provisions of the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act that grants artists certain “moral” rights, the artists claimed that their artworks on the 5 Pointz compound that was owned by real estate developer Jerry Wykoff were protected and should be afforded certain rights and considerations.

Arts and intellectual property lawyers and judges will now be examining the implications of the ruling and citing it as an example in arguments about art created on walls legally and possibly those created illegally as well. In a city that prides itself as being a birthplace of graffiti and Street Art, many artists and wall owners must ask themselves if there will need to be an additional layer of the agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.”

5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

8.

The New York Times Publishes DONDI’S Obituary – February 2019

In an unprecedented posthumous publication of an obituary, this year The Times acknowledged something that it had so far failed to do; the contribution of graffiti writers to the cultural and art canons deserves serious recognition. By publishing the iconic image of DONDI taken by Martha Cooper that burned “Subway Art” into the mind’s eye of many generations of graffiti writers, the “paper of record” caught up with one the the scene’s leaders and heroes.

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)

The NYT obituary of Dondi begins like this:

Donald Joseph White, considered a legend before “street art” became popular, turned New York City’s subways into rolling canvases of color, humor and social commentary.”

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)


9.

Martha Cooper: A Picture Story Premieres at TriBeCa. A film by Selina Miles. April 2019

From BSA

MARTHA: A Picture Story. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

“First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:

Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.

The electricity was in the air as Director Miles and producer Daniel Joyce along with the just-arrived Australian members of the “Martha” crew looked for their seats in the Village East Cinema. After a brief introduction by Miles, who told the audience that the film had been a great pleasure to make, the curtain went up to reveal the mother of the superstar art twins Os Gemeos on the big screen. She is sitting at her kitchen table in São Paulo remarking how her boys used to draw on everything, including fruit, and how Cooper and Chalfant’s 1984 book “Subway Art” changed their lives forever. With their story as a backbone for the film, the theme of personal transformation is repeated in a hundred large and small ways for the next hour and twenty minutes. “

Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Director Selina Miles with Martha Cooper. Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

10.

Street Art and Activism Takes Larger Share of the Cultural Stage

This decade that is coming to an end has seen its share of natural disasters, human rights violations, atrocities of large scale against humanity, corruption at the highest levels, the reversal of hard-fought policies to protect the planet and keep our air and water clean. We have witnessed with despair the renaissance of hatred based on people’s nationalities, their skin color, their religion, their choice of attire, their level of material affluence and their sexual preferences.

We have seen progress as well. Women around the world have been freer to speak their mind against oppression and abuse of power thanks to social movements that have flourished around the world in big cities and small towns. Our LGBT brothers and sisters have scored numerous legal battles in their favor thanks to enlightened lawmakers and judges who have searched deep inside their intellect to find the right answer to make sure everybody is treated equally. Likewise, our peers whom we need to advance our cause have taken seriously the responsibility at the ballot box to make the correct choice with policies that will bring relief to those who have less than we do.

Art and artists have often reflected back to us the world we live in, it is for this reason that we have chosen Street Art and Activism as an important action in this decade. We have always championed the work of artists who imbued their art with a strong sense of social urgency. It is with their art that they talk to us in the hopes to change one mind, one action, one concept, one attitude towards the goal creating a common good. There are many of them currently active on the streets. This wouldn’t be the appropriate space to list all of them but we would like to give you some highlights:

No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

Barcelona, February 2019.

From BSA:

“This past Sunday, February 17 at La Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas (Three Smokestacks Square) in Barcelona an international group of artists participated in the first ‘No Borders Festival.’

NO BORDERS is a grassroots organization that was created to raise awareness about the refugees, to demand their acceptance, and to raise funds through debates, art, and documentaries.

They say they want to raise the uncomfortable questions – which will undoubtedly lead to uncomfortable answers as well. To paraphrase the text on their website:

‘Do we settle for a society that violates its moral and legal obligations to refugees? A refugee is a person who flees – Flees because he is on the losing side. Because he thinks, feels or prays differently than those who point him with their weapons.’

As usual, artists are bringing these matters to the street for the vox populi to debate.”

Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

Andreco: Reclaiming Air and Water for Delhi, India “Climate 05”

New Delhi, March 2019.

From BSA:

An Art, Science and Climate Action project by Andreco

“And the statement isn’t hyperbole, according to AIR-Ink, the company that made his ink, which is “the first ink made entirely out of air pollution,” they explain on their website.

The unique art-making material is part of the Italian Street Artist / Activist’s most recent installment of his Climate Art Project, which he orchestrated on the streets here in New Delhi for the St+Art Festival this year. Part of a global, multi-city installation and demonstration, ‘Climate 05 – Reclaiming Air and Water’.”

Andreco. Climate Art Project. In collaboration with St+ART India Foundation. Delhi, India. March 2019. (photo Akshat Nauriyal)

“Post-Posters” Puncture Public Discourse in Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, May 2019.

From BSA:

” ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Ass Ads,’ says a new stencil-style printed poster by New York’s epic, if sometimes cryptic, street commentator of four decades, John Fekner. Anyway, who will argue with that?

Post-posters is a cooperative proposition about public billposting,” says French conceptual street anarchist Matthew Tremblin about his new project with hit-and-run situationist street posterer Antonio Gallego. Together they reclaim space with individually produced posters and they invite artists from around the world to do the same.

Over a two month period the creative place-makers are facilitating an international crew of artists to post posters on the occasion of the double exhibition by Banlieue-Banlieue group* (°1982, Poissy) taking place in Strasbourg, at both AEDAEN and the Syndicat Potentiel. “

John Fekner . Carole Douillard. Post-Posters Project. Strasbourg, France. April 2019. (photo courtesy of Syndicat Potentiel)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: When the Lion Roars Back, a small overview

Brooklyn, NY. July 2019.

From BSA:

“By putting these images of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ folks on the street with their blunt-force sentiments addressed to would-be harassers, she not only stands with them, but Tatyana has also used her work and vision to give them the courage to stand proud, assert their voice and to take public space.

After all, it belongs to the public.

“Women are not outside for your entertainment”, a startling truth for some guys that pointedly highlights abusive behavior toward women on the streets of Brooklyn and many cities around the world. Brooklyn Street Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh has been targeting daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people with her campaigns of art on the streets – and in the gallery.

Addressing themes of social justice, racism, LGBTQ+ rights, and sexist street harassment, her beautifully drawn campaigns on wheat-pasted posters and painted murals across the globe have brought attention to issues sorely in need of addressing during hostile rhetoric from some men in the highest offices.”

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jetsonorama Tells “Stories From Ground Zero”

Church Rock, New Mexico. August 2019.

From BSA:

“This spill and these events did not happen in San Diego or Palm Beach. The story doesn’t affect wealthy white families and cannot be used to sell shampoo or real estate. That’s probably why we don’t see it in the press and never on the talking-head news. Street Artist Jetsonorama is not only a photographer who has been wheat-pasting his stunning images of people and nature on desert buildings for over a decade, he is also a doctor on the Navajo reservation, a human-rights activist, and an erudite scholar of American history as it pertains to the poisoning of this land and these people. Today we’re pleased to bring you this long-form examination from Jetsonorama’s perspective on a complicated and tragic US story of environmental poisoning and blight that affects generations of native peoples, miners, military personnel, and everyday people – and has no end in sight.

Most alarming is the news the current White House administration is endeavoring to mine uranium here again.

‘Private companies hired thousands of Navajo men to work the uranium mines and disregarded recommendations to protect miners and mill workers. In 1950 the U.S. Public Health Service began a human testing experiment on Navajo miners without their informed consent during the federal government’s study of the long-term health effects from radiation poisoning.  This study followed the same violation of human rights protocol as the US Public Health Service study on the long-term effects of syphilis on humans by experimenting on non-consenting African American men in what is known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment from 1932 – 1972.’ ~ Jetsonorama”

JC with her younger sister, Gracie (who is a NBCS participant).  (photo © Jetsonorama)

BSA Special Feature: “REWILD” from Escif

Sumatra, Indonesia. September 2019.

From BSA:

“As part of our core commitment as a non-commercial platform that has helped hundreds of artists over the last decade+, BSA significantly helped Escif to raise money for his Indiegogo fundraiser in Spring 2017 when we promoted his “Breath-Time” horticultural project heavily as he planted trees to reforest Mount Olivella in Southern Italy.

Today BSA debuts REWILD, a new tree-related project by the Spanish Street Artists – just as the Global Climate March is spreading to cities around the world, including New York.

The concept of the short film is simple: can’t we just push the “Rewind” button?

‘The narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the world’s most versatile commodities. Beyond the industrialisation of the land, we end at the beginning, a thriving ecosystem alive with wildlife. The concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees, expanding the boundaries of one of the most biodiverse places on earth.’  

Finally, a stunning custom soundtrack by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah captures and carries this into another world, which is possible.

Shout out to the folks behind the project Splash and Burn: a cultural initiative curated by Ernest Zacharevic and coordinated by Charlotte Pyatt run in association with the Sumatran Orangutan Society and the Orangutan Information Centre.

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BSA Top 10 Stories Of 2019 As Picked By You

BSA Top 10 Stories Of 2019 As Picked By You

Greece, Mexico, Poland, Detroit, Brooklyn, Tennesee, Texas, Asbury Park in New Jersey. Your favorite BSA stories were not limited to geography. Aerosol, wheat-paste, yarn, soldered steel, cut stencils, rollers, photography, even plants; Nor were they contained by technique or materials.

Giving live plants away in a refugee camp, queer pride phone booth takeovers, a floriculture bus stop, a windswept installation constantly in motion at a seaside resort. We paid homage to foundational documentarians of graffiti and Street Art culture, watched an early 1980s French stencil originator travel through the US south, and provided a platform for one of New York’s most elusive writers who blasted apart definitions with his texts and sculpture – all while keeping his own profile on the serious DL.

The creative spirit appears wherever we look on the street, and luckily you love to observe and learn and get inspired by other’s work as much as we do.

Based on the traffic to the website, on social media, and in our email box, here are the top 10 stories that you loved the most in 2019 on BSA.


No. 10

The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer”

The Dusty Rebel. Hope Will Never Be Silent. In collaboration with #KeepFighting (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

Who writes your history? Who would gladly suppress it?


By reviving and celebrating those who the mainstream historically underplays, undercuts, neatly overlooks, and otherwise de facto silences, a new takeover campaign on NY streets helps write the history of LGBTQ struggle, and keeps it just as relevant as this moment.

Photographer and journalist The Dusty Rebel now curates the same streets he documents and shares with BSA readers today his determined campaign to revive, preserve, propel forward the significant players and events that have fought in their myriad ways, with the admonishment to keep fighting. With “Resistance is Queer” he uses his images and his respect for LGBTQ history to ensure that the full spectrum of people are recognized for their contributions to this civil rights struggle for equality.

We’re grateful that he has taken the time to explain in detail the people behind the images and their significance to him personally as well as their role in a people’s history.


The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer” Phone Booth Campaign in NYC. Continue reading HERE


No. 9

Blek Le Rat Tours the US South

Blek Le Rat. Nashville. (photo © Brian Greif)

From BSA:

Tennessee and Texas Sample a Certain Street Savoir Faire

Look out for Le Rat!

He’s getting up in places down south that you wouldn’t normally associate with a French Street Artist, much less the one who started stenciling in a style and manner unusual on Paris walls in ’81 – an antecedent for much of what we later would call ‘Street Art”. 


Blek le Rat Tours The US South continue reading HERE


No. 8

“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico

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

From BSA:

“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.

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.


Evolucion De Una Revolucion continue reading HERE


No. 7

Icy & Sot: Giving Plants and New Life to Refugees in Greece

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

From BSA:

Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.

People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but little nature.

With a goal of softening the hardship for people living here, Icy and Sot raised money through a print sale online and with the proceeds purchased fresh flowering plants to give away. “It was wonderful to see that actually put a smile on peoples’ faces for a moment,” they say in a press release.


Icy & Sot: Giving Plants And New Life To Refugees In Grece continue reading HERE


No. 6

“Martha: A Picture Story”. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

Selina Miles & Martha Cooper. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

From BSA:

First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:

Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.


Martha A Picture Story. Shots From The Premiere And Movie Review continue reading HERE


No. 5

Riding the Rails in the Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977 – 1987”

Henry Chalfant. HENRY CHALFANT: ART VS. TRANSIT, 1977 – 1987. The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The Bronx, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“We may have lost the trains, but we’ve gained the whole world.”

That’s a quote on the wall in the new exhibition at the Bronx Museum spotlighting the work of Henry Chalfant. The quote comes from Mare 139, one of the early graffiti writers of 1970s-80s trains in New York, referring to the now-scrubbed subway cars that once functioned as a mobile gallery for the young masters of cans throughout a metropolis that was in the grips of financial and social upheaval. Thanks to the work of artists and documentarians like Mr. Chalfant, the ephemeral works were captured, cared for, preserved, and spread throughout the world in the intervening years, in some ways helping to spawn a global interest and practice among burgeoning artists.


Riding The Rails in The Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art VS. Transit 1977 -1987 continue reading HERE


No. 4

F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA by Freddy Alva

REVS. Weld Up in DUMBO, 2000. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“Graffiti ain’t something you do, it’s something you live,” says the text above a wildly lettered REVS piece in a 1996 photo taken in El Paso. If there is a New York graffiti/Street Art icon that you would identify with a credo like this, he’s definitely one. Self-secreted away from the limelight and distrustful of many of the characters that are on the graffiti/Street Art “scene” today, REVS is nearly a New York folk hero, despite appearing to be completely firm in his anti-establishment, anti-commercial views – rooted in punk and hardcore music and those values that helped form his sometimes shape-shifting character since the the 1980s.

REVLON, REVS, SHIESTA, AVENGE, FUCKING REVS, REVS SOUP, REVS NUKE…


F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA By Freddy Alva continue reading HERE


No. 3

“Nostalgia” Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Łódź, Poland.

Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

From BSA:

As we move further from graffiti and mark-making in public art-making, is it a revelation that the desire to be seen, to have your voice heard, is the common denominator again, regardless of the form of expression.

In this case, a tram shelter in Poland preserves the natural world in resin, transparently.

Like a mix master, the artist here samples someone else’s handiwork and remixes it, adding a filter, chopping it up and repeating it.


Nostalgia Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Lodz, Poland continue reading HERE

No. 2

Banksy X Mercedes: Is This a Parody??

From BSA:

Yes, of course.

This artists’ interpretation of a car ad that features Banksy’s work is a parody, a farce. No one would try to take one of Banksy’s Street Art pieces to help sell their luxury cars, claiming that his work is in public domain and therefore fair game for any use.

Similarly, if it was a mural on the street by Brooklyn Street Artist KAWS, whose fine art canvas sold at auction this week for $14.7 million dollars at Sothebys Hong Kong, Mercedes wouldn’t simply grab it and run the art behind their newest off-roader on Instagram to infer that “Urban” edginess.

Or would they?

“And now they have filed a lawsuit against me trying to strip away all of my rights. I feel like I am being bullied and intimidated,” says graffiti/street artist artist Daniel Bombardier (a/k.a DENIAL) in a statement regarding the luxury brand that is instead suing him along with three other artists, apparently for having the temerity to demand to be paid, according to an article by James David Dickson in The Detroit News .

Bombardier’s mural and the artworks of the other artists – James Lewis (a.k.a. Olayami Dabls), Jeff Soto, and Maxx Gramajo appeared in published advertisements for the company’s cars, apparently without permission. The artists hired a lawyer to contact the carmaker to seek redress, according to news reports, social media postings, and emails that fairly flooded us yesterday.


Banksy x Mercedez: Is This a Parody? Continue reading HERE


No. 1

Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation in Asbury Park

Hot Tea. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. May 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

They designed the Ritz, the Vanderbilt, the Ambassador and the Biltmore hotels in Manhattan, along with townhouses for the Astors, the Yacht Club, and apartment buildings on 5th Ave and Park.

They were also architects on the team for Grand Central Terminal, that Beaux-Arts centerpiece of Gotham with its high marble walls, majestic sculptures, and lofty domed ceiling.

Also, Whitney Warren & Charles Wetmore designed the Casino Building here in Asbury Park, New Jersey a celebrated historical magnet for thousands of tourists escaping the heat and seeking buffeting breezes. The soaring glass paned windows may remind you of Grand Central, but also of that illustrated postcard on the cover of the Bruce Springsteen album, and of colorful resort town living.

You’ll also see 5,760 pieces of colored yarn hanging from the beams above, forming a shape-shifting brick of radiating color that appears to levitate. The brand new installation by Street Artist Hot Tea is lifted and pulled and choreographed by the ocean air, dancing to the sounds of waves crashing, emulating the currents of the sea. 17 rows define the physical boundaries, but your imagination can go much further with it in a matter of minutes.


Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation at Asbury Park HERE


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“Além da Rua” Festival Sails the Sea by the Port of Pecém, Brazil

“Além da Rua” Festival Sails the Sea by the Port of Pecém, Brazil

Imagine swimming with your art in the ocean, bobbing up and down in the blue waves and buffeting breezes in the sun just off the coast of Brazil.  Bright and bouncing like beacons while paying tribute to the fishing community just inland, those bikinied and briefed beauties who are cavorting with victorious hands in the air are the artists who painted these sails, and photographer Martha Cooper was there to capture them for BSA readers to enjoy today.

The sails and the artists. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The Além da Rua festival saw its first edition in 2010, founded by Duo Acidum Project in collaboration with Ato Marketing Cultural. This year’s edition was organized by Marcelo Pimentel and Marina Bortoluzzi of Instagrafite and the concept of painting on sails is the first of its kind that we know of. One that speaks directly to the community and the history of the fishing trade in this Port of Pecém District, in São Gonçalo do Amarante. This two-week experience during September on the northern coast of Brazil included painting sails for the typical fishing rafts that fishermen/women have used on the ocean here for a long time.

Fitz Licuado. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Fitz Licuado. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Not strictly Street Art, this oceanic open-air gallery is created by Street Artists who hail from this region of the world – Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and of course Brazil.  The program also included murals painted on walls of the homes of the fishing people, further connecting neighbors, place, pride, and a sense of community.

Ana Marietta. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Ana Marietta. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)

We have been observing a gradual evolution in the practices of the so-called “mural festivals” that evolved from the illegal Street Art scene in the last few years and we have spoken many times here and in presentations and panels about being leery of what we call a certain “cultural imperialism” that accompanies many of them today. The mural works are simply foisted by a starry-eyed fan-curator upon a neighborhood based on their knowledge of an edgy art movement. Nearly anyone can curate events and exhibitions with the BIG names – a grab bag of stars takes very little creative acumen and the results are often as cohesive as the offerings on folding card tables at your local flea market that sells iPhone 6 cases, 8-pack packages of athletic tube socks, and velvet paintings of Elvis and horses.

By involving artists with the community, as Ms. Bortoluzzi and Mr. Pimentel artfully did, the resulting artworks can have more meaning to the folks who must live with them long after the artists leave. It’s a tricky area to discuss sometimes though because everyone reading this has seen that the worst public art in almost every city often results from the choking, stultifying, uninspiring effects of bureaucratic “design by committee” processes, so we aren’t advocating for that either.

Here photographer Martha Cooper captures the energy and enthusiasm of the artists and fisherpeople and the natural beauty that inspires them all in at Além da Rua.

Nodoa. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Nodoa. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Luci Sacoleira. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Luci Sacoleira. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Serifa. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Serifa. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Ever Siempre. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Ever Siempre and Bozo Bacamarte. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bozo Bacamarte. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Evoca and Ever Siempre. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Ever Siempre and Serifa. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Auxi Silveira. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Poni. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Camila Siren . Wes Gama. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
The sails. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
The sails. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
The sails. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
The sails. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
The sails and the artists. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Evoca. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Evoca is here painting Ednardo Palmeira’s portrait,” Martha tells us. “The portrait is on the outside of the place where Mr. Palmeira trims, preserves, and sells freshly caught fish. Ednardo seems to be the main person to
do that in Pecém. Fishermen bring their fish to him.”

Evoca. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Evoca. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Ramon Martins. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Ana Marietta. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bozo Bacamarte. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Luci Sacoleira. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Luci Sacoleira. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Nodoa. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Wes Gama. Alem Da Rua Festival. Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Pecém, Brazil. (photo © Martha Cooper)
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BSA Film Friday 08.30.19

BSA Film Friday 08.30.19

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

Now screening :
1. Don Rimx x Owley “Olor A Azucenas El Perfume Del Barrio”
2. Street Art Singapore (VICE)
3. LATINO Legends STREET ART in my BACKYARD! | Los Mendozas
4. Kitt Bennett “Sleeping Giant”


BSA Special Feature: Don Rimx x Owley “Olor A Azucenas El Perfume Del Barrio”

New Yorker/ Puerto Rican Street Artist Don Rimx illustrates his world and ours with his historical people, characters, and archetypes. For this recent piece in Brooklyn he focused on the guy who sells flowers, and the perfumeric effect he has on summer streets.

The mural symbolizes “a cultural bridge”: a flower vendor famous to San Juan, Puerto Rico. As Owley continues to develop his film-maker craft, his own personality is also beginning to emerge; a certain warmth and appreciation for his subjects readily apparent.

Street Art Singapore (VICE)

A quick study of the scene in Singapore at the moment, featuring a graffiti group of style writers and illustrators called RSCLS and a more traditional muralist named Yip Yew Chong. The vandalism laws are strict and violent, yo! So how do you get around them. Carefully. Also heavier topics like institutionalized racism, the surveillance state, and censorship are all hit on.

Respect to Vice for capturing these folks and their stories.

LATINO Legends STREET ART in my BACKYARD! | Los Mendozas

Santana, Selena, Vicente Fernandez, and Frida?

They are all heroes of Hispanic heritage in the house of Instagram comedian Jay Mendoza in Los Angeles. With the help of muralist Gustavo Zermeño Jr these neighbors get together to paint in Jay’s backyard.

Join the #LosMendozasFamily

Kitt Bennett “Sleeping Giant”

Yes, it will remind you of Ella & Pitr. And yes, Melbourne’s Kitt Bennett is impressive nonetheless.

Read more