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WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

Surreal is the way the world is portrayed across all of our devices today.

It may be the shrinking staff and budgets of newsrooms who are veering ever closer to the sensational or simply the yellow journalism and the PR-planted hyperbole that is rushing to fill the vacuum, but the presentation of our own world is becoming outlandish.

Orwell could have seen this time when war is described as a peace effort, oligarchy is called democracy, and Reality TV is anything but. Combined with rapid technological developments that produce outcomes previously only imagined, we may feel like our grip on the genuine is definitely loosening somewhat.

So fitting it is that a mid-sized US city hosts a mural festival celebrating the surreal and the fantastic in 2015.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali, and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In partnership and as a cultural exchange with Berlin’s Urban Nation (UN) this year, Wall\Therapy 2015 curated this selection of international and local street artists who bring doorways and mirrors for you to step through.

We were glad to be there in person this year and relieved to see that this largely homespun venture continues to be strong and community-minded despite the very hard work that it requires to pull it off. In the face of a rapidly commercializing Street Art festival scene, not only is the grassroots rather refreshing, it is a bit surreal.

Without doubt it is fantastic.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jeff Soto . Maxx242. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Classic graffiti style from NYC’s Daze has always contained elements of surreality. In his three walls he sampled even more styles.”So I used a lot of influences – photo-realistic, almost cubist, there is some lettering, window panes as metaphor. I was also thinking about fabric and the way it folds, and it turned into water,” he says. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vexta: I’ve been doing a lot of collage as my source material – birds, abstract plant shapes, and the galaxy painted over.
BSA: She’s like an earth mother, or universal mother
Vexta: She is every woman.

 

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund’s mural features his superhero vexed by a stone in his boot. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew’s Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni created a whale inside an ice whale. “We usually work with themes about the balance between humans and nature,” says Togni, “In this situation we wanted to do a piece about the balance between the elements.”  Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“She is sort of a goddess of East meets West,” says Amsterdam’s Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A highly detailed original sketch that is culled from photographs and their own staging of a model in boots, Onur and Wes21 spent many long hours into a few nights to complete their wall.
Onur: It is more of a scene than a classical mural. The wall is perfect for something like this.
BSA: So it is nature taking a bite out of its aggressor
Onur: Yes, kind of. That’s not bad. We have a sign that says beware of beaver crossing. The animals are a metaphor for something else and we are always looking for stuff like this when we are on the streets.

 

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jason Wilder Courtesy of WallTherapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We knew we had a week and we thought ‘what can we accomplish?’” says Rochester local Matt Roberts on a break from his wall with Joe Guy Allard.  “I do monsters all the time and Joe does those robots. It’s a big old fight scene. I mean, who doesn’t want destruction, some mahem? I grew up on Godzilla movies and Ultraman, stuff like that.  Just a lot of B-horror. I’m really into it. The new Godzilla movie is like my Crème Brulee.”

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE) Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto Courtesy of Wall Therapy)

 

Our deep gratitude to the Wall\Therapy Family; Ian Wilson and Erich Lehman for their invitation to participate at this edition, and to Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation and this year’s co-curator. To the artists for sharing their talent with us in such a public and generous way. To all of the volunteers including Jason Barber and Maureen Malone for their sincere dedication and attention to detail and to the production team for making certain we all had what we needed and for making our job far easier. To the photographers for sharing their work with us throughout the process. To Jonathan Binstock, Director of the Memorial Art Gallery at The University of Rochester for hosting our BSA Film Friday Live event and to Meg Colombo and Mike Besaw at MAG for helping us with everything we asked for and then more. To the city of Rochester.

Click HERE to learn more about WALL THERAPY

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Wall/Therapy 2015 Day 4

Wall/Therapy 2015 Day 4

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“Love is Sacrifice” says the calligraphic script on the new wall by Jeff Soto and Maxx242. The two words rarely appear one without the other, as any sentient being will tell you.

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Maxx242 . Jeff Soto. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Courtesy Wall Therapy)

As with most artistic endeavors there are sacrifices to be made here as well, but the outgoing inquisitive nature of Rochester people are buoying the spirits as community members continue to visit the murals-in-progress and engage with artists and the various volunteers who keep the show going.

Li-hill kept working into the night, as did Onur and Wes21 on their mural. Li thinks he can complete it within the day – he’s a fast and expressive worker so we’re guessing he’s right. Onur and Wes21’s dynamic image will be strangely realistic, dare we say surrealistic, depicting a scene of nature’s retaliation against our domination – and their pace is perhaps more steady and deliberate.

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Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

Another outer-worldly battle is taking place between monsters and robots in the blockbuster piece by Rochester-based artists Joe Guy Allard and Matthew Robers, while also-local Brittany Williams is knocking out her first-ever mural, a portrayal of a woman blossoming in heart and mind on the streets of Rochacha.

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Brittany Williams. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

Regardless of how late they stay working, nobody really wants to skip dinner at The Yards, the collaborative arts space where most artists check in as a home base and where they actually get to hang out instead of being spread out. Friday night the party starts a little earlier so hopefully they’ll be able to break from the painting and come out to the BSA Film Friday at 5 pm on University of Rochester campus with us.

By then we’ll probably see Vexta’s vibrant, colorful textures have and blinkering diamond field fully anchor her masked woman, but no one is yet predicting what the Brazilian Eder Muniz will do on his arrival – but most predict is will be colorful, surreal, and fantastic.

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Never Crew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur and Wes21 burning that midnight oil. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Taking the long view to get some perspective of the wall in progress. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot of a superhuman not unlike the artist. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 3

Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 3

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In Rochester the weather has been warm but workable, as evidenced by the progress that all the artists have been making. You don’t have a long summer in this city of Kodak so we happily have images to share from a dedicated crew of photographers who are catching all the action while the sun is still blasting and slowly baking the artists.

You’ll see that the Jeff Soto and Maxx242 is nearing completion, Daze is already making plans for a production wall with FUA crew around the corner and Andreas Englund has a number of inquiries from local passersby while he’s painting his first mural here. We’re thinking it will be something rather superhuman.

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Jeff Soto – Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto – Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Joe Guy Allard . Matt Roberts. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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NeverCrew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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NeverCrew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andeas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Brittany Williams. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo ©Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 2

Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 2

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A lot of great action at Wall\Therapy yesterday with Daze, Jeff Soto, Maxx Gramajo, Onur, Never Crew, Nate Hodge, Vexta, and Andreas making a lot of progress on their murals in Rochester.

“The artists have settled in and everyone is really enjoying the environment and vibe here in Rochester, especially the warm-welcoming from everyone involved. It’s very much about community, about becoming part of our ‘family’,” says organizer Erich Lehman.

We start with this sculptural installation by Li-Hill.

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Never Crew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto. Process shot of a collaborative piece he is doing with Maxx Gramajo . Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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Handiedan Sets a Pinup Tone for Wall\Therapy 2015 in Rochester

Handiedan Sets a Pinup Tone for Wall\Therapy 2015 in Rochester

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Rochester, New York is the home of the Wall\Therapy festival and BSA is partnering with the team and Urban Nation (UN) to bring you coverage of the grass-roots mural festival for 2015. It will begin in a few weeks but the Amsterdam-based Handiedan got into town early due to being in New York for her show with Jonathan Levine Gallery.

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Handiedan in progress. (photo © Jenn Poggi)

Her curvaceous pin-up girls and orientally adorned femme fatales from noir films and rockabilly imaginations intricately layered with patterns and designs from currency – sometimes it is all about getting that paper.

In this case the paper in use is covering the facade of a beautiful brick building dating back to 1890 that was originally a church and later became a machine shop and home to the Rochester Community Players theater group for a half century or so. After a fire a few years back the building has sat vacant for a while.  At least, that is what most people from the area can remember.

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Handiedan. Taking in the action from inside the building. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Here Handiedan’s specially treated custom designed paperwork brings added dimension while stunningly emulating the template shape and color palette. In many ways it is bringing the building back to life – perhaps in anticipation of its new use as another playhouse to open at the end of the summer.

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Handiedan in progress. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Wall\Therapy 2015 has released its line up of artists curated in collaboration with Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation (UN) Berlin. This years theme of surrealism and the fantastic is off to a rather spectacular start obviously and in addition to bringing you daily updates BSA will be in the house on Friday July 24th for a special live edition of BSA Film Friday at the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester. We are really looking forward to meeting you in person.

Artists included for this years Wall\Therapy include: Andreas Englund, Onur, Wes21, Never Crew, Vexta, Li Hill, Handiedan, Daze, Jeff Soto, Maxx242, Eder Muniz, Brittany Williams, Matthew Roberts and Joe Guy Allard.

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Handiedan in progress. (photo © Mark Deff)

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Handiedan (photo © Mark Deff)

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Handiedan (photo © Mark Deff)

 

To learn more about Wall Therapy and more details, schedules, program and dates click HERE

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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