All posts tagged: Michigan

Beau Stanton: A Vibrant Beacon Rises From the Ruins in Detroit

Beau Stanton: A Vibrant Beacon Rises From the Ruins in Detroit

Artist Beau Stanton has a studio practice and a street practice, but most wouldn’t think of him as a Street Artist, per se. Classically trained in illustration and oil painting, his precise and hand-rendered style borrows from traditional, historical, nautical, and religious influences. Related from their original context, his appropriated icons, figures, and sense of ornamentation are placed in relation to one another in a way that creates new timeless stories that are rooted in the past but are also in this moment.

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Beau Stanton. Detroit, USA. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On leave from Brooklyn for a brief residency in Detroit, lately Stanton has been spending his time urban exploring 20th century American civilization by wandering through abandoned car manufacturing plants and old churches that have left to crumble, taking inspiration from both the orderly design and mechanical interplay observed in factories and the ornamentally inspirational language used in sacred houses of worship.

Environments and implied histories like these overlap in varied practices during his short career that includes oil paintings, murals, larger scale installations, stained glass, and multimedia. Back at his residency studio he is now trying his hand at the artful laying hand cut tile, glass, ceramic, brick, found materials and mortar. Mosaic work is next and you can see him applying his study of the century-spanning craft with the same meticulous attention to detail that earmarks his work elsewhere.

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Beau Stanton. Detroit, USA. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We were also exploring in Detroit recently and came upon a lone house painted by Stanton in a pavement gridded grassy field that once was a neighborhood. It is a common sight in modern Detroit, these remnants of a working class and middle class decimated by “free trade” and corporate greed. Entire neighborhoods now are barren and dotted with huge overgrown trees that were once in front yards, perhaps holding a swing or shading a couple of lawn chairs. Block after block one can see how livelihoods crumbled and burned to the ground – and now there is only the occasional house or church or small business still standing where once there was a community.

Painted during last years’ Murals in the Market festival, Stanton’s multi-sided mural uses vaguely familiar figures and ornamentation in eye-popping hues that suggest vibrant life is here again. The new construction of a house is made a beacon by his vision, a hopeful note that some think is a harbinger of the big D’s resurgent and budding future. Within it you may see allusions to Detroit’s Victorian architecture and mansions, ornamental gears of progress, rays of vision and inspiration. Of course, its all subjective.

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Beau Stanton. Detroit, USA. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We asked Beau about his house and his observations on Detroit during his time in the city right now.

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you find out about this cinder-block house?
Beau Stanton: Last year for the first Murals in the Market, the festival directors Roula David and Jesse Cory approached me to paint this house having known I’d been interested in doing a house intervention piece for a long time.  This was basically a dream scenario for me.

BSA: How do the designs you painted respond to the area around it?
Beau Stanton: The house is really visible from St. Aubin Street as one of the only remaining homes in a several block radius so I wanted to do something really bright and colorful that would make this weird little house appear renewed and re-occupied after being abandoned for almost a decade.  The images on the vertically oriented sides are both symbolic, a rendition of a classical bearded god figure crowned by historic Detroit architecture emerging from my usual mechanical wave patterns, and on the opposite side a tree with mostly bare branches with leaves starting to sprout as if coming into Spring.

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Beau Stanton. Detroit, USA. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: You are preparing for an upcoming show this fall, right? What will you be focusing on?
Beau Stanton: I am currently a resident at the Red Bull House of Art in Detroit’s Eastern Market, the three month residency culminates with a large exhibition in the on site gallery where I will be showing alongside the other two residents Coby Kennedy and Lala Abbadon.

I’m using this residency as an opportunity to try out some new techniques and installation ideas I’ve wanted to do for a while involving a lot of resources one can only find in Detroit.  The main focus of my work will be large scale mosaics that are composed of locally sourced glass, ceramic, brick, marble, and other materials that I’ve been finding mostly in abandoned factories.  I want the work to have Detroit DNA while also playing with ideas of urban archaeology, alternate past/future scenarios, and ultimately creating something beautiful from the remains of Detroit’s glorious past, while celebrating the renewal and sense of optimism that is really palpable here.

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Beau Stanton. Detroit, USA. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Often you have included mythical and/or nautical themes in your paintings. Did you have in mind the Detroit River or surrounding cityscape when conceptualizing this piece.
Beau Stanton: The main image of the head and crown incorporate about half a dozen historic homes from the nearby neighborhood of Brush Park.  Although most of these beautiful Victorian buildings are no longer around, a few of them have been recently restored to their original grandeur including the iconic Ransom Gillis house, one of my early Detroit obsessions.

BSA: How would you describe Detroit and the artist scene right now?
Beau Stanton: One of the first things I noticed on my first visit here several years ago was how supportive and tight knit the art scene is in Detroit.  When you come to this city, the abundance of space creates a sense that you can do or make anything, this can be intoxicating at first causing one to dream really big.  Eventually you come back to Earth but the essence of that feeling remains and I think that this is why you see such great work coming out of this city right now, both on the street and in the gallery.

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Beau Stanton. Detroit, USA. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Beau Stanton. Detroit, USA. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images of the Week 10.09.16

BSA Images of the Week 10.09.16

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Donald Trump didn’t change. Your “News” did.

Any New Yorker on the street can tell you that Donald Trump has always been this way – he hasn’t made a “secret” of it. We just called this stuff “tabloid news”, and tabloids were an exception. Now they nearly rule all public discourse.

Lowest-common-denominator “News” has produced a lowest-common-denominator candidate. He almost clinched the highest elected office. There is a trail of polarized destruction in the wake.

For over a year this profit-driven entertainment media actually created a cancerous candidate who gives them daily “clickable content” while they hold their noses and count the dollars. These people aren’t serving you, or democracy. We are all collectively debased – men and women, black and white, Mexican and Muslim, rich and poor, families, children, teachers, workers, nurses, doctors, cashiers, church people, atheists – as a result.

The GOP’s flirtation with starting and fanning racist bonfires over the past decade or so has finally swallowed it in flames, leaving it in smoking embers, their leaders completely covered with fecal matter, quieted and stunned. The reputation of the US around the world took a battering thanks to this tabloid news candidate as well. Traveling to Street Art events outside the US this year, invariably someone would shake us by the lapels and ask us what the hell was going on with this Trump guy?!.

In recognition of the woman-hating man who came dangerously close to the White House, here are a number of different women and girls by Street Artists creating in the public sphere at the moment, covering a range of styles, backgrounds, techniques and points of view.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Beast, Danielle Mastrion, Faile, finDAC, Jilly Ballistic, Kevin Lyons, Leticia Mondragora, LMNOPI, Marina Capdevila, Myth, Never Crew, Ouch, Shepard Fairey, Sipros, Slick, Spaik, Stray Ones, Taker, Who’s Dirk, and Zimer.

Our top image: FinDac (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. Detail. For The L.I.S.A. Project in The East Village. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. The L.I.S.A. Project in The East Village. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zimer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Danielle Mastrion and Lexi Bella collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Beast (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leticia Mandragora (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marina Capdevilla in Switzerland for Vision Art Festival. (photo © Marina Capdevila)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stray Ones. Catch him if you can! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ouch (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Taker for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Never Crew in Luzern, Switzerland for Viva Con Agua. (photo © Never Crew)

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Sipros for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jilly Ballistic. Palimpsest in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Sexual predator for USA President. How can you people defend him still? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. She is not perfect. She is also not crazy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Whos Dirk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Slick. Murals In The Market/1XRun 2016. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kevin Lyons. Murals In The Market/1XRun 2016. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Spaik. Sardegna in Italy. (photo © Spaik)

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Untitled. Subway dreams. NYC Subway. Manhattan, NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he tells me I’m an idiot because I trust scientists about climate change and that actually it is a hoax created by the Chinese.

Sorry, everything reminds us of Donald J. Trump and his outlandish claim for the presidency. Even when we are looking at the new Faile mural in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Love Me, Love Me Not.

The Greenest Point is an initiative that wants to raise awareness of Climate Change and three Street Artists have just completed two murals here in Brooklyn to support it. The organization says that they hope to gather “together people from different backgrounds, professions and skill-sets who are bonded by aligned values and a common vision.” By integrating Street Art with technology, film, sound and voice, they hope that we’ll be more capable of piecing together the climate change puzzle as a collective.

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t pretend to be scientists, but we trust the ones we have and we decided that this week we would dedicate BSA Images of the Week  just to this new project and this topic. We also know that it is now well-documented that tobacco companies fought us citizens with disinformation and legislative trickery for decades before they finally admitted that smoking was killing us and our families, so there is reason to believe that oil companies and related industries who flood our media and politicians with money are possibly buying time while we’re all heating up the atmosphere.

Here are new images of the two new murals in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn and an interview with the three artists who participated; Vexta, Askew, and long time Greenpoint studio residents, Faile.

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Faile: We feel it’s important to create work that can resonate with people on an emotional level. Something that we can live with everyday and that has a place in our lives that brings meaning to our experience. This is how we think people must learn to connect to climate change. It’s not something you can just think about, it’s something that you have to do everyday. It has to become part of you. We hope art has the power to be that wink and nod that you are on the right track. That the little things you do are meaningful and that change starts with you in the most simple of ways.

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Vexta and Askew. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Greenpoint has a history of blue collar communities who worked in factories producing goods for the both the merchant marine and the USA Navy. Those factories are all gone and only a few of the original settlers remain in the neighborhood such as the Polish community. How do you think the murals painted for the festival relate to them?
Vexta: Our collaborative mural hopefully offers a voice to people directly to people who will become a part of the history of Greenpoint and its legacy. We will have QR codes installed that link to video pieces that physically give Askew’s subjects a voice as well as linking to the birds calls and information about their situation.
Faile: We tried to be aware of the history of Greenpoint. The communities that make this neighborhood what it is. We tried to incorporate some nods to them through the work, specifically with the traditional Polish pattern in the socks. Unfortunately, Greenpoint is also home to some of the worst ecological disasters this country has ever experienced, the effects of which are still present. We wanted to bring something positive and something beautiful to the neighborhood that spoke to everyone. There are other historical murals in the neighborhood so it didn’t feel like it required another.

The neighborhood is also quickly changing. It’s home to many young families and has a vibrant creative class, not to mention our studio for the last 12 years. When creating an artwork in a public space, especially a park, there’s always that balance of trying to make something that people can connect with on a visceral, then psychological level in an immediate way–once that connection is made you hope they can dig a little deeper into the more subversive side of the meaning.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Faile:Whether you believe it or not there are basic things that people can do in their everyday lives to create a more beautiful environment around them. Picking up trash, recycling, being mindful that our resources are precious – none of these really imply that you have to have an opinion about climate change. Just the fact that we have a green space now in Transmitter Park is progress towards an environment that we can fall in love with.

We think that’s ultimately what the idea of Love Me, Love Me Not is asking. What kind of environment do you want? Do you want renewable green spaces that offer future generations beauty and room to reflect within nature? Or do you want to pave over the toxic soil and oil spills with the risk of repeating the past? If people can even ask themselves that question then we are at least engaging them into the dialogue where the seeds of action can be planted.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Vexta: For me as an artist it is the means that I have to talk about what I know to be important. Art also stands as this symbolic, most often visual, gesture that can bring people together, ignite debate and shine a light towards a new way of thinking that is perhaps still in the shadows of the mainstream. There is no more pressing issue right now than Climate Change.

There was a famous piece of graffiti up for a long time in my home city of Melbourne that read “No Jobs on a Dead Planet” in a beautiful font running down a power plant chimney. This work spurred my thinking back before I had begun making art professionally. That simple creative action out in public space was powerful and it spoke a simple truth and showed me that you can do a lot with a little. Art and art out in the streets is a great vehicle for talking about issues like climate change, because its a gesture in a shared space, it provides something to meditate on or think about that ultimately is a shared reality, this makes sense to me as climate change is a problem we need to work together to address.

Askew: I think that in particular art in the public space can be a very powerful way to put messaging on issues that matter right out in front of people who may not otherwise engage with it. Also an artist has the freedom to make the image captivating in a way that perhaps other platforms for speaking about serious issues don’t. People get bombarded with so much conflicting information every day especially via the mainstream media, art can put people in the contemplative space to engage differently.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: You have participated in at least one other art festival whose principal mission is to highlight the well being of our ecology and our planet. What would you say is unique characteristic of The Greenest Point that differentiates it from other festivals with equal goals?
Askew: Well I think this is different because it’s so focused on a specific place whereas the scope of other events I’ve painted look more generally at global issues. I think it’s great for communities to narrow their focus to directly around them to tackle very tangible local change. If every neighborhood did that globally, imagine the impact.
Vexta: I agree with Askew, What is special about The Greenest Point is that it’s very locally based yet has a global focus. The Greenest Point has brought so many different parts of our local community together, from creatives to government to business. It has shown us that people in our neighborhood really care about Climate Change.

BSA: Your collaborative mural with Askew represents the current and future generations of children. What do you think is the principal message to send to the children so they are more aware of the problems facing our planet?
Vexta: My mural with Askew represents a coming together of numerous ideas. The future belongs to the youth and the world’s children will be the ones most impacted by Climate Change. I think they are really aware of this problem and it’s a very scary prospect. Our mural brought together not only representations of young people but also birds found in the NY state area that are currently climate threatened & endangered (according to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report) as well as icebergs made of my shapes that represent the particles that make up all matter.

I would hope that we can inspire them to feel empowered to make small changes that they see as being possible whilst also acknowledging that all the other parts of our world – the birds, animals, water, air and land are just as important as they are. We are all in this together.

Askew: For me personally, celebrating young local people who are giving their time to make change in Greenpoint around sustainability and community-building issues is immediately inspiring to other young people.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Askew: Everything we do has impact, positive and negative – that’s the duality we deal with inhabiting this space. It’s a closed system, resources are finite and so we must respect them and do our best to live in harmony with this earth that supports us and live peacefully amongst each other and the various other creatures we share this planet with. No one thing is going to make pivotal change but everyone being mindful and keeping the conversation and action going is what will make a difference.

Our special thanks to the team at The Greenest Point and to the artists for sharing their time and talent with BSA readers.

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One image from this week by Street Artist Sipros depicts Climate-Change-denying Donald Trump as the character The Joker, from the Batman movies. A frightening piece of political satire, or perhaps propaganda, depending on who you talk to. Mana Urban Art Projects. Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Lincoln Street Art Park. Detroit, Michigan. Septiembre 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon’s “Thalassa” Rises at DIA Detroit; Gallery Show, Mural to Come

Swoon’s “Thalassa” Rises at DIA Detroit; Gallery Show, Mural to Come

Emerging from the clouded seas in the wake of the BP Oil spill of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, the sea deity Thalassa first rose in the New Orleans Museum of Art in the summer of 2011.  Street Artist Swoon remembers the disaster and her response to the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“She came from the gulf oil spill – even though she’s one of those pieces that people think of as being so optimistic.” The street artist eventually did find it optimistic as well, but the devastation of the air, water, sand, animal life and people’s individual economics was a lot to bear. “I am an Ocean baby,” she says of her upbringing on Daytona Beach.

“I am a Florida kid and an ocean person – and it was such an intensely emotional event for everyone. So when they asked me to do a piece I was only thinking about the ocean and so Thalassa came out of that.” Of course it wasn’t only in the museum – Thelassa also appeared wheat-pasted on the street and became a part of the family of recurring characters in other artworks and shows.

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This week, four years after Thalassa’s initial debut into museum life and public life, she takes up residence at The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA Detroit) and already the lobby of this main entrance has been clogged with skyward looking guests, many of them seeing Swoons’ work for the first time.

Here it does feel celebratory, with the cloud of paper, mylar and fabric ephemera buffeting in the wake of the mother of all sea creatures.

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Swoon at work making Thalassa’s dress. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here at the Woodward Avenue entrance Detroit visitors are feeling hopeful as well, with plans for the new rapid transit line just outside the museum, past Rodin’s “The Thinker”. Inside as well the DIA’s new director Salvador Salort-Pons is said to be breathing new life into this huge encyclopedic institution, with new acquisitions from artists like Mickelene Thomas and an upcoming rocking exhibit into which Detroit native Jack White figures prominently.

As Detroit is pushing itself to rise from economic devastation, Thalassa and her quick 20 foot tall elevation at the entrance are perhaps symbols of artists at the forefront of recovery. How apt that an artist from the street is representing new generations from inside the museum, using a regenerative symbol that speaks of our ecological systems and our responsibility to protect, not simply ravage, the Earth and the seas.

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a bosom of sea creatures and a curvaceous series of lines that undulate and ripple outward, Thalassa is on view until next March. While here in Detroit Swoon is preparing for a new show at DIA patron Anthony Curis’s gallery downtown on October 8th at The Library Collective.

The two indoor exhibits will be accompanied by a community mural project in Detroit’s Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood, and the artist herself is speaking at the museum this Saturday.

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress.  An assistant helps with Thalassa’s dress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. An assistant helps with the installation. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. An assistant helps with the installation. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon at work on Thalassa’s installation. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. “Thalassa” Installation in progress. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Swoon’s Thalassa will be on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) Woodward Ave. Lobby from Saturday, Sept. 24 through March 19, 2017. Additionally the artist will hold an artist lecture at DIA at 1:00 pm on October 1st. The talk is free with museum admission. Click HERE for more information.

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.25.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.25.16

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We spent one whole week in Detroit, Michigan as guests of the good people who present the Murals In The Market , 1xRUN and the Inner State Gallery. We scratched the surface.

Our selections for this week’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week are harvested from Detroit streets and rooftops and hidden little spots – the murals painted for this year’s edition of  Murals In The Market, those are coming later on. Enjoy.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 907 Crew, Aryz, Avoid, Birdo, Dark Clouds, Droid, Ghostbeard, How & Nosm, Jarus, Kuma, Miss Van, NGC, Ouizi, Patch Whisky, Shepard Fairey, Smells, UFO, Vhils.

Our top image: Droid 907 with their original hybrid of fire extinguisher and outlining. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vhils for Libray Street Collective. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Van for Murals In The Market 2015. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ouizi for Murals In The Market 2015. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. Detail. Library Street Collective. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey and How & Nosm. Library Street Collective. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ARYZ. Library Street Collective. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KUMA. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KUMA. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A typical graffiti smorgasbord in an abandoned building in Detroit, Michigan. Multiply this snapshot by 5,000. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jarus. Murals In The Market 2015. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Birdo. Murals In The Market 2015. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Patch Whisky . Ghostbeard. Murals In The Market 2015. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AVOID NGC. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smells . UFO 907. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dark Clouds. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Uknown. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Detroit, Michigan. September 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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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DETROIT: Murals In The Market. Dispatch 2 with Lauren YS, Cey Adams, Dalek, Taylor White

DETROIT: Murals In The Market. Dispatch 2 with Lauren YS, Cey Adams, Dalek, Taylor White

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This week BSA is in Detroit with our hosts 1XRun for the Murals in the Market festival they are hosting with 50+ artists from various countries and disciplines and creative trajectories. In a city trying to rise from the economic and post-industrial ashes it is often the dynamic grassroots energy and vision of artists that sets the tone for how the community evolves.

“I have been painting a lot of moths lately because as I am a gypsy myself ,” says Lauren YS as she contemplates the wingspan of the enormous insect she’s creating for Murals in the Market. She says that she has learned alot about the Eastern Market since she has been here and the importance of the organic foods that it brings to the community – which naturally reminds her of moths. The underrated winged creatures actually protect crops, she says, and she feels more akin to them than butterflies.

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Lauren YS at work on her mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Originally from Oakland, California, she talks about the importance of the market and the local foods and the fact that moths protect crops and they eat other pests.

“I am so obsessed with them right now both ideal logically and aesthetically because there are so many that are so gorgeous and they’re really beautiful in a way that is much more badass in a way than butterflies are.” Badass and perhaps better suited for the dark pop fantasy surrealism in many of her characters and complex compositions. Also, they are  “a little more my style – they are transitory creatures just like that always moving and they are awake at night like I am.”

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Lauren YS sketch for her mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ouizi collaborates with Lauren YZ mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Taylor White at work on her mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Taylor white and Dalek are working along a busy high trafficked noisy sidestreet but they have their trays of bucket paint carefully laid out on the sidewalk in a dazzling pattern that is as interesting as any mural. Two distinct different styles – his geometric and optically beguiling in the choices of pattern and colorplay – her’s organically figurative and fluid – are coming together at least with their shared pallette thus far.

Driving up from Alabama with a friend, White says that she likes the contrasts in styles because it helps her understand both better. “I think it’s kind of a fun challenge to work collaboratively with someone whose work is different. We have to figure out the best way to marry the two styles.” Typically interested in the figurative and the natural world, White is working now with two hands and two forearms working in concert.

“Most of my work right now is figurative and I’m really interested in how forms move through space and connect with one another,” she says.  “I really like how the flatness of his work really and enhances the organic qualities of my work and vice versa.”

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Dalek at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jeremiah Britton at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jeremiah Britton at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Saunders at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marka27 at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sydney G. James and Tylonn Sawyer at work on their mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As part of the Murals in the Market fest there was a barbershop talk with top designers who have made names for themselves in the hip hop and advertising business – Cey Adams and Kevin Lyons. The one hour talk in Innerstate Gallery featured barbers actually cutting their hair while they free associated about their careers and gave advice to artists and the next generation.

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Shop talk with Cey Adams & Kevin Lyons with The Social Club. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Somehow the young people today are strangely more talented than even the generation before,” said Mr. Adams at one point when reflecting on the current Street Art scene that has far diverged from the graffiti roots that he laid. “I don’t understand how they do some of the things that they do they are absolutely brilliant.”

When giving advice he reiterated many times the importance of doing your research, asking, questions, and working and hustling. I think the future is really great if they can sort of understand it in time all things are possible they just have to be patient.”

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DETROIT: Murals In The Market. Dispatch 1

DETROIT: Murals In The Market. Dispatch 1

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This week BSA is in Detroit with our hosts 1XRun for the Murals in the Market festival they are hosting with 50+ artists from various countries and disciplines and creative trajectories. In a city trying to rise from the economic and post-industrial ashes it is often the dynamic grassroots energy and vision of artists that sets the tone for how the community evolves.

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A Detroit lion taking form thanks to Atlanta’s Greg Mike at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This market place is known for its local based foods and community based Detroit roots. We’re getting rides in cars at the moment – it is Detroit after all – but the best way to see the murals is on foot. Of course you may discover that there are some cutty little behind the scenes organic graffiti and Street Art spots too and this city has a lot of those as well.

Also, football fans – an ocean of them having “tailgate” parties in parking lots not far from the stadium before, during, and after the actual game. An organic practice born from the counter culture with hippies and rock bands back in the 60s and 70s, the “tailgating” of today is full-blown commodified excess with tents, chairs, flatscreen TVs, and beer. Lots of beer.

The wiley, quirky artists painting walls in the Eastern Market were inundated yesterday with these fans in team jerseys looking for parking spots and mural fans following maps and snapping pictures, and guys asking for a loosie or a light. Between the clubs/cafes, the sports fans, motorcyclists, custom bike tours, and pop-up djs hanging with the artists-the neighborhood was thumping with and aural menagerie of classic rock, funkadelic, hip-hop, and many slices of dance/techno throughout the day into the night.

Here a just a few of the artists at work whom we caught in the late summer Detroit sun.

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Greg Mike at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Greg Mike is getting to work on the facade of a factory-like abandoned, now refurbishing, building that is jammed with organic graffiti inside. He came from a design background and says he grew up loving old-school cartoons like Ren & Stimpy and 1960s Disney characters. “All of that stuff inspires me and I like to mix it up and kind of mash them together,” he says.

Aside from being the symbol of the Detroit football team, the lion figures into his piece because it reminds him of his iconic personal character “Larry Loudmouth”.

“The lion is the loudest animal in the kingdom … I have him speaking the language of love because it is all about living life loud but being positive with the message of love – not just being angry, you know what I mean? There’s a lot of angry people out here.”

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Gregg Mike at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Mike at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sheryo at work on a tattoo inside The Yok and Sheryo’s Ping Pong Auto Shack” at the headquarters. That girl is a machine! Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Felipe Pantone at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Felipe Pantone at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Valencia-based, Buenos Aires-born Felipe Pantone is knocking out a lateral slice of optic/ hallucinatory muralage in the heart of the Market across the street from Patch Whisky and Ghost Head’s new piece.

He usually works on walls that are taller and thinner perhaps, but he says he’s throwing himself into it by assessing it’s character and shape and creating a new mural in the moment.

“Yeah I’m used to working with every kind of format.
Every time you have to think of something specifically for the work. I didn’t bring anything from home – I saw the wall and sat across the street and looked at it for a while so I made this design that hopefully works.”

Is he a little unsure of how it is going to work, but he’s not worried about it.

“Uncertainty is the very essence of romance,” he says here on the sidewalk that is broken up and erupting. “That’s Oscar Wilde don’t give me the credit! But even when you don’t know what’s happening that still is what makes it fun.”

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Mr. Jago at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Jago is collaborating with Xenz on a wall and the music on this block it loud – a guy with a big grey beard and big belly just rode past blasting Foghat’s “Slow Ride,” effectively cancelling all conversation and even thoughts for a minute. Mr. Jago is himself nursing a sore shoulder, torso, head, and broken glasses from an unfortunate spill off a motorcycle recently. He moves limberly nonetheless, and keeps backing up into the traffic jam on the street, standing between cars to get some distance on his emerging composition.

“We’re going to slowly build it up I think and to add more of each other’s signature colors so they Marry,” he says of the celestial miasma emerging from the wall. He says that he and Xenz will begin with two large separate characters. “We will surround them with this sort of universe of gases and floating islands and his signature of insects and birds and make it a kind of nice place that doesn’t exist in this world.”

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Pat Perry’s mural in progress. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Detroits’ Pat Perry is taking a huge wall to address a huge issue bigger than Detroit, yet firmly rooted in its history as a car producing capital of the oil-burning 20th century. Even though it was trade agreements that turned much of this city into a shadow of that former muscular self, Perry is also looking hopefully to the end of the fossil-fuel age which is represented here by a marching band that reaches and arc and then declines.

“It’s like a timeline of the end of one chapter a humorous last celebration of the oil age,” he says.” This is kind of a look into the eight ball of the futuristic city of Detroit”

An illustrator for magazines and online publications, he says he is really a painter who has been doing a lot of landscapes lately. Painting with aerosol is not usual for him.

“I kind of don’t like the look of spray paint and I’m trying to make it feel more painterly I think if I had endless time I would try to make this all bucket paint. But I’m learning to work with this medium – like doing the big areas with bucket paint and doing small areas with line work but trying not to have the line look so huge and thick.”

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Patch Whisky at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Patch Whisky fashions. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’m from Charleston South Carolina and my buddy ghost beard lives up here so I’ve been coming here for some years now,” says Patch Whisky as we stand under a temporary tent on the street by his wall to hide from the midday sun.

His second year at Murals in the Market, Patch says the two are college buddies from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh 16 years ago and they have always had affinities for similar cultural references.

“Stylistically we are both cartoon dudes and we grew up watching those Bugs Bunny cartoons – so we both come from the same love of those characters that we grew up with.”

How would he describe his work?

“Colorful, playful, whimsical, creepy, silly.”

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Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

 

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Roland Henry and Shark Toof : 15 For 2015

Roland Henry and Shark Toof : 15 For 2015

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What are you celebrating this season? We’re celebrating BSA readers and fans with a holiday assorted chocolate box of 15 of the smartest and tastiest people we know. Each day until the new year we ask a guest to take a moment to reflect on 2015 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and saying ‘thank you’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Roland Henry is the managing editor and a journalist for VNA (Very Nearly Almost), the UK-based independent magazine which features interviews with some of the world’s top artists, illustrators and photographers from the urban art scene since 2006. Mr. Henry’s in-depth studies and interviews with artists are warmly informative and revelatory, presenting fresh perspectives on a complex scene that is always in flux. Studied in Sociology and English Roland is multi-disciplinary—curator, producer, actor — building an expanding network of respect among artists and brands in cities like London, Sydney, New York, Los Angeles, and Detroit.


Detroit, MI, USA
September 2015
Title: “Shark Toof”
Photograph by Roland Henry

I love this image, not only because I didn’t fuck it up and it’s actually a cool shot, but because of what it represents. The 1xRUN guys brought me over to Detroit in September for their Murals in the Market festival, which embodied everything good about art for me right now – travel, meeting awesome new people, sharing stories, making new ones and creating an amazing international community. In these times of war, love, peace and understanding are the things that will bring us all together.

~ Roland Henry

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HDL “American Gothic” and “Walden” on Michigan Barns

The corporate art project known as hygienic dress league (HDL) has discovered the great rural iconic barn side as billboard and has started to mess with it. For years the providence of Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Jesus, and Dr. Pierce’s liver pills, the big red barn on the side of the road has been a place for country folk to receive large scale entreaties as they amble by. The Detroit-based artists who comprise HDL don’t as much twist this traditional mode of advertising as meld it into an artwork that aims to claim new mindshare in the dawning age of Big Data.

Hygienic Dress League. Port Austin, Michigan 2013. (photo © Hygienic Dress League)

In this newly completed installation among the waving grasses of rural Michigan, one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art is repositioned as ironic Street Art blending pop culture, consumerism, and a hand painted insidious advertising slickness. Is it appropriate or contextual for the audience or germane to their daily existence? Is that really the point?

Ultimately, this barnside gothic may be sticking a pitchfork into the globalist high speed lust for bling, even as we witness the ever yawning chasm between winners and losers, the poisoning of air and water, and the rapid consolidation of all methods of food production. Neighbor, forget about barn raising, how about hair raising?

Hygienic Dress League. Port Austin, Michigan 2013. (photo © Hygienic Dress League)

Stripping the manipulative nature of advertising from the actual connection to selling a product, the cow country billboard here merely grabs your attention and you reflexively look for your instruction to purchase. But it doesn’t come. HDL doesn’t manufacture any product or service and there are no wars to sell at the moment.

Says Steve Coy, one half of the duo, “HDL is inspired by commercialism and corporatism, and its relationship to pop-culture, identity, and fashion,” while discussing this newest interpretation of Grant Wood’s American Gothic. “Inherently, questions of value, social status, consumption, corporate values, and post-industrialism often arise,” he reflects.

Hygienic Dress League. Port Austin, Michigan 2013. (photo © Hygienic Dress League)

A second barnside piece by HDL here is more poetic, more reverie, more leaves of grass. Or rather, “Walden” by the writer, transcendentalist, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau. The accompanying video made during the production of this piece quotes an excerpt from that book, creating a meditation for the installation.

Hygienic Dress League. Port Austin, Michigan 2013. (photo © Hygienic Dress League)

Hygienic Dress League. Port Austin, Michigan 2013. (photo © Hygienic Dress League)

Hygienic Dress League. Port Austin, Michigan 2013. (photo © Hygienic Dress League)

 

HDL would like to thank the Boyle family and Ziel family for lending their barns to this project.

DETROIT PORT AUSTIN

“A poetic short film featuring Detroit artists Hygienic Dress League as they install work in Port Austin, Michigan.”

 

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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 was also published on The Huffington Post

 

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Library Street Collective Presents: Revok “Ordinary Things” (Detroit, Michigan)

Revok

Please join us in Detroit, Michigan this Friday, November 2, 2012 for

REVOK: ORDINARY THINGS

Library Street Collective

1260 Library Street in downtown Detroit, MI. 48226

313.600.7443 / www.lscgallery.com

The artist reception will take place on Friday, November 2 from 810pm.

Never in the history of art has a new genre become so adventurous, honest and powerful in such a short time.  The artist REVOK sits at the forefront of this movement.  His dedication, skill and determination have garnered him the respect and adoration of his peers.  His meticulous attention to detail and willingness to step outside of the lines and his comfort zone not only make him a rebel, but a leader, a pathfinder and a trailblazer in the graffiti art world.  Now as a fine artist, REVOK does this with grace and craftsmanship. Rearranging the memories, messages, words, warnings, colors and textures into coherent patterns with an honest and meaningful message. 

These most recent works by REVOK are of particular importance for the city we call home, the city adopted by this artist. Each work consists of material cultivated and cultured in the city of Detroit. Each piece masterfully placed  among  its neighbors to tell a story of growth, inspiration and triumph. Each piece displaced from an urban tomb and certain death, given new life in a work of art that reminds us, exactly how beautiful this city is.  It signifies a rebirth of rebirth, a preservation of decay, encapsulating time and propelling it into a new age.

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