All posts tagged: Momo

BSA HOT LIST 2021: Books For Your Gift Giving

BSA HOT LIST 2021: Books For Your Gift Giving

It’s that time of the year again! BSA has been publishing our “Hot Lists” and best-of collections for more than 11 years every December.

Our interests and understanding and network of connections continued to spread far afield this year, and you probably can tell it just by the books we featured: stickers, illustration, murals, copyright law, a cross-country spraycation, anamorphic street installation, Hip-Hop photography, graffiti writers community, and a lockdown project that kept an artists sanity.

So here is a short list from 2021 that you may enjoy as well – just in case you would like to give them as gifts to family, friends, or even to yourself.

Leon Keer: “Break Glass In Case Of Lost Childhood”

From BSA:

One of the challenges in creating a book about anamorphic art is presenting images that tell the viewer that they are being tricked by perspective yet hold onto the magic that this unique art conjures in people who walk by it on the street.

In a way, that brass skeleton key that allows entry into another world is precisely what Dutch pop-surrealist artist Leon Keer has been seeking for decades to evoke in viewers’ heads and hearts. Some would argue he is preeminently such; certainly, he is the wizard whose work on walls and streets has triggered memories for thousands of children and ex-children of the fantastic worlds they have visited.

“You develop your senses all your life. Through what you experience, you involve affinities and aversions,” he says in his first comprehensive bound collection of gorgeous plates entitled In Case of Lost Childhood Break Glass. “Your memories shape the way you look at the world. When it comes to reflecting my thoughts, my memories are key. I needed to feel some kind of affection or remorse towards the object or situation I want to paint.”

Leon Keer. “Break Glass In Case Of Lost Childhood”. Published by Lannoo Publishers, Belgium, 2020

Street Art Today 2 by Bjorn Van Poucke: An Update on 50 “Most Relevant” Artists

From BSA:

A worthy companion to the original tome, Bjørn Van Poucke and Lanoo publishers extend the hitlist of favored muralists that he & Elise Luong began in Street art/ Today 1 – and the collection is updated perhaps with the perceived cultural capital many of these artists have garnered since then.

Replete with full-color plates from the artists’ own collections and garnished with brief overviews of their histories, creative background, and philosophies, the well-designed and modern layout functions as an introduction for those unfamiliar with the wide variety of artworks that are currently spread across city walls as large scale opus artworks in public space. As organizer and curator of The Crystal Ship mural festival in Oostende, Belgium, Mr. Van Poucke has had his pick of the litter and has showcased them during the late twenty-teens.

Street Art Today 2: The 50 most influential street artists working today. By Bjorn Van Poucke. Published by Lannoo Publishers, Belgium.

WAONE Opens Monochrome “Worlds Of Phantasmagoria”

From BSA:

A new illustrated tome capturing the black and white work of one-half of Ukraine’s mural painting duo Interesni Kazki welcomes you into the past wonders and future imaginings of a world framed in “Phantasmagoria.”

Full of monochromatic fantasies at least partially inspired by the worlds unleashed by Belgian inventor and physicist Étienne-Gaspard “Robertson” Robert, Waone’s own interior expanding fantascope of miss-appended demons, dragon slayers, riddle-speaking botanicals, and mythological heroes may borrow as deeply from his father’s Soviet natural science magazines that brimmed with hand-painted illustrations – which served as his education and entertainment as a child.

This book, the first of two volumes of graphic works, explores Waone’s move from the street into the studio, from full color into black and white, from aerosol and brush to etching, lithography, augmented reality, and sculpting.

“Worlds Of Phantasmagoria” By WAONE Interesni Kazki. Vol. 1. Graphic Works 2013-2020. Wawe Publishers.

“Closed (In) for Inventory”: FKDL Makes the Most of His Confinement, 10 Items at a Time

From BSA:

The world is slowly making movements toward the door as if to go outside and begin living again in a manner to which we had been accustomed before COVID made many of us become shut-ins. Parisian street artist FKDL was no exception, afraid for his health. However, he does have a very attractively feathered nest, so he made the best of his time creating.

“March 17, 2020, the unprecedented experience of confinement begins in France,” writes Camille Berthelot in the introduction to Closed (in) for Inventory, “Time that usually goes so fast turns into a space of freedom, and everyone has the leisure or the obligation to devote himself to the unexpected.”

FKDL quickly began a project daily, sorting and assembling 10 items and photographing them. He posted them to his Instagram by mid-day. Eventually, he saved the photographed compositions together and created this book.  

“My duty of tidying up and sorting out turned into a daily challenge. I dove like a child into the big toybox my apartment is to select and share my strange objects, my banalities, my memories, my creations, and those of others,” he writes. “I gather these treasures, valuables or not, in search of harmony of subject, forms, materials, and nuances.”

(EN)FERME POUR INVENTAIRE by Les Editions Franck Duval. Paris, France.

“Unsmashed” A Street Art Sticker “Field Guide”

From BSA:

The street sticker, be it ever so humble and diminutive, is profligate and sometimes even inspiring. An amalgamated scene that is anonymous, yet curiously stuck together, the organizers and sponsors of so-called sticker jams have been overwhelmed in recent years by thousands of participants.

Artist and organizer IWILLNOT has compiled, organized, archived, and preserved this collection as a ‘field guide,’ he says, and another artist named Cheer Up has laid out page after page. It is a global cross-sample from 60 countries and a thousand artists – a treasure trove of the witty, insightful, snotty, and sometimes antisocial street bards of the moment, seizing their moment to speak and mark territory.

UNSMASHED: A Street Art Sticker Field Guide. Compiled by IWILLNOT, Designed by Cheer Up. A Collection of 1,229 full color sticker designs by 1,000 artists from more than 60 countries. Published by IWLLNOT and Cheer Up. December 2020.

MOMO Leaves His “Parting Line”

From BSA:

A year after its close, we open the book on American street artist MOMO’s new book chronicling the exhibition “Parting Line.” Writing about and covering his work for 15 years or so, we’re always pleased to see where his path has led – never surprised but always pleased with his evolution of decoding the lines, textures, practices, serendipity of discoveries unearthed by this wandering interrogator.

Here, along the river Seine banks, we see his exhibition for the still young Hangar 107, the recently inaugurated Center For Contemporary Art in Rouen, France. While we think of his work in New York in the 2000s, we see the steady progression here – his cloud washes, raking patterns, his experimental, experiential zeal. This is the spirit of DIY that we first fell in love with, the lust for uncovering and the desire for making marks unlike others across the cityscape, quizzically folding and unfolding, pulling the string, drawing the line.

MOMO “Parting Line”. Hangar 107. Edited by Christian Omodeo – Le Grand Ju. Published by Hangar 107. Rouen, France. 2020.

“Born In The Bronx” Expanded: Joe Conzo’s Intuitive Eye on Early Hip Hop

From BSA:

Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop

Yes, Yes, Y’all, it’s been a decade since this volume, “Born in the Bronx,” was released. The images here by photographer Joe Conzo seem even more deeply soaked in the amber light of early Hip Hop culture from the late 1970s and early 80s, now taking on a deepened sense of the historical.

As the city and the original players of this story have evolved through the decades that followed the nascent Hip Hop era, it’s clearer than ever that this was nothing less than a full-force eruption, a revelation that cracked and shook and rocket-fueled an entire culture. Thanks to Conzo it was captured and preserved, not likely to be repeated.

Born in the Bronx is full of gems, insider observations, interviews, and personal hand-drawn artworks. One critical cornerstone is a timeline from Jeff Chang that begins in 1963 as the boastful but failed Urban Planner Robert Moses constructed the Cross Bronx Expressway – painfully destroying and displacing people and families, severing culturally significant, vibrant areas of the borough and producing a dangerous malaise.

BORN IN THE BRONX: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop. Expanded edition published in 2020 by 1xRUN with support from ROCK THE BELLS & BEYOND THE STREETS. Detroit, MI. 2020.

Enrico Bonadio: Protecting Art in the Street

From BSA:

Enrico Bonadio is a contributor to BSA Writer’s Bench OpEd column, he is a Reader in Intellectual Property Law at City, University of London, and a street and graffiti art aficionado. His current research agenda focuses on the legal protection of non-conventional forms of creativity. He recently edited the Cambridge Handbook of Copyright in Street Art and Graffiti (Cambridge University Press 2019) and Non-Conventional Copyright – Do New and Atypical Works Deserve Protection? (Elgar 2018). He is currently working on his monograph Penetration of Copyright into Street Art and Graffiti Sub-Cultures (Brill, expected 2022).

Enrico is a Member of the Editorial Board of the NUART Journal, which publishes provocative and critical writings on a range of topics relating to street art practice and urban art cultures.

His academic research has been covered by CNN, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, BBC, Washington Post, The New York Times, Financial Times. Reuters, The Guardian, The Times, Independent, and The Conversation, amongst other media outlets.

Enrico’s current title is Protecting Art in the Street: A Guide to Copyright in Street Art and Graffiti (Dokument Press), with a foreword by Zephyr

A “Gentle People” Aussie Tour: Paint, Fun, and Run with 1UP & Olf

From BSA:

It’s almost sublimely subversive to publish your illegal graffiti escapades in a handsomely bound photo book with creamy paper stock and gauzy, professional photos. Positioned as a travelogue across the great Australian continent (complete with a hand-drawn map), the international troupe of sprayers named 1UP from Germany provides a genteel accounting of their expansive itinerary in a diary here for you, dear reader.

The stories are not without surprise and carefully touch on all the necessary road trip tropes you may wish for but cannot be assured of in a cross-country graffiti tale of skylarking and aesthetic destruction: angry rural police, security cameras, sleeping in rolled-up carpets, fancy receptions with Aperol Spritz, climbing over fences, sudden fire extinguisher tags, exploding paint cans, smoky wildfires, beaches, wallabies, long never-ending-stretches of road, the Sydney Harbor, an emergency-brake whole-car in Melbourne, and yes, a large kangaroo smashing into your car on a darkened country path.


“Nation Of Graffiti Artists” Opens Another Chapter of NYC Writer History

From BSA:

SCORPIO, BLOOD TEA, ALI, STAN 153, SAL 161, CLIFF 159. It was the mid to late 70s in New York and train writing was in its foundational stages, later to be referred to as legendary. For a modest crew of teenagers, it was the hypest stage you could be on, and going all city constructed many dreams of fame and recognition on the street.

Jack Pelsinger wanted to help shepherd these talents and energies into something they could develop into a future, maybe a profession. With a lease on a storefront from the city for a dollar in 1974, he made way for the Nation of Graffiti Artists (NOGA). An artists workshop and haven for a creative community that was regularly sidelined or overlooked, the author of this new volume, Chris Pape (acclaimed OG Freedom), says “Like moths drawn to a light, the kids showed up, hundreds of them.”

With extraordinary photos shot by Michael Lawrence, the book serves as a true document for the New York of that moment and opens doors to a chapter of graffiti history you may not even have known of until now.


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MOMO Leaves His “Parting Line”

MOMO Leaves His “Parting Line”

A year after its close, we open the book on American street artist MOMO’s new book chronicling the exhibition “Parting Line.” Writing about and covering his work for 15 years or so, we’re always pleased to see where his path has led – never surprised but always pleased with his evolution of decoding the lines, textures, practices, serendipity of discoveries unearthed by this wandering interrogator.

Here, along the river Seine banks, we see his exhibition for the still young Hangar 107, the recently inaugurated Center For Contemporary Art in Rouen, France. While we think of his work in New York in the 2000s, we see the steady progression here – his cloud washes, raking patterns, his experimental, experiential zeal. This is the spirit of DIY that we first fell in love with, the lust for uncovering and desire for making marks unlike others across the cityscape, quizzically folding and unfolding, pulling the string, drawing the line.

In this svelte purple rose volume, his work is captured. More importantly, we can see a sliver of the joy that he applies his entire being to the art of discovery with.

Edited by Christian Omodeo, “Parting Line” contains texts by Tilt, El Tono, Vittorio Parisi, and an interview with and by Swoon.

MOMO “Parting Line”. Hangar 107. Edited by Christian Omodeo – Le Grand Ju. Published by Hangar 107. Rouen, France. 2020.

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BSA Film Friday: 01.19.18

BSA Film Friday: 01.19.18


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

Now screening :
1. While They Seek Solutions” by Vegan Flava
2. The Brooklyn Burrow: Episode 1. Iena Cruz
3. MOMO: A (brief) tour of the nomadic artist’s New Orleans Studio
4. 167 Art Project – Lecce, Italy.


BSA Special Feature: “While They Seek Solutions” by Vegan Flava

“The speed of ruin is just something else,” says Street Artist Vegan Flava, and it’s an exasperating realization. Extrapolated to thinking about the enormous war industry, and there is such a thing, you realize that pouring money year after year into ever more sophisticated and destructive weaponry only results in broken bridges, buildings, water systems, vital infrastructure, lives.

Construction, on the other hand, can be arduous and time consuming, takes vision, planning, collaboration, and fortitude. Like great societies.

How quickly they can be eroded, destroyed.

But since Vegan Flava is creating during this destructive enterprise, you get a glimpse into his creativity, and sense of humor. Similarly the psychographics of this story and how it is told reveal insights into the artist and larger themes.

“A drawing, an idea on a piece of paper, can swiftly grow into something larger, thoughts and actions leading to the next. But creating something is never as fast as to tear it to pieces. The speed of ruin is just something else,” he says.


The Brooklyn Burrow: Episode 1. Iena Cruz

“I don’t have a limitation on techniques,” says Iena Cruz in this new video of a series documenting the current Brooklyn scene. We’ve seen the artist changing his style gradually in shows and on the street for about five years now, and his curiosity for discovery is part of what defines his style- along with his color palette perhaps. Here director Brad Ford and Owly team document the creation and on-street reactions to Cruz’ 3-D version of the Stay Puft man from Ghostbusters.

MOMO: A (brief) tour of the nomadic artist’s New Orleans Studio

“I arrive with my best possible idea,” says MOMO, “and I hope people like it”. First seen here in Brooklyn and Manhattan a decade ago, the bright fire of MOMO’s mind continues to burn through technical and abstract experimentation on the street. Here he lends his talent to a brand for a commercial gig in a nicely filmed brief interview.

167 Art Project – Lecce, Italy.

Scenes from an Italian neighborhood here as the community mural project 167 Art brings Artez, Mantra, Bifido&Julieta XLF, and Chekos’art to create high quality compositions to a curious and appreciative audience. The technical skill, pacing, music, and video flourishes compliment the story – which necessarily is the people of the neighborhood and the artists laboring talents.


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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.07.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.07.16



Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring ABOVE, City Kitty, Corn79, Crisp, D7606, Damien Mitchell, Dee Dee, EC13, Gregos, Hiss, Homo Riot, Imamaker, Invader, Mark Jenkins, MOMO, Olek, OneArt, Savior El Mundo, Stik, Wing, and Zimad.

Our top image: Stik for The L.I.S.A. Project. July 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Olek new installation in Avesta, Sweden. August 2016. (photo © OLEK)

We first called her the Christo of Street Art a number of years ago, and this latest project seems to finally confirm it. Olek created a two part installation for the Verket Museum in Avesta – in short it is about destruction and rebuilding. Above is the latest picture of the house she mounted the installation within – wrapped in meters and meters of pink crochet.

“Our pink house is about the journey, not just about the artwork itself.  It’s about us coming together as a community.  It’s about helping each other.  In the small Swedish community of Avesta we proved that we are stronger together, that we can make anything happen together.  People from all walks of life came together to make this project possible.  Someone donated the house, another one fixed the electricity and Red Heart Yarns donated the materials.  The of course, most importantly, many women joined us in the effort to make my dream a reality.

After I exploded the house I wanted to create a positive ending for them as a symbol of a brighter future for all people, especially the ones who have been displaced against their own wills.  Women have the ability to recreate themselves.  No matter how low life might bring us, we can get back on our feet and start anew.

We can show everybody that women can build houses, women can make homes. “


Gregos (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mark Jenkins in Montreal. July 2016. (photo © Andre Pace)


Mark Jenkins in Montreal. July 2016. (photo © Andre Pace)


MOMO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tavar Zawacki AKA ABOVE (Invader on top) for The L.I.S.A. Project in Manhattan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Corn79 in Mantova, Italy for Without Frontiers. July 2016. (photo © Corny79)


OneArt (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)


HISS (photo © Jaime Rojo)


HISS (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Zimad in collaboration with Damien Mitchell. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Wing (photo © Jaime Rojo)


City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)


City Kitty in collaboration with D7606. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Homo Riot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Savior El Mundo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EC13 in Granda, Spain. August 2016. (photo © EC13)


Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Imamaker (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Crisp (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Speaking of the Constitution. Wall Street. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

Murals hold their own place onstage in public space today for a variety of reasons that we discuss regularly on BSA. From grassroots and public, to private and corporate, we have watched the genre professionalize as Street Art festivals and other initiatives are often coupling artists with brands and are selling canvasses through the organizers galleries. Today we have the first of a promised four-part book series by Art Whino gallerist and organizer of the Richmond Mural Project in Virginia, Shane Pomajambo, that features many artists he has worked with in the brand new “The Art of the Mural”.


Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

Featuring more than fifty current graffiti/Street Artists, the survey pays special attention to the show-stopping eye candy that commands attention for these nomadic painters who are developing their craft before an ever larger and more appreciative international audience.

Culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick, who writes the introduction to the Schiffer published hardcover, notes that this mural renaissance is quite unlike the US government funded New Deal era mural programs that produced “hundreds of thousands of murals for schools, hospitals, post offices, housing projects, and various government facilities”. And he’s right, these are emanating from a different place entirely.


Antony Lister. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

The world-traveling media-soaked artists, of which this collection is subset, have had vastly more exposure to corporations and branding perhaps than, say, arts institutions, and a sophisticated self-handling is often on display with artists ever more savvy in their choices of style and content.

A greater percentage are now entering into private collections, galleries, and museums thanks to unprecedented platforms for huge exposure on the Internet, and their public works are adding rich character and dialogue to our neighborhoods and public spaces.


Curiot. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

With academia, art critics, and auction houses all grappling with the rightful place of these artists in contemporary art and society at large it will be instructive to know the history and their lineage, content, context, and patronage. One has to agree when McCormick says that all of these “are helpful for us to consider in looking at and understanding the artists’ walls of today.”

This collection of talent is strong, with many of the mid-large names that are at play in this generation of painters whom are primarily born in the 1970s and 80s. In their work is a cultural appreciation for modern graffiti history as they now channel it along with formal training, art history, advertising, and a multitude of media. With few exceptions, it’s a tight list of artists, the images are riveting (though uncredited to their photographers), and the brief introductions by Pomajambo contain just enough biographical information and artist’ quotes to ground the story and give it context.

“As with everything I do,” says the Queens, New York native Pomajambo, “I always question and observe, and as we reach critical mass with murals I felt compelled to create this project and capture a moment in time.”


Evoca 1. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016


Fintan Magee. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016


Miss Van. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016


MOMO. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016


Onur & Wes 21. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016


Telmo & Miel. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016


Tone (Robert Proch). Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016


All photos of the spreads by Jaime Rojo


The Art of The Mural: Contemporary International Urban Art. Volume 01 by Shaen Pomajambo. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. USA.

Participating Artists
Amose, Arraiano, Augustine Kofie, Axel Void, Bezt (Etam Crew), Chazme 718, Chor boogie, Clog Two, Curiot, Cyrcle, DALeast, Decertor, Dface, ETNIK, Faith47, Fintan Magee, Hense, INTI, Jade, Jaz, JR, Kenor, Lister, Logan Hicks, Low Bros, Meggs, Miss Van, Momo, Mr Thoms, Muro, Natalia Rak, Nosego, Onur, Pener, Reka, Robert “Tone” Proch,Ron English, Rone, Sainer (Etam Crew), SATONE, SEACREATIVE, Sepe, Smithone, Sten Lex, Stormie Mills, Telmo Miel, Tristan Eaton, TWOONE HIROYASU, Vhils, Wes21 and Zed 1

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“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.


Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils.


Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

The project’s completion at the turn of the year culminated in one of the largest Street Art/Graffiti artists’ collective shows in Italy held in the city’s main public gallery Palazzo Platamone, entitled “Codici Sorgenti” (Source Code), which was curated by Stefano S. Antonelli and Francesca Mezzano from Rome’s 999 Contemporary Gallery.

There is talk about the possibility that this exhibition of about 60 artists work will tour throughout Europe with its message of the historic roots of modern graffiti and Street Art along with many of its most impactful practitioners pushing into the contemporary art world.


Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

According to Arianna Ascione in, the gallery exhibition was “divided into three sections that tell the birth, interactive development and consecration of the (graffiti/street art) phenomenon” Indeed, the list contains works by 108, A One, Augustine Iacurci, Alexis Diaz, Alexone, Bo 130, Boris Tellegen (aka Delta), Brad Downey, C215, Clemens Behr, Conor Harrington, Crash, Delta 2, Dondi White, Doze Green, El Seed, Ericailcane, Eron, Escif, Evol, Faile, Feitakis, Gaia, Herbert Baglione, Horfee, Interesni Kazki, Invader, Jaz, Jeff Aerosol, Mark Jenkins, Jonone, JR, Judith Supine, Kool Poor, The Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Lucy McLauchlan, Matt Small, Maya Hayuk, Mensanger, Miss Van, Momo, Moneyless, Peeta, Rammellzee, Retna, Roa, Seth, Philippe Baudelocque, Sharp, Shepard Fairey, StenLex, Swoon, The London Police, Todd James,Toxic, and the aforementioned Vhils.


Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

Ironically the genre-melting inclination of so-called “urban art” has eroded the silo mentality of many who follow these art forms as they become known, followed, collected, and exhibited; As a metaphor “Art Silos” may more accurately refer to the past and the dogmatic separation of genres such as graffiti, tattoo, illustration, ad jamming, and Street Art for example.

Although not strictly what you might call public art either, the scale of “Art Silos”, with its major artworks that typically may take years to be approved in large cities elsewhere, is an occurrence routinely happening in cities around the world.


Vlady Art and BO130. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

For us this is one more example of the “New Muralism” that is enabling Street Artists to do major works in public spaces via non-traditional routes. On par with a public art works of other committee-approved sorts, this silo project was a private/public collaboration that made selections, secured funding and permissions from the harbor authorities, city figures, politicians and the manager of the silos themselves, according to VladyArt, who along with Microbo is one of the artists and a resident of Catania.


Vlady Art (photo © VladyArt)

He says the size of the project and the power of the imagery combined with the process of watching them go up has drawn a lot of attention to the area lately. “The people here were amazed by our speed and the large scale operation. Catania had no large murals like this… this was the very first time for Sicily. They can be seen from far away and even from taking off from and landing at the airport – or coming by cruise line on the sea. It seems that nobody really paid that much attention to this spot before, and everyone is talking about it now.”


BO130 and Vlady Art. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

To understand why a project of this nature can happen so quickly these days, look no further than the location. As we have recounted numerous times, often these efforts are deliberately programmed to draw attention to economically challenged areas as a way of encouraging tourism and investment.

In fact VladyArt says that this historic region and city that dates back many centuries before Christ is having a very challenging time economically and socially and could use positive attention from a crowd that appreciates art. “Catania is somehow the most dynamic city of Sicily, because of its industrial and commercial features,” he says.


Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

“Having said that, please be aware that the south of Italy is no way wealthy or an easy place, despite its beauty and lucky location in the sun. Almost the whole city is rough, I can name a many neighborhoods where this is the case.”

So it is all the more remarkable that a multi-artist iconic installation can happen here in Catania and people are exposed to a grassroots-fueled art scene that is currently galloping across the globe.


Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

“Regular people around here don’t know much about the whole thing, street art and stuff,” says Vlady Art. “So, quite frankly they wouldn’t care much about Okuda, Vhils or Interesni. They never heard of them before and probably people will find hard to spell their names. They cannot catch the meaning or the purpose of this. They simply like what they see – they like this energy. They do get the ‘message’, the power of art.”


Danilo Bucchi (photo © VladyArt)


Okuda (photo © VladyArt)


Microbo (photo © VladyArt)


ROSH333 (photo © VladyArt)


The Silos facing the city. (photo © VladyArt)


Vhils on the side of the silos facing the water. (photo © VladyArt)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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!


This article is also published in The Huffington Post.


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MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

What is it about Brooklyn Street Art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York Street Art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.


MOMO. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our  modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably.


MOMO. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Rather than recreating the slap-dash chaos of street clash, and aside from the aforementioned drips and splatters in geometric neon hues by Hayuk, the museum setting is contained and crisply defined. Perhaps because of the cross-disciplines hinted at and welcomed, the overall effect is more contemporary than urban.

Hayuk’s space, with its raised ceilings and stained glass window treatment is a hand-hewn modern chapel, borrowing a holy inflection and spreading it across to the urban art faithful who will make the pilgrimage to this new hallowed space.

On opening day (which was delayed by weeks because of the recent airport and transit bombing here) the crowd who queued on an overcast day down the block along the Canal in Molenbeek was undaunted by the wait and expectant. Housed in a former beer factory, the greater collection includes large installations by the marquee namesin the main spaces and smaller pieces ranging from Stephen Powers and Todd James to Piet Parra and Cleon Patterson in galleries evoking whitebox galleries.


MOMO. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

In precisely the ex-industrial part of town that is usually slaughtered with graffiti you can still see a variety of throwies and bubble tags floating above murky waters along the canal walls from the terrace of the 1300 square meter, 4 story MIMA. It’s an oddly storied juxtaposition perhaps, yet somehow perfectly natural and modern.

If the popular imagination of “museum plus Street Art” conjures anything for you, it may present some kind of overture toward the continuation of the street into the formal space and vice-versa. Faile’s two-color stencils and slaughtering of walls inside clearly connect to ones they have done over the last 15 years and that are currently on New York streets. Their huge prayer wheel assembled here was actually shown in the center of Times Square last fall with tens of thousands of tourists climbing it, sitting upon it, posing for selfies with it and spinning it, so the continuum is very much intact in that respect.


MOMO. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Similarly Swoon’s wheat-pasted family of figures and her hand-cut paper patterns on mottled walls in the basement recall her work on street walls in Red Hook Brooklyn at this moment – as well as her periodic takeovers/installations inside choice areas of abandoned urban neglect through the years. To complete the dialogue at MIMA her hand-painted linotype  prints are also wheat-pasted outside on Brussels walls near the museum, not slapped but placed with her customary consideration of context and proportion.

Ever the developer of new methodologies for painting, MOMO piled long strips of fabric in an overlapping circular pattern upon layered patches of color and unveiled the new work by gathering the invited artists and museum founders to watch as Faile’s Patrick McNeil slowly pulled the “rope” outward, breaking sealed layers and revealing a heretofore non existent composition. To share and remember the birth process he leaves the tools of revelation in a pile before it. In this way MOMO recalls his street practice of conjuring and developing new tool-making and art-making techniques when bringing work into the public sphere.


MOMO.  MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © MOMO – MIMA MUSEUM)

Aside from each evolving from the subcultures of the street in some capacity, the nature of the works transcend the partitioning that can define exhibitions, allowing the various practices to become the language of the culture. MIMA appears to have the physical space, as well as the psychological and philosophical space, to contemplate the multiplicity of voices that are flooding the streets and the Internet; forming subcultures and ultimately culture. The City Lights in this case are as much on the various dialogues of the street as the street itself.

MIMA is the creation of four co-founders; Florence and Michel Delaunoit, Alice van den Abeele, and Raphaël Cruyt. The inaugural show is curated by van den Abeele and Cruyt and many of the artists shown in the extended collection here have a history and special meaning to the two through their venture the ALICE Gallery, which has as its strength a focus on art collaborations and exhibition with sculpture and installations.


SWOON. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

We spoke with Alice van den Abeele about the selection of these four artists for the opening, the intersection of Internet with museum curation, and the changing nature of our perceptions of culture. Here is an excerpt from our conversation

Brooklyn Street Art: In your initial descriptions of the museum a focus is made on the uprooting of culture as it pertains to geography by way of the Internet during the last decade and a half. How do these artists represent this free-travelling cultural reality?
Alice van den Abeele: This cultural reality is easy to feel when you are in the CITY LIGHTS exhibition. The installations by Swoon, Maya Hayuk, FAILE and MOMO immerse you in different artistic worlds but share an extroverted language that is direct and playful. It is a language acquired with the street and with travel – a mixture you may call a “world citizen”.


SWOON. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Brooklyn Street Art: The museum addresses a range of subcultures that are directly or tangentially related to the street art scene during the last decades. Why is it important for us to consider these contributors?

Alice van den Abeele: Because of our history. With the communication revolution and the relative low cost of Internet connectivity, the beginning of the millennium brought changes to our perception of the world. A feeling of being a citizen of the world is developing in the West – by which I mean to say there is a cosmopolitan attitude that makes us more empathetic, collaborative, and cross-cultural.

For artists this means there is a greater mobility between creative fields. The artist can easily be a skateboarder, a designer, a musician, a graffiti artist and they can also exhibit in a gallery or a museum. He or she adapts to different creative contexts and their identities are many – not limited to being a ‘street artist” or “a musician”.  The subcultures mix easily together. Lust look at the New York art scene at the time of the Alleged Gallery for example.

On the other hand, society moves it through the prism of the Internet today and selects artists that reflect a new thinking. The values ​​that define the artist’s behavior in the street are close to those that define our behavior on the Internet: Empathy, the right of access rather than ownership, a collaborative spirit, authenticity, and a cross/hybrid culture.

Somehow, the street work embodied physically very early this paradigm shift that was occuring in our society, this new way of perceiving the world. That’s the story the MIMA wants to tell through the exhibitions and the works in the permanent collection. We are living through a revolution that is slowly rewriting the history of art “bottom up” – which may have a thousand faces.


SWOON. An assistant helps with a large wheat paste. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo ©Alice van den Abeele)

Brooklyn Street Art: Is it important to examine these subcultures separately or is it more relevant to see what their combined influences are producing for the world as aesthetic movements, social movements?
Alice van den Abeele: Cultures are not compartmentalized. They mix to reinvent themselves. Besides, don’t they all become mainstream? In a world of continuous flow of information we should beware of categories and labels – which are often more commercial than artistic. As I said earlier, subcultures today are of great interest to society because they can inspire in us a common ideal – better than our politicians.


SWOON. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA MUSEUM)

Brooklyn Street Art: As a group, these inaugural artists have an association in our minds with early-mid 2000s New York street art culture. Can you talk about the significance in broad terms of your choice of these artists for your initial exhibition?
Alice van den Abeele: Initially, when we visited the MIMA building in ruins, we immediately imagined an intervention by Maya Hayuk in the room called The Chapel. We know Maya really well because we have had the pleasure of working with her for such a long time. With that first intention, we thought that it would be great to have artists who know and appreciate each other, share a common history, and to create a synergy between them!

This combination of talent and affection has produced a unique exhibition, full of spirituality. More generally, the New York scene of this period is particularly rich for us and it was a good matrix to introduce the vision of the MIMA to the public!


FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Brooklyn Street Art: What sort of artists or influences do you envision for near future exhibitions?
Alice van den Abeele: It is certain that we will continue to work with artists in the same vein as those that are present in the permanent collection. At the same time we want to leave the door open to the future for the unknown and to surprise ourselves for the fun of it.


FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)


FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)


FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)


FAILE. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)


FAILE. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Pascaline Brishcoux – MIMA Museum)


Maya Hayuk. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)


Maya Hayuk. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)


Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)


The artists with curators. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)


Maya Hayuk talks with Patrick Miller in the foreground and Patrick McNeil chats with MOMO on the background in Maya’s installation. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)


The MIMA Museum “City Lights” inaugural exhibition in Brussels, Belgium is currently open to the general public and will run until August 28, 2016. Click HERE to learn more about MIMA.




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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.18.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.18.15



Groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon….

This week was full of great Street Art stories – the main one everyone was talking about was fake TV graffiti by the Egyptian Street Artists who hacked the propagandic “Homeland” drama, in the process revealing the producers’ utter xenophobia by merely writing critical messages in Arabic – the language of the land the show was supposedly so expertly depicting. No one from the show caught it before it aired.

Elsewhere JR thinks Street Art might change the world, Retna scored the cover of the new Justin Beiber album, and the French performance artists Boijeot Renauld were profiled on the Today show and in The New York Times. This week they made it through Times Square and are somewhere just below Union Square now – living on Broadway en route to Battery Park by the end of their sojourn next weekend. Speaking of Times Square don’t miss the very cool Juxtapoz news stand on display right now in the middle of the Selfie-Stick Forest. Today is the last day for that installation.

You may also like to check out this piece we did for a car rental site about non-vandalizing Street Art

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring #364xLos43, Apple on Pictures, Damien Mitchell, Grotesk, Skeindreamz, LoSbieco, Momo, Paul Richard, Pupo Bibbito, Pyramid Oracle, Totoro, and Wane.

Top image above >>>#365xLos43 “Their Pain Is Our Pain, Ours is Their Outrage As Well” refers to the 43 Mexican students kidnapped and killed one year ago. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Wane (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Juxtapoz T.SQ Newsstand designed by Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer. This project is in conjunction with Times Square Arts. Today is the last day to visit the stand. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Juxtapoz T.SQ Newsstand designed by Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer. This project is in conjunction with Times Square Arts. Today is the last day to visit the stand. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Juxtapoz T.SQ Newsstand designed by Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer. This project is in conjunction with Times Square Arts. Today is the last day to visit the stand. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cat with mouse. Artist Unknown. Pamplona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)


Skein Dreamz makes a crochet portrait of Totoro. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Apple On Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Crazy Eye (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOMO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOMO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pupo Bibbito and LoSbieco painted this piece in an abandoned factory in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This factory produced the R60 tractor. The factory was fully operating from 1904 through 2008. In October 8, 1950 workers occupied the factory to protest the imminent dismissal of 2100 workers. The artists wanted to pay tribute to that fight for workers rights with this mural. (photo © Pupo Bibbito)


Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Paul Richard (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. West Village, NYC. October 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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BSA Film Friday 07.17.15

BSA Film Friday 07.17.15




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

Now screening :

1. Roma Street Art Tribes as Captured by Dioniso Punk


BSA Special Feature: Roma Street Art Tribes as Captured by Dioniso Punk

Gwen Stacy Parts I and II

Disorderly, discordant, and richly chaotic, these two videos are centered around the Italian street art paintings and artists whom you will recognize from our earlier postings on community/gallery organized urban art programming – but within the context of historical art publicly displayed, peoples movements, patronage, fascism, the classics.

Dioniso Punk allows everyone to talk – neighbors, artists, organizers, curators, public philosophers, elected officials, psychologists, sociologists, entrepreneurs, posers, professors, historians, students, an opera singer, the petite bourgeoisie, international visitors and hapless puzzled opinionated locals.

Discussions at panels cut into impassioned discussions by senior women in the courtyard or didactic examinations in the street – some for illustration, others for whimsy, none to be ignored. More of a fact finding mission than cogent analysis, you may find it difficult to follow the narrative and so it is better to let go and allow yourself be battered by the insights and observations delivered with the jumpy cuts and uncompleted thoughts and discussions, preferring instead to sink into the tribe of the humans, here selectively displayed for your pleasure and hopefully, edification.

(turn on the CC (closed captioning) if you do not speak Italian)


Featuring interviews with Solo, Gaia, Diamond 0707, Maupal, Best Ever, Bol23, Jerico, Guerrilla Spam Sen One, Sabrina, Dan, Stefano Antonelli (999 Contemporary,) Marta Ugolini (Galleria Ca’ D’Oro), Agathe Jaubourg (Pasolini Pigneto), Alìn Costache (YUT!), Edoardo Martino (Villaggio Globale), and Eleonora Zaccagnino (Acid Drop).

Special Guests: Mp5, Alice Pasquini, Mr. Thoms, Jessica Stewart, Sandro Fiorentini (La Bottega del Marmoraro).

Murals by Blu, Roa, Borondo, Etam Cru, Space Invaders, C215, Hogre, Herbert Baglione, Sten & Lex, JB Rock, Ernest, Pignon-Ernest, Etnik, Axel, Avoid, Sbagliato, Jim Avignon, Fin DAC, Jef Aerosol, Seth, Zed1, Ericailcane, Clemens Behr, Caratoes, Momo, Derek, Bruno, Kid Acne, Mto, Alexey Luka, Tellas, Moby Dick, Philippe Baudelocque, Mr. Klevra, Lucamaleonte, Diavù Kocore, Agostino Iacurci, Danilo Bucchi, Jaz, Desx, Reka, Lek & Sowat, Hopnn, Matteo, Basilé Alberonero, Ex Voto, Andreco, Moneyless, Nicola, Verlato, Ludo, L’Atlas, Escif, and Pepsy Zerocalcare.

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MOMO Paints Massive Work Across Lobby in Boston

MOMO Paints Massive Work Across Lobby in Boston

Corporate Space, Happy Universal Shapes, and Additive Averaging

Two unusual aspects distinguish todays’ posting. One is that the featured project by the remarkable street artist MOMO is not actually on the street, rather it is in a corporate lobby – a quasi public/private place far removed from the origins and ethos of most Street Artists’ work. Secondly, the interview is conducted by our guest Kate Gilbert rather than us. An artist, curator, and creative strategist, Kate directs a Boston non-profit that curates and produces independent public art projects. We really enjoyed the conversation that she and MOMO had while he was in the midst of a two week installation – and we knew you would like it too.

~ by Kate Gilbert

In February the Brooklyn/New Orleans street artist MOMO arrived in Boston in the midst of Snowpocalypse ‘15, an unrelenting series of snowstorms and freezing temperatures that left Boston under 93” of snow. Undaunted by it all, MOMO completed a massive 250’ x 34’ mural over eighteen nights in the lobby of Boston’s iconic John Hancock Building bringing his signature combination of blending techniques, harmonious colors and universal forms to warm up the austere lobby and its wintery surrounds.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

The following is an excerpt from an interview I had with MOMO on his fourteenth night of painting, which followed a brief talk he gave with project curator Pedro Alonzo.

Kate Gilbert: So it’s 20 degrees in Boston tonight and the thermometer is stuck at 20 degrees. The snow isn’t melting, and there’s ice everywhere; it’s permanent. So first of all I want to thank you for bringing this to us. It’s great color and smart design.
MOMO: Cool, I’m glad you like it.

KG: One of the things I wanted to bring back from your conversation with Pedro is this idea of universal shapes and appealing colors. That’s something we don’t usually hear coming out of the mouth of an artist who originally started in the street.
MOMO: Pedro’s first question took me off guard because I hadn’t quite heard that from anyone. He said the murals made him feel good, and why was that. I didn’t quite have an answer ready then but I’ve thought a lot about it since and it reminds me that I have this great love for David Hockney’s swimming pools. A sunny landscape has a certain key of colors and mix of shadows and this variety of things that feels like it’s at the peak spectral combination of all these formal things like shade and value, and it lets us know it’s a sunny landscape.

Something about that really appeals to me. At different moments I’ve wished my art could be associated with swimming pools, cabanas, and beach towels – those things that are, for me, a godsend in terms of mood and inspiration.

I spent a lot of time in the south and I love a tropical climate and things like that feel really alive and vital. It’s no coincidence that I take so much inspiration from Jamaica. Not just the nature there but also their culture seems to respond to this vivid set of conditions. I want to put that in the paintings and I hope that is what’s coming through in what Pedro mentioned about being happy.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  I think so. It’s happy and, especially at this time of year in Boston, we’re all keyed in to anything that’s happy.
MOMO: Good. I realized quite late that I respond well to warm climates and it’s why I stay in the South primarily. And I do think a majority of these forms keep repeating. They’ve come up in different ways through the years.

KG:  Are they forms that you’re testing on the street? When you say universal, are they universal in your artistic vocabulary, or do you think for they’re universal for all of us?
MOMO: They’re meant to be simple and universal so the audience might enjoy these as their own, being just colors and lines, spectrums and harmonies.

For instance I’m relying heavily on just the impact of red. Or the right orange-red which I feel is lit by sunlight. It’s not so much a narrative or a meaning implied on top, it’s the concrete materiality of the work that has to carry the oomph.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG: Picking up on this idea of materiality, the space has this well, let me just say, it’s pretty unique. Have you ever worked in a space like this before?
MOMO: No, this is the best architectural chance I’ve ever had to do something, indoor or outdoor.

KG:  What are you responding to in this space?
MOMO: The chrome columns are undeniably weird and fun and that’s led me to make the fat lines somewhat in scale with them, or in-and-out of scale with them. There’re a lot of vertical bands. Down there [pointing to the NE side] there’re a lot of noodly ones that are just going their own way. It struck me that having a conversation with those floor-to-ceiling forms was an obvious way to respond.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  There’s this sort of forest effect going on.
MOMO: Yeah, there’s a forest! They have a gesture. Everything in here is real straight lines and clean and feels like it’ll last for the ages. But the columns do have a gesture and it’s right in front of the painting.

Besides the columns, everything in the lobby is a super straight, flat surface. I’ve tried to play off of that with soft forms so the building can show off. I’m doing something complementary in a way.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  You’re creating a visual conversation with the architects. I’d love to see you in a room with I.M. Pei’s office. What would you say to them?
MOMO: I’d be interesting to see how this building has grown or developed on its own because it’s probably not the way the architect left it. They’ve designed security in a way that wasn’t part of the initial pedestrian flow.

KG:  There’s this great performance going on here with people entering and leaving through the security desk, even now at 6 pm.
MOMO: And cleaning crews! It takes a huge staff to keep the building up to its standards.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  So did you consider this audience or who’d be coming and going when you were making the work?
MOMO: Yeah, of course. First thing, I tried to identify was where people would see the wall the most frequently, or where they’d spend the most time. Because the wall is framed by the columns, you get a grouping of available vignettes.

I took the ends to have special significance. At one end there are tables and chairs where you can relax in a communal café area. I thought those areas should be dressed up in a way so you could look at them for longer periods of time. Then the center, I kept things more serious and somber because it has this stately serious pretense with the check-in desk and security being there. I tried to look at the space anthropologically.

KG:  So the painting in the center is more serious? Is that represented in the darker, gray pinstripes created through…what do you call it, additive averaging?
MOMO: Yes, the particular color theory we’re working with when we add these gray tones is called additive averaging. I guess they just happened in the center by chance. The center is where subtle mixes are happening and the darker colors are coming through. In general, I want the whole thing to feel light but it needed to be grounded somewhere, especially there, so it didn’t seem silly.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG: I don’t think your work could ever be interpreted as silly.
MOMO: Oh that’s good because I want to take it right to the edge like a dance performance. Certainly dance can be seen as flippant or pure whimsy. But if it is balanced and well done, somehow it can go right to the edge and still be serious.

KG:  Your work is serious and I get the sense everything is very thought-out and methodical. Were there any surprises when you got here?
MOMO: We changed everything! It’s been so much work! Struggling, redesigning, you know, minutes before we go. Part of that is because we weren’t able to use the sprayers. That was my mistake in understanding how much dust they were going to dump into their surroundings. We struggled a few days trying to make it work with a spray tent and it was not possible. So without the sprayers we couldn’t do the giant sweeping color gradations.

That meant things had to be redesigned so they’d still be exciting while staying unblended. I tried to break up the backgrounds that the stripes are going over, so there’d still be a number of colors changing. It wasn’t a solution just to switch fades for single colors, because I had to break things up in a way that’d keep them interesting.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  That sucks.
MOMO: No, it’s okay actually. Somehow the sprays that I do outdoors are a rough thing. I don’t even know if they were working that well in this refined space. It has a texture that would be a little out of step with the high-polish feeling here.

KG:  As a result, have you invented any new techniques while working here?
MOMO: Oh, that’s a good question! I’m doing this thing between all of my helpers where I’m taking screenshots off of the computer where I’m designing, sending them in emails, and then we’re all following the sketches on our phones. I feel like there’s a big potential there to synch everyone up in a detailed way. I used to print everything out and keep it in a laminated pocket which is good so you don’t drop your phone in a bucket of paint, but this is kinda better.



MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  So maybe there’s a MOMO app in your future?
MOMO: Or maybe I need a phablet – a phone tablet where I can do all my Photoshopping and it hangs off my neck.

KG:  All right, let’s get you a sponsor! I did want to get back to that audience question. When you’re working outside doing your posters between 3 and 6 am I assume you don’t want to interact with anyone. When you’re here, are you interacting with people? Or are you just trying to get your work done?
MOMO: We’re interacting and keeping our ears open. It’s fun to just feel what the response is like. We hear a lot from the security guys because they’re here all night. It’s been really positive from those people and other people who’ve come by and have an interest in art.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  It is really hard to take in the mural all at once. Even from the outside because of these crazy columns, multiple doors and reflections. The most similar project you’ve done might be the Living Walls project because you could only see it all from within a car. Is there a way to see this mural? A narrative?
MOMO: I think it’s a sequential piece of artwork. Because you see pieces at a time and sorta have a chance to forget the first one that you saw by the time you get to the end. There’s not a way to see the whole composition all at once. That doesn’t exist. It’s like changing panels on any other media.

The thing in Atlanta has this opportunity for foreshortening. I tried to make it interesting if you were to stand in front of it, but also it collapsed all 1,000 feet into an instant image. Here you can’t really see everything collapsed.

It’s been fun to see how much it’s reflecting on the glass inside at night. I hadn’t seen that other times I’d checked out the spot. The chrome columns cast and catch all kinds of parts in new weird ways.

KG:  Yeah, it’s going to be a really fun challenge for someone to photograph! Is there anything else you’d want Boston and beyond to know about this work?
MOMO: I feel really privileged to be working here in such a great, high-level type community and given such an amazing piece of architecture to explore. I’m just extremely grateful to everyone that made this possible and extended the necessary faith. The support has been great and Pedro’s been amazing.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Our special thanks to photographer Geoff Hargadon for sharing his shots of this hard-to-shoot mural for BSA readers.


MOMO’s mural is the first in a three-part series of temporary public projects commissioned by Boston Properties and curated by Pedro Alonzo. It is on view at the John Hancock Tower (200 Clarendon Street, Boston MA 02116) now through May 31, 2015.


Kate Gilbert is an artist, public art curator, and the director of Now and There, a new start up dedicated to creating impactful temporary public art projects in Greater Boston. When she’s not buried in snow she’s Tweeting as @kgilbertstudio and @now_and_there.


BSA Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.08.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.08.15



This week MOMO is in town and we got to see him setting up for his mini show in a bodega, Concrete to Data opened in Steinberg Museum, a cable show about Street Art arrived and was dissed horribly, POW! Wow! began in Hawaii, Combo says he was attacked in Paris for putting up a “Coexist” piece, and we all learned that Street Art is in Vogue.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Agni, Buff Monster, Cake, EC13, Flood, James Bullough, Jilly Ballistic, LMNOPI, MOMO, UNO, and Varenka66

Top Image >> LMNOPI tribute to Jessie Hernandez. A 17 year old girl shot and killed by the Denver police last week. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Varenka66 and James Bullough collaboration in Brooklyn.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Varenka66 and James Bullough collaboration in Brooklyn. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Varenka66 and James Bullough collaboration in Brooklyn. Detail.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EC13 new installation in El Padul, Spain. (photo © EC13)


MOMO at work for his solo exhibition at M. Carter Shop in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOMO at work for his solo exhibition at M. Carter Shop in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOMO. Installation in progress for his exhibition at M. Carter Shop in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOMO. Detail of the vitrine exhibiting the artist’s personal sketches, tools, diaries etc… At M. Carter Shop in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOMO. Detail of the vitrine exhibiting the artist’s personal sketches, tools, diaries etc… At M. Carter Shop in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOMO. Detail of the vitrine exhibiting the artist’s personal sketches, tools, diaries etc… At M. Carter Shop in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MOMO is currently on view at M. Carter Shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 141 Engert Ave.


Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jilly Ballistic (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jilly Ballistic installation for Concrete To Data at the Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU. Long Island, New York. (photo © via iPhone Jaime Rojo)


Cake installation for Concrete To Data at the Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU. Long Island, New York. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)


UNO. Rome, Italy. (photo © UNO)


Mary Had A Little Lamb. Artist Unknown. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


FLOOD recalls the Sex Pistols anthem (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Agni (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. NYC Subway. January 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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50 Ways to Map The City, Per Street and Graffiti Artists

D.I.Y. Cartography in the Rawest Section of Somerset

Street Art is intrinsically bound with its neighborhood and location in a city. Context and placement are key, establishing its relation to a place. So when a Street Artist is asked to create art about mapping a place, it is fascinating to see how they perceive it and with what manner and medium they present it.

In a new exhibition opening in London this month, the time honored study and practice of cartography ventures into the conceptual as well as the physical, and we find that for many artists the street is as much about poetry and perception as it is about aerosol and wheat-pasted paper.


Petro’s sculpture on the left with Gasisus sculpture on the right.  Aryz, Ron English, Malarko, Augustine Kofie, on the background wall. Filippo Minelli on the right wall. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © Rafa Suñen)

“Mapping the City”, now going up at the Somerset House presents the work of 50 artists whose roots lie in creating work for the urban space, one defined by paved streets configured by planners and traversed by citizenry. More than this the artists here broaden the job description of cartographer to one who captures energy, movement, emotion, imagined storylines and life paths.

With ubiquitous smart phones at the ready we increasingly find that mapping the world has become a given, removing some of its mystery. The tracking of GPS is joined by the physically surveying Google machine and countless public/private war/profit apparatus that have been loosed across and above the skin of the globe to trace all roads and streets, quantify topography, measure depths – even gauge the volume of rivers and density of forests.


Installation process shot. Gasius sculpture on the foreground. Installers working on Petros’ sculpture. Aryz, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Malarko, Augustine Kofie, Shantell Martin, Husk MitNavn on the background wall. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)

And then there are the people. “The city is a living entity,” says Rafael Schacter, curator of the show from the arts organization A(by)P, who sees the city as something far more than a clever configuration of lines. “The city changes every day, every hour of the day. It is constantly modifying itself. And it is fully alive in the way it reacts and responds to our actions. It is endlessly fascinating in the same way humans are. They can be exhausting, they can be destructive. But they contain endless possibilities too.”

It’s this same immersion into street life that draws artists to create in public, and knowing how to accept and embrace its evolution is what brings the veterans back. MOMO literally painted many streets in one continuous line that formed the letters of his nom de la rue in a 2006 tag that spread across the bottom of New York’s central island and it is presented as a map in this show.

Brooklyn Street Art: One of the artists in your show, MOMO, created an enormous tag in Manhattan – although it was only legible when the route was retraced upon a map. Is he crazy?
Rafael Schacter: He is crazy. A crazy genius. Although you still can see the marks he made on the streets of Manhattan years after he painted it! He recently re-walked the route and re-mapped the existing line. As I said; Crazy. Genius.


MOMO “Tag Manhattan” (photo © courtesy of A(by)P)

“Retracing the tag line was cool,” MOMO tells us. “What I noticed is how much new sidewalk cement has gone in a lot of the line was eaten up by that,” he says, observing that a city is anything but static and often regenerative. “It is interesting how quickly a city replaces all of its cells,” he remarks about the ongoing repaving that characterizes the city. Were there more changes MOMO noticed in the 7 years between tagging? Yes. “Other stuff, like all the shiny new developments that are making Manhattan look like a mall.”

While there are some commonalities among the selected artists who are participating in this project, there is quite a variety of approaches to the street, as Schacter invited Street Artists, graffiti artists, public artists, designers, painters, illustrators, and billboard jammers. He says the multiplicity of interpretation was an intentional decision.

“For us, the most important thing was to have the whole range of artists we love and who are producing work in the public sphere included in the exhibition. As such, and as you say, it really is a very wide variety of artists, from graffiti bombers to conceptual artists, from muralists to urban explorers. With all of them, however, the crucial element within their practice is the public sphere, the richness of the city and urban space. This is the line that goes through all of their work, even if they may at first seem widely different.”



 Chu. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)

Chu, an Argentine Street Artist and muralist whose colorfully painted four paneled abstraction remixes and jumbles the lines and shapes and removes all text, his map is meant to communicate the kinetic nature of street life. “I tried to create a map of Buenos Aires marking my usual movements around the city. I am used to moving around it a lot, from one side to other, and sometimes it is really chaotic and stressful. However it is also really where I get a lot of inspiration.”

A viewer of Chu’s graphic representation may be reminded of map making software and apps – possibly because of his graphic design training and his work as an animation director and illustrator in the digital sphere. He says that his digital art experience has grafted onto his vision of the physical street, “especially because I am working with layers and some of my choices of shapes come from that experience.”

Even as a painter, you can see the influence of the digital design world in Chu’s map. He says that when he thinks of city streets, he does see in his mind an aerial view of them from up above, but there is much more.

“My artwork for the exhibition is a kind of aerial abstract view of the city,” says Chu, “When trying to understand the city street more mentally, I believe today, it is something more complex than it was before. It is like some kind of constellation or hypertext thing that grows up in all directions, with axis and tons of layers.”


CHU “Buenos Aires” (photo © courtesy of A(by)P)

Housed in a section of Somerset House that has been closed off from the public for 150 years, the new exhibit is also its first and most visitors will never have hiked through the still unpolished space. It seems like the perfectly shabby cream-colored raw environment that graff writers and Street Artists might feel comfortable making art for. “It’s in the process of happening,” says Schacter as the team moves around him and up ladders to place the maps and straddle patches of exposed wall. According to Rafael, even the ceilings of the 18th century rooms are being restored to their original splendor, “with Yak Hair in the plaster!”

Brooklyn Street Art: Will people need to follow a map to find this show in the new wing of the Somerset House?
Rafael Schacter: Ha! Kind of. Our space hasn’t currently even got a name as it’s so new – and so old at the same time. We’re going to make big wooden arrows to make it clear but we kind of hope people get lost too, and then eventually find us!


Detail of Gasius sculpture on the foreground. LA artist Cali Thornhill De Witt displays his flag pieces in the background. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © Rafa Suñen)

Brooklyn Street Art: Not all participants strictly adhered to the realm of cartography in the conception or execution of their map. Brad Downey appears to have drawn a face. Imagine what you would have gotten if this was a show about clouds.
Rafael Schacter: You’re right – the responses to our call for work has been super super varied. But that’s exactly what we wanted – that variety of work. We didn’t want just one understanding of the call, which was simply “map your space”.  Brad’s work is about finding visuals within maps, whilst others have tried to find maps within visuals! It is all simply about a different appreciation of space from the one we see in the top down, topographic, scientific standard.


Brad Downey. Face (photo © courtesy of A(by)P)

The Brooklyn Street Artist Swoon contributed one of her iconic images of a woman whose entire form is filled with what appears to be kutis and stilt houses along winding streets from top to bottom. Based on the Thai capital Bangkok, it is an example of the inner world Swoon is known for creating, reflective of a character’s history.


Installation process shot. Swoon. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)

Brooklyn Street Art: It is always interesting to see a Swoon portrait that contains the city and the streets within the body of the subject, isn’t it?
Rafael Schacter: There’s a great quote from Swoon about her work being about the desire to more carefully examine the “relationship of people to their built environment”. Her work here is a prime example of this, a work in which the body and the city become inexorably intertwined – the experience, as she says, “of becoming part of the fabric of the city” visually mapped out.


Installation process shot. Chu, Isaurao Huizar, Swoon and Mike Ballard. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about the film/s you have discovered and will be showing that fall in with the theme of map-making?
Rafael Schacter: The films we’re going to be showing are by a filmmaker named Marc Isaacs. They’re both set in London, both exploring the lives of “ordinary” Londoners. It is a very bottom-up, grass roots understanding of people’s lives.  That is exactly what we’re looking to do in the show – to explore the subjective and the hidden nature of the city.

Brooklyn Street Art: Who will be doing an artist talk about the project?
Rafael Schacter: We’re really excited about this. Our artist talk will be featuring Eltono, Filippo Minelli and Caleb Neelon. Again, a real diversity of artists and a diversity of backgrounds. Each of them have a great understanding of the public sphere and we’re excited to see what they will present.

Brooklyn Street Art: Given worldwide mapping and its ubiquity on devices we must ask this: In the future, will it be possible to get lost?
Rafael Schacter: I hope so! As the artist Itso said, and I paraphrase, true places can never be mapped.


Installation process shot. El Tono working on his sculpture. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)


El Tono. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © Rafa Suñen)


Installation process shot. Herbert Baglione on the right. El Tono on the left with EGS on the background room. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)


Installation process shot. Remed. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)


Installation process shot. Sixe Paredes on the left. Filippo Minelli on Center. Remed and OX on the right background room. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)


Installation process shot. Detail of Filippo Minelli’s map. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © courtesy A(by)P)


Sixe Paredes with Detail of Filippo Minelli’s map. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © Rafa Suñen)


Detail of Cleo Peterson map. “Mapping The City” Somerset House. London, UK. (photo © Rafa Suñen)


“Mapping The City” Opens tomorrow for the general public at Somerset House in London, UK. Click HERE for schedule of events, hours, directions and other details.


108 (Italy) Aryz (Spain)
Augustine Kofie (USA) Boris Tellegen (The Netherlands)
Caleb Neelon (USA) Cali Thornhill Dewitt (USA)
Chu (Argentina) Cleon Peterson (USA)
Daniel K. Sparkes (UK) Egs (Finland)
Ekta [Daniel Götesson] (Sweden) Eltono (France)
Erosie (The Netherlands) Filippo Minelli (Italy)
Gold Peg (UK) Graphic Surgery (The Netherlands)
Herbert Baglione (Brazil) Honet (France)
Horfee (France) HuskMitNavn (Denmark)
Ian Strange [Kid Zoom] (Australia) Interesni Kazki (Ukraine)
Isauro Huizar (Mexico) Isaac Tin Wei Lin (USA)
James Jarvis (UK) Jurne (USA)
Ken Sortais [Cony] (France) Les Frères Ripoulain (France)
Lucas Cantu (Mexico) Lush (Australia)
Malarko (UK) Martin Tibabuzo (Argentina)
Mike Ballard (UK) MOMO (USA)
Nano4814 (Spain) Nug (Sweden)
OX (France) Pablo Limon (Spain)
Petro (UK) Remed (France)
Remio (USA) Roids (UK)
Ron English (USA) Russell Maurice (UK
Shantell Martin (UK) Shepard Fairey (USA)
Sixe Paredes (Spain) Susumu Mukai (Japan)
Swoon (USA) Tim Head (UK)
Vova Vorotniov (Ukraine) Will Sweeney (UK)


Mapping the City
22 January – 15 February 2015
Somerset House, New Wing
Admission: Free

Contemporary cartographic art by international street and graffiti artists to be the first exhibition in Somerset House’s recently opened New Wing



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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!

This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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