All posts tagged: MUJAM

Mexico City: Aerosol Artists, Aztecs and Magic on the Street

Mexico City: Aerosol Artists, Aztecs and Magic on the Street

Every city has its own particular energy; it’s own articulated rhythm, its own unique chaos.

Mexico City’s is full of flourish and aspiration and fascination for the international new, while firmly rooted in respect for the past. When it comes to Street Art, murals, graffiti and discordant sub-cultural art movements that can disrupt the norm, this city shows the capacity to absorb and adapt and to continue moving forward, providing meaningful insights into the true nature of its people.

Curiot. Detail. For Lienzo Capital Project with Street Art MUJAM. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This magic city of more than 20 million is often referred to as a gateway to Latin America: economically, socially, and politically. With high tech industry, banks, multi-national companies, a university system that serves 300,000 students, 150 museums, three UNESCO World Heritage sites… you can see why. With heavy traffic despite a subway system and many forms of public transportation, it can take hours for you to cross Mexico City (Distrito Federal (D.F)) and you can be assured that you’ll probably never see all 16 boroughs.

El Mac. Detail. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As Street Art and its associated movements move through Central and South America, invariably D.F. appears as an important tierra cultural to traverse. From an active graffiti scene and occasional mural festivals to a growing gallery representation and increasing museum interest, urban artists are capturing the attention of the Americas, making heads spin in public space. With Mexico City capturing nearly all the aspects at once, today we take a look at the city and give you only a few examples of the art in the streets here.

El Mac. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The September 19th earthquake of 2017 shook Mexico City exactly 32 years after 10,000 lost their lives in a larger one, the largest. With broken sidewalks and taped off buildings still as physical evidence, you can hear in the voices the trauma that rocked tall buildings back and forth like huge ships on the sea. In addition to these more physical shocks, the city has been rocked in recent years by a rising evidence of frightening power shifts relating to drug traffickers, accusations of institutional corruption, and a sharply rising economic inequality that is transforming developing/developed societies across the globe.

Built upon the ruins of the Aztec city called Tenochtitlán, which was one of the worlds largest in the 15th century, Mexico City appears persistently ebullient when banding together against adversity. Determined to excel beyond the horrors of conquest by the Spanish that decimated an entire indigenous culture, still the ruins rise above the ground and this multi-hued global city rumbles forward with determination.

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sleek high rises and brightly patterned folkloric art and aerosol sprayed graffiti tags next to massive murals all blend and swirl like the jarabe Tapatío hat dance from block to block – a decisive commixture of the “brand new” with a heritage of indigenous/invader cultures that ruled here hundreds of years before. Today it’s a hybrid of purposeful optimism and wizened survival instincts that pushes the city forward, despite the shocks endured.

SEGO. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The magic and realism so famously combined by authors like Garcia Márquez and Esquivel along with the brutal honesty of Mexican filmmakers like Inarritu, del Toro and Cuaron is fused onto the bricks of colonial mansions and cinderblock industrial neighborhoods like Roma-Condesa and Centro Histórico. These colonias and others like Xochimilco and Coyoacán are historic, commercial, somehow always in transition.

Buster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you walk and weave over the chunks of disrupted sidewalks, the local mechanic’s car-repair taking place on the curb is complimented by the smell of stacks of fresh tortillas from the tiny tortilleria. The booming tented markets of witty pop-culture t-shirts, knock-off sneakers, and decorative phone cases are sharing your memory space with the eye-popping magenta, sea foam green, and lemon sherbert yellow hues of huge layered toile netting as quinceañera skirts plumped full of Dior and displayed regally behind full glass windows, shop after shop.

The narrow street in old Centro Historico surges with the sound of a live heavy metal band demonstrating the equipment at a music store at lunch time, and three Argentinian Street Artists (Ever, Elian, and Jaz) are creating plumes of aerosol paint from the opened second floor veranda doors across the street while home-made Judas Priest reverberates over and around the slowly moving bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Arty & Chikle. “Only Love”. Street Art MUJAM in collaboration with the Mexico City National Youth Institute for Young Adults. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of Mexico, “it’s always high noon and what glows is fuchsia and what’s dead is dead,” said author Henry Miller in his book Black Spring, and some spirit of that rings true here where so many objects and situations you encounter can be amazing and revelatory and yet locals simply roll them in a tortilla and toss it on a hot oiled comal for dinner.

The music options alone can be illustrative of the variety here: Las Madrigalistas are performing holiday classics in the Palacio Bellas Artes, Ricky Martin just played free for 100,000 in the Zocalo, there is an active punk scene that rivals many, a hiphop scene that draws fans from nearby cities, and a reverence for 1980s artists like Depeche Mode and The Misfits, and an almost religious devotion to Morrisey.

D*Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The scale of the murals can be as vast as the city, equally eclectically handmade and warm. Thanks to a rich heritage of mural-making and artists like Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros in the last century, the new generation of Mexicanos are interpolating the currents that ripple and wave through a society wedded to fierce independence and tradition. Today it is again rocked by our instant access to information and a global sense of modernity.

JET (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interezni Kazki. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This means that an international Street Art scene in D.F. features not only Mexican alchemists like Saner, Curiot, Farid Rueda, Lesuperdemon, Dhear and Sego (among others) but also invites the English D*Face, Italians Ericailcane and BLU, Belgian ROA, Los Angelianos Retna and El Mac, Polish M-City, Argentian JAZ and German duo Herakut to influence the voice of the street. With a visual wealth of inspiration and disruptive or unusual imagery in play on the street, this still  jittery city smiles and confronts you as the year turns, a response that is in flux and fiesta, sorrow and memory, outrage and magic.

ROA. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While traveling through the city with Roberto Shimizu, a central figure in the modern Street Art/mural scene here, and by visiting Street Artists and critical curators and organizers in studios and alternative spaces inside and outside the city, we garnered a greater appreciation for the complexity of the story here. It is distinctly different from the model we’ve seen elsewhere and explains the less showy trajectory that this still organic ecosystem has taken.

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As in most cities today you’ll find the organic and autonomous quality of works is best represented by one-off, handmade individual pieces of art and stickers throughout neighborhoods, many anonymous. These are not the large scale legal murals that unfamiliar observers sometimes refer to as Street Art. These are still the lifeblood of any real Street Art scene and are often indicators of its truer eclectic nature.

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maybe because there isn’t a large collector base for this work, or because some brands/marketers have already cheapened its image a bit, but Street Art hasn’t blossomed in the gallery world here to a great extent. Instead, true cultural curators like Shimizu have consistently led it directly to his festival programs or his family’s Mexico City’s Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM), and professors at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) are teaching about it to students .

Milamores and El Flaco. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We usually find the true nature of Street Art here is still in the streets – and in the artists community. In the Chulula area of nearby Puebla outside Mexico City, the mysterious renaissance seer named Milamores has quietly curated walls of many local and international artists over the last half decade, offering his compound and dogs for rest and companionship in a supportive artists space. Together with video animation artist Flaco he is presenting Street Art via Virtual Reality experiences that are in tandem with his organically grown mural program. Built on the site of a collapsed building from the 1985 earthquake, the artist/activist collective and community garden Huerto Roma Verde provides classes and workshops on art, sustainable architecture, gardening, and theater and has helped many artists to with mural opportunities as well.

Diana Bama . Martin Ferreira. Huerto Roma Verde. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Diana Bama . Martin Ferreira. Huerto Roma Verde. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As an emblem of the conflicting and harmonious forces at play, we cite the relatively recent mural painted by the Spanish Street Artist Escif on the wall of the Chihuahua housing complex on the Plaza of Three Cultures just north of the city center. Illustrating the privately funded public projects that Street Artists are doing now throughout cities, this one plumbs the unhealed wounds and still unanswered questions of a shocking event of political repression almost 50 years ago here in the plaza designed by Mario Pani.

Not only does the plaza physically join together a Spanish colonial church and the remains of a pre-Columbian Aztec temple with the 13 story housing complex, the square is most known today for the October 1968 suppression of a student movement where troops ran directly over the ruins and fired on a peaceful rally and secret police captured and tortured student leaders who were speaking from the balcony. Protest art and public installations about the 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping of 43 disappeared students recall the stories from 1968 today, and many make connections between the events.

Unidentified Artist. Installation in El Centro Historico for the 43 Desaparecidos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Some academics have said the crushing of the student movement was part of a secret “dirty war” by the government to quiet dissent and present a unified Mexico image to the world ahead of the upcoming Olympics, but Shimizu tells us that visiting politicians to Escif’s new wall are pleased with the mural and made a tour by bus with guests to admire it. A monument to the Tlatelolco massacre stands in the plaza memorializing the events, and Escif made a few statements about his interpretation of his mural.

“As in my previous works, there is not a limited meaning in the ‘Chihuahua Mural’, but as many meanings as people try to approach it with,” said Escif to us recently about the two suited figures. He discusses his research into the events that took place, but ultimately he leaves the painting more open to interpretation. “Those two guys painted on the wall can be secretive executives, military officers, corporate people or anybody. That will depend on who sees the wall and his previous experiences.”

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For visitors to Mexico City looking for the local Street Art or graffiti scene it is helpful to recognize that this moment for a near-global fascination for art in the streets is here also intertwined with a national and local history, cultural pride, and the treasured heritage of indigenous peoples.

While so-called “western” countries may see a rebellious disaffected rage or critique as an overarching narrative for the graffiti and Street Art scene in New York, London, or Berlin, it may be that Mexico City, and Latin America by extension, is also very cognizant of its roots, in love with them even, always infusing new work with a certain respect for their progenitors. For an art practice that is characterized in part for its ephemerality the context of this particular urban environment reminds you of its often remarkable resilience.

Dueke . Miss1 Guette for MUJAM. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RETNA. The Beauty Project, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot. Detial. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SINKO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interezni Kazki. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interezni Kazki. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kill Joy . Mazatl. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fusca .  Blast. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erica Ilcane. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


This is the first of two articles with BSA in Mexico City in collaboration with UN Berlin, it was originally published on the Urban Nation website, and the project is funded in part with the support of Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) in Berlin.

Read Part II here:

A Street View From Inside the Doors of Mexico City ; Galleries, Studios, Museums, and the Metro


Additional coverage by BSA in Mexico City:

An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

Saner, Mexican Muralist and Painter, Studio Visit. BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 2

Panteón and Watchavato “No Esto No Es Lo Que Fue” Opens In Mexico City

Exploring New Techniques and Processes with Elian, Jaz and Ever in Mexico City

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.17 Mexico City Special


This article is also published on the Urban Nation museum website:

 

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BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Scotland, Hong Kong, Sweden, French Polynesia, Barcelona, and Mexico City, photographer Jaime Rojo found that Street Art and graffiti are more alive than every before. From aerosol to brush to wheat-paste to sculpture and installations, the individual acts of art on the street can be uniquely powerful – even if you don’t personally know where or who it is coming from. As you look at the faces and expressions it is significant to see a sense of unrest, anger, fear. We also see hope and determination.

Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our weekly interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2017.

Brooklyn Street Art 2017 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

Artists included in the video are: Suitswon, Curiot, Okuda, Astro, Sixe Paredes, Felipe Pantone, Hot Tea, Add Fuel, Hosh, Miss Van, Paola Delfin, Pantonio, Base23, R1, Jaune, Revok, Nick Walker, 1UP Crew, SotenOne, Phat1, Rime MSK, Martin Whatson, Alanis, Smells, UFO907, Kai, Tuts, Rambo, Martha Cooper, Lee Quinoes, Buster, Adam Fujita, Dirty Bandits, American Puppet, Disordered, Watchavato, Shepard Fairey, David Kramer, Yoko Ono, Dave The Chimp, Icy & Sot, Damien Mitchell, Molly Crabapple, Jerkface, Isaac Cordal, SacSix, Raf Urban, ATM Street Art, Stray Ones, Sony Sundancer, ROA, Telmo & Miel, Alexis Diaz, Space Invader, Nasca, BK Foxx, BordaloII, The Yok & Sheryo, Arty & Chikle, Daniel Buchsbaum, RIS Crew, Pichi & Avo, Lonac, Size Two, Cleon Peterson, Miquel Wert, Pyramid Oracle, Axe Colours, Swoon, Outings Project, Various & Gould, Alina Kiliwa, Tatiana Fazalalizadeh, Herakut, Jamal Shabaz, Seth, Vhils, KWets1, FinDac, Vinz Feel Free, Milamores & El Flaco, Alice Pasquini, Os Gemeos, Pixel Pancho, Kano Kid, Gutti Barrios, 3 x 3 x 3, Anonymouse, NeSpoon, Trashbird, M-city, ZoerOne, James Bullowgh, and 2501.

 

Cover image of Suits Won piece with Manhattan in the background, photo by Jaime Rojo.

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BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2017 – A “Social” Survey

BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2017 – A “Social” Survey

How do you measure the success of a street piece? Foot traffic? How long it runs before being dissed?

The Internet revolutionized our lives and our definition of community and along with that we extend the experience of art on the street to the conversations and sharing that takes place in the digital “social” realm. BSA lives in both spheres daily, capturing stuff on the street and then telling its story to a global audience online. The truth is, we never really know what people will like.

Actually we do know some things will always be a hit as time moves forward – pop culture references. Banksy and Shepard and D*Face and their generation could always count on Sid Vicious, Marilyn, Mickey, Her Majesty QE2 and the ironic turn of pop parlance to drive a humorous, campy, sarcastic point home. Today we can count on 90s rapper Biggie Smalls and Star Wars Storm Troopers in any iteration to send the image volleying through our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter referrals, comments, feeds. In fact, both Biggie and the Trooper made it into the top 15 mural collection this year and last year – made by different artists.

In fact, these 15 images are not all murals but they resonate with larger numbers than others we published this year; a visual conversation that includes legal, illegal, small, anonymous, massive, deliberately confounding, tossed off scrawling, handmade and mass produced stickers, tags, poetry, diatribes, culture jamming, ad takeovers, sculpture, installations. Every week we aim to present a varied selection of expressions currently represented on the street, and then it is your turn to respond.

During 2017 BSA readers responded to images via our website, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbr, and Facebook pages. In a thoroughly unscientific survey that calculates “likes” and “clicks” and “re-Tweets” and “impressions”, we tallied up which murals (or images) got the most interest from you. Care to interpret the results?


15 – Lonac.

Here is his multi-story mural of an artist friend painting a wall for “No Limit” Borås. Borås, Sweden. September, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


14 – Add Fuel.

His mural of traditional Scottish tile patterning in Nuart Aberdeen captivated many readers. Aberdeen, Scotland. April, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


13 – Daniel Buchsbaum.

Converting this water heater in a room of the Antique Toy Museum. Mexico City. November, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


12 – Axe Colours.

For the second year in a row, but in different cities by different artists, the 1990s Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls appears on the top 15 list. This time he is in Barcelona, Spain. November, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


11 – Miss Van.

Ever more surreal, this is an instant classic by Miss Van is in Barcelona, Spain. November, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


10- Dave The Chimp.

The simplicity of Dave The Chimps’ characters can be a bit deceiving, considering how he manages to put them everywhere in so many situations. This one taps into our societal fears and the realization that our public (and private) moves are being recorded and scrutinized all the time, ready or not. Berlin, Germany. February, 2017.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


9 – ATM Street Art.

Dude, the bird-admiring contingent online took this one and flew with it. It’s a Red-faced Warbler for Audubon Birds of Broadway. Manhattan, NYC. January, 2017.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


8 – Suits.

A prize-winning use of existing conditions in furtherance of his message, Suits used this damaged wall very effectively. It helped to have Manhattan as a backdrop. Brooklyn, NYC. June, 2017  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


7 – BK Foxx.

Directly borrowed from a scene with Robert Dinero in the movie Taxi Driver, Street Artist BK Foxx uses the background to reference the never-ending scenes of violence that are in the news in the US. Brooklyn, NYC. November, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


6 – Tatiana Fazlalizadeh.

This garden of the mind grows in Manhattan at public school PS92. Manhattan, NYC. January, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


5 – The Outings Project.

Created during Nuart Aberdeen by Julien de Casabianca of the Outings Project, this reproduction of a painting was perfectly placed in a part of the city once known for the selling of people as slaves. An uncomfortable bit of beauty maximizes the possibilities with perfect placement. Aberdeen, Scotland. April, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


4 – 1UP Crew…and other vandals.

An iconic and isolated Brooklyn rooftop scene in the winter is made forbidding and welcoming by the snow storm and picnic tables.  Brooklyn, NYC. February, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


3 – Pyramid Oracle.

Ascending the subway stairs to see the grand wizened man with a third eye, this black and white image was somehow inspirational to many of our fans. Manhattan, NYC. April 2017.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


2 – Raf Urban.

A mid-sized wheat-pasted stencil piece claims the number 2 spot with the former President and First Lady, along with the message “Diversity is Hope.” Brooklyn, NYC. April, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


1 – Jerkface.

Guy Fawkes is a folk hero for the Occupy generation, here surrounded by the encroaching anonymous armature of the police state, represented by Storm Troopers. You can read many messages into this and like most good art, you’d would be right. Manhattan, NYC. March, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

This week BSA is in Mexico City in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN) to see what is steering the scene on the street, meet artists, visit artist compounds, museums, galleries, and studios – and of course to capture the wild and dynamic Street Art and graffiti scene here. Where Mexico City goes in art and culture makes big waves elsewhere in Latin America, and its Street Art scene has been quickly evolving in the last decade. Join us as we investigate the character and players in this modern/traditional city of more than 21 million people.


Not much happens in Mexico City’s modern Street Art scene that Roberto Shimizu Jr. doesn’t know about.

El Mac is in good company. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With his namesake father at the helm of the Mexican Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM) since it opened in 2006, the younger Shimizu has organized 30 or so Street Art events, founded the All City Canvas program, worked with city and federal public art programs. He has also been a personal clearing house for some of the most recognized talents and new practitioners on the scene, inviting them to paint inside and outside this eclectic and curiously expansive, overwhelming museum of toys that span a century or so.

ROA. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spent hours with Roberto walking the floors of this imagination-provoking museum today – oggling an ocean of hand-made and mass produced items here that his father has collected for almost 60 years in every state of Mexico, only 5% of an estimated 5 million individual pieces in their collection. As the son of a voracious lifelong collector with a razor sharp eye and appreciation for positive energy Roberto Jr. has an omnivore’s appetite for Street Art, public art, graffiti.

So naturally since the museum first opened he’s been bringing in an eclectic array of aerosol/brush painters, wheatpasters, stencils, sticker slappers to hit up walls in the courtyard outside, on the roof, inside the museum, and on walls around the industrialized/residential neighborhood of Colonia Doctores.

Curiot. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’ll be telling you more about this ingenious genius and his heartfelt amor for toys and Street Art later, but we thought we’d just show you some excerpts of a large rolled canvas signed by the important artists, curators, sincere fans and occasional rock stars that he’s been amassing for the last few years.

Here you’ll find a number of the big names from today’s Street Art scene from before anyone really knew them – people to whom he personally gave opportunities and encouragement and materials and who later have landed in the collections of museums and collectors thanks to him giving them an opportunity, or two, or three. Also it was good for us to see names of the new kids on the block and a number of Latin American talents we all will be getting to know in the future.

Herakut. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JAZ. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Neuzz. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Liqen. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M – City. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Luca Dalto. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

For more information about MUJAM click HERE

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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.14.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 12.14.14

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The year is winding down people, and the hits just keep on coming!

Bankers are ruling us and setting us up for their next crashing of the economy, mistletoe-carrying drones are a good idea gone wrong, and thousands continue to protest injustice toward black and brown people in Washington DC and Washington Square. In happier news: – just one photo we posted this week on Instagram – LMNOPI’s painting of a small boy protester – united the boy’s mother with the artist and us via social media, which was kind of magical. See a version of the image below. The city is also crammed with tourists (Hi Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Roy! Hi Kate and William!), drunken Santa’s are somewhat less cranky this year, and the Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn is already encrusted with Christmas lights.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $howta, Crummy Gummy, Dhear, Don John, Eelco Virus, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Mistakoy, Mr. Oneteas, Peter Van Flores, Rocko, Tracy168, WERC, and ZIMAD.

Top Image >> A Mr. OneTeas tribute to Keith Haring appeared in Soho. Earlier in the week an “I Can’t Breath” piece by the artist appeared on the street in Williamsburg but was torn down before we could get to it. Things happen fast sometimes with this ephemeral form of speech, and some pieces (like anything too cutesy or anything with male nudity) come down fast. The artists Instagram has a version of the large wheatpaste. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. OneTeas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zimad just finished this tribute to Basquiat for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Tracey 168 re-resurgence appeared suddenly for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mistakoy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crummy Gummy in Miami. (photo © Crummy Gummy)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye getting in the spirit of the season and sharing it on the streets. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eelco Virus with Rocko for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eelco Virus. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don John at work for Urban Xchange: Crossing Over in Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Nikko Tan)

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Don John. Urban Xchange: Crossing Over. Penang, Malaysia. (photo © Nikko Tan)

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Peter Van Flores in Miami. (photo © Crummy Gummy)

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WERC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dhear in Mexico City for MUJAM. (photo © Wladimir Sanchez)

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Untitled (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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BSA Film Friday 12.12.14

BSA Film Friday 12.12.14

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

Now screening :

1. Mary Lacy: Life at Moran
2. Dhear: Similia Similibus Currentur
3. Sofles Black Book
4. Helpful Tips for Riding the Subway with Johnny T

BSA Special Feature: Mary Lacy: Life at Moran

The ever widening spectrum of culture that embraces graffiti-street art-muralism, gentrification, and commercialism blurs one more line in this promotional video for the development of an old factory on Lake Champlain. While well executed, it borrows completely from the urban explorers and graffiti artists who have been hitting up the walls of decrepit and abandoned places with paint for decades, while giving no credit for it.

Take note that the camera work neatly relegates those renegades work to the margins and incidental backgrounds while celebrating the “fine art” being blue taped into existence center stage. While not a straight up deal breaker, the sound track is principally a viola played with classical contemplation, making the whole rustic scene very palatable to investors and denotes a certain income level and educational background and well, class distinction.

That said, Mary Lacy chooses nature and flora to gently entice you to come in; her folk technique evoking stained glass or porcelain collage work, and she selects well placed vignettes that remind you of Cuba.

Makes you hanker for cup of rich fair trade hand pressed café mocha and a butternut elderberry quinoa bear claw glazed with raw sugar, doesn’t it? Fire up the Kindle and read insightful prose describing how factory jobs like the ones once here in this building were moved offshore, never to return.

 

Dhear: Similia Similibus Currentur

Done in conjunction with MUJAM, Dhear creates this enormous mural on the side of a homeopathic hospital that recalls Mexico’s 20th century mural tradition and inspires the people visiting and working there.

 

Sofles Black Book

Dude kills black books too, which is probably no surprise to anyone who has seen his previous videos here where he slaughters entire factories. Never imagined such a hard driving crunchy soundtrack would accompany art markers, did you?

Helpful Tips for Riding the Subway with Johnny T

Hey, whatsa matta wit you? Don’t do that! Jeez!

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BSA Film Friday 12.05.14

BSA Film Friday 12.05.14

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

Now screening :

1. Street Artist GAIA, Super Modernity in Italy, Austria, Turkey
2. JR: RIVAGES  a film by Guillaume Cagniard
3. Curiot at the Mexico City’s Youth Institute

BSA Special Feature: Street Artist GAIA, Super Modernity in Italy, Austria, Turkey

“Traversing places in order to respond to place, what an absurd proposition.”

And yet, that is what Street Artist Gaia has been doing for the last 3 years or so.  In route he has been seeing many other artists doing the same thing, and has been feeling super modern about it.

While Street Art grew out of the graffiti tradition of tagging your local city with your name and your artwork and calling it a day, few are satisfied with that audience today. True fame happens via the Internet and mural festivals, and Gaia has made it one of his goals to study the history and culture of his host city and the resulting art works have been affected by his self-education and observation.

In this new video mini-treatise, an existential examination of his own journey to this point, Gaia poses questions while cleverly jabbing at the roving rootless lifestyle that has arrested many artists in the Street Art scene; reveling in its benefits — possibly counting its costs.

The petite piece is scored by Max Muffler in a postmodern electronic timber, evoking the charging swing of perpetual cross-cultural travel that can be rich and repetitively banal.

Sounds like the beginning of a larger work to come.

 

 

JR: RIVAGES  a film by Guillaume Cagniard

 

Curiot at the Mexico City’s Youth Institute

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A Saturday Mural in Mexico City with Tiburon 704, Navajas, and Shente

A Saturday Mural in Mexico City with Tiburon 704, Navajas, and Shente

A ROA/SEGO Colab is Defaced and Replaced (VIDEO)

“It’s not illegal graffiti, it’s a contemporary mural,” says a passerby who is watching the new collaboration by Tiburon 7ö4, Navajas, and Shente in Mexico City.  The Antique Toy Museum Mexico (MUJAM) and its director Roberto Shimizu decided it was time to refresh this wall after another collaboration by ROA and SEGO was finally tagged after running for two years.

I respect the streets language and the cycle of the ephemeral artworks,” says Shimizu as he traces the relatively long life of the Dutch/Mexican mural that began the Mural Mujam project and in his estimation was “one of the most emblematic walls in Mexico City.  That’s why I wanted to make something special to cover this historic tagged mural.”

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The original ROA vs SEGO mural shown here after it was tagged. (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

The new collaboration is all Mexican, drawn from three far spread cities in the country (Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and Tijuana) and stylistically it is equally diverse. In these images and the video below you see the Tiburon using a more traditional mural technique using brushes, vinyl and spray cans, Navajas skewing toward a monochrome realism, and Shente bringing some old school influences from Tijuana´s graffitti scene.

The gathering of different kinds of people in public space may be one of the overlooked qualities invariably arises with the appearance of cans, ladders and artists on your block on a Saturday morning. Here you get to meet people, trade opinions, learn new techniques of painting, see the original sketches, and hear how the artist is thinking about their progress.  “What we enjoyed the most with this mural was we really had a great time as a group of friends, painting over a normal weekend and having a good time just hanging out with our people,” says Shimizu.

Special thanks to Omar Villa and Nasser Malek for sharing photos and timelapses of the new mural with BSA readers, and thank you to Daniel Sroor for making the video capturing the sense of community that surrounded the process.

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

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Tiburon / 7ö4 . Navajas . Shente (photo © courtesy of Roberto Shimizu/MUJAM)

 

 

 

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Mexican Street Artists Bring Kids Up the Ladder

Street Art as an Educational Instrument for Community

This spring a handful of some of Mexico’s top Street Art talent gave local youth a chance to envision themselves as artists. SEGO, SIAMÉS, 704, MINOS and NEWS gave their time and talent to conduct workshops and show how to create paintings and wall murals for roughly 300 kids who took part in the project headed by Roberto Shimizu K of the Antique Toy Museum Mexico (MUJAM).

Minos work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

“The main purpose of this community work is to encourage young talent and to give them tools for success,” says Shimizu of the joint program with Oroboro and Fundación Isitia, a foundation that works with families in need and youth at risk. “Hopefully we can nurture and inspire them to see different possibilities to being successful in their lives,” he says, “When they get to work with other talented Mexican artists they can envision their own path to the future as something positive.”

Minos work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

The Mitikah project included five big walls and a lot of paint and preparation. By working alongside the artists the kids began to understand some of the challenges and difficulties that an artist faces, as well as what it takes to have commitment to a project. In the daily exchanges and sharing of responsibilities and learning the craft, Shimizu says they hope to engender a proactive and positive mentality for participants to take to their families and the greater community.

BSA is very happy to be able to share these images of the project with our readers.

Minos. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

Siamés. Work in Progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

Siamés at work. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

Siamés. Work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

Siamés. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

Sego. Work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

Sego. Work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

Sego. Work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

News. Work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

News. Work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

News. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

704. Work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

704. Detail. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

704. Work in progress. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

704. Mitikah Project with The Museum of Antique Toy of Mexico City (MUJAM). Mexico City. (photo © MUJAM)

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All City Canvas: Festival de Arte Urbano in Mexico City (Mexico City)

All City Canvas

 

ALL CITY CANVAS es un festival de arte urbano, a nivel internacional, que busca unir esfuerzos del movimiento alrededor del mundo, en un solo lugar durante una semana.

La ciudad sede, en este caso, la Ciudad de México, ofrecerá sus mejores espacios para que nueve de los artistas más reconocidos del movimiento de arte urbano intervengan espacios únicos e históricos de la ciudad.

Además, durante la semana del festival, se llevará a cabo una serie de conferencias impartidas por expertos en el tema, que ayudarán a contextualizar el trabajo que se realiza en las calles.

Finalmente, una reconocida galería de la ciudad expondrá obras de los artistas invitados y algunos otros talentos locales.

ARTISTS:

En esta primera edición de ALL CITY CANVAS, México fue seleccionado como sede del festival por ser, históricamente, un referente artístico y cultural. Este contexto histórico convierte a México en un importante punto de interés para la nueva generación de artistas que llevan años tomando las calles y los muros de las principales capitales del mundo para plasmar sus obras.

A finales de abril, los ojos del mundo estarán puestos en el corazón de la ciudad más grande del mundo y México se convertirá en uno de los focos principales de la escena del arte urbano.

El festival ALLC ITY CANVAS presentará del 30 de abril al 5 de mayo a 9 de los mejores artistas internacionales y nacionales, con amplias muestras de arte urbano, usando como lienzos algunos edificios icónicos de la Ciudad de México, creando una sinergia entre nuestras tradiciones y una nueva visión global. Es un festival inclusivo, que busca llevar el arte a superficies emblemáticas para crear murales de gran escala dentro del espacio urbano único que ofrece una de las ciudades más grandes del mundo. Así, la ciudad participará activamente, dejando un gran antecedente en la calle de lo que es el Arte Urbano en la actualidad.

Este proyecto ha sido la visión y trabajo de jóvenes mexicanos que asumieron la misión de voltear los ojos del mundo hacia México, insertándose en la historia, en un momento en el que es esencial mostrar de manera creativa y comunitaria la vitalidad, energía, magia, mezcla de razas y amor por la identidad mexicana en el espacio público. La Ciudad de México ofrece el escenario perfecto de una urbe con raíces históricas, arquitectura de gran visibilidad, ciudadanos abiertos a experiencias estéticas y una tradición artística de gran influencia.

ALL CITY CANVAS es un festival que desde su concepción ha sido inclusivo, trabajando con la autoridad, la iniciativa privada, la comunidad, con los estudiantes y los medios. Ha buscado impulsarse mostrando una cara positiva, apostando en el talento y energía del país. Es una apuesta por el arte en el espacio público, lo cual es y ha sido un concepto muy presente en la historiografía del arte en este país; en principio con tono revolucionario pero desde diferentes movimientos y con variantes en la manera de abordarlo, ha sido siempre una constante. Desde los muralistas, se tenía clara esta postura frente al arte; José Clemente Orozco se refirió así del muralismo: “La forma más desinteresada, ya que no puede ser escondida para beneficio de unos cuantos privilegiados. Es para la gente. Es para todos”.

Después del muralismo, el movimiento estudiantil de los años 60’s, en el que se manifestaba el descontento político, recurriendo a imágenes que se plasmaban en carteles, grafiti y fotografía llena de simbolismo. Movimientos artísticos conocidos como el Grupo, que a principios de los 70’s diseñaban pancartas y murales con variaciones de iconografía militante clásica para transmitir mensajes de disidencia o el No Grupo, que con imágenes populares y juegos de lenguaje criticaban el elitismo de las instituciones de arte, entre otras cosas. En el mundo, durante estos años, se gestionaba el manifesto de los Situacionistas, que se basaba en crear acontecimientos con significado que revirtiera el pre establecido por el sistema capitalista y de gobierno. En México surgió la neográfica y diversas técnicas de reproducción y transferencia de imágenes. Se organizaban happenings y trabajos muralísticos en comunidades campesinas e indígenas por el Taller de Investigación Plástica; se hacían exposiciones callejeras por parte de fotógrafos independientes como las del grupo Peyote y el de Narrativa Visual, del cual se desprendería el grupo Março con Alejandro Olmedo, Mauricio Guerrero y Sebastián, originadores de un manifesto Marxista inspirado en el Dadaísta. Todos coincidían en una postura clara ante el espacio público, ubicándolo como símbolo de democracia que planteaba cambiar el entorno diario a través del arte para poder dar un mensaje.

En los años 80’s crece el grafiti junto con algunas acciones de intervención que funcionaban como testimonios de eventualidades e inconformidades, como por ejemplo la toma del Balmori en la colonia Roma, en dónde, ante una campaña de demolición posterior al terremoto del 85, el edificio fue “tomado” al ser pintados los cristales y así evitando que fuera demolido. Esta acción marcó un momento muy importante en la regeneración urbana.

La postura del reclamo y la apropiación del espacio público con un mensaje, es algo que ha estado muy presente en la historia de la ciudad y sigue siendo actual. El festival apuesta y celebra el actuar en espacios estratégicos para establecer un diálogo entre la arquitectura, la imagen, el espacio y el observador, para así transmitir un mensaje que lleve a algún tipo de reflexión.

Con disciplina de trabajo, experimentación de técnicas y herramientas innovadoras, los artistas y sus murales nos harán dialogar y revalorar el espacio, nos mostrarán cómo un edificio se activa y transforma. Nos presentarán ideas de temas actuales a partir de lo que la ciudad les provoque e inspire, a través de su talentoso lenguaje plástico para experimentar con la estética que llevan años trabajando y  perfeccionando.

Esta experiencia la podremos tener in situ, al pie de los edificios intervenidos o a través del otro espacio público que ofrece Internet, ya que se podrá interactuar durante los días del festival a través de diversas redes sociales, con el contenido que se generará durante esa semana.

ALL CITY CANVAS creará una comunidad sólida en un espacio público: físico cerca de las PAREDES intervenidas por los artistas y virtual en el mundo online. Se presentará en espacio de galería PIEZAS, de la obra a pequeña escala que estos artistas producen, disponible para venta. Y se hablará al respecto en PALABRAS, desde el punto de vista de expertos que han dedicado su vida a registrar, teorizar, publicar y/o experimentar este arte espectacular.

Se presentará a la Ciudad de México como un museo al aire libre, con arte monumental y público, que de manera visual e interactiva, será un Festival para todos.

Click HERE to learn more about ALL City Canvas

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Mexico City : A New Surrealist Face for Street Art

Comic, surrealist, role-playing psychological explorations, with a tip of the hat to Breton, Carrington, and Lucha Libre, among others.

Pixel Pancho (photo © XAM)

Mexico City culture can be as varied and diverse as it is homogeneous, with a respect for tradition and, when it comes to artistic expression, a catalyst for exploration. André Breton is reported to have described Mexico as “the most surrealist country in the world,” where painters like Leonora Carrington and Frida Kahlo unhinged their imaginations from the limitations of the material world. As these new images on the streets of Mexico City taken by Brooklyn architectural street artist XAM show, the love for a psychic automatism continues into the public sphere.

Of course the Mexicans are not strangers to art on the streets; “great Latin American muralists” is a phrase almost synonymous with Mexico and names like Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros coming to mind. Political advocacy and populist criticism of social policy on the walls here is similarly a tradition respected by the culture. Now a century after the revolution and birth of the modern Mexico, the experience of Los Capitalinos, as the residents of Mexico City are called, is affected daily by surrealism, pop culture and global capitalism swimming alongside folk and historical symbology, and a bit of anarchy. It’s all part of one fabric, a rich and varied textile that we export to you here.

Ben Eine (photo © XAM)

Says XAM of his experience, “Barcelona, NYC, Amsterdam, and Paris are all similar in a way when it comes to street art – you can walk around and come across work on the streets fairly easily, but traversing the barrios of Mexico city is much different. I guess in some way you can compare it to San Francisco, Chicago or Los Angeles – there is quality work to be found. The city differs from all mentioned in that it appears to be young when it comes to street art by having a small group of participants.”

“I was hosted by both MUMUTT Arte and Museo del Juguete Antiguo Mexico, who are both responsible for providing concrete canvases in Mexico City for artist such as ROA, M-City, Pixel Pancho, and fresh stuff from the locals like Saner, Sego and the MOZ crew. Mexico City DF has the most museums in the world and MUMUTT and Museo del Juguete are largely responsible for adding street art to the vast archive of amazing work. They escorted me around to locations they provided for the above artists – It is evident that everyone brought their A-game. The weathered concrete walls made wonderful surfaces for imagery such as Dronz & Koko’s character, offering hallucinatory candy at the toy museum to Ben Eine’s work that speaks about class issues on a worksite for a future mall.”

Ben Eine (photo © XAM)

Pixel Pancho (photo © XAM)

Pixel Pancho (photo © XAM)

Liqen (photo © XAM)

Jaz (photo © XAM)

Saner (photo © XAM)

Saner (photo © XAM)

Saner in collaboration with Bastardilla (photo © XAM)

Samurai . Ceci (photo © XAM)

Roman (photo © XAM)

Roman . Acute (photo © XAM)

ROA (photo © XAM)

Meah (photo © XAM)

Broken Crow (photo © XAM)

MCity (photo © XAM)

MCity (photo © XAM)

Moz Crew (photo © XAM)

Moz Crew (photo © XAM)

Moz Crew (photo © XAM)

Kokor . Dronz (photo © XAM)

Bimek . Done (photo © XAM)

Bue (photo © XAM)

Ever (photo © XAM)

SBTG. The artist worked on this piece on commission to promote an event sponsored by a shoe company. We like the placement. (photo © XAM)

Click on the links below to read our previous stories of MAMUTT Arte and MUJAM and to learn more about their work in Mexico City:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/2011/09/20/m-city-in-m-city-polish-stencillist-in-mexico/

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/2011/05/07/video-premiere-broken-crow-in-mexico/

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/2011/03/04/broken-crow-a-mexican-travelog/

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/2011/03/09/broken-crow-a-mexican-travelog-part-ii/

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/2011/02/05/roas-magic-naturalism-street-arts-wild-kingdom-in-mexico/

 

 

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M.City in M. City : Polish Stencillist in Mexico

MAMUTT Arte and the Antique Toy Museum of Mexico (MUJAM) are continuing in their quest to invite the emerging slate of Street Art talents of today to bomb big time in their beloved Mexico City (D.F.). Last month Polish Street Artist M-City did 6 pieces to accompany the existing pieces by ROA, Liqen, Broken Crow, Koko, and Dronz among others.

Invited by Gonzalo Alvarez of MAMUUT, here are exclusive images of the creation of M-City working on his piece in Mexico City, where the large scale stencillist shared sketches of his work in progress with some local fans of his work.

Read our interview with M-City when he was in frozen New York in January 2010 here.

brooklyn-street-art-mcity-mujam-mexico-city-gonzalo-alvarez-15-webM-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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The orange scaffolding is a great contrast to the graphic new piece going up by M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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M-City has a stylized stencil tag. (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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A broken skate deck becomes a perfect canvas for M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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Afloat in the wheels and cogs of industry. M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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Evidently, the feeling is mutual. M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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New M-City pieces proudly displayed. (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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The finished collaged stencil piece by M-City (photo © Gonzalo Alvarez)

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