All posts tagged: Natalia Rak

UPEA Finland 2018, A Cross Country Installation of Quality Murals

UPEA Finland 2018, A Cross Country Installation of Quality Murals

UPEART 2018 in Finland took place during the month of September including 20 international and local artists in 12 different cities across the country.

Case Maclaim. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we give you a recap of some favorite scenes from the festival across many cities of Finland thanks to the vision and organizing of Jorgos Fanaris and his team who collectively direct the festival from their headquarters in a post-industrial neighborhood of Helsinki. While there is a proud graff scene and history here, and the city has areas like the Pasila Street Art District, the capital is usually known as a sparkling international city of islands and a peninsula by the Gulf of Finland facing Tallinn, Estonia across the bay.

Proudly humble, elegant and rationally romantic, the city is flanked on all sides by arts and culture, low and high, with historical art institutions like the National Museum as well as the more contemporary Kiasma and cross disciplinary Kunsthalle Helsinki. A deeper rooted cultural history is also apparent in the traditional wooden architecture, the influence of its neighbors Sweden and Russia, and its ability even today to evolve with the most modern of global design practice.

Case Maclaim. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For urban explorers like ourselves who wander the margins and explore the forgotten, neglected parts of the metropolis, it was a bit of a shock to see 8 charming Finnish cities and towns in only a few days – interspersed with millions of birch tree forests and sweeping vistas of farmland, with Russia visible at one point just across a canal.

We drove from uncongested towns surrounded by woodlands like Joensuu and Hyvinkää to midsized cities like Tampere and Espoo, using a stick shift Volkswagen and minding the speed cameras on a smooth and well maintained system of roads and highways. Usually we’re looking out for rats and broken glass and homeless drug users, not slow-moving farming tractors and wily-eyed moose who may cross your path.

Case Maclaim. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But the murals! Choosing from among some of the most accomplished painters and planners of design in the current international scene, Fanaris relies on his own history with graffiti, hip hop, and perhaps the Finnish National Opera when selecting participants to invite.

The quality is high in many instances throughout the mural program and municipalities are gifted with some works may prove timeless – until they fade. Perhaps more decorative than transgressive as a whole, these are public works made in collaboration with local tastes. Some meanings are buried beneath layers, others more obvious and on the surface. An unrealized irony of many “legit” mural programs like this one is many of these artists used to do the illegal stuff too.

As UPEART travels and evolves it will be interesting to see how it changes. Fanaris tells us that the future will include installations, sculpture, even performance as the festival becomes more integrated with communities. With a solid foundation of curation on a massive country-wide scale in these first three years, we look forward to see where UPEART moves next.

Mantra. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When I was a child I was not curious about painting,” Mantra says, “I was more curious about what I could find in the garden so that’s why I spent a lot of time studying these insects and these animals.” Later he shows us images of butterflies and other winged creatures rendered in high fidelity inside decaying factory rooms, including a large dead bird lying on its side. “I painted this because I had seen a dead bird in the garden only a week before.”

Read more: Mantra in Hyvinkää for UPEART Festival 2018 Finland – Dispatch 5

Mantra. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Mantra)

Mantra. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Mantra)

Sainer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think my work is changing recently,” he says. “I have liked to do plainer paintings – like small landscapes . I’m not really into the characters that much in the same way that I was. When I do paint characters they are in the shadow. I like the idea of making portraits where the portrait is not the most important part of the painting.”

BSA: That’s so anti-intuitive – because normally that would be the center focal point, right?

Sainer: Yes – even here the portrait is central but I am trying to play all around it just to hide it. It’s just one of the ideas that I am trying to work with these days.

Read more from our interview with Sainer here.

Sainer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Waone. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ukrainian artist Waone, of Interesni Kazki titled his mural “Spirit of Antique Book”.

“Reading the real book in the age of technology and internet may look rare and a kind of old fashioned, but not for me,” he says. “This mural ‘Spirit of Antique Book’ I dedicated to all book lovers. It represents the wonderful way to escape from ordinary life to extraordinary worlds, and depicts that magic moment when you read the book and lose yourself between the pages.”

BSA: Does it concern you that school children today are becoming unfamiliar with reading traditional books on paper?

Waone: Hmm I didn’t think about books in schools, in Ukraine we still use “normal” books… But I’m sure normal books will become more and more rare. I don’t judge it and I’m not saying that’s good or bad. I just love the book esthetic, a strong symbol of knowledge.”

Waone. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Natalia Rak. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Natalia Rak. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sepe. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Helen Bur. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eero Lampinen. Work in progress. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of his own work, he says, “It’s like a mix of fantasy with contemporary and realistic elements – kind of magic realism. I like to play around with fashion different types of characters.”

The characters are here in the evolving mural – three figures who are working the runways of the street in distinctly different styles.

“There is a night demon, a rubber-outfit person, and then an older character,” he says, “They are all walking separate ways in the streets – and it plays around with this street.”

Read more with Eero Lampinen here.

Eero Lampinen. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Eero Lampinen)

Pertti Jarla. UPEArt Finland 2018. Tampere, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How & Nosm. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Lisalmi, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How & Nosm. UPEArt Finland 2018. Lisalmi, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Proch. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Proch. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal made a number of interesting installations in Karakallio in Espoo, including a haunting series of small buildings attached on trees throughout the forest.

Read more about Isaac Cordal at UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 3

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

NOTE: No trees were damaged by installing the birdhouse sculptures on them.


All the participating artists on UPEArt 2018 are: Andrew Hem, Case Maclaim, David De La Mano, Eero Lampinen, Fabio Petani, Gummy Gue, Helen Bur, How & Nosm, Isaac Cordal, Jussi Twoseven, Kenor, Leon Keer, Mantra, Natalia Rak, Pertti Jarla, Robert Proch, Sainer, Sepe, Silja Selonen and Waone.

 

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BSA + UPEA in Finland

BSA + UPEA in Finland

BSA is excited to bringing you new works from Finland next week as we explore Helsinki and nearby cities that are part of the UPEA 2018 Festival. A unique model of mural festival that invites international and local artists to paint across the entire country, UPEART has quietly entered the global Street Art and graffiti stage without entering the fray: providing top caliber artists with uncommon opportunities to create works in cities for a handful of years now.

Waone Interesni Kazki at UPEART (image © the artist)

The full line up for this year’s stellar UPEART edition is:

Andrew Hem, Case Maclaim, David de la Mano, Eero Lampinen, Fabio Petani, Gummy Gue, Helen Bur, How & Nosm, Isaac Cordal, Jussi TwoSeven, Kenor, Leon Keer, Mantra, Natalia Rak, Pertti Jarla, Robert Proch, Sainer, Sepeusz, Silja Selonen and Waone Interesni Kazki, who poses here yesterday with the mural he’s been working on for 10 days


To keep on top of the action on the ground and up on the lifts click on UPEA’s FB link below:

https://www.facebook.com/upeart/

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BSA Film Friday 06.08.18

BSA Film Friday 06.08.18

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

Now screening :
1.1st Berlin Mural Fest Wrap Up
2. Pixel Pancho in Papeete. for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. French Polynesia.
3. Christina Angelina in Papeete. for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. French Polynesia.
4. Doug Gillen FWTV – Street Art and Anti-Semitism…discuss..

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BSA Special Feature: 1st Berlin Mural Fest Wrap Up

Of course Berlin has no shortage of organically grown aerosol artworks around the city so it takes something special like a mural festival started by Die Dixons to make an impact. They have the connection to community and ability to mobilize across walls and art and performance disciplines. After the success of The Haus last year it seemed like anything was possible for the team, and the first time out shows the results in this short aftermovie.

#berlinmuralfest #nackenstarregarantiert #allewändevollzutun #berlinartbang

Props from the organizers to: Akteone, CREN, Jelio Dimitrov Arsek, Erase, case_maclaim, Die Dixons, Dr.Molrok, El Bocho, Elle Street Art, HERAKUT , Icke_art, Innerfields, Insane 51, Isakov, James Bullough, Kera1, Klebebande Berlin, Kobe Eins, Mika Yat Graffiti, Millo, Mr.WOODLAND , MTO (Graffiti / Street-art), MüCke32, Natalia Rak, Notes of Berlin, Nuno Viegas, One Truth Graffiti Street Art, ONUR, WES 21, Size Two, snik, TASSO, TELMO MIEL, Ria Wank, Michael Dyne Mieth, Anne ‘Blondie’ Bengard, Slider.Bandits, Caparso, Bas2, Daniela Uhlig, Ghettostars Crew , Monsta 179, Semor the mad one, Skenar73, Max Roche, Raws, TAPE OVER, Tape That, Tobo

Pixel Pancho in Papeete. for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. French Polynesia.

Here are a couple of quick work-in-progress videos we shot this week on the island of Papeete in French Polynesia while we’re chasing artists with Martha Cooper across 4 islands of Papeete, Raitea, Moorea, and Bora Bora. Here are Pixel Pancho and Christina Angelina.

Christina Angelina in Papeete. for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. French Polynesia.

 

Doug Gillen FWTV – Street Art and Anti-Semitism…discuss…

Is Banksy anti-semitic? The Street Artist has used his work to address social and political causes for almost two decades and this is the first we’ve heard the charge. We’ve seen all sorts of sentiments on the streets – racist, misogynist, homophobic, strains of xenophobia from different angles. But this is Israelis and the Palestinians and an active fight – with a multitude of shadings. Doug Gillen flies directly into the hornets’ nest – all for the love of Street Art.

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BSA Film Friday: 02.24.17

BSA Film Friday: 02.24.17

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

Now screening :
1. Kate Tempest – “Europe Is Lost”
2. DESCUBRIENDO NUESTRA HISTORIA – Discovering Our History (Chile)
3. Cane Morto: Grimy Drawings With High Precision Tools.
4. Bezt X Natalia Rak in collaboration with Thinkspace. Film by Birdman


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BSA Special Feature: Kate Tempest – “Europe Is Lost”

Not your average happy Friday video, but a powerful one for this moment showcasing some new talents in music and video – and the collaged technique of Street Art that we often find on “organic” walls in city centers where the multiple voices of many are collectively yelling for your attention.

Rage filled Trump, KKK members, police violence, industrial pollution, drug use, mechanized systems of production, fabulous hedonism, starving people, prisons: The technique of rapid-file visual shocks in a battering succession timed to illustrate the lyrics was popularized by punk bands in the nineties – who probably borrowed it from the collage photo and text technique in punk and anarchist hand-made zines of the 70s and 80s. By de-saturating the color images to black and white the various clips are on equal footing and the pacing is plainly rolled out sans filter for impressive impact.

Singer/rapper/poet South Londoner Kate Tempest is a clarion voice at this moment and an animated force to consider over a sparely punctuating musical arrangement. According to press reports the video was created by a fan named Manual Braun and it became the official video for the song, making the message feel even more grassroots as a result.

Quoted in The Independent this month, Tempest says her song isn’t offering much hope so don’t get your hopes up. “It’s too late now. It’s gone beyond somebody being right and somebody being wrong,” she said. “It’s far too late. “We’re in the middle of a massive humanitarian crisis.”  However, the very fact that artists and thinkers are getting these messages out and in front of us is a cause for hope and we believe the people have the ability to heal these crisis.

 

Also check out Kate’s live performance on KEXP in Kex Hostel in Reykjavik during Iceland Airwaves last November.

DESCUBRIENDO NUESTRA HISTORIA – Discovering Our History

Desie, Teo, Nao and Majestick collaborate on a new community mural at a bus station called PAZ. There is a certain poetry in that statement, as well as the reviving of memories from the previous traders and workers “helping to remember what was every inhabitant of the historic commune” in Santiago, Chile.

CRONICA B: GALERIA:

 

Cane Morto: Grimy Drawings With High Precision Tools.

Italian trio Cane Morto are back with a new grimy zine they made just for you.

 

 

Bezt X Natalia Rak in collaboration with Thinkspace. Film by Birdman.

Celebrated a new wall by exhibiting artists at Thinkspace in Los Angeles, photographer Birdman shoots a video of the making of the wall and the process.

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A Selection of Murals from “MURAL” in Montreal 2016

A Selection of Murals from “MURAL” in Montreal 2016

Have a look at some of the murals from this months MURAL festival in Montreal, which began in 2013.

There is no discernible theme among the collection here aside from many of them being technically outstanding. MURAL itself has become a very commercial gathering of food and lifestyle vendors, VIP events, a small art fair, hella-brands and djs and, you know, beards.

Klone Yourself and Phillipe Pantone are a couple of the artists pushing boundaries here, with the latter skillfully reproducing a 90’s computer art that is nostalgic and smartly updated in its 3-D rendering.

Our great thanks to photographer Daniel Esteban Rojas who did an outstanding job capturing these to share with BSA readers.

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Meggs for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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D*Face for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Fonki for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Natalia Rak for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Mateo for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Buff Monster for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Jonathan Bergeron for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Jonathan Bergeron for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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HSix for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Five Eight for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Acidum for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Klone Yourself for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Felipe Pantone for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Roadsworth for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Roadsworth for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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Miss Teri for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

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XRay for Mural Festival 2016. Montreal, Canada. (photo © Daniel Esteban Rojas)

 

With our out most gratitude to Daniel Esteban Rojas for his exclusive documentation of the completed murals in Montreal.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.21.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.21.15

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Summertiiiiiiiiiiimmme, and the living is eaaaaassssssyyyyy. Yessir, today is the first day of Summer here in New York and the longest day of the year – which means you can take a nap under a tree in the park or on your towel at the beach and still have plenty of time to play when you wake up. There are abandoned buildings to explore, murals to paint, wheat-pastes to stick, interventions to engineer, stencils to cut, selfies to snapchat, potato chips to eat, beer to swig. That couch by the window is calling me even now, the big temptress, as she does so often on these languorous days, induced by the heat. But I will not heed her siren song.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Bezt, Buff Monster, Dain, Dee Dee, Faile, Fra. Biancoshock, Free Humanity, Gold Loxe, Li-Hill, Natalia Rak, Okuda, Old Broads, Phoebe, Sophia Hirsch and Johannes Mundinger, and Simon Vazquez and Sebastien Waknine.

Top image above >>> Okuda (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill for The Bushwick Collective. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill for The Bushwick Collective. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bezt (from Etam Cru) in Providence, Rhode Island for Avenue Concept/Inoperable Gallery (photo © Bezt)

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Dee Dee and Dain are BFF’s on the streets. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gold Loxe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile with a remnant of El Sol 25. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phoebe New York (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phoebe New York (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Natalia Rak in Providence, Rhode Island for Avenue Concept/Inoperable Gallery (photo © Natalia Rak)

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Fra Biancoshock’s new installation in Vilnius, Lithuania features a speed checking camera refashioned in the fashion of an Instagram camera. He calls it #picoftheday (photo © Fra Biancoshock)

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Old Broads (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Old Broads (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sophia Hirsch and Johannes Mundinger installation at the former prison ‘JVA Magdeburg’ in Magdeburg, Germany.  (photo © Johannes Mundinger)

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Sophia Hirsch and Johannes Mundinger installation at the former prison ‘JVA Magdeburg’ in Magdeburg, Germany.  (photo © Johannes Mundinger)

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Free Humanity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Simon Vazquez and Sebastien Waknine interventions in an abandoned hotel someplace in Northern Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Simon Vazquez and Sebastien Waknine interventions in an abandoned hotel someplace in Northern Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Simon Vazquez and Sebastien Waknine interventions in an abandoned hotel somewhere in Northern Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Untitled. Coney Island, NY. Summer 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Sweden Starts “No Limit” Mural Festival in Borås

Sweden Starts “No Limit” Mural Festival in Borås

It isn’t just Nuart any more.

Scandinavia is taking their mural festivals seriously thanks to buoyant economies, arts programming support, and a growing global appreciation for art in the streets in general. Included in the list of recent festivals are Denmark’s Galore (Copenhagen) and We Aart (Aalborg) and Sweden’s Artscape (Malmö) as well as the more graffiti-inflected Örebro, Helsinki’s Arabia and of course the one-kilometer long graffiti/Street Art slaughter that accompanies the mammoth music festival Roskilde.

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ECB. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

This month humbly began No Limit in the small city of Borås, Sweden, and artist / curator Shai Dahan hopes to enliven the daily views for this population of 66,000 with his curated collection of international artists from street / graffiti / fine art backgrounds.

An artist and entrepreneur who moved here from New York three and a half years ago, Dahan has been rallying local building owners and government institutions to aid in his idea of mounting a show on walls in the city that emulates the success of such festivals elsewhere.

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Isaac Cordal. The small scale installations by the Spanish artist provide a welcome answer to the ever more massive tendencies of wall installations in mural programs. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

“I’ve been on quite a journey and accomplishing this project has been something I have been working on personally for over a year,” he says. With participation and funding from the city of Borås, No Limit this month invited and hosted artists from countries such as The Netherlands, Brasil, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain and Sweden and included artists like Natalia Rak, ETAM Cru, Peeta, ECB, The London Police, Kobra, Ollio, Ekta, Carolina Falkholt, Issac Cordal and one of the earliest Street Art stencilists, Blek le Rat.

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Isaac Cordal. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

“And best of all, we had no bad weather. The day Natalia landed (she was the first to arrive) the sun came out, and it stayed out until the very last day,” says Dahan of the festival that he deemed “phenomenal” and included guided tours for over 200 people at a time.

“After everyone left, it began raining, ” he smiles.

For countries that have a so-called “zero tolerance” for illegal art or any kind like Sweden, mural festivals like these effectively circumvent the rigid approval process that typically characterizes public art projects and many make inroads into engaging public space with art in a new way that is emblematic of a vibrant global movement. It may be a tenuous line to walk, but more cities seem willing to embrace this swing of the pendulum with art in the streets.

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The Brazillian Street Artist named Kobra created a portrait of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist, engineer, industrialist, and inventor of dynamite. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Kobra. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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The London Police began stripping because of the hot sun and of course, Jane Fonda. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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The London Police. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Natalia Rak. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Natalia Rak. Detail. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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The graffiti writing artist from Venice named Peeta basically killed his wall with a signature three dimensional tag that floats off of the wall. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Simple. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Simple)

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Ollio. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Carolina Falkholt. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Ekta. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Etam Cru. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

 

Click HERE to learn more about No Limit Borås.

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Poles in Italy: Natalia Rak and Etam Cru at Memorie Urbane 2014

Poles in Italy: Natalia Rak and Etam Cru at Memorie Urbane 2014

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The Polish duo Sainer and Betz, who together are named ETAM CRU, have just completed walls at Memorie Urbane along with their countrywoman Natalia Rak, who comes from Lodz.  Together the illustration style of their fantastic realism is characteristic of a current trend in muralism and these twenty-somethings all continue to stretch the imagination with saturated color, pleasing imagery, and a technical flair that lends itself to children’s story books.  

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Natalia Rak. Detail. Memorie Urbane 2014. Terracina, Italy. (photo © Giorgio Base/Blind Eye Factory)

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Natalia Rak. At work on her mural for Memorie Urbane 2014. Terracina, Italy. (photo © Giorgio Base/Blind Eye Factory)

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Natalia Rak. Memorie Urbane 2014. Terracina, Italy. (photo © Giorgio Base/Blind Eye Factory)

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ETAM Cru. Detail. Memorie Urbane 2014. Gaeta, Italy. (photo © Lorenzo Gallitto/Blind Eye Factory)

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ETAM Cru. Memorie Urbane 2014. Gaeta, Italy. (photo © Lorenzo Gallitto/Blind Eye Factory)

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ETAM Cru. Detail. Memorie Urbane 2014. Gaeta, Italy. (photo © Lorenzo Gallitto/Blind Eye Factory)

 

Alice Pasquini Memorie Urbane Festival 2014

Ernest Zacharevic “Toy Mafia” Memorie Urbane Festival 2014

 

Etnik and Millo Memorie Urbane Festical 2014

 

Martin Whatson, David De La Mano, Pablo Herrero and E1000 Memorie Urbane Festival 2014

 

Opiemme Memorie Urbane Festival 2014

 

Click HERE for more Memorie Urbane Information

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