All posts tagged: Nika Kramer

MARTHA: A Picture Story. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

MARTHA: A Picture Story. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:

Martha Cooper. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.

Selina Miles & Martha Cooper. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Included in the crowd were old-skool New Yorkers and a large international contingent of folks like Henry Chalfant, Doze Green, Skeme, Lee Quinones, Soten1, Carlos Mare 139, Terror 161, Kane, Dink (Baltimore), Okuda San Miguel (Spain), Faith47 (Los Angeles), Mantra (France), 1UP Crew (Germany), Nika Kramer (Germany), Roger Gastman, Lars Pederson (Denmark), Ian Cox (UK), Dean Moses… and many more. Those who didn’t attend this screening are having the opportunity to see it at three more sold-out evenings over the course of the festival.

Steven P. Harrington, Martha Cooper, and Jaime Rojo. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

The electricity was in the air as Director Miles and producer Daniel Joyce along with the just-arrived Australian members of the “Martha” crew looked for their seats in the Village East Cinema. After a brief introduction by Miles, who told the audience that the film had been a great pleasure to make, the curtain went up to reveal the mother of the superstar art twins Os Gemeos on the big screen. She is sitting at her kitchen table in São Paulo remarking how her boys used to draw on everything, including fruit, and how Cooper and Chalfant’s 1984 book “Subway Art” changed their lives forever. With their story as a backbone for the film, the theme of personal transformation is repeated in a hundred large and small ways for the next hour and twenty minutes.

Martha Cooper with Faith47. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Spanning nearly all of Ms. Cooper’s 75 years, including a photo at age 3 with a camera in hand from her father Ben and uncle Harry’s Baltimore camera store, “Martha” successfully identifies the underlying driving forces, the unique personality and intellectual traits, and the milestones that propelled the photographer across scenes, subcultures, cities, and continents.

While Cooper is most often identified as a crucial documentarian of the 1970s and early 1980s graffiti-writing scene in New York, with “Subway Art” considered a global holy book of preservation that inspired thousands of artists worldwide, the film is judiciously clear that the photographer has had an anthropologists’ zeal for documenting much more over her multi-decade career.

Okuda San Miguel being interviewed by Susanne Lingemann for German TV ZDF. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

During and after the film you don’t know who you are most impressed with – the director, Martha, the communities touched, the history and stories that are preserved with such care and respect.

“Martha” captures important and character-molding biographical events  – like her work in the Peace Corps in Thailand, a subsequent motorcycle trip from there to the UK, her investigations of tattoo techniques in Tokyo, and her work as the first “girl” photographer at the New York Post. During the film’s nearly magical depiction of Cooper’s first meeting with New York graffiti king Dondi, those in the audience who knew this story broke out into spontaneous applause.

The film isn’t shy about the low points and struggles of Cooper, like her repeated attempts to work at National Geographic, the continuous rejections of “Subway Art” by publishers, her loss of money by its initial disappointing sales, and the high-sniffing artworld classism of a clueless gallerist who unsuccessfully tries to dash her hopes of being recognized for her truest and most human work.

Jaime Rojo being interviewed by Susanne Lingemann for German TV ZDF. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

You are gently led to take that journey with great interest as well, finally arriving at the mid-2000s European promotional tour for her book Hip Hop Files where Cooper suddenly realizes the impact that “Subway Art” has had on graffiti artists worldwide. Building on that enthusiastic response from new-found fans of her work she jumps back into street photography just as the Street Art scene is exploding.

Despite such a complex story Miles is able to coax out many significant truths in character development along with their infinite shadings, facts and nuances of the story.

Susanne Lingemann from German TV ZDF with Martha Cooper. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

With interviews, testimonials, unseen home footage from Cooper’s ex-husband and excerpts from soft-news TV stories of the 1980s, viewers may gain a greater understanding of the sacrifice, dogged determination, and her sixth sense for capturing images that the subject exhibits. Keeping a quick pace aided by a smart soundtrack, pertinent graphic elements, and sharp editing, Miles finds ingenious ways to educate us about the various milieu Cooper worked with and the vicissitudes she had to overcome.

The additional layers of visual language infuse so many aspects of the story – a collaging of words, music, precise editing, intuitive pairings and lyrical, witty storytelling that lands in a pitch-perfect way.

Featured subject in the film, former New York Post and National Geographic photo editor Susan Welchman displaying her ticket. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

In the end you realize Coopers’ underlying credo of taking pictures is about shedding light on people, their lives, their amazing ingenuity in the face of difficulty, their ability to rise above their environment as well as the artists techniques of art-making.

Careful observers will also be struck by the scenes of quiet moments that remain still for a few seconds to reveal deeper feeling – a remarkable glimpse of the filmmaker’s intuitive grasp of the life path and its trials. It’s those in-between places of luminosity that are revelatory, and the human gestures she lets the camera linger upon allow the viewer to write small essays inside their head, bearing witness.

Susan Welchman, Martha Cooper, and Kathryn Mikesell at the after-party. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

With gratitude and respect to Director Miles and her whole film crew whom have worked thousands of hours over the past 2 and half years, we know that the graffiti/Street Art/photography scenes have been given a huge gift; almost as big a gift as Martha herself.

Martha Cooper stands up to take a cell phone shot of Director Selina Miles as she introduces the premiere film about Cooper. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Kathryn Mikesell, Martha Cooper and Jaime Rojo. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)
DJ Jazzy Jay at the after-party performs in front a 1982 photo Ms. Cooper took of him with his audience. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Steven P. Harrington, Youri Mantra, Martha Cooper, and Jay Edlin (Terror 161) at the after-party. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha…where are you going next? MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Selina Miles and producer Daniel Joyce with the film’s crew along with artists, friends featured in the film. Red carpet photo call. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)
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Fanakapan Pays Tribute to His Dog in New UN “One Wall” in Berlin

Fanakapan Pays Tribute to His Dog in New UN “One Wall” in Berlin

It was a name used by my mother when I was growing up,” says the British Street Artist as he talks about his new mural for Urban Nation in Berlin. “She used to call my sister Fanny Fanakapan – it was just sort of a term of endearment,” he says.

Fanakapan. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. One Wall Project. (photo © Nika Kramer

It’s a cold/rainy/sunny/windy/calm Monday and we’re in the thick of Aprilwetter here at the end of March, and Fannakapan is stirring old memories to recall his entirely unusual name for Nika Kramer, the photographer who has captured these shots.

“I know there was this song made in wartime by a lady named Gracie Fields about a useless man named Fred Fanakapan, he says. “So it’s been stuck in my head from a very early age. I always had tag names that were sort of something to do with my family – like the name I had before this was TRIPE because my granddad used to say “that’s a load of tripe!” – which refers to a cow’s stomach.”

Fanakapan. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. One Wall Project. (photo © Nika Kramer)

The new mural, part of the ongoing “One Wall” program by UN, features his signature chrome texture – this time as a heart shaped balloon. He tells Nika why he’s positioned the cartoon character Snoopy, based on the Charles Schultz comic strip, looking quizzically at his own reflection in the balloon.

He says that with this mural he is actually giving a tribute to his own dog, which he credits with giving him love and support during a tough time in his life.

“It is kind of dedicated to her. At the time I was quite unhappy and she cheered me right up so basically I say that I believe in dog. I called the piece “Believe in Dog”.

Fanakapan. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. One Wall Project. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Fannakapan talks more about the two dimensional dog quizzically gazing up at the balloon and points out that the background is taken directly form the location. “I took the photographs next to the wall so it’s reflecting the trees and the buildings around it. When I do that I think it always makes the local people appreciate it more to see their street reflected in something.”

Our special thanks to Nika Kramer for sharing her talents with BSA readers here.

Fanakapan. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. One Wall Project. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Fanakapan. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. One Wall Project. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Fanakapan. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. One Wall Project. (photo © Nika Kramer)

And now lets sit down to the Victrola to listen to the original song about Fred Fannakapan by that inimitable Lancaster lassie, Ms. Gracie Fields.

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Nils Westergard Paints One of “The Unforgotten” with Urban Nation, Berlin

Nils Westergard Paints One of “The Unforgotten” with Urban Nation, Berlin


“endangering the morality and purity of the German race”, said §175 of the Criminal Code when referring to gay people.

Lies like that persist in other countries today, as does persecution of sexual minorities. The World Economic Forum in 2018 said that 73 countries still outlaw homosexuality, despite the move to legalize same-sex marriage in 26 others.

Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

This Sunday was worldwide Holocaust Remembrance Day and the new portrait painted by Belgian-American Street Artist Nils Westergard for Urban Nation  museum is that of a victim of the Nazis who was made to wear the pink triangle sewn onto his concentration camp uniform.

“I was digging through images of camps and prisoners for a few days,” says Westergard of his search for the right image for this 2 meter wide, 6-story high wall in Berlin.

Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“There are only so many that are classified as homosexuals or for sex crimes in general,” he says as he describes needing to incorporate a pre-existing sculpture of 200 metal origami birds that form a triangle into the composition by artist Mademoiselle Maurice.

He says that he ultimately discovered the image of this individual, a 32-year old locksmith named Walter Degen who was born January 4, 1909. While it is known that he was at Auschwitz and transferred to Mauthausen, it is not known if he survived the Holocaust.

Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Today we shout Walter Degen’s name from the rooftops and from this new wall to remind us how wrong we humans have historically been and how much we have learned, how much we still have to learn. We’re proud of Mr. Degen’s memory and honor his right to have loved another Mr.

Our thanks to photographer Nika Kramer for sharing her excellent images of this wall with BSA readers.

Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

URBAN NATION x Nils Westergard:
The UNforgotten – Edition 1


Thanks to Yasha Young, Urban Nation Director.

URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART.

With support of “Faces of Auschwitz” project.

About “The Unforgotten”
The wall at Bülowstraße 94 follows a very special leitmotif: it is a memorial for the victims of the Nazi regime, who were persecuted, abducted, imprisoned and murdered for homosexuality. This memorial wall in the LGBTQI-influenced neighborhood of Berlin-Schöneberg will over time transform again and again, as a reminder.

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Denis Leo Hegic, Wishes And Hopes For 2019

Denis Leo Hegic, Wishes And Hopes For 2019

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2018 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s a box of treats to surprise you with every day – and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2019. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to you for inspiring us throughout the year.


Today’s special guest:

Denis Leo Hegic, Curator, cultural manager, architect, Co-Founder of Monumenta in Leipzig, Wandelism in Berlin. Big talker, bigger doer.


You wake up one morning and snow has fallen on all the roofs – how can you not be happy?

This sharp rooftop bombing was created during my last exhibition “Monumenta” in Leipzig by SNOW21, an iconic writer known for his impressive large scale works.

I wish that SNOW21 will not remain the only snow in Germany this year and that we take responsible action for our planet in 2019.

 

Denis Leo Hegic

Location: Leipzig, Germany

Date: September 2018

Artist: Snow21

Photographer: Nika Kramer

 

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“Points De Vue” Festival 2018 Spans Styles and the Basque Region in Bayonne, France.

“Points De Vue” Festival 2018 Spans Styles and the Basque Region in Bayonne, France.

“Today there are nearly 80 works – paintings and installations,” says Alban Morlot, “to discover in the inner city and its periphery.”

Mantra. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The founder and curator of Points de Vue is speaking about his city, Bayonne in the south of France, which straddles the Basque region and boasts the language throughout this region and neighboring Spain. Here on both sides of the the Adour river running through the small city, you will find new installations from this years invited 20 or so artists from the urban art scene including folks like the Portuguese Pantonio, Italian Pixel Pancho, French Mantra, French Koralie, Venezuelan Koz Dox, German 1UP Crew, and the American graffiti and Street Art documentarian Martha Cooper.

Spawned a few years ago from Morlot and his team at Spacejunk, the community/privately funded festival has produced a range of large public works throughout the city. Similarly, the storefront Spacejunk space on rue Sainte Catherine in the Saint-Esprit district of Bayonne had hosted a cultural and artistic association that spans genres and disciplines; hosting classes, talks, performances and exhibitions of modern artists drawn from the worlds of of Street Art, LowBrow, and Pop Surrealism. After a great number of group and solo shows Spacejunk is now entering their 11 year celebrating counter-culture.

Mantra. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bayonne is stitched together geographically and socially with nearby Biarritz and Anglet, so the Basque area of about 130,000 has enough fans and practioners to support this five day festival. Alban tells us that the usual staff of 3 who run Spacejunk couldn’t do the festival without the generous enthusiasm and efforts of 40 volunteers, 10 interns and 1 senior technician.

An eclectic mix of artists invited to create new works in the public space reflect the alternative environments that have been showcased at Spacejunk: influences from a number of subcultural narratives including comics, punk, tattoo, skater culture, graffiti, and of course, Street Art.

Mantra. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

With very special thanks to Ms. Cooper and Ms. Kramer we have today new images to share with BSA readers from this autumns’ edition of Points de Vue. We also had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Morlot about his approach to the festival.

BSA: How did you conceive of Points de Vue?
Alban Morlot:
I have work for Spacejunk art center for almost 15 years and have run the art center of Bayonne – Basque Country – since 2007. During this time I’ve met many artists from all over the world who have work in public space previously. At that time, French public authorities were under-informed about street art mutations so it was difficult to organize outside projects with street artists – who many people automatically associated to vandalism.

I was frustrated at not being able to take advantage of their presence and their talent to develop their aesthetics in situ. It was during that time that the idea of a festival sprouted in my mind – but it was only later that the planets were aligned!

Equipped with years of experiences, I wanted to set up an event that could represent the variety of the creative styles being used in public space and to provide an educational approach in the same time. The underlying idea is to show the multiplicity of artistic points of view, to confront them, and to offer to the wider audience the opportunity to enrich themselves with others’ eyes.

Mantra. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: What’s your criteria as an organizer when inviting the artists to participate?
Alban Morlot: First, I make sure that the artistic selection is consistent with the purpose of the festival: to discover the extent of the current creations happening in public space. Then it’s the walls that guide me in my research. The context, the format, the situation… are all criteria that I integrate before launching a personalized invitation to an artist.

Most of the time, I invite artists whom I have already met because I like building relationships that go beyond the “one shot”. I know that it could be possible to pass up several editions before I can propose an invitation to such and such artist, but I prefer to wait the right moment, try to gather the best conditions and do a serious proposal so that from the artworks there emerges the pleasure of painting.

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Then I try to build a singular identity for the festival “Points of View”. The Basque Country is located between France and Spain. It is important in this context to boost cross-border artistic exchanges between the northern Basque Country (Iparralde) and the south (Hegoalde).

Last but not least, I try to encourage the presence of female artists because they remain largely underrepresented in this artistic scene.

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Bayonne is also known for its political murals. Do you encourage the artists to be political with their work as well?
Alban Morlot: Generally, I do not allow myself to intervene in the process of artistic creation. I give my opinion if necessary but for me, once the selection is complete, I trust them. I want to allow everyone to practice his or her job with good conditions and it can happen if each part knows his appropriate place.

That said, I do not hesitate to convey the history of the region that welcomes them, because here as elsewhere, there is a story, a people and a language. It is political in a sense, but in the noble meaning!

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

BSA: Do you see Points de Vue purely as a beautification of the city or do you see it to make a social impact within the community?
Alban Morlot:
In no way should our action be seen as decoration. Otherwise, I would not give carte blanche to the artists. No, I undertake a cultural project that aims to promote the meeting between artists and the public, generates exchanges, curiosity, in order to support everyone to be emancipated as a citizen.

Of course, I am not unaware of the social, economic, touristic considerations nor the impact of the festival on urban renewal programs. Culture is transversal and this is its strength, but I do not want to be polluted by other considerations that could divert me from the basics of the festival. I want to give artists the opportunity to work on a wall as they would in their studios and give them the opportunity to meet each other.

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

BSA: How do you see the arts in public space making a difference to society? Should that be the mission or art in public space?
Alban Morlot: Art in the private space or in the public space plays the same role. The unprecedented recognition of urban art is one of all manifestations of social upheaval that we go through in modern societies. I think there’s a break with previous artistic movements because it more closely allies with the aspirations of today’s people – with think tanks who want to reinvest public spaces, etcetera. Art has always been an indicator of the evolution of society.

Anonymouse. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: What sort of support do you get from the city’s government for the implementation of the festival?
Alban Morlot: Since the Spacejunk art center is already identified by public authorities, we also receive support from these partners for the festival; This is a form of financial and logistical support. In addition, the festival is also supported by private companies and, thanks to all of these contributors, we manage to present a festival that is both qualitative and open to all.

Lorcolors. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: What’s the reaction of the residents of Bayonne when they see the artists at work and the completed murals?
Alban Morlot:
I must say that I was surprised by the reception that the Bayonne’s inhabitants (and vistors from nearby) have reserved for the festival. I spent almost 6 years defending this project with people who were ultimately quite afraid of the reaction of the public. But the reactions of the population were immediately enthusiastic! Martha (Cooper) even told me that it was quite unusual to see so many people on the streets coming to see the artists work. It is true that I strongly emphasized that it was a chance to see the artists in creation residencies!

Additionally, different from other events, an urban art festival leaves traces on the city which gain a certain value in time, and we are pleased that so many artists have come to the Basque country.

Lorcolors. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Lorcolors. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Remy Uno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Remy Uno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Taroe. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Pixel Pancho. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pixel Pancho. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pixel Pancho. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pantonio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pantonio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Pantonio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Pantonio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Koralie. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

 

Fermin Moreno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Fermin Moreno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Fermin Moreno. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Deuz. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Deuz. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Deuz. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Deuz. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Petite Poissone. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Petite Poissone. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Reskate Studio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Reskate Studio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Reskate Studio. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Koz Dos. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

KOZ DOS
“Punto y flecha sobre el plano”

“Dreams and the subconscious have been the genesis of my work lately. I do try not to put limits on myself or to follow a pattern when I create. The elements that are in my subconscious are the sketches to draw information from. At the same time it’s also the beginning of something that exists and that might be real and logic in our minds. It is the treatment of color, composition and form that unify all the elements and symbols, creating fantastic characters that in turn shed light to a parallel universe.

A central theme in my research for quite a while now, is the confrontation of the human versus the beast and nature. I look for harmony and coexistence through the treatment of images and the plastic arts.

In this project, titled “Punto y flecha sobre el plano” I wanted to work with the construction of the elements within the piece as something tangible, like our dreams, using lines and points on the plane or the wall in this case. Most of everything in our universe is composed of circles and lines so in this piece I wanted to give importance to the geometric form but imbued with a dreamlike quality.

When we are able to verbally communicate with each other we are able to arrive to important accords. Reaching an agreement means that we can coexist with each other. We have the tools at our disposal to do so but very often we put our focus on damaging ourselves by rejecting our origins, destroying our cultures and traditions and mowing over everything as we march on.”

Koz Dos. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Udatxo. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Landroid. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Landroid. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Landroid. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Flow . Deza. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Untay. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Untay. Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Points De Vue Festival 2018. Bayonne, France. Photo of Martha Cooper by Nika Kramer.

Vintage political mural in Bayonne, France written in the Basque language, translated as “The People Must Live”. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Vintage political mural in Bayonne. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Vintage political mural in Bayonne, France written in the Basque language. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Discovering “The Kaos Factory” in Leipzig

Discovering “The Kaos Factory” in Leipzig

The Industrial Revolution ushered in miracles of production, mechanics, engineering, speed, ease of global distribution – possibly the most important event in human history. It also killed cultures, decimated families, poisoned the Earth, air, water, radically changed civil society, enslaved people in dangerous conditions and caused workers to unite as never before.

The flight of industry has now given us incredible relics to explore and create art inside of or upon.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As industrial production migrated away from so-called Western societies in the last four decades we have been gifted the glorious and treacherous legacy of the factories in our cities. Urban explorers are now nearly legion on some cities, graffiti writers and Street Artist part of the mix. While the goals are often at odds – with explorers wishing only to preserve and archive and urban artists interested in finding new canvasses or installation environments – no one denies the sense of wonder and discovery wandering these carcasses of production in preservation or dilapidation.

If you have the luck to explore the steel and broken glass and possibly toxic materials sprayed with names and characters and patterns or adorned with sculptures of found materials spotlighted by natural beams of luminous fine matter, it can all present itself as a splendid chaos.

Or KAOS.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Whenever we travel to a new city as guests for academic talks on Street Art, art curating, or just seeing festivals and exhibitions we make it our priority to visit the forgotten margins of the industrial environs; spots where creativity and loose talk can happen uncensored, without permission and absent considerations of financial gain. The abandoned, decaying buildings like this one serve as a laboratory for many artists around the world, presenting an unintended studio environment and university function for artists who are experimenting, discovering, refining their skills.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had the good fortune to visit one such place during our most recent trip to Leipzig, Germany on the occasion of our participation in the first edition of Monumenta Art. With our friend and colleague, photographer Nika Kramer we visited the KAOS Factory, colloquially named because the German graffiti artist by the same name has slowly taken it over with his work during the last few years, by default converting the former steam factory into his de facto “residency”.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

He gave us a tour of the sprawling compound and told us about how much he loves coming here to paint. He told us stories about how young writers come to the factory to paint and due to their lack of experience or knowledge of “street rules” go over his work or his friends work and how he has to confront them and inform them that it may look like chaos to some, but there is actually an unwritten set of guidelines of respect that graff writers show for one anothers’ work – usually.

Similarly these young, inexperience writers take unnecessary risks while walking through the occasionally dangerous factory ruins, he says, with sometimes disastrous results. Today we share with BSA readers some of the many KAOS rooms here where the hospitable graffiti writer has done installations, finding a certain joy when he sees people who have managed to break in to enjoy the works – or to add their own.

Our thanks to KAOS for sharing with us the glorious chaos.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Plotbot Ken. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Atomic Ant. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ixus. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reve. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benuz. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benuz. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The video shows the attempt to implode the smokestack in the factory in 1995. While the implosion was somewhat successful it didn’t go as planned and it could have been a fatal disaster for the community around the factory. The photo below the video shows the very bottom part of the smokestack as it currently is and to the left it shows the potential damage to property and most likely fatalities as well should the stack have fallen to the left.

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Urban Nation Museum. Art Mile: Installations In Progress. Dispatch 5

Urban Nation Museum. Art Mile: Installations In Progress. Dispatch 5

Today some progress shots – these projects were not completed while we were shooting so you’ll want to go to the Museum Mile today along Bülowstraße (Berlin U-Bahn). The Urban Nation Art Mile (Artmeile) is in full effect this weekend day and night and it will be difficult to pass up on this funhouse performance-packed interactive exhibition that includes single installations in pop-up spaces along the street and in one large car-free area beneath the trains, which roar appropriately over your head.

Icy & Sot at work at their installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Also overhead for those who are observant, Isaac Cordal’s small concrete businessmen watch over the proceedings below with guilt, ennui and existential worries . You have to check out Faith XLVII’s multi-disciplinary piece in a pop-up space with powerful video imagery of the sexy uniformity of marching soldiers and the panicked distraught migratory movements of people created in its wake – with fierce and expressive dance performer Manthe Ribane and sound/set direction by Inka Kendzia with Faith. Migration, or immigration, is also directly addressed by an unbending and heavy steel sculpture of a family who are just like yours, and different from yours, facing a wall topped by razorwire.

Sheryo at work at her installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Evan Pricco and Juxtapoz bring the famous newsstand that has been displayed in 6 locations, including Times Square, now moving into the UN collection. Make sure to look at the independent zines and tags from its many travels. HOTTEA has a splendidly sharp and effervescent takeover of a corner first floor space that illuminates the white box, here comprised of hundreds of hanging yarns in a multiverse of color.

Sheryo. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This series of outdoor components feels more like a fair than a museum show, a cross section of works that you may associate with post-graffiti/graffiti/Street Art or any number of related influences without a timeline – cobbling together a hodgepodge illustration of the wide range of influences at play on the street today – attempting to channel the asymmetric energy that it generates.

It is possible that this collection represents a catalyzing of interest in sculpture, as a number of interpreters including Cranio, Ben Frost, and Anthony Lister, are blurring lines with these 3 dimensional expressions of work they’ve done in 2D. How will a general community audience interactive with these – the possibilities seem limitless. Considering the sheer number of authors and performers and documentors and artists and academics and critics on the street right now, you are garunteed to find some intellectual and/or visual stimulation.

Isaac Cordal at work at his installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Olek. Getting ready for her Art Mile performance on Sunday. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut moment of levity and humor while at work on their installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II work in progress for his installation at the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Evan Pricco fastidiously arranges the magazines at the Juxtapoz Newsstand for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Juxtapoz Newsstand for the Art Mile is almost completed. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seth Globetrotter work in progress for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zezao work in progress for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Women Power: A group of strong individuals who capture, enable dialogue and work, some daily, on the street art/graffiti scenes. From left to right. Nika Kramer, Karolina Pajak, Olek, Martha Cooper and Selina Miles. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A “Secret Dinner” at the Nascent UN in Berlin

A “Secret Dinner” at the Nascent UN in Berlin

Since its explosion of pigment and hue on subway cars and in the streets of New York and Philadelphia a half century ago to its spread to the hundreds of cities worldwide, the truly grassroots movement of Urban Art refuses to be owned by any one city or one people, insisting upon making its own rules and traveling wherever the creative spirit leads.

As if to underscore that global nature of the Graffiti/Street Art/ Urban Art movements, Urban Nation (UN) Director Yasha Young named the origins of the guests who were attending last weeks “Secret Dinner” at the under-construction site of the museum that opens this fall.

Yasha Young, Director of Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art (UN) delivers her welcoming remarks to the invited guests. A painting by Word To Mother hangs in the background. The painting was originally created for Project M/8 and curated by Stolen Space Gallery in 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“You came from Spain, England, Los Angeles, New York City, China, France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, every neighborhood in Berlin, from Leipzig, Munich, all across Germany, France, Switzerland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and last but not least, Russia,” she said as she stood before a large canvas by the London-based artist Word To Mother and next to Hendrik Jellema, the Chairman of Berliner Leben.

After recounting the three years of accomplishments and aspirations of the new museum to date, Young showed an animated video tour, a somewhat flying birds-eye view of the new museum projected on the wall.

Yasha Young, Director of Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art being introduced by Mr. Hendrik Jellema Chairman at Berliner Leben. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

In two dimly lit street-level raw and cavernous rooms were mounted a number of selected canvasses from the 10 Project M shows that have been curated in the last 3 years announcing the coming museum, each directed and refined by gallerists and cultural experts of various stripes and featuring the work of over 200 artists.

Across the street and Bülowstraße here in the Schöneberg district at the temporary UN headquarters was the grand opening of PM/11. Featuring 16 German artists curated by 3 experts in their respective scenes from Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, “Radius” points to the vast and diverse urban art community here in a this famous street scene and artists and fans overflowed onto the sidewalk swelling even further when post-dinner guests arrived.

Celebrated photographer and ethnographer Martha Cooper attended the dinner. The library at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art will bear Ms. Cooper’s name and will house items and books from Ms. Cooper’s personal collection. In this photo Ms. Cooper is wearing a skirt created by the American Street Artist Buff Monster. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

With graffiti artists and street artists spread among the 4 long dinner tables a colorful mix of politicians, cultural ministers, academics, collectors, press, curators, ambassadors, philosophers, photographers, and friends shared dinner, drinks, opinions, and their respective knowledge about the scene and the aspirations of the nascent institution.

We don’t know what everybody said to each other, but we did talk about cooking for a family of five with one guest and the trade routes between South Africa and Cairo during the last century and the importance of fish in the Icelandic diet with another.

Case Maclaim dinner plate. Each invited guest went back home with a gift of a special edition of one plate created exclusively for the occasion by an impressive roster of international artists. One hundred plates were created by almost one hundred artists. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Young burst in the room mid-dinner, as she’s wont to do, with a microphone to show a video series of 4 street art projects showcasing artists engaged with community projects, rather dispersing the often-indulged perception that all graffiti and Street Art is transgressive and illegal. Of course a lot of the good stuff is, but most artists possess additional dimensions outside these stereotypical descriptors, including an interest in helping others.

Artists featured included Norwegian Martin Watson, the German duo Herakut, the Polish crochet artist OLEK, and the German born Brooklyn-based twins HowNosm. The projects highlighted were not necessarily UN sponsored but instead drew attention to overall goals of the museum to be engaged with communities outside the typical art-going crowd.

A Daleast dinner plate. Each invited guest went back home with a gift of a special edition of one plate created exclusively for the occasion by an impressive rooster of international artists. One hundred plates were created by almost one hundred artists. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And so now the UN buzz has begun in earnest, with a steady run toward the opening doors of the Museum and significant involvement of international and local contingents of participants in the new institution. If anyone pretends to know how it will all look inside and outside on opening day or the months that follow, they are brave and fantastic in their willingness to prophesy. We say that because despite the much-heralded organizational skills of this land, and they are amazing, you can be sure that a vibrant and alive contemporary scene like this will continue to surprise us.

During the dinner a few films were presented to introduce a new series still under development. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

A general view of one of the two rooms where guests sat for dinner. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Icelandic Murals, Northern Lights, “Wall Poetry 2016” in Reykjavik

Icelandic Murals, Northern Lights, “Wall Poetry 2016” in Reykjavik

The concept album was born in the Stoned Age when TV was black and white, back when disaffected teens had to trudge for blocks and blocks outside on the sidewalk to the record store and carry their rock and roll home on large heavy vinyl platters called albums, sometimes double albums.

In the snow. Barefoot.

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Heather Mclean collaborated on her wall with Minor Victories and the song “A Hundred Ropes”. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Rewarded for their hard work and sacrifice, these pioneering music fans opened those two record concept albums and used the big flat surface to pick the seeds out from their marijuana stash and roll a reefer.

Then they dropped the needle, turned up the dial, and lied on their back on their single beds surrounded by the two speaker stereophonic sound that gently vibrated their black-light posters on the wall, reading the song lyrics and metaphorically taking a wild and magical trip inside the cover art of the album.

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Heather Mclean. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“We paint the music you love to hear,” says Yasha Young in Reykavik, Iceland, as she imagines the thousands of music fans who will inundate this city in a few weeks for “Iceland Airwaves”.

For the second year Urban Nation, the Berlin-based arts organization working primarily within the Urban Contemporary Art scene, brings the musicians a powerful visual partner called “Wall Poetry”.

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Heather Mclean. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

By pairing one musician/group with one visual artist/group, Young, the director of UN, wants to re-create the concept album where the eyes have a newly created entryway into the music. Of course its only one interpretation but countless stories can be evoked from this intercultural exchange.

It’s the second year for the program, and we are very lucky to have these exclusive shots from Nikka Kramer of some of the first walls going up in advance of the festival, which this year features over 200 bands. Check out the stunning atmospheric images featuring northern lights; a poetry of their own.

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Heather Mclean. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Strøk collaborated on his wall with MAMMÚT and the song “I Pray For Air In The Water”. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Strøk. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Phlegm collaborated on his wall with MÚM The Band. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Phlegm. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Phlegm. Detail. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lora Zombie. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lora Zombie was inspired by the songs of L.A. based band War Paint for her wall. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lora Zombie. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Lora Zombie. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Herakut collaborated on their wall with Kronos Quartet. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Herakut. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Herakut. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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INO. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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INO. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Don John. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Don John collaborated on his wall with Swedish musician Silvana Imam’s “Naturkraft”. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Don John. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Wes21 and Onur. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Wes21 and Onur. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Wes21 and Onur collaborated on their wall with the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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DotDotDot publicly collaborated on his wall with all the volunteers, locals, strangers and passers by using the word “perfection” as officially described on Google/dictionary. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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DotDotDot. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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DotDotDot. Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves 2016 artists in no particular order: Don John, Onur, Wes21, Ino, Heather Mclean, Herakut, Lora Zombie,Phlegm and Strok. Reykjavik, Iceland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Wall Poetry/Iceland Airwaves is presented in partnership between Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art (UN Berlin) and Iceland Airwaves. For for about Wall Poetry read here.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.11.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.11.16

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It’s the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 in New York. It will be a quiet day for us.

We hope.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Bast, Elian, EQC, Hama Woods, MCA, Mundano, Robert Montgomery, SacSix, Sayer, Shok1, TomBob, Zachem, and Зачем.

Our top image: Elian in Moscow for the first edition of Artmossphere 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Plastic Jesus does his bit to stop this mean, selfish, racist, dishonest, greedy little man to become king. If he succeeds we’ll all lose – Even those who think they support him. The stench will reach us all. World War II didn’t just happen from one day to the other. It built up. It simmered. It took shape while people were distracted. Yo, this is surreeeus. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EQC fashions a Loteria Card with an image of you-know-who. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TomBob take on the proverbial See No Evil. Hear No Evil. Speak No Evil. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Montgomery’s installation for NUART 2016 Tou Scene indoor exhibition. Stavanger, Norway. September 2016. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

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Unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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And now a little of the old soft-shoe shuffle. Hama Woods in conjunction with NUART 2016. Stavanger, Norway. September 2016. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

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Shok1 for  Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) at Lollapalooza. Berlin 2016. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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BAST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A filthy piggy by an unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Зачем in Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MCA toying around in Chelsea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A tribute to Gene Wilder as the original Willy Wonka. SACSIX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mundano giving a shout out to recycling and recyclers in NYC.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mundano (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SAYER in Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Pixel Pancho Soars into Future Past with UN One Wall Project

Pixel Pancho Soars into Future Past with UN One Wall Project

A quick shot from photographer Nika Kramer here in Berlin from Italy’s PixelPancho as part of the One Wall project in Tegel series. Part of the Urban Nation initiative, the new mural dips into is a memory of future past, as is his custom, and a stunning addition to the collection of works the group has brought so far to these neighborhoods.

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Pixel Pancho. One Wall Project. Art Park Tegel Series. UrbanNation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)

BSA is excited to be here is Berlin with UN for the final installment of Project M – a wide ranging and inclusive series of installations from many curators and artists over the past three years, seeding the ground for the new Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, opening Mid 2017. This week you will see new works from Faith 47, JAZ (Franco Fasoli), 2501, Axel Void, Speto, Panmela Castro (Anarkia), Olek, Nunca, and Robosexi – and surely a few more – as Marina Bortoluzzi and Marcelo Pimentel of Instagrafite curate PM/10.

We’ll see you at the opening hopefully! Please come by, we’d love to meet you!

 

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Nika Kramer in Cuba : 15 for 2015

Nika Kramer in Cuba : 15 for 2015

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

Nika Kramer is a photographer, writer, street scene documentarian, Hip Hop activist, and event organizer from Berlin. With astoundingly beautiful photography Kramer has captured the action, camaraderie and atmospheric qualities of art on the streets globabally. Similarly, Kramer is a pre-eminent documenter of the global Bgirl and Bboy scene and the co-author of We B*Girlz with Martha Cooper, editor of Hip Hop Files: Photographs 1979-1984, co-producer/director of the documentary short Redder than Red – The Story of B-Girl Bubbles and the organizer of the annual We B-Girlz Festival in Berlin.


Barracoa, Cuba
June 2015
Photograph by Nika Kramer

Cuba was my most important trip this year though. 2 months!  So I decided on the picture of this kid in the street, playing baseball. I love the lighting on this one and it represents how I feel this whole year, ready to hit it – ready to go. Feeling my career is going in the right direction, just not really taking off. Having lots of fun, but not really making enough money yet, feeling I need to put all my energy into it to really make it fly…

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I like Cuba, life happens on the streets. Kids are playing outside with toys that are mostly handmade – check out the bat, I doubt it’s store bought.

People bring their work out into the street, they sit outside and chat, they bring out tables and play board games. I fear with the arrival of the internet, that’s all going to change very soon…

 

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