All posts tagged: Norway

Nuart Journal Punches Forward: “Eloquent Vandals,” Vol 1, No. 2

Nuart Journal Punches Forward: “Eloquent Vandals,” Vol 1, No. 2

The nascent voyage of ‘Nuart Journal’ comes slowly into view as a softly bound Street Art/graffiti cultural preservation document; its glossy cover is purple for issue Number 2, like a thick royal-court velvet, or a bruised eye.

Editor-in-Chief Martyn Reed opens this forum to a hand-selected series of thought leaders, artists, organizers, academics and friends who are invited to impart, illustrate, confound and inspire. It is an extension of what he has endeavored to do with his annual invitational public art/commercial art festival Nuart- the newest edition which commences this week in Stavanger, Norway.

An impossible goal; to track the precise movement of the dancing tentacles of this scene as it grew – as it grows – much less to assign motivation or significance or measure impact. A mutational march of interconnected disconnectedness, no amount of pontification will ever fully capture the width of this circle, but Nuart Journal is beginning to take its measure and introduce a sense of order if only to better examine it. The theme is “Eloquent Vandals”, a reference to Nuart’s 2011 self-survey in hardcover. Themes range from colorless black street bombing to definitions of place and authenticity, to Street Art’s movement into conceptual, and decolonizing artivism.

The layout is the new utilitarian modern; clean-framing articles, essays, interviews, inquisitions – text-based and visual. Editor and academic Suse Hansen is nimble, streetsmart, and canny in her guiding of contributors. Hopefully, she can continue to steer confidently through these choppy waters, guiding a forward-moving course of enlightening observations – as the ship passes icebergs of false intellectualism, pirate boats of one-eyed tribalist gatekeepers, or the occasional showboat. Anglers ahoy!

Here’s the lineup of contributors for “Eloquent Vandals”, Nuart Journal Volume 1 Number 2, 2019;

Jeff Ferrell, Oskolki, Jens Besser, Georgios Stampoulidis, Daniel de Jongh, Jaime Rojo, Vlady, Alison Young, Reuben Woods, Lindsey Mancini, Christian Omodeo, Vittorio Parisi, Faith XLVII, and Milu Correch.

Nuart Journal, Stavanger, Norway. Editor@nuartjournal.com Click HERE for more about Nuart Journal.

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BSA Top Stories Of 2018 As Picked By You

You got furious at us sometimes this year. Or rather, you were mad at artists whose work pissed you off. Thanks for the emails though bro. We still love you of course sister.

Without a doubt the polarized atmosphere in social/economic/geopolitical matters worldwide in 2018 was increasingly reflected in the graffiti and Street Art pieces and projects that we wrote stories about. Loving it or hating it, often BSA readers were motivated to share the story on social media for discussion and to write directly to us to take issue, or even to chide us for “being political”.

Let’s be clear. Art has always been and will always be “political”. We tend to think that the artwork that we agree with is not political because it is expressing our values, opinions, and worldview.

So that’s why you propelled stories about a clandestine Trump cemetery installation by InDecline onto the list this year. That’s why Winston Tseng’s inflammatory campaign against a certain kind of Trump supporter on NYC trashcans proved to be so provocative and offensive to so many people, while others crowed support.

The topic of free speech under fire also attracted high interest for Fer Acala’s story of artists and rappers who took over a Spanish former prison to protest restrictive recent federal laws aimed at protest in that country.

The timeliness of Jetsonorama’s wheat pasted photography series about Good Samaritans who leave water for people in the desert – and the US border guards who destroy them – resonated powerfully to us this week as  a 7 year old girl died in Border Patrol custody of apparent dehydration.

But BSA readers also love the spectacle, the vast animated murals, the scintillating stories behind the art and the artist; the connection that communities and festivals create with art in the public sphere – or in abandoned factories, as it were. The biggest splash this year was the over-the-top creation of and the fiery destruction of an art sculpture at the Falles de València celebration in Spain by Street Artist Okuda. You loved the tantalizing images by Martha Cooper, and somehow everyone relishes the idea of building and constructing a large, colorful, inspiring piece of art and then lighting it on fire in the public square – propelling that story to the top of the BSA list in Top Stories in 2018


No. 15

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

Box trucks are a favorite canvas for many graffiti writers in big cities and have become a right of passage for new artists who want the experience of painting on a smooth rectangular surface that becomes a rolling billboard through the streets advertising your name, making you truly “All City”.

When in French Polynesia a few weeks ago with the ONO’U festival, a number of artists were given the significant gift of a large truck or school/commuter bus on which to create a mural, a message, a bubble tag.

Together on the islands of Raiatea and Bora Bora there were about 10 of these long and low autobuses that became sudden celebrities in the sparsely travelled streets, debuted as some of them were in Raitea, when painted live at an all night party for the public.

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora. Continue reading HERE


No. 14

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas’ New Work in AJO, Arizona

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

From BSA:

Ajo Samaritans describe themselves and their mission on their website like this; “Samaritans are people of faith and conscience who are responding directly, practically, and passionately to the crisis at the US/ Mexico border. We are a diverse group of volunteers around Ajo that are united in our desire to relieve suffering among our brothers and sisters and to honor  human dignity. Prompted by the mounting deaths among border crossers, we came together to provide food and water, and emergency medical assistance to people crossing the Sonoran Desert.”

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas New Work in AJO, Arizona. Continue reading HERE


No. 13

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Survey of the Moment

DalEast is the author of the bird. Spyo tells the world who he really is… (photo © Tor Staale Moen)

From BSA:

A current survey today from the streets in Copenhagen thanks to a couple of BSA fans and friends who share with readers their recent finds in one of the world’s happiest places, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report. Apparently it is also a good place for gay birds to come out of the closet.

With a storied history of graffiti bombing of the red trains that goes back many years, possibly generations, Copenhagen has long been a treasured destination for graffiti writers.

Now you will also find murals and installations illegally and legally by local and international Street artists – and the iconic full sides of buildings here are subtly transforming the public face of the city.

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Surevey of The Moment. Continue reading HERE


No. 12

Pop Up “Trump Cemetery” Marks Death of Ideas on 1st Anniversary of Inauguration by INDECLINE Artist Collective

“Grave New World” installation by INDECLINE artist collective (image © INDECLINE)

From BSA:

So INDECLINE picked a swell morning to debut their long-planned and complicated site-specific installation at this golf-course in New Jersey.

“INDECLINE felt is necessary to commemorate some of the victims,” they say. “The dates on the headstones correspond to some of the highlights of Trump’s first year in office.” You may remember some of these milestones on the tombstones, you may have to Google others.

The saddest death for us all year has been the civility and respect of Americans toward one another – as those hard working families who are just scraping by are being skillfully manipulated through sophisticated PR / media campaigns into thinking that they are the only real uber-patriots and to hate the wrong people. Most importantly they are fighting and voting against themselves without realizing it.

“Grave New World” Trump Cemetery. Continue reading HERE


No. 11

Borondo Finds Community on The Island Of Utsira in Norway

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

From BSA:

Today we revisit Utsira, the tiny island in Norway that has hosted a few Street Artists over the last couple of years, like Ella & Pitr and Icy & Sot. This year the fine artist and Street Artist Gonzalo Borondo blended into the hills and the forest and the lapping waves, making his spirit dissipate into the community and into a boat.

“There’s a strong sense of community,” he says as he reflects on the metaphor he has chosen to represent his time here on an island of only 420 people, “There is a mutual support among citizens and a common feeling of enjoying the same unique condition.”

Borondo Finds Community on The Island of Utsira in Norway. Continue reading HERE


No. 10

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall

NeSpoon. Emergence Festival. Catania, Sicily. March 2018. (photo © courtesy of NeSpoon)

From BSA:

Equally gifted in the heavier handmade artisanal crafts of porcelain and ceramic as she is with aerosol, Nespoon did installations of both this month during the Emergence Festival in Sicily (Valverde + Catania. The seventh year of this international festival for public art, Nespoon shared the roster with American Gaia and Sicilian Ligama from March 10-26 creating works related to the city and its stories. In many respects these new works appear integral, interventions that belong there, may have been there a long time without you noticing; a sort of netting that holds the skin of the city together.

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall. Continue reading HERE


No. 9

No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

Enric Sant. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From Fer Acala on BSA:

One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.

The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.

No Callarem. La Modelo Prision. Barcelona. Continue reading HERE


No. 8

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance In Bologna, Italy.

Ericailcane. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

From BSA:

Highlighting collective efforts that advance events during war and the tales of heroism, butchery, resistance, intrigue, and subterfuge that are braided into historical retelling, three Italian Street Artists commemorated citizen resistance and a Nazi massacre in a lengthy mural for the Penneli Ribelli Festival this month in Bologna.

At the center of the story is the resistance by everyday Italians of various ages, genders, and social classes, a movement known as the Italian resistance and the Italian Partisans, or Partigiani. The icon of the festival is a wolf in honor of the Partisan who led the group, Mario Musolesi, whose nickname was “Lupo”, or “Wolf”.

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance. Continue reading HERE


No. 7

“Martha” the Movie: Selina Miles’ Most Ambitious Project To Date

Martha Cooper (photo © Selina Miles)

From BSA:

We knew that these two talented and powerful personalities would compliment each other stunningly and that’s why we encouraged them two years ago to do a doc. A short term one was the original plan. But the two hit it off so well and when you are looking at a five decade career like Ms. Cooper’s and you have the dogged determination to do her story justice, Ms. Miles tells us that even an hour and a half film feels like its just getting started.

Now “Martha” the movie is at a unique juncture in the project and YOU may be able to participate; Selina and the team are looking for any original footage you may want to show them – and it may be used in the documentary.

“Martha” The Movie. Selina Miles Most Ambitious Project To Date. Continue reading HERE


No. 6

DavidL Paints Hitchcock, Warhol, Tim Burton, Kubrick: Through The Lens of Fer Alcala

DavidL. ET. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From BSA:

After 25 years writing graffiti, DavidL has found his own way of working. It’s funny because one of the inherent issues about graffiti and street art is visibility. All the trains, the bombing, the tagging…it’s all about being noticed, being every f-ing where. It has been like this since day one (Taki 183, Terror161, 1UP…you know how it works).

But for David it’s not like that anymore.

Maybe it’s a sign of the days that we are living with social media, communication 2.0, etcetera. It’s obvious that if you have certain skills managing all this and a little bit of talent, plus a pinch of good taste, you can reach a global audience and show your work to the entire world even when you are concentrating the majority of your creations in a secret location.

DavidL, Through The Lens of Fer Alcala. Continue reading HERE


No. 5

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

This week we have a selection of the UPEART festivals’ two previous editions of murals – which we were lucky to see this week after driving across the country in an old VW Bora.

We hit 8 cities and drove along the border with Russia through some of the most picturesque forests and farmlands that you’ll likely see just to collect images of the murals that this Finnish mural festival has produced with close consultation with Fins in these neighborhoods. A logistical challenge to accomplish, we marvel at how this widespread program is achieved – undoubtedly due to the passion of director Jorgos Fanaris and his insatiable curiosity for discovering talents and giving them a platform for expression.

UPEA Special. Continue reading HERE


No. 4

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

From BSA:

When I was asked how to name the exhibition few weeks ago, I merged the words “vandalism“ and “Wandel“ (the German word for “Change“). That’s how Wandelism (or Changeism) was born and how it started transforming itself into an exhibition, which is truly accepting, embracing and living CHANGE.

On the grounds of a former car repair shop that is soon to be demolished, one can literally feel the constant movement and transformation of the urban fabric we all live in. Everything changes. Constantly. Change is evolution. Change is progress. Change is also the DNA of the art represented in the Wandelism show.

Wandelism” Brings Wild Change For One Week in Berlin. Continue reading HERE


No. 3

Scenes from Eugene: Murals of the 20x21EUG Festival in Oregon

Alexis Diaz. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

The city of Eugene in Oregon is preparing for the 2021 IAAF World Athletics Championships and like many cities these days it is transforming itself with murals.

With a goal of 20 new murals by ’21 (20x21EUG), the city began in 2016 to invite a slew of international Street Artists, some locally known ones, and a famous graffiti/Street Art photographer to participate in their ongoing visual festival.

A lively city that is bustling with the newly blooming marijuana industry and finding an endless array of ways to celebrate it, Eugene has been so welcoming that many artists will report that feeling quite at home painting in this permissively bohemian and chill atmosphere.

Scenes From Eugene: Continue reading HERE


No. 2

Winston Tseng: Street Provocateur Brings “Trash” Campaign to NYC

Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“At the end of the day when one is towing the line of being provocative, you may cross that line in some people’s mind but I think if one is not trying to find that line then the work is not going to make any impact”.

Winston Tseng has probably been crossing that line, pissing off some people and making others laugh for a few years now. He appears to consider it an honor, and possibly a responsibility. Relatively new on the Street Art scene the commercial artist and art director has also created his 2-D characters on canvasses and skate decks that depict the abridged characteristics of a typecast to play with the emotions and opinions of passersby.

Winston Tseng: Street Provocatour Brings “Trash” Campaing to NYC. Continue reading HERE


No. 1

OKUDA Sculpture Engulfed in Flames for Falles Festival in València

Okuda. Fallas 2018. Valencia, Spain. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

Yes, Street Art is ephemeral, but OKUDA San Miguel just set it on fire!

During the annual Falles de València celebration, it’s normal for artworks to be destroyed publicly in about 500 locations throughout the city and in surrounding towns. Part of a spring tradition for València, Spain monuments (falles) are burned in a celebration that includes parades, brass bands, costumes, dinners, and the traditional paella dish.

This year the first Street Artist to make a sculpture in the traditional commemoration of Saint Joseph is the un-traditional OKUDA, creating his multi-color multi-planed optic centerpiece.

Okuda Sculpture Engulfed in Flames in Valéncia. Continue reading HERE


We wish to express our most heartfelt gratitude to the writers and photographers who contributed to BSA and collaborated with us throughout the year. We are most grateful for your trust in us and for your continued support.

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Borondo Finds Community on The Island Of Utsira in Norway

Borondo Finds Community on The Island Of Utsira in Norway

Today we revisit Utsira, the tiny island in Norway that has hosted a few Street Artists over the last couple of years, like Ella & Pitr and Icy & Sot. This year the fine artist and Street Artist Gonzalo Borondo blended into the hills and the forest and the lapping waves, making his spirit dissipate into the community and into a boat.

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

His philosophical take on the outer world here, with its strength in its small close knit numbers, its seafaring economy and traditions, its physical realities transcended by metaphysical ones… lead him to this new mural and his renewed hope in communal strength.

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

See here in these images the process of staging the scene, the models, the central organizing boat and its associations – now transformed to a door when centered as it is on this building. Of equal importance is the circle of hands that surround it, grasp it, hold it, support it, keep it on course.

“There’s a strong sense of community,” he says as he reflects on the metaphor he has chosen to represent his time here on an island of only 420 people, “There is a mutual support among citizens and a common feeling of enjoying the same unique condition.”

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo © Borondo)

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

Borondo. Utsira. Viking graffiti. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo © Borondo)

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo © Borondo)

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

 

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BSA Film Friday: 09.29.17 NUART 2017 Special

BSA Film Friday: 09.29.17 NUART 2017 Special

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

Now screening :
1. Nuart 2017 – Re-Cap Fifth Wall TV
2. Carrie Richardt. Nuart 2017. Fifth Wall TV
3. ±MAISMENOS± Nuart 2017. Fifth Wall TV
4. Bahia Shehab. Nuart 2017. Fifth Wall TV

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: 4 Films from Nuart 2017

A glimpse inside the urban art/Street Art/graffiti/mural festival from earlier this month, which included a powerful collection of artists, interventionists, existentialists, activists, academics, and poets, this collection of NUART 2017 videos can only point to the individual aspects of the events. We start off with Doug Gillen’s brief overview and first impressions and feature three individual portraits of artists who took part in this years Street alt-fest.

Nuart 2017 – Re-Cap Fifth Wall TV

 

Carrie Richardt. Nuart 2017. Fifth Wall TV

“For me art is just the way that I express myself. I think that we need to use all means possible,” says artist, activist and global citizen Carrie Richardt. In her opinion, we should all be activists in service of one kind or another, and art in the streets is one of a myriad ways that people can effect positive change. In her text messages via tile around town, she offers pithy and profound bonmots like “Civil disobedience is not the problem. Civil obedience is the problem.”

 

±MAISMENOS± Nuart 2017. Fifth Wall TV

Portuguese artist Miguel Januário goes by ±MAISMENOS±, a sort of avatar of interventionism that presents a critical eye on models of our political, social, economic orders. By willfully rearranging signposts of accepted norms in the public space, his installations echo in their disunifying qualities and often comedic effects.

 

Bahia Shehab. Nuart 2017. Fifth Wall TV

“Art is wonderful. It inspires. But it does not push for action sometimes,” says Egyptian professor and Street Artist Bahia Shehab, whose international acclaim for speaking up against tyranny links the act of art with the struggle throughout the world for liberation.

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.03.17 NUART 2017 Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.03.17 NUART 2017 Special

 

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to Sunday! This week we have a special edition of BSA Images of the Week; Dedicated to Nuart 2017.

Each year Nuart challenges itself as much as it challenges you, unwilling to fall into the beckoning arms of the ever more bodacious and titilating Street Art Festival siren that increasingly works the thoroughfare in cities globally, looking so enticing in your Saturday night drunken reverie but unable to string together complete sentences over pancakes and coffee in the morning. Not that these stencils, these tiles, these installations and projections will necessarily lead to a more thorough examination and evaluation of neoliberal economics, corporate hegemony, or the caveats of a generation of identity politics, but they might. At the very least the practice of weighing in on these and other topics in a public way, in an ardent or passive voice, means that the conversation can be sparked, possibly brought to its fullness. And you may be encouraged.

John Fekner, stalwart public artist since at least the Reagan Revolution, has finally personally had his say here on the streets and on the subconscious . We asked him to share his wisdom with us, to take the measure of the scene and the new voices and perspectives. Not surprisingly, Mr. Fekner shows why an active engaged mind and spirit is paramount to evolving your art practice, your participation in the public conversation.

“The potent vitality of the artists in this year’s ‘Rise Up’ Exhibition in Stavanger, Norway is striking, in its exploration, selection, and development of the ‘visual voice’ of street art and mural making in 2017. NuArt exists as a ‘community commune of communication’ for artists, writers, musicians and guest speakers with an enthusiastic and participatory audience,” John tells us.

“Personally, I see a little bit of myself mirrored in some of the works- in the process, but not in the unexpected end results. Heralding from various  countries, this younger generation represent new beginnings for outdoor art that combine social concern, expressive beauty and hope, urgency and manifesto, for a new future that includes and engages everyone to experience.”

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring ± Maismenos ±, Ampparito, Bahia Shebab, Carrie Reichardt, Ian Strange, Igor Posonov, John Fekner, Ricky Lee Gordon, Slava Ptrk, and Vermibus.

See our conversation with Vermibus about his work here at Nuart below.

Top image:  Ampparito. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 John Fekner. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 John Fekner. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 John Fekner. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 John Fekner. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Bahia Shehab. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017.(photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Translation of the text:

“How wide is the revolution

How  narrow is the journey

How BIG is the Idea

How small is the state”

Slava Ptrk. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Vermibus. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Vermibus. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Vermibus. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: Can you tell us about your new piece and what it is about and how you are feeling about the progress?
Vermibus:
I brought two original pieces for the festival, both are part of one artwork that is the installation itself, and even if each artwork has its own personality they need from the rest of the room to express what I want to say with the installation.

The tunnels from Nuart Festival are huge and very interesting, so I thought I could use all this space to create an atmosphere instead of trying to fill the whole space with artworks or with a massive piece.

With this installation I want to bring to the viewer to its more hidden part of its personality, there where you don’t usually allow others to go in, where all the fears and traumas survive.

I want the viewer to have some intimacy with it’s inner self through my work.

The way the viewer will see my work is completely different from other occasions.

BSA: Can you give us your impressions of Nuart and Stavanger and the environment you are working in?
Vermibus:
It’s the first time that I participate in a festival, so for me everything is new, but I have the strong sensation that this place is special.

The whole team is friendly, incredibly talented, surprisingly humble and completely ready to help the artists to express themselves without limitations, it’s kind of a paradise.

The lineup is so well curated that I cannot be happier to participate around all this amazing artists.

 Vermibus. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Ian Strange. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Ian Strange. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

± Maismenos ± Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

± Maismenos ± Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Ricky Lee Gordon. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Ricky Lee Gordon is painting a mural of Finnish transgender activist Sakris Kupila for the launch of the BRAVE campaign with Amnesty International, raising awareness of human rights defenders and their work all over the world.

 Ricky Lee Gordon. Detail. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Ricky Lee Gordon. Detail. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Igor Ponosov. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

For a complete program of this year’s edition of NUART click HERE


We wish to thank our friend, BSA collaborator, and tireless Nuart volunteer Tor Ståle Moen for sharing his photographs and enthusiasm with us and with BSA readers.


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NUART 2017 Works In Progress and Nordic Gems By the Sea

NUART 2017 Works In Progress and Nordic Gems By the Sea

In Stavanger, Norway the Nuart Festival, in all its firey activist rebellious street-smart community-powered glory, is well underway; a chain-reaction of events and actions that ignite throughout the streets, in the gallery halls, and in neglected margins of this seaside town. In our 10th year bringing you the art and ideas from Nuart, BSA is ecstatic to show you works in process right now, courtesy of photographer Tor Ståle Moen.

Nuart 2017 artists include:

Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), flyingleaps presents Derek Mawudoku (UK), Ian Strange (AU), John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IL), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU), Vermibus (DE)

Bahia Shehab “No To Borders” Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab “No To War” Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab plays with an exciting Escif piece from Nuart 2011. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab at work on her large wall for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab at work on her large wall for Nuart 2017 with members of the Nuart team assisting, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt experiments with a configuration of her trademark tiles for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt at work. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt tries a configuration of her trademark tiles for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

John Fekner  contemplates the progress of his mural for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

John Fekner. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

John Fekner. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Ampparito. Work in progress. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Moen Tor Staale)

Vermibus at work. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Vermibus at work. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Vermibus. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Ricky Lee Gordon work in progress. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 

NUART 2017. For a complete listing of events click HERE

 

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Martyn Reed Calls Us to “Rise Up” for Nuart Festival 2017

Martyn Reed Calls Us to “Rise Up” for Nuart Festival 2017

The news out of Nuart 2017 is splendiforous and we are feeling celebratorious. These irregularly formed adjectives are in good company with the mismatched yet harmoniously woven characters who together have again selected and summoned artists, academics, kooks and cultural workers to Stavanger for a September synergy of Street Art, public art, and myriad interventionist ideas. It is a highly particular hybrid germinated, conjured, emancipated perhaps, by the free-form and analytical mind of its Founder and Director Martyn Reed. While sowing Nuart seeds spectacularly on the shores of Aberdeen earlier this spring, it is here in Stavanger where the new ideas germinate, are nurtured and given latitude. It is also where the tortoises of conventional thinking are happily rolled onto their backs, little webbed feet waving. We’re pleased today on BSA to publish Martyn’s new manifesto in preparation for Nuart’s festival this autumn in Norway so one might better appreciate the ruminations behind and development of this year’s theme.


RISE UP!

Nuart produces both temporary and long-term public artworks as well as facilitates dialogue and action between a global network of artists, academics, journalists and policy makers surrounding street art practice. Our core goal is to help redefine how we experience both contemporary and public art practice: to bring art out of museums, galleries and public institutions onto the city streets and to use emerging technologies, to activate a sense of public agency in the shaping of our cities.

Outside of Nuart Festival, our growing portfolio of projects represents an on-going art and education program that seeks to improve the conditions for, and skills to produce, new forms of public art both in Stavanger and further afield. For us, public spaces outside conventional arts venues offer one of the richest, most diverse and rewarding contexts in which this can happen.

Vermibus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our work is guided by our belief in the capacity for the arts to positively change, enhance and inform the way we think about and interact with each other and the City.

The Real Power of Street Art

Nuart festival presents an annual paradigm of hybridity in global sanctioned and unsanctioned street art practice. Through a series of large and human scale public artworks, murals, performances, art tours, workshops, academic debates, education programs, film screenings and urban interventions, supported by a month long exhibition of installations, Nuart explores the convergence points between art, public space and the emergent technologies that are giving voice and agency to a new and more creative civilian identity, an identity that exists somewhere between citizen, artist and activist.

The real power of “street art” is being played out daily on walls, buildings, ad shelters and city squares the world over, and it’s now obvious that state institutions can neither contain nor adequately represent the fluidity of this transgressive new movement. As the rest of the world begins to accept the multiplicity of new public art genres, it is becoming more apparent, that street art resists both classification and containment. The question is, not how can this inherently public art movement be modified or replicated to fit within the confines of a civic institutional or gallery model, but how can the current model for contemporary art museums, galleries and formulaic public art programs, be re-examined to conform with the energy of this revolutionary new movement in visual art practice.

John Fekner in Stavanger (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the 1990’s, Situationist concepts developed by philosopher Guy Debord, surrounding the nature of “The City”, “Play” and the “Spectacle”, alongside sociologist Henri Lefebvre’s theories exploring the rights to shape our own public and mental space, came together to form an emergent adbusting “artivism”, which now forms the foundation of street art practice. Radical cultural geographer David Harvey has stated, “The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources, it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city”.

It is here, at the intersection between philosophy, geography, architecture, sociology, politics and urbanism, that Nuart situates itself, it exists as a critique of the colonization of everyday life by commodity and consumerism, whilst recognizing that one of the only radical responses left, is to jettison the hegemonic, discursive and gated institutional response to capitalism, and engage it directly where it breeds and infects the most, in our urban centers.

Know Hope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The challenge for a new and relevant public art isn’t to attempt to negate capitalisms neoliberal market logics with an ever more dominant liberal discourse, both are ultimately mired in a conflict that on the surface simply serves to feed the polarization and spectacle that we’re attempting to transcend. What we need is the active participation of citizens in the creation of their own holistically imagined environments, both physical and mental, a direct and collective response to space that leads to the shaping of place. A place in which the disengaged and passive citizens desired and ever more manipulated by market forces, are inspired to re-make themselves. Nuart proposes that the production of art in public spaces outside conventional arts venues offers the community, not only the most practical, but also the richest, most relevant and rewarding contexts in which this can happen.

It is in this “remaking” of self, this deep desire to engage with the world, to develop civic agency and purpose, that transcends identity, gender and class, and enables those locked out of the arts by a post-Adorno obscurant lexicon (eh?), that street art delivers. It offers an opportunity to reconnect, not only with art, but also with each other. Hundreds of people covering a vast swathe of demographics, from toddlers and single moms to refugees and property barons, on a street art tour conversing with each other, are testament to this.

 

±maismenos± (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

We believe that when you want to challenge the powerful, you must change the story, it’s this DIY narrative embedded within street art practice, that forms the bonding agent for stronger social cohesion between citizens from a multiplicity of cultures, as our lead artist for 2017, Bahia Shehab will attest. It is this narrative, that is acting as the catalytic agent towards street art becoming a vehicle capable of generating changes in politics as well as urban consciousness.

The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from what kind of person we want to be. The transformation of urban space creates changes in urban life, the transformation of one, being bound to the transformation of the other. What social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies, art and aesthetic values we desire, are closely linked to the spaces we inhabit. The “banalization” of current city space, combined with the numbing effect of digital devices that guide us from A to B, have rendered us passive. Consumer cows sucking at the teat of capital trapped in a dichotomy between left and right, instead of right and wrong. And for the most, the hegemonic islands of sanitised cultural dissent we call Art Institutions, are either unable or uninterested, in engaging with the general public in any meaningful way.

 

Ricky Lee Gordon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the early 2000’s, the evocative power of certain already existing and often crumbling industrial interzones, including that of Tou Scene, our main exhibition space, one that we were instrumental in establishing, gave rise to a new form of engagement with art in urban spaces that is only now being fully recognized and exploited. Street Art is at times of course co-opted and complicit with the “creative destruction” that the gentrification process engenders, but Capitalism’s continuous attempt to “instrumentalize” everything, including our relationship to art should be vigorously resisted. It is these “Stalker-esque” zones of poetic resistance, that initially gave shelter to one of the first truly democratic , non-hierarchical and anti-capitalist art forms, and unlike most cultural institutions, it is still, for the most, unafraid to voice this opinion, important in a time when even our art institutions are beginning to resemble houses of frenzied consumption. Street art exists to contest rather than bolster the prevailing status quo. As such, it is picking up as many enemies as friends within the field of public art.

By attempting to transform the city, street art attempts to transform life, and though by no means is all street art overtly political, it does, in it’s unsanctioned form at least, challenge norms and conventions regulating what is acceptable use of public space. In particular, it opposes commercial advertising’s dominion over urban surfaces, an area that Nuart are active in “taking over” throughout the year and in particular during the festival period. Our curating initiatives not only aim to encourage a re-evaluation of how we relate to our urban surroundings, but to also question our habitual modes of thinking and acting in those spaces. Street art is not just art using the streets as an artistic resource, but also an art that is questioning our habitual use of public space. Street art doesn’t simply take art out of the context of the museum, it does so whilst hacking spaces for art within our daily lives that encourage agency and direct participation from the public, “Everyone an artist” as Joseph Beuys would have it, and if it is accussed of being produced without academic rigour, we are reminded that he also asked, “Do we want a revolution without laughter?”.

Nuart’s programs are designed specifically to explore and silently challenge the mechanisms of power and politics in public space. Increasingly, we see the rights to the city falling into the hands of private and special interest groups, and yet, we have no real coherent opposition to the worst of it. The 20th Century was replete with radical Utopic manifestos calling for change, from Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto of 1909 to Murakami’s “Superflat” of 2000. Nuart’s annual academic symposium, Nuart Plus, acts as a platform for a resurgency in utopic thinking around both city development and public art practice, and whilst recognizing that street art is often co-opted and discredited by capital, it also recognises that even the most amateur work, is indispensable in stimulating debate and change in a Modern society that has developed bureaucracies resistant to seeing art, once more, as part of our everyday life.

As the Situationst graffiti scrawled on Parisian walls in 1968 stated, Beauty is in the streets, so Rise Up! and support those dedicated to unleashing one of the most powerful communicative practices known to mankind, there’s work for art to be done in the world amongst the living.

Martyn Reed, July 2017



Artists scheduled to participate in Nuart Festival 2017:
Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), flyingleaps presents Derek Mawudoku (UK), Ian Strange (AU), John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IL), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU) and Vermibus (DE).

 

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Icy & Sot, Land Art on Utsira Island, Norway.

Icy & Sot, Land Art on Utsira Island, Norway.

An essential element of creating works on the street or in the public sphere is having the latitude to discover and experiment. Here on Utsira Island in Norway the Street Art brothers Icy & Sot have been discovering ways to work with the garbage that the sea brings to the shores.

Icy & Sot. Utsira Island, Norway. July 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

It’s an interesting way to spend your time when there is not really a street culture of any sort on this island where the total population is less than can fit into a subway car. Nonetheless the garbage that the artists were able to collect among these rolling hills of waving green grasses reminded them of the cities they’ve traveled to and made artwork for.

Somewhere along the way the guys Street Art practice has morphed into Land art, a movement quite separate from graffiti and Street Art, yet another one that was at least in part started by New York artists who were getting out of the city in the 1960s and 70s. Rather then manipulating the Earth directly, however, I&S are using as a canvas.

Icy & Sot. Utsira Island, Norway. July 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

Here at the water’s edge and far from the urban scene, Icy & Sot experiment with these found objects to further their examination of environmental matters, a theme they have often spoken to in their Street Art work.

“Norway is one of the most environmentally friendly nations on earth,” says Icy, “Especially Utsira which is a super clean and magical Island with 211 people living on it. It is frustrating to see all this plastic waste on the shores. This could have been dumped in the ocean in any part of the world, and if we collected it from the entire island it would create a huge mountain of plastic.”

Icy & Sot. Utsira Island, Norway. July 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

One man’s garbage is another man’s art materials, so the artists show us here sculptural works and installations that they created while there.

“We did some interventions, installations about the environment and the plastic pollution,” says Sot. “We made all the works by using garbage that we collected with the islanders from a very small section of a shore in the island. In an hour we were able to collect so much plastic, there was everything you can think of that is made out of plastic; gasoline cans, soda/water bottles, shampoo, slippers …”

Icy & Sot. Utsira Island, Norway. July 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

Icy & Sot. Utsira Island, Norway. July 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

Icy & Sot. Utsira Island, Norway. July 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot

“Warming Warning”, by Icy & Sot

 

Icy & Sot. Utsira Island, Norway. July 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

“Human Reflection On The Ocean”, by Icy & Sot

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Elle + Klone. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. Dispatch 5

Elle + Klone. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. Dispatch 5

This is the third year for Northern Norway’s UPN Festival and this year it’s on an Island called Røst and includes a collection of artists eager to do site-specific and environmental works – one evolutionary development in the mural festivals that blossom throughout the world right now. This week BSA is proud to bring you images and interviews along with Urban Nation this year at UpNorth, where the seagulls never stop calling and the sun never goes down this time of year.


We wind up the week on the island of Røst with almost a mystical sense, perhaps because of the inspirational messages we continued to see within the statements of this year’s artists. Today we see the metaphorical storytelling of Elle at war on the seas and the striking installation by Klone Yourself (or Klone) called “The Songs of the Vikings”
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A surrealist illustrator experimenting with different styles and mediums on Street Art pieces and murals in cities, Klone’s works on walls often feature simplified and distorted forms, figures, and creatures occupying a space that is seemingly suspended in air. An uprooted Ukrainian immigrant now from Tel Aviv, the mid-30s artist is looking at existential matters today in the way you do when you have had to adjust to a radically new environment.

Klone. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

One examines fundamentals and pillars of a culture, its history, norms and language – and then struggles to find a place within it. For his installation in Norway, the artist studied the location and the history of the region, combined that study with his own history, and constructed “Viking” swords for a site specific piece that takes on many shadings of significance.

“The texts on the swords are coming from various sources: Viking poetry and songs, contemporary references like music and literature we grow up on, and personal remarks and thoughts on life and daily struggles,” says Klone about his striking installation by the sea. “In a way this is a series of protective runes, planted in the ground, like after a big battle, some of the text disappearing, some still exposed. Some of the truth is always gone, and it’s all relative.

Klone. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: Can you talk about this striking and meaningful installation you did by the sea for UpNorth?
Klone: My main goal for the UpNorth festival was to complete my installation that was planned specifically for it. The installation consists of wooden swords, cut out by me from found wood (mostly wood that was used for building houses on the island), with text written on the swords.

Later those swords got stuck into a hill structure on the island. This installation has and can have so many meanings, to both me and the random viewer, so I’ll explain some of my intention – and anyone else can take it somewhere else, as people already did while I was installing my piece and directly after it was completed.

The sword is a symbol of power through thousands of years. A wooden sword is a toy, meant to play with. In a way it is to prepare us for one day holding a real sword, real power, or at least real representation of it, no matter how prepared or not we are.

On a personal note – my name is Igor, and this is the name my mother gave me when I was born and later explained to me that she gave me a Viking name so I could grow to be a strong man. In a way I hope I did become kind of a Viking. A free man, at least as much as I’d like to think so, somewhat a pirate, and always on the move with deep respect for history and traditions as well as a love for innovation. For me this was a kind of a closure, to bring this installation to a place that felt like it’s meant to be.

Klone. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: How would you describe the environment working in Røst?
Klone Yourself: The Røst environment is insane. It feels like another planet over there and with the 24/7 daylight, its easy to feel so.

I think it’s amazing to experience a place so old and yet so wholesome and not destroyed by modern civilizations. Yes they have machines, Internet and restaurants, but it seems like the people just want to live their lives and are not really bothered by what’s happening around them.

BSA: How are you challenging yourself as an artist right now?
Klone Yourself: I’m challenging myself as an artist on a daily basis. My practice is always on a few levels of perception, depending on the time and the place of course. As I work in drawing, painting, installation, video and mural painting, the limits are far to be seen, and there’s so much to try and learn yet.

The most appropriate personal title for the piece is – “Song of the Viking” , as a tribute to songs written by Vikings to their gods, and as a tribute to this land now and then.

Klone. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)


The American experimentalist Elle tries anything once – including fire extinguishers, rollers, aerosol, wheatpastes, silkscreens and bus stop takeovers – legal and illegal. Her illustrative style often centers around a fantastical avatar, a heroic and sensual woman who is exploring new psychological landscapes.

Here in Røst the heroine of a shipwreck casts a wide eye at you as she climbs through a tumultuous and harrowing sea storm. The metaphors are many and so is the range of Elles ever-increasing skills.

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Our thanks to our partner Urban Nation (UN) and to photographer Tor Ståle Moen for his talents.


See our Up North roundup piece on The Huffington Post

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Pastel + Lora Zombie. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. Dispatch 4

Pastel + Lora Zombie. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. Dispatch 4

This is the third year for Northern Norway’s UPN Festival and this year it’s on an Island called Røst and includes a collection of artists eager to do site-specific and environmental works – one evolutionary development in the mural festivals that blossom throughout the world right now. This week BSA is proud to bring you images and interviews along with Urban Nation this year at UpNorth, where the seagulls never stop calling and the sun never goes down this time of year.


“If you do this in London this would just be one wall out of many,” says UpNorth festival founder Gøran Moya,

“But on this island the artists can really make an impact. They can be part of changing history for this community. The festival is also all about doing this together. Because it’s such a small place the artists, crew and locals have a special opportunity to interact with each other. This makes the whole project more personal I think.”

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

We had asked him to contrast the nature of what we call “Street Art” in its original environment versus the experience of creating and seeing it here at UPN.

“I think this will have a greater impact. For the artists coming to such a remote place where there is no history of urban art, but also for the community of the island. Most people don’t know anything of this artistic expression and can be very sceptical in the beginning. But they have always ended up loving it. They also take a pride in this.”

“We’re just trying to have new work that brings a contrast – Like getting Pastel to paint his colorful expression on a island without almost any vegetation.”

 

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

An Argentinian architect and painter, Pastel routinely brings the natural world to the manmade irregular spaces in the built environments of modern cities. Not a stranger to the city, he’s equally engaged in the country – taking particular care to educate himself about the sliding matrix of environments that one walks through when visiting a place – social, historical, geological…

So it makes sense that his work here draws directly from the eating habits of sea and air in this land where both are the principal actors. His interesting twist is how flora becomes symbolic for social issues in Pastels projects – a catalyst for dialogue about the nature of nature and the nature of us.

 

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: Can you describe that shell/flower arrangement, how it is related to the local vegetation, what you learned about the geography/agriculture/topography on Røst?
Pastel: The painting is based on the local flora that grow during the artic summer (24hs sunny) and the marine imagery. The seagulls jump into the water and catch sea urchin, then they drop them in the ground to crack the shell and eat it.

You can find all over the island these empty shells covering the ground. Because of changing climate conditions and the noticeable jump from to a subpolar oceanic climate to a cold-summer Mediterranean climate, the flora has become endemic and unique to the region itself.

 

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: Can you talk about the greater significance of the work as it relates to environmental or social issues?
Pastel: In my painting I’m focusing on the flora as a way to talk about the local issues of each place I’m going to paint in. The issues may reference architecture and urban mistakes, socio-economical and historical problems. I think of my painting as a dynamic way to make architecture in public spaces (a kind of “urban acupuncture”), as a performance, hopefully improving the local identity of each place.

When I work on studio paintings I translate those meanings using poisonous plants instead of the local flora.

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA:What are some of the challenges for you as an artist right now?
Pastel: I guess one ongoing challenge for me is to improve my painting techniques. My biggest challenge may be that I am a difficult critic with myself. Also when I think of the concept of painting on public areas, I feel a great responsibility about the work I create in public space.

Pastel sharing what inspired him to paint this wall. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 

Pastel. He thought he had completed his piece but then he had a change of heart and decided to switch the background color completely. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Pastel. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Lora Zombie begins. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)


Known more as a fine art illustrator than urban artist, Russian born Lora Zombie brought her fantastical sensibility to this very grey area, injecting her self-taught style of art-making into the familiar environment.

Her world-wide collectors will probably not make it up here, but then again much of her success as an artist can be directly traced to her presence on the Internet – and of course bouyant personality and the ubiquitous shocking blue hair.

Lora Zombie. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

“Lalala!” Lora says when we ask her to answer a few questions about her image of a girl getting a ride on the back of a bird at UpNorth.

BSA: Can you tell us about the piece that you did for UpNorth?
Lora Zombie: So my piece is more about just good bright harmony and joyful vibe! I wanted to spread some bright and flying feeling for Røst island!

 

Lora Zombie. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: How would you describe the environment working in Røst?
Lora Zombie: The Environment was wonderful. It felt like artist camping – fun and childish.

BSA:How are you challenging yourself as an artist right now?
Lora Zombie: Animation is my challenge at the moment. Conceptual animated video clips.

Lora Zombie. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Lora Zombie. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Lora Zombie. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Lora Zombie. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 

Our thanks to our partner Urban Nation (UN) and to photographer Tor Ståle Moen for his talents.


See our Up North roundup piece on The Huffington Post

 

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Spider Tag + NesPoon. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. UPN Dispatch 3

Spider Tag + NesPoon. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. UPN Dispatch 3

This is the third year for Northern Norway’s UPN Festival and this year it’s on an Island called Røst and includes a collection of artists eager to do site-specific and environmental works – one evolutionary development in the mural festivals that blossom throughout the world right now. This week BSA is proud to bring you images and interviews along with Urban Nation this year at UpNorth, where the seagulls never stop calling and the sun never goes down this time of year.


This year we tried to focus more on installations/sculptures than earlier years,” says Gøran Moya of UpNorth Festival, pointing to a discipline within the organic Street Art milieu that is sometimes overlooked but is elemental to the spirit of free expression that one often discovers in abandoned places. “Spidertag did his light installations in a time where there is 24 hours of daylight, but everything turned out amazing!”

Spidertag. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

He’s speaking of the glowing geometric shapes inside of an old barn structure by the sea which Spanish Street Artist Spidertag has focused on as an enclosed dilapidated stage for this installation.

He began his string art about a decade ago and BSA may have been one of the first to publish it actually, transforming and framing spaces in abandoned or neglected venues, bringing a workman’s toolbox and an alchemists zeal for new astral formations in places where most had given up.

Spidertag. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Now he has been toying with this glowing string perhaps in the hopes that in six months when this place is purely nocturnal there will be a radiant reminder of the summer in Røst.

BSA: Can you tell us about the piece that you did for UpNorth?
Spidertag: I did 5 pieces in total; 4 interior and 1 outdoor. The challenge for me is that in summer in the north of Norway, there is no darkness, no night time. So, for my light installations it was a difficult…but I made it! And the wall will be turning on in a few month…

Spidertag. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: How would you describe the environment working in Røst?
Spidertag: Amazing location. The old and abandoned houses made of wood were perfect for my nails and also to contrast styles. Was a nice experience!

BSA: How are you challenging yourself as an artist right now
Spidertag: I continue to keep on developing; growing up and experimenting with my wires.

Spidertag. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Spidertag)

NesPoon. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)


Poland’s NesPoon is bringing the decorative element of lace to this Norwegian island, an historical patterning that one may associate with hearth, home, and the finer practices of handicraft.

It is an unusual element in Street Art, though not limited to NesPoon (New York’s Hellbent comes to mind), bringing a sweetness to the urban landscape that befits a feminine character, rather than the hardcore testosterone infused hooliganism that the scene may like to portray about itself.

NesPoon. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

We met NesPoon in Moscow at the Artmossphere Biennale last year when she was doing an installation focusing on the so-called “Precariot”, the current worldwide worker class that is made to be insecure about their jobs, healthcare, shelter, food, future. So don’t think this stencil work is purely about decoration – more likely it is about asserting the feminine into public space and claiming the right to steer the dialogue and set the agenda.

NesPoon. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

NesPoon. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

NesPoon. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

NesPoon. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Our thanks to our partner Urban Nation (UN) and to photographer Tor Ståle Moen for his talents.


See our Up North roundup piece on The Huffington Post

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JAZ + Dzia at Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. UPN Dispatch 2

JAZ + Dzia at Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. UPN Dispatch 2

This is the third year for Northern Norway’s UPN Festival and this year it’s on an Island called Røst and includes a collection of artists eager to do site-specific and environmental works – one evolutionary development in the mural festivals that blossom throughout the world right now. BSA is proud to bring you images and interviews along with Urban Nation this year at UpNorth, where the seagulls never stop calling and the sun never goes down this time of year.


“We try to show a big spectrum of styles and have as much variation as possible,” says Gøran Moya.

Moya runs the UpNorth art festival with about 5 other people, he says. “Without these people this would not be possible.” This year Urban Nation from Berlin, including director Yasha Young, joined with the UpNorth team and co-curated the selections of artists as well.

BSA: How did this Street Art festival begin?
Gøran Moya:
It began with getting Phlegm to paint a big mural in Bodø in 2013. The positive response to this made me think that it could be possible to extend this into something bigger. We have some great locations up here. Something different. So in 2015 the first UpNorth Festival was arranged in Sulitjelma, the second in 2016 was in Bodø, and this year in Røst.

 

JAZ. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: How did you chose these artists this year for the festival?
Gøran Moya: This year´s festival is curated together with Urban Nation Berlin. We are just trying to get artists that we think fit the surroundings, but not in an easy way; Something that brings a contrast.

More from Mr. Moya tomorrow but now lets look at the two interventions from artists JAZ and Dzia.

 

JAZ. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Franco Fasoli, or JAZ, has travelled to many cities over the last decade painting murals that often involve historical archtypes at war or readying for battle. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the early 80s, he says his studies in ceramic art have also been taking form in his mind and he will be doing more sculpture.

We have actually seen two of his sculptures in person over the last year: the emerging lower half of a military horse coming up through the floor at the Artmossphere Biennale in Moscow last September and again earlier in Berlin for his anamorphic multi-limbed wresters in the PM/10 show at Urban Nation with Instagrafite last June.

For UPN here in Røst we find JAZ painting a new stately equine image as well, and you can see his affinity for the depth and volume of form even in his wall murals.

 

JAZ. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: This is an unique place for a mural festival – both because it is away from a major urban center and because the days are 24 hours long this time of year. How would you describe painting on this island this time of year?
JAZ: The environment in Røst is great and it is like a surreal dream to paint there- such an amazing place to paint. The contact with the locals is kind of limited, but there was a lot of super good energy .

BSA: You have been doing murals for many festivals and towns for a while. How is your practice evolving today?
JAZ: Right now I’m concentrating more on sculpture than before and I am working with new kinds of materials, new languages, pushing me away from the profile of only a muralist. I am interested in new views of my work, getting involved with institutions and using my background as a public artist to generate bridges between different art perspectives. The role of the “street artist” or “contemporary artist” is something that I don’t want to be too concerned with – I’m trying to not get fixed in either of them .

JAZ. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

JAZ. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

JAZ. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

JAZ. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)


Another world traveller, artist Dzia didn’t have to fly too far from his native Antwerp to bring his geometrically influenced feathered friends to this Norwegian wall. With a masters in fine art from the Royal Academy, Dzia only joined the mural game half a decade ago and his active animal kingdom has brought him opportunities to work with big brands thanks to a commercially appealing technique.

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Here in Røst the wood façade of this one-story barn building is a natural analogue to the aviary scene he adds, even with such porous material soaking up the pigments of his paint. Nearer the chopping waves of the sea, his illustrative COD fish forms adds color to a plainly white waterfront building.

He says he loved all the time spent here and the other artists and his hosts. “6 nights on the amazing island Røst, 115km above the pole circle and 100km from the city Bodø, Norway, all 24h daylight and a magic midnight sun!”

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Dzia. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 

Our thanks to our partner Urban Nation (UN) and to photographer Tor Ståle Moen for his talents.


See our Up North roundup piece on The Huffington Post

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