All posts tagged: Nuart 2013

ROA Gets Up With New Animals In Tow

ROA Gets Up With New Animals In Tow

BSA travels with ROA to Austria, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the US.

Today we visit with Street Artist, urban naturalist, and globe trotter ROA to see what walls he has been climbing since we last checked in with him and his traveling curious circus of animals. Alternating between the cuddly and the killing, the endoskelton and the excrement, the pugnacious, playful and the putrefying, this Belgian world citizen is no romantic with his subjects and he isn’t asking for you to be either necessarily.


ROA. Lagos, Portugal 2013. (photo © Roa)

If you consider the brutal natural and man-made world that animals have to survive in and the ruthless depravity of humans throughout the ages (including right now), perhaps ROA’s depictions of these regionally based creatures are a healthy counterbalance to the fictional storytelling we customarily see in large public depictions of animals. Rotting Big Bird, anyone?


ROA. Lagos, Portugal 2013. (photo © Roa)

In one instructive example, a local town meeting in Chichester in Great Britain erupted into a heated debate this spring and a vote was called over whether to remove one of ROA’s fresh paintings from public view. The aerosoled portrait  featured a rotting badger lying belly up and pock-marked across the front of a neglected building.

“It’s not appropriate, it’s grotesque and I hope it will be removed,” said the district and parish councilor who was outraged at the factual representation of a dying animal, according to a local website. The article does not mention if she was equally outraged at the culling of badgers locally, which ROA was drawing attention to, or if she would call the culling of undesirable animals “grotesque”.



ROA. Ibex at the harbor in Linz, Austria 2013. (photo ©

You wouldn’t cheapen the spray-painted monochromatic realism of ROAs work as activism per se, or even moralizing. Sometimes a bear is just a bear.

But sometimes the poses and positions and selectively illustrated details are more pronounced than one may see in nature, so clearly his desire is to draw attention to them. And why not try to give a voice to them? Otters don’t do email and bison hooves are too clunky for texting and nary a narwhal has his own Facebook page. If they have been displaced, marginalized, or are suffering, you won’t see a cluster of clamoring squirrels arrayed before a bank of microphones and cameras issuing a press conference.


ROA. Detail. Linz, Austria 2013. (photo ©

But slowly and gradually and almost systematically the former graffiti artist has been raising the awareness of even the dullest among us bipedal primates that the animals we are sharing the world with are plausibly pissed about that whole “dominion over nature” clause that pious Pulcinellas spout when justifying treating some animals like trash even while their blue-blooded poodles are having pedicures. Now that you think of it, this may not be exclusively about the animal kingdom.

Certainly we have all learned from ROAs travels that nature isn’t pretty – and can possibly be very alarming – and he won’t likely let you forget it.

So start trotting, galloping, swimming, scurrying, slithering, and scurrying! We have a lot of catching up to do with ROA as this year he’s been in Austria, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the US.


ROA. Linza, Austria 2013. (photo ©


ROA. Linz, Austria 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Mural Festival. “Still Life With Bison and Bear” Montreal, Canada 2013. (photo © Roa)

This wall was featured in our coverage this summer of the MURAL festival, where we wrote;

“For his first visit to Montreal, the Belgian Street Artist named ROA says that he had a great time creating this ‘still life’ with a bison and a bear. When talking about his inspiration, ROA says that he was impressed with the history of the so-called American bison, which was incredibly abundant in the early 19th century, numbering more than 40 million. After being hunted almost into extinction with a population of 200 a century later, the bison slowly have reestablished their numbers in Canada to 700,000. He decided to add a bear laying on top because it tells a similar story of a native mammal in the region.”


ROA. “Catch of The Day” Open Art. Örebro, Sweden 2013. (photo © Roa)

“This is the first time I actually painted a narwhal,” says ROA about the curiously speared whale that lives year-round in the Arctic.

“Their tusks make them a unique example of a species; in a way the narwhal is a mythical sea creature; The unicorns of the sea,” explains ROA about this Swedish piece.  “The young male narwal that I painted here is unfortunately caught in a fishing line. I wanted to draw attention to how they and many other species become a victim of hunting and pollution.”


ROA. “Catch of The Day”. Deatail. Open Art. Örebro, Sweden 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Vienna, Austria 2013. (photo © Roa)

At the start of July ROA opened his second solo show – this time with Inoperable Gallery in Vienna.

The exhibition was called “PAN-ROA’s Box” and it was an animal curiosity focused show.


ROA. Detail. Vienna, Austria 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. “Two Blue Tits” in Chichester, Great Britain 2013. (photo © Roa)

ROA was there as part of his invitation to participate at the Chichester Street Art Festival in May.


ROA. Chichester, Great Britain 2013. (photo © Roa)

Here is the painting referred to above that upset a number of people in Chichester and called for a vote to take it down (it was 50/50 so they’ve left it up).

Regarding the Badger Cull 2013

“After several emails from Louise Matthews about the upcoming badger cull in GB, I painted a badger to support their efforts to save the badgers,” says ROA. The controversial practice in Britain has gained a number of very adamant foes, including Brian May from the rock group Queen.


ROA. Bethenal-Green London 2013. (photo © Roa)

As a guest of Griff from Street Art London, ROA did this piece in Bethenal-Green.


ROA. Nuart 2013. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Malaga, Spain. (photo © Roa)

As part of his invitation to the Maus Festival, ROA painted this in Calle Casas De Campos, Malaga, Spain.


ROA. Malaga, Spain. (photo © Roa)


ROA. “Fighting Squirrels”, Southbank, London 2013. (photo © Roa)

“If you have ever witnessed a squirrel fight, you might recognize the action,” says ROA of these two enraged fellas in mid air.  He explains that when the North American Eastern Grey squirrel (top) was introduced it caused the red native Squirrel (bottom) to lose habitat and population, so now the red one is protected by conservation laws.

ROA would like to thank the Southbank Centre at the canal.


ROA. Dulwich, London 2013. (photo © Roa)


ROA. Baroque The Streets Festival. Dulwich, London 2013. (photo © Roa)

Regarding the dog above, ROA says :

” It took me a detailed search into the Dulwich Picture Gallery to find an animal expression that was involved with the daily life of the time and express on it’s own a fragment of the ordinary life. My eye was caught by a pooping dog in a large scale hunting scene; I found that an interesting detail. The people of the museum told me they have more hunting scenes with this same curious detail, but those were currently not exhibited.”

Dulwich:  ‘Baroque The Streets: Dulwich Street Art Festival’ May 10-19, 2013. The festival was organized by Street Art London & Dulwich Picture Gallery


ROA. Urban Forms Festival. Lodz, Poland. 2013. (photo © Roa)

Roa wishes to extend his most sincere thanks to the following people:

In Southbank, London he sends thanks to the Southbank Centre at the canal.

In Linz, Austria he says thanks to Bubble Days Festival in Linz, and thanks to Poidle.

In Montreal, he says thanks to MURAL for all their good care and for the retreat in Quebec. Thank you also to Yan, Andre, Alexis and Nico!

In Malaga, Spain he says thank you very much Fer.

In Rochester he says thank you to Ian, Steven, Dan and Wise, who “made my stay excellent as usual.”

In Lagos, Portugal he says thanks to LAC Laboratório Actividades Criativas.

In Stavanger, Norway he extends his thanks to the NUART festival.

In Lodz, Poland he says thanks to Michael and the crew.

And we here at BSA say thank you to you all, and of course to ROA for sharing all his travels with BSA readers.

Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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BSA Film Friday: 11.15.13 – Exclusive Premiere David Choe / Aryz

BSA Film Friday: 11.15.13 – Exclusive Premiere David Choe / Aryz



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

Now screening:

1. David Choe/Aryz PREMIERE on BSA: Medvin Sobio’s “L. A. Nights”
2. Niels “Shoe” Meulman Calligraffit
3. Tom Herck aka Atek84 2012-2013
4. The End Of The Line Pt 2; NYC Train Lines by Janosch Delcker.
5. NUART 2013: Showtime
6. M-City in Norway. Time lapse.
7. Alex Yanes: Woven Into Me

BSA Special Feature:

Medvin Sobio’s “L. A. Nights”

Director-film maker Medvin Sobio takes another unconventional spin on the now somewhat conventional mural-painting subgenre by playing with time signatures, hitting straight up wrong angles, and stirring in a thick sinuous sucrose veneer that makes us begin asking existential questions by the time the droll closing credits roll by.

It’s all here directly from the perfectly banal and brutal life on the street, with little clusters of gadflies and homies swimming around sort of drunkly – aided by a soundtrack heavy with Spanish-language 45s that were left sitting on the radiator. Just as you get the groove, prepare for Sobio to switch it, and for David Choe to glide by the screen like a ninja/Vader/suburban lawncare specialist from San Antonio with leaf blower in hand. The new film captures just a little bit of the LA street insanity of summer where almost everyone is baked — and its debut is here for BSA readers today exclusively.



Niels “Shoe” Meulman: Arts In The Streets

Shot and edited by Colin M. Day

“I guess it all started with me as a little kid being into looking at signs and letters,” says Niels in an understated way as he traces his evolution into an amalgam of graffiti and calligraphy that he has fashioned. Follow him as he narrates through the studio environment into a number of venues, all the while rhythmically marking walls, floors, cars with his signature U and N characters.

Tom Herck aka Atek84 Video Compilation 2012-2013

A sizzle reel of sorts by artist Tom Herck that hits upon his tangling with the meaning of selling ideas and beliefs and the paranoiac behaviors bred by surveillance. At least, that’s what we think. Guy has some good ideas and a knack for dramatic symbols, but some may be jarring – like the burning cross at the beginning, for example.


The End Of The Line Pt 2; NYC Train Lines by Janosch Delcker.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Jonosch Delker offers the companion piece to his “End of the Line” film that explored the final stops on the train lines in Berlin two years ago; Today he brings us the final stations of the NYC subway system.  He likes to say they are “non-places” because tourists rarely see them but just the glimpses of human interaction that he captures tell you that these are full of life and possess an urban poetry of their own. It’s true, a rare tourist will ever see these termination stations, as the major hubs of visitor activity are smack in the middle of many train lines. An adventurous or dozing visitor can find these places, though most probably won’t.  With his choice of Moby to accompany you on your trip to the ends of the lines, you won’t need to do it either – but you may be encouraged to.


NUART 2013: Showtime

Time for a victory lap on the 2013 installment of Nuart.


M-City in Norway. Time lapse.

Quietly he works. M-City in Norway.


Alex Yanes: Woven Into Me

 “Every artist that I ever met that is successful has paid dues,” says visual artist Alex Yanes in this tight video shot and edited by Duffy Higgins that traces the process Yanes followed to create and mount his first New York show – a show we caught at Low Brow Artique for its opening.  It captures the energy and enthusiasm of the artist who had some trepidation about bringing his Miami style to Bushwick and the ready to rumble every day life of New York.

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Martha Cooper Gets Up Huge at NUART 2013


“If this was New York, this would be the place they dumped the bodies,” says Martha as she and Martyn Reed scope out the new location for her drizzly outdoor light show after hours. Nuart 2013 had a stroke of genius when the international Street Art festival didn’t invite the famous photographer as a documenter but rather as an artist – an important distinction that may be overlooked by many graffiti and Street Artists when speaking about the work of photographers sometimes.


Martha Cooper’s iconic photo of graffiti and train writer DONDI, perhaps one of the most famous of Ms. Cooper’s images, is projected on silos in the Stavanger Harbor. (photo courtesy of NUART 2013 © Ian Cox)

The crew lit up the night in the dodgy part of the Norwegian town using car headlamps for their work and with a projector Reed says costs about $350,000. Not part of the official program, the team was determined to splash some of the 1,300 slides from Cooper’s 50+ year career as large as possible like a beacon. “It was in the dead of night, and pitch dark,” says Reed.

Not for long.

Using a rented van and a portable power generator, the boom of charged particles soon blasted upon the large rolling expanse of an industrial canvas, and with the help of other talented photographers, these exclusive images capture the nocturnal scene for BSA readers.

Special thanks to Ian Cox and Kay Donnolly.


Kids at play across the Stavanger silos. Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NUART 2013 © Ian Cox)


Martha Cooper. The projection headquarters and the ubiquitous Norwegian rain. (photo courtesy of NUART 2013 ©Kay Donnolly)


You know who is on the screen, but who is that in the foreground? (photo courtesy of NUART 2013 © Kay Donnolly)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



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Splashes of Color in the Norwegian Rain: NUART 2013

The pale wan institutional hues of the Stavanger International Airport now are punctuated by the brilliant blues and stencil patterning wrapping around the control tower.

Small multi-layered stencil portraits pop from post-boxes, primary color-clad children hang off of stoop stairs and balance on stacked chairs and a graffiti slathered Michaelango stands on the corner next to the eye doctors office.  Turn up another street and an aerosoled sultry geisha rises, wrapped in boisterous brocade on a typically white wall in this rather monochromatic sea town.

With these new wall works by M-City, C215, Ernest Zacharevic, Martin Whatson, and Hush (respectively) and a number of others, Nuart 2013 brought a lot of color to the streets this year as it celebrated what founder Martyn Reed called “one of, if not thee, finest Nuart events yet”.


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Best Wishes from cold and rainy Stavanger!” says Ernest’s friend Gabija in her note to us as she talks about the cool grey storms that held up many of the visiting artists waiting to paint. It didn’t delay the pieces going up on tunnel walls of the venue where the opening party crowds teamed Saturday night. The special installations by C215, David Choe, and Aiko among others also included a 1,300 slide show at the end of one tunnel that showed 50 years of graffiti, Street Art, and street life photography by Martha Cooper, who was invited as an artist.

Even the minister of culture stopped by for a tour on Thursday, which shows how far graffiti and Street Art have grown, or strayed, in the years since public service commercials equated aerosol art with illicit drug use, truancy, terror, and illegal firearms.  Today we give tours in the streets to appreciative people who snap photos and pose with friends in front of the spray painted walls.


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)

Of course this is an international mural festival, and much of the work is done by more accomplished artists who may have once (or still do) sprayed their stuff illegally. The themes may need to pass some review process, but the opportunities that come from taking your time are appreciable also.  One of the newest talents showing this year was the Lithuanian twenty-something Ernest Zacharevic, who photographs and paints kids interacting and playing on a variety of wheeled machines, usually the self propelled kind.

Ably steering clear of cute, Zacharevic uses props with his wall paintings to “tap into the original instincts of adult viewers who may have lost their ability to access their playful nature,” or so we said in our interview with him. He also merges 2D with 3D quite seemlessly. For his tunnel installation on opening night, Zacharevic sawed a car in half so his kids could dance on the roof, cram inside, and push it from the back like it was out of gas. More than likely it was the missing wheels that kept the car stationary. But no harm in playing.


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)

But of the 16 artists invited this year, each can say they brought life and their A-game to this jewel of an outdoor art show in Norway.  Nuart 2013 included MARTHA COOPER (US), DAL EAST (CN), ROA (BE), M-CITY (PL), FAITH47 (ZA), HUSH (UK), VHILS (PT), ERNEST ZACHAREVIC (LT), C215 (FR), DOT DOT DOT (NO), DOTMASTER (UK), STRØK (NO), MARTIN WHATSON (NO), DAVID CHOE (US) AIKO (JP).

With very special thanks to photographer Martha Cooper for sharing these images with BSA readers.


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)


Stroek casts a shadow. (photo © Martha Cooper) Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-Nuart2013-copyright-Martha-Cooper-7574

Stroek and a street scene. (photo © Martha Cooper) Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-Nuart2013-copyright-Martha-Cooper-Stroek7913

Stroek finishing up his piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 does this portrait of fellow Street Artist Indi. (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 self portrait looking perplexed, perhaps. (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 on a post box in Stavanger. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martin Whatson (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martin Whatson (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martin Whatson (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martin Whatson (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO (photo © Martha Cooper)


A tour of the walls in Stavanger with AIKO’s piece on the background. (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO and Martha Cooper’s collaborative tunnel, with Aiko’s stencils on both sides and a slide show at the end. This slide is of New York graffiti writer and fine artist Futura as a young buck at the tunnels’ end. (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO’s walls and Martha Cooper’s portrait of her in a perfect collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO and Martha Cooper’ slide show on the background. (photo © Martha Cooper)


VHILS (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City. Detail. (photo © Martha Cooper)


HUSH in a stunning shot by Ms. Cooper, who caught a woman in a hijab walking past at just the right moment. (photo © Martha Cooper)


DOT DOT DOT keeping warmed by the fire. (photo © Martha Cooper)


ROA’s whale is spouting oil, a reference to the driving force behind the local economy perhaps. (photo © Martha Cooper)


FAITH 47 (photo © Martha Cooper)


Dal East (photo © Martha Cooper)


Founder of NUART Festival Martyn Reed, standing in front of David Choe’s piece while giving a tour of the art to Norway’s Minister of Culture Hadia Tajik. (photo © Martha Cooper)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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NUART UPDATE: Talk with Ernest Zacharevic and Images of C215, Hush, STROK


Nuart 2013 continues to engage and converse with people in Stavanger Norway as the big formal opening Saturday night was packed with guests and tours have begun around town with Gt Aamdal and Kristel Talv, who yesterday had a group of a hundred people following them around as they helped explain the new works that have been appearing and the artists who have been creating them.

Today we bring you some recent photos of works in progress shot by Gabija Grusaite and a brief interview with one of the artists this year at Nuart, Ernest Zacharevic from Lithuania, who has a pretty large following of ardent fans who dig his technique of interplay with mural and sculpture for an integrated third dimensional experience.  By focusing on the spontaneity of children’s play, Zacharevic can tap into the original instincts of adult viewers who may have lost their ability to access their playful nature. His street work is unpretentious and sometimes ingenious, while steadily staying away from being cloying or overly sentimental.


Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

Ernest took a few moments during a break from this weekends preparations to talk to BSA about his work.

Brooklyn Street Art: Many of your pieces include play and more specifically, children at play. How important is that theme for you and what attracts you to it?
Ernest Zacharevic: Most of my work is photography based and site-specific, so I photograph my subjects and later choose angles for painting. Working with children allows more anonymity, I don’t consider my artworks to be portraits of a specific person, rather a universal experience. It is also easier to work with children – they are not self-concious and are not afraid to look stupid or ugly. So we play together and I take pictures that later translate into my artwork. I really like this unrestricted energy.


Ernest Zacharevic at work on his installation. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

Brooklyn Street Art: You have been traveling a lot in the last year – where have you gone and can you talk about one of your favorite experiences on the street with your work?
Ernest Zacharevic: I do travel a lot. Japan, Italy, Norway, Lithuania, Malaysia – to name few places I’ve been this year. At the moment I am based in Penang, Malaysia, but originally I come from Vilnius, Lithuania and I graduated from Middlesex University, London where I lived for 5 years. My artwork is heavily influenced by all these layers of geographical backgrounds.

Probably the most memorable project I’ve done so far is Mirrors George Town murals that I created for George Town Festival in 2012. The murals became so popular that they started having a life of it’s own – there are people lining up to take pictures with it and Malaysian Government recognized them as valuable tourist objects. Crazy! It was even copied by one Chinese town near Shanghai. It is really nice for an artist to realize that his piece of work means so much to other people.


Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)

Brooklyn Street Art: Many of your characters have mischief in their eyes and their actions. Are you getting into trouble in Stavanger?
Ernest Zacharevic: I wish, but the weather is taking it’s toll. Stavanger is great! Everywhere you go there are traces of street art and amazing murals round the corner, places you would never expect to see it. It really inspires me to do a few smaller pieces if the Norwegian summer will be kind to me tomorrow.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about using wheeled forms of transportation in your vignettes – bicycles, shopping carts, rickshaws… do you use them to create a sense of movement?
Ernest Zacharevic; Yes! It’s a part of play, but also a wider narrative about the continuous desire by human beings to travel, push forward, explore unknown horizons. Cars and bicycles and tricycles were invented because just walking is too slow to most of our imagination. That is way my main installation for Nuart 2013 will feature a car – half sliced – continuing the theme of my previous work.

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes you integrate something that is already on the street or the wall into your piece. Do you find yourself doing this mentally as you walk through the streets?
Ernest Zacharevic: I find everyday objects to be fascinating. Signs that look like animals, doors that smile, little holes in the wall that look like part of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. It’s fun and I love to reveal this to other people just to make them smile.


Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)


HUSH. Detail. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)


STROK at work on his wall. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)


C215 at work on his wall. (photo © Gabija Grusaite)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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NUART 2013 Update – David Choe, C215, Aiko, Vhils, Ernest Zacharevic, Dot Dot Dot, Hush, and M-City


“We’ve had terrible weather–rained most of the day today–so artists have been slow getting their walls done,” said Martha Cooper about the scene in Stavanger for Nuart 2013 on Friday. Today is looking much better, she reports, almost good enough for a boat ride.

Each of the artists have been commenting on the sometimes heavy rains, which can sort of kill your aerosol buzz, but no one really minds because the festival buzz is building toward tonight’s big events. We think the folks at Nuart had it planned this way because there is work that needs to be done underground in the tunnel gallery spaces for the Saturday night opening.


Ernest Zacharevic uses the attitude of childs play in his Street Art installations around the world, often incorporating a third dimensional installation element to complete it. Look for an interview with him on BSA shortly. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Here under cover from the storms C215 is hard at work on a very large and color drenched portrait, Hush is on a ladder glossing the lips of a modern geisha, and Aiko is stenciling a signature sexy pop-inspired theme that covers two thirds of the front of one tunnel – leaving the remaining space for Ms. Cooper to project some 1300 of her photos for the expected crowd this evening.

DalEast and Faith47 have been slowed down a bit too. “Raining now,,, waiting for it to stop,” she taps out on her keyboard in a brief cadence as if sending a guarded cable in Morse code across the Atlantic. Meanwhile, there are some other diversions to be inspected, and other artists to meet. Everyone has been talking about taking a local fjord boat ride up Stavanger Peninsula so they may accompany Martha on the voyage to see the natural beauty of the Norwegian coastline while things are drying out today.


Founder of NUART Festival Martyn Reed, standing in front of David Choe’s piece while giving a tour of the art to Norway’s Minister of Culture Hadia Tajik. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Luckily a fair share of work has been completed, and the Minister of Culture has already stopped by to tour and pose for a photo in front of the David Choe piece, and the scaffolding on the airport control tower came down to reveal the new large stenciled mural wrapping it by M-City, who has since moved on with ROA to Lodz, Poland for the Urban Forms festival.

“We’ll all be here through the weekkend so that’s when the bigger walls may get finished,” says Martha. Martin Whatson is just about finished and Ernest Zacarevic completed his outside installation with a stack of chairs for his stencil to balance upon. He also rather conspiratorially reveals this teaser to BSA, “my main installation for Nuart 2013 will feature a car, half sliced.” He says it will continue a theme in his previous work.

More from Nuart soon, but in the mean time, here are some progress shots for BSA readers including work by David Choe, C215, Aiko, Vhils, Ernest Zacharevic, Dot Dot Dot, Hush, and M-City.


C215 at work on his piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)


DOT DOT DOT (photo © Martha Cooper)


HUSH (photo © Martha Cooper)


HUSH working on a second piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)


VHILS (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO working on her piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City. Detail. (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martha captures the mimicry of Martin Whatson’s body language with the fellow working in his piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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Martha Bikes the Hills, Martyn Keeps Up at NUART 2013


“We’re really honored to have Martha amongst us this week,” says Martyn Reed, the barely well behaved director of Nuart 2013, as he welcomes the photographer Martha Cooper, who has just touched down next to the new piece going up on the airport control tower by Polish Street Artist M-City. Not that Martyn was there when she landed. “Unfortunately not, what with the Mayor and everything there wasn’t room in the limo,” he says in the joking manner that tells you he is still kind of in awe of the success of this internationally known Street Art festival now underway for its ninth year.


Martha Cooper. “Banner on wall in arrival area at airport” -MC. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The trip was fine—a short flight from Oslo,” says Ms. Cooper, who immediately snuck an iPhone photo of the welcome banner with her name at the top, before wondering whether photos were actually allowed in that area of the airport. “I was met by Krystal, a Stavanger resident who has worked with Nuart before and who is very knowledgeable about the artists and the whereabouts of murals past and present,” she says.

“Faith 47 and Daleast were also waiting at the airport, having arrived a few minutes earlier from Cape Town and it was fun to reconnect with them.” And did they all get a look at the new piece that M-City is painting?  “Unfortunately it was raining so we were unable to get a good look at the airport control tower which was shrouded in scaffolding and plastic,” says Ms. Cooper, but “The fact that permission had been obtained to paint the tower is an indication of how city officials have embraced street art.”


Martha Cooper. “This is Stavanger. I have a bike to ride around on but need to get in better shape to handle the hills”- MC. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As the visiting artists continue to land in Stavanger, already a number of pieces have gone up – ROA and David Choe have installed theirs and run out of town, for example.  “I was especially happy to see C215 again because I hadn’t seen him since visiting Vitry a couple of years ago. Also I was excited to see a number of artists on the list whose work I was unfamiliar with. That always makes a festival more exciting,” says Martha.

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you been to Nuart before?
Martha Cooper: This is my first trip to Stavanger and I was really looking forward to it because I’d heard many great things about the festival from How & Nosm and also photographer Ian Cox, who had shown me beautiful photos of the walls and the charming seaside town.

Brooklyn Street Art: Typically you are an invited guest as a photographer. This time you are also regarded as an artist, right?
Martha Cooper: Correct. Although I usually say that I’m not an artist, it’s actually a relief not to be responsible for official photography.


Ian Cox. David Choe teaser. (photo © Ian Cox)

Brooklyn Street Art: What sort of project are you thinking of doing?
Martha Cooper: I’m not doing anything unusual. I’m having a slideshow of over 1300 photos; a sort of graffiti/hip hop/Street Art retrospective that we’ll be showing in an underground tunnel in the main venue. There is a series of short tunnels that artists are painting. Aiko is stenciling the sides of mine and the slides will be projected at the end.”

Cooper mentions her buddy Aiko, who will also be stenciling some work of her own on distinctive Norwegian seaport architecture that sometimes has as much character as the new stuff that adorns it. Aside from her projected installations, Ms. Cooper will of course be every where she can possibly be with her camera in hand, and probably one or two in her backpack.

“Martha’s here as an artist and our guest, she’ll be treated the same as all of our artists; Like a Queen,” Reed cracks, “only on a bike with a camera.”

“But seriously,” he continues, ”Martha’s quite rightly perfectly happy being recognized as a documentary photographer and I wasn’t sure she would accept being invited as an artist, but she did and we’re very thankful of that. I don’t see any reason why Martha can’t occupy this space. Inviting Martha to participate as an artist is due to the fact that, when I look at her work, I see art. I’d also heard she was a wonderful down to earth person with few airs and that’s very important for Nuart, which is fundamentally a volunteer-run organization.”


Ian Cox. Aiko teaser. “The blurred character is a volunteer who was helping Aiko to move her scaffold”-IC. (photo © Ian Cox)

Already the two of them have been having fun together checking out possible walls for projects, digging up found materials and strategizing how to prevent visitors from stepping in front of the projector on opening night. Also there was the moment in one of the installation tunnels when Martha came rushing toward him with her phone out to him saying “,Quick, quick, it’s the attaché to the Norwegian Culture Minister, they want to speak to you”. It was a confusing moment he won’t ever forget he says, because he couldn’t imagine why the minister was on Martha’s phone.

Reed recalls, “I was thinking, a) it was a practical joke, b) ‘how did they know where I was,’ and more importantly, c) How the hell did they get Martha Cooper’s private number?” While Martha stood there beaming he took the phone and the voice on the other end said, “ Hello, this is the personal assistant to the culture minister Hadja Tajik, she’d like to visit Nuart on Thursday…” .

“After the call, we stood there a little dumbfounded, but after scratching our heads for a while trying to work out how they came to call Martha, we realized the festival had used my bank card to buy a Norwegian SiM card for her phone and that the Government had searched and found the number registered to me,” he says with a brightening realization, and then a darkening one. “I know, very NSA. Anyway, mystery solved.”

But for him, the moment was a marker in his memory, he says, “The image of Martha Cooper rushing over to pass me the phone to speak with the Culture Minister of Norway will stay with me for life. It felt like the festival had finally come of age.”


Martha Cooper. ROA. “Whale spouting oil. Stavanger is an oil rich town”-MC. (photo © Martha Cooper)

For her part, Ms. Cooper is laying plans for the out door component of her participation as artist/documentarian/photographer. “We are also planning to project photos on the sides of buildings in town,” she reveals, “ – including a huge silo. This will be the night of the opening and we won’t know whether it works until it happens. I’ve selected about 25 verticals and horizontals with a little more contrast that I think might work well.”

Reed doesn’t much mind what they end up doing – he’s just glad that he’s having this opportunity right now. “Martha holds the unique position of being a forerunner, pioneer, ambassador and also important contemporary voice in our culture – we wanted to salute that.”


Ian Cox. M-City painting the Air Traffic Control tower at Stavanger Airport. (photo © Ian Cox)


Martha Cooper. “M-City with his completed control tower mural. Scaffolding to be removed in a day or two but he has already left”-MC. (photo © Martha Cooper)



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NUART 2013 Begins >><< BSA Will Take You There


Heads up to BSA readers that the annual trip up north to Stavanger Norway is about to begin and we’ll be providing you with exclusive shots and insights as the events progress in this coastal town eight hours south of Oslo. With a working title of “Invisible Cities” Nuart 2013 takes an inspiration from the author Italo Calvino, who likens city streets to the lines in your hand.

Here is a snappy video introducing this years events. Even as guests have been arriving over the weekend, some artists like ROA and David Choe have already begun their pieces.

Directed by Martyn Reed managed by Marte Jølbo and a coterie of dedicated organizers and people in the local arts community, Nuart evolves your expectations every year about what a Street Art festival can be, but a few things stand: outstanding placement, high quality work, stimulating conversations, and head-whopping beer.

This years lineup is their most international, including:



For more on NUART 2013 click HERE.

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