All posts tagged: Onur

BSA Film Friday 06.08.18

BSA Film Friday 06.08.18

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

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

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: 1st Berlin Mural Fest Wrap Up

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

#berlinmuralfest #nackenstarregarantiert #allewändevollzutun #berlinartbang

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

A partnership of artists, curators, and real estate interests is giving a seriously entertaining show this week to Street Art and Graffiti Fans with this site-specific exhibition of ingenious interventions of many disciplines. Primarily Berlin-based artists and spearheaded by organizers Señor Schnu, Baye Fall and Moritz Tonn, we’re pleased that we have a first-person account of the inspiration behind the show from the guy who came up with the name ‘Wandelism’, Denis Leo Hegic.


Wandelism – Spray Can Change

By Denis Leo Hegic

There we are, in the midst of a lively bustle at the production ground of the Wandelism exhibition in Berlin.

Dennis Gomez Herrmann. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Sparks are literally flying around as Olly is about to cut open a stretch limo and hang it in the air. Behind the shower of sparks Jerome and Señor Schnu are working on their large scale mural while Kitra is about to create a giant piece on a wall, which actually consists more of void then wall surface. C0MPUTERJAN is transforming a half of a Cadillac into a computer-controlled DJ booth and Ostap is turning a window into a tape-art piece.

Ollyollyoxfordfreak at work in his installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Marina Zumi, who is currently installing another of her new light works in the exhibition, joins me and Suzanne Forbes, who makes drawings of all of us in real time. There is some serious good energy in the air, and I’m not talking about welding and the aerosol, but about a group project that is truly created and lived in a spirit of a community.

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

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.

Ostap putting the final touches to his tape installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

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.

Ollyollyoxfordfreak . Señor Schnu . Fabifa . Mika Sitter “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Berlin is one of the worlds’ capitals and one which has experienced a tremendous change in the last three decades. The city, which was divided in two by a 156-kilometer-long wall for a time period of 28 years, was first unified in 1989 and then exposed to an incredibly rapid development ever since.

Interestingly enough, this very Berlin Wall has proven something that is still a valid topic at the Wandelism Show today: the importance of the freedom of expression.

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

For decades, one side of the wall was an open-air gallery of graffiti and street art while the other (clean) side of the wall was a death zone. The failed experiment of division is historic proof of the importance of creative participation in the urban space.

On the first day of the opening, Wandelism attracted more than 1,700 visitors who, despite a protracted winter in Berlin, waited in long queues to attend the opening. The following day, 2000.

C0MPUTERJAN. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Nevertheless, the exhibition does not present itself in the usual language of superlatives (“The largest”, “The biggest”, “The best”), which is sometimes peculiar to these types of art shows. Instead, Wandelism promotes the notion of a democratic coexistence, where everyone is welcome and where all the different curiosities can be explored.

Emma Rytoft at work on her installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“We are socially responsible and work with lot of local talents. That’s very important because not every exhibition of this format has a social aspect. Almost 90 percent of the entire exhibition is created by Berlin-based artists and we would love to pursue our vision in the future and transform more temporarily vacant spaces into art events like this” – Señor Schnu

1UP Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Base 23 . Onur. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

 “I like the speed. I paint graffiti-style but with dancers in public space. For that type of work you need to be really fast. And I like when you can feel the momentum in the painting.” – Herve Thiot

Herve Thiot at work on his installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“You can not have ‘change’ without a little bit of ‘vandalism’. The one concept can not exist without the other one. A change requires revolution and revolution sometimes needs vandalism.” – Carolina Amaya

Carolina Amaya at work on her installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Akte. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Wenu Crew, CokyOne, Jeron. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Dave The Chimp. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Stefanie Scherer)

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

Rosco. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

“Our ‘Fuck Fame’ toilet is a clear message. Just take a look at the whole social media and online addiction which is going on. Everybody is posting every single step of his life, and from other peoples’ lives; A public run for fame. Without thinking about it we are sacrificing our own privacy. As a reaction to that we decided to take even the last bit of privacy away and created the Fuck Fame toilet.” – Ron Miller Art Collective

Ron Miller Art. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Nasca . The Krank. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

“Somehow I do see myself in process of change. I’m coming more from this graffiti scene but I am also developing more and more into a mass-compatible area, so yes, I do see myself in a process of change. But I also believe that it is the entire scene that is changing and transforming itself into a more recognized and accepted art.” – Tobo

Tobo takes a moment to ponder. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Hagen Schönfeld. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Felix Hülpüsch AKA HÜLPMAN. “Wandelilsm”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Scon75 . Paindesignart “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Canion Berlin . Wenu Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Oskar .  Kish . Canion Berlin .  DXTR . The Weird . WENU Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“I am in this business for such a long time already. I am doing this now for 35 years. I know that this place will be gone, but lot of people will see it. And nothing can be contained forever. The awareness that the art which you can see here will be there just for a certain limited time, which you have to experience now and can not wait until next year, because it will be gone – that’s part of the deal and I quite like that.” – Loomit

Loomit. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Melissa Lee . Flo de Producer . Theodor Robinson. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Kitra. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Catherine Lupis Thomas and Bill Knospi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Suzanne Forbes’ live drawings of Denis Leo Hegic and Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany.

You can visit the Wandelism exhibition until March 24 and is located in Wilhelmsaue 32, 10713 Berlin.

Www.wandelism.com

 

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Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

In a ruling that many graffiti and Street Artists interpret as a validation of their artwork and which may spawn further legal claims by artists in the future, Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block, a United States Federal Judge for the Eastern District of New York, awarded $6.7 million in damages to a group of 21 artists in the high profile case of the former graffiti holy place in Queens called 5 Pointz.

Under the leadership of artist and organizer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, also a plantiff, the award is in response to a suit that cried foul on the overnight destruction of multiple artworks on building walls without consultation or notification of the artists.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Citing provisions of the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act that grants artists certain “moral” rights, the artists claimed that their artworks on the 5 Pointz compound that was owned by real estate developer Jerry Wykoff were protected and should be afforded certain rights and considerations.

Arts and intellectual property lawyers and judges will now be examining the implications of the ruling and citing it as an example in arguments about art created on walls legally and possibly those created illegally as well. In a city that prides itself as being a birthplace of graffiti and Street Art, many artists and wall owners must ask themselves if there will need to be an additional layer of agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For today the plaintiffs will celebrate the win and derive a sense of validation for their works at the compound that hosted an organic evolution of works by local, national, and international graffiti and Street Artist for nearly two decades under tacit or explicit agreement with the owner.

“I am happy to see my art form recognized as true art,” says Mr. Cohen in an article from Hyperallergic today, and ultimately that is the message that the graffiti writers and Street Artists will take from the story. Others will argue that this is gentrification issue of developers profiting from and then dismissing the artists who bring attractive buyers to a neighborhood. Now that a dollar value has been attached, a certain audience will also begin to again consider the intrinsic value of those artworks in the streets that they dismissed as pure vandalism with little other merit.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of the nearly 1,000 comments posted yesterday on our initial Facebook post about the decision, it is evident that many people still see this kind of art primarily as illegal vandalism and opine that a ruling like this is only adding credibility to criminal behavior. In that argument it is helpful to remember that these artists all had permission to paint.

Undoubtedly additional legacies of the ruling will play out in coming months and years. For the moment, it looks like the artists won this time, which is a seeming rarity during a time when technology has created a nearly unmitigated “Wild West” landscape of rights and responsibilities when it comes to aesthetic expression.


Related stories:

Judge Awards Graffiti Artists $6.7M After 5Pointz Destroyed

Judge Rules Developer Must Pay 5Pointz Graffiti Artists $6.7M

https://qz.com/1107031/new-yorks-5pointz-graffiti-artists-are-suing-a-real-estate-developer-for-destroying-their-work/

Looking at 5Pointz Now, Extolling a Graffiti Holy Place

5Pointz. Meres. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . Kkade . 5Pointz, Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Esteban Del Valle. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zeso . Meres. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kram. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Murals Across Finland: UPEA ’17 Sweeps More Cities

Murals Across Finland: UPEA ’17 Sweeps More Cities

From the country with the highest standard of living comes a country-wide mural festival called UPEA for 2017! Only in their second year, they are going big here at home.

Messy Desk. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Markus Hänninen)

Okay, the murals are not in every city of this Scandinavian country, but if lead curator and visionary (and former graffiti writer) Jorgos Fanaris realizes his vision, there will be even more than the 40 or so murals the festival has already put up over the last two years in cities like Helsinki, Riihimäki, Kemi, Kotka, Espoo, Turku, and Hyvinkää.

Yes, some of the current international circuit of mural stars are here. So are a stunning selection of Finnish talents and less recognizeable names, making this a conscientious formulation that respects the culture and highlights the global movement simultaneously.

 

Guido Van Helten. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Erho Aalto)

Like many of today’s mural festivals and far from their illegal Street Art/graffitti roots, many of UPEA 17 are mega-murals; multi-story and sophisticated images borrowing from many strains of art history and popular culture – even conceptual art – as much as anything else.

These and other signs of curatorial/organization maturity are not typically hallmarks of two year old festivals, and we could provide a list of rookie mistakes that have plagued others we’ve covered over the last decade. This is probably because UPEA 17 is the result of many years of on-the-ground organizing experience and street culture knowledge – and multiple false starts and obstacles that blocked organizers in the years leading up to last years inaugural outdoor exhibition. People on the ground will tell you that logistics and costs and bureaucracy and local politics are always factors to pull off a festival well. In our experience, so is time.

 

Teemu Mäenpää. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

We were lucky to have an extensive interview with Jorgos Fanaris about this years successes, the challenges along the way, and his roots in the scene.

Brooklyn Street Art: How is UPEA 2017 different from the first edition?
Jorgos Fanaris: Compared to UPEA16, UPEA17 was of course much bigger. More artists and more projects, but also bigger projects. The first edition was more of testing the concept and feeling around what we could do. The second edition was really about making an impact, letting everyone know about UPEA as an event that creates notable art in public spaces, that we are serious and we are here to stay.

Millo. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (Photo © John Blåfield)

Brooklyn Street Art: You had an incredibly wide variety of artists painting: From large scale realist portraiture, to surrealism to cartoons, landscape etc…is there a specific style that resonates better with the public?
Jorgos Fanaris: The amount of talented artists that have already participated in UPEA in the first two years, is humbling to say the least. We are very privileged and honored to have had them.

If I evaluate the response the artworks have received from the public, I think raising a specific style in a position that it somehow communicates more with the audience wouldn’t be right. For example if we think realistic portraiture and classic style of Guido van Helten, its easy for anyone to understand that this is technically really difficult to execute in this scale. This year in Hämeenlinna we did the 56m high silos, which of course by the sheer size is something that makes people go “Whooaaaa, how can he do that? We must go and see”.

 

Dulk. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

The project gathered and still gathers spectators in huge numbers. During the project there were traffic jams in the area on Sundays. On the other hand in Lahti, the artist named Messy Desks did the crazy cartoon style piece that has million things happening. It created a huge buzz and received a lot of response from people. She was getting gifts from people from the area and was taken out for formal dinners after for appreciation and show of gratitude. Kids are ecstatic about it, knocking on the “doors” and “windows” trying to get someone to open.

At the same time, the second wall we did in Lahti with Roberto Ciredz, a surrealistic piece with total harmony, which by no accident is totally different from Messy Desks wall, was voted as people’s favorite of the two in local newspaper. There are so many things that contribute the overall feedback. I think every style and approach has its place and purpose.

Brooklyn Street Art: Murals become part of a neighborhood, part of the storytelling and lifetime benchmark associations and memories people have – as well as part of the fabric and character of a city. How has the festival been received by the people whose daily lives will be impacted with the presence of the murals?
Jorgos Fanaris: The artworks created a lot of excitement and grassroots movement in their own areas and communities. In Kontula Helsinki, the triple walls by Fintan Magee, Apolo Torres and Pat Perry encouraged the residents to do a “night of arts” event for the unveiling of the artworks. They had food, live music, fire performance and other artistic activities. Over 1500 people attended and possibly the event will continue next year.

 

Eero Lampinen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © Henrik Dagnevall)

In Espoo Matinkylä, where Artez did a great piece, the residents organized an celebration event with huge number of activities, dozens of performances and speakers, about thousand people attending the event. In Kotka, where Smug did the amazing wall right in the city centre, the city made an official unveiling for the wall by closing the street and having a horn orchestra perform. Hundreds of people attended even though it was on a Friday during the work hours.

These are just few examples. We saw a lot of these type of things grow from the artworks we did this year.. We see that street art gets reactions from people who might not be too involved with art in general, like going to the galleries for example. The artworks are a refreshing injection into the community and it’s super exiting for us to see things starting grow from them.

Onur. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © John Blåfield-Valmis)

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you get support from community and city officials for the festival?
Jorgos Fanaris: Yes, we are working with the officials in every city we are in. The support has been great, possibly due to the fact that we have been able to create an event this size with fairly limited organization and funding.

Still the way we execute different projects really varies. Regardless of how much the city is involved, the permits, which are always a big thing in Finland, are handled by their own unit inside the city. In some cases the city assists us in the permit process and it can be very helpful. But also in many cases we handle the whole process completely. From searching locations and handling all the permits and other things all the way to executing the artwork. The range is very wide on different projects. Still, the city is involved and even if we are doing permits and related responsibilities ourselves, it helps that they are officially supporting the project in the background. Everyone has a common goal to make the project happen and in a positive spirit they work towards that goal together.

Onur. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © John Blåfield-Valmis)

Brooklyn Street Art: What drives you to make this festival happen? What is the motivation? The incentive?
Jorgos Fanaris: Upeart is a collective of people from various backgrounds; from graffiti, city development to event organizing and more. I think the motivation varies depending on who you ask. But in general, it’s about interest in the possibilities art has in public spaces. The vision to push for ambitious ideas, pushing limits further and willingness to take chances.

I personally, have a graffiti background from late 80’s to beginning of the new millennium. When I painted myself, I was mainly, especially in the later years, interested in graffiti as a tool in getting reactions from ordinary people by using public space or things that move in that space. At some point, I moved away from actively painting and started working in music projects, doing shows and stuff like that.

During those years, Finland gradually started to dismantle the very strict zero tolerance on graffiti and street art they had imposed in the country for years. Many youth and grassroot organizations worked years relentlessly on it and it started finally to show some results around 2008. At some point, I thought the time would be right to start something like this. Do it seriously and professionally. We actually tried to start an ambitious project like UPEA for few years, but it was difficult. We had of course no money at all and with that also no guarantees about anything.

 

Ricky Lee-Gordon. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Rikupekka Lappalainen)

Then we tried to get a group of people together with the same goal to work on the project. With 3-4 people each contributing a little, combined, it creates an effort big enough to start an interesting thing – on paper at least. It proved to be very difficult. We had actually two tries that failed to make any progress.

We came together with a couple of people, agreed about the goal and how we should work towards it. But when it came down to doing real work for it – nothing much occurred. To me it was really strange. I feel that we wasted a lot of time and energy of course, and it was really frustrating. But eventually, probably after three years or something from the original idea, Upeart started to come together and this time with people who have the drive and are actually willing to work for it. So finally, the organization and the event UPEA was born on the third try.

Brooklyn Street Art: This is a very young festival, only two editions. Did you look at other festivals as an inspiration for UPEA?
Jorgos Fanaris: Yes, of course. You look around other festivals and different things that people do everywhere for ideas. I personally think that there are a lot of new and exciting things happening in several places around the globe. That’s why keeping your eyes open and trying to learn from everything is important. You see things and think, wow that’s so cool, could we do something like that? You add your own ideas in to it and it changes to something else.

Wasp Elder. UPEA Festival  2017. Finland. (photo © Matti Nurmi)

It’s a notable fact that UPEA is so young, like a little baby. We are not there yet and have huge task ahead of us on refining the concept. Already this year we wanted to do several other things besides murals, but we just didn’t have the resources to execute. But its ok, things always need time. The organization needs to grow, the concept needs to be refined and we need to build up our personal networks and several other things. In this process of maturing and finding the way for you, it helps if you see what else is going on around the world.

Brooklyn Street Art: What distinguishes UPEA from other European Street Art Festivals?
Jorgos Fanaris: I guess one obvious thing compared to many others, is that UPEA is a multicity event held all over the country. Finland is a small country, only 5 million people and the biggest city the capitol Helsinki, has only 1 million. When we thought about the concept, we really had to think about what will happen when we do a large number of big artworks and how it progresses when we do this year after year. We thought we would need serious space to execute on the level that we want year after year.

Apolo Torres. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © Anna Vlasoff)

One thing of course also is that we have seriously big projects, especially on the second edition this year.

Considering we had the 56m high silos, triple side by side 8 story buildings, a complete house on all four sides and several single big 6-8 story buildings and so on, the sizes of the projects were huge. However now that we are looking forward at upcoming years, I think UPEA will become more and more original and mature to something very unique. Also one thing is, that several artists have told me, UPEA is one of the best organized events they have participated in. True or not (I think they are nice and say that in every event), I think this a proper note to end an interview!

Telmo & Miel. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Antti Ryynänen)

Telmo & Miel. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Antti Ryynänen)

Rustam Qbic. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Rustam Qbic. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Artez. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Kaukolehto)

Andrea Wan. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Jorma Simonen)

Smug. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tommi Mattila)

Vesod. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Vesod. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Roberto Ciredz. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Markus Hänninen)

Jussi27. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Pat Perry. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Fintan Magee. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Jani Leinonen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Logos or graffiti tags? Jani Leinonen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

 

 

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Lister Off His Plane, Fairey on a Train: Berlin Readies for Urban Nation (UN) Opening this Weekend : BSA Dispatch 2

Lister Off His Plane, Fairey on a Train: Berlin Readies for Urban Nation (UN) Opening this Weekend : BSA Dispatch 2

Lister’s plane is on the tarmac and Olek is dragging a shopping cart full of art materials past the Vietnamese restaurant on Zietanstrasse and a block away two ladies in very high heeled boots and short shorts are meandering back and forth under the elevated train line. It’s a sunny fall day in this still skanky sometimes lustrous neighborhood of Berlin – a bit of gravel and leather mixed in with your Marilyn Minter sweet cocktail.

Shepard Fairey Subway Train in Berlin for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Berlin-Schöneberg neighborhood is fresh off the International leather and fetish weekend & street fair at Fuggerstraße and you may still see the occasional mustachioed man wearing a dog collar and leash, or perhaps a leather mask that simply looks like a dog head – walking up the street on his way to brunch, perhaps.

Ah well, this is what gives birth to Urban Nation: the marginalized, the rebels, the counter cultural innovators, the forward thinkers and outright kinkers. Just made that word up.

Brazils’ Zezao courtesy Instagrafite’s Marcello and Marina at work on a new collage of mostly found objects and materials. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we got a look at Bordalo’s giant garbage sculptures of Berlin bears being prepared in a rented studio space south of the Ringbahn and in a warehouse standing in the middle of on a parking lot full of Mercedes Benz’s. For people like us, that parking lot was like stumbling into a field of diamond’s, all class.

For Germans a Mercedes is as common as a slab of fried schnitzel or a bubble tag by 1Up so Bjorn was bombing through the lot in his little car expertly until we reached the roll-up gate on the garage. Also inside is Yok & Sheryo’s special interactive walk-in installation that will go on the “Museum Miele/Museum Mile” with about 25 other brand new sculptures and installations this weekend.

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

Overhead on the elevated bright yellow rumbling trains you can see whole cars with new skins by Shepard Fairey, How Nosm, and Faust announcing “Unstoppable”, the name of the opening exhibition at Urban Nation that we’ve curated with a team.

Riding the U1 train over to Prinzenstraße we caught the new murals by Ron English, Cryptic and an ONUR/Wes 21 collabo. Heading over to Urban Spree to talk to printer/publisher/curator/gallerist Pascal Feucher in the tattered reverie and aerosol compound we also spoke with Street Artist Tavar Zawacki. The California born Berlin-based artist tells us he has undergone a “Metamorphosis” creatively and has large canvasses in the gallery to prove it.

Ron English. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Deconstructing his arrow shape, he is now free to experiment with overlapping any number of geometric shapes; deconstructing and manipulating his own self-imposed roolz. On our way out of the compound we ran into Louis Masai up a ladder creating one of his signature quilted endangered species. We were sort of running by so all we can say is it looked like a fish of some sort.

Lunch with Christian Omodeo at an Italian restaurant means the food will be good, because he is an actual Italian and won’t brook any suggestions of inauthenticity. That is one charming quality of the academic/curator/writer, in addition to his astute and acute knowledge of rare graffiti/Street Art books that qualifies him to be assisting the museum to organize and conceptualize future plans for the Martha Cooper Library.

Wes21 . Onur. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Just a portion of the collection of ephemera will be on display for the Saturday’s opening night in the not-yet-completed library space, but you’ll be impressed by the promise of what is to come.

Zines, posters, even framed T-shirts from the collection of the famed photographer will cover the walls in addition to a portion of the thousands of books that constitute the beginning of an important collection which, when finished, will be unrivaled and provide invaluable opportunities to research by scholars of all levels.

Yok . Sheryo. Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Yok . Sheryo. Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

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

In the snow. Barefoot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

Murals hold their own place onstage in public space today for a variety of reasons that we discuss regularly on BSA. From grassroots and public, to private and corporate, we have watched the genre professionalize as Street Art festivals and other initiatives are often coupling artists with brands and are selling canvasses through the organizers galleries. Today we have the first of a promised four-part book series by Art Whino gallerist and organizer of the Richmond Mural Project in Virginia, Shane Pomajambo, that features many artists he has worked with in the brand new “The Art of the Mural”.

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

Featuring more than fifty current graffiti/Street Artists, the survey pays special attention to the show-stopping eye candy that commands attention for these nomadic painters who are developing their craft before an ever larger and more appreciative international audience.

Culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick, who writes the introduction to the Schiffer published hardcover, notes that this mural renaissance is quite unlike the US government funded New Deal era mural programs that produced “hundreds of thousands of murals for schools, hospitals, post offices, housing projects, and various government facilities”. And he’s right, these are emanating from a different place entirely.

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

The world-traveling media-soaked artists, of which this collection is subset, have had vastly more exposure to corporations and branding perhaps than, say, arts institutions, and a sophisticated self-handling is often on display with artists ever more savvy in their choices of style and content.

A greater percentage are now entering into private collections, galleries, and museums thanks to unprecedented platforms for huge exposure on the Internet, and their public works are adding rich character and dialogue to our neighborhoods and public spaces.

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

With academia, art critics, and auction houses all grappling with the rightful place of these artists in contemporary art and society at large it will be instructive to know the history and their lineage, content, context, and patronage. One has to agree when McCormick says that all of these “are helpful for us to consider in looking at and understanding the artists’ walls of today.”

This collection of talent is strong, with many of the mid-large names that are at play in this generation of painters whom are primarily born in the 1970s and 80s. In their work is a cultural appreciation for modern graffiti history as they now channel it along with formal training, art history, advertising, and a multitude of media. With few exceptions, it’s a tight list of artists, the images are riveting (though uncredited to their photographers), and the brief introductions by Pomajambo contain just enough biographical information and artist’ quotes to ground the story and give it context.

“As with everything I do,” says the Queens, New York native Pomajambo, “I always question and observe, and as we reach critical mass with murals I felt compelled to create this project and capture a moment in time.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tone (Robert Proch). Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

 

All photos of the spreads by Jaime Rojo

 

The Art of The Mural: Contemporary International Urban Art. Volume 01 by Shaen Pomajambo. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. USA.

Participating Artists
Amose, Arraiano, Augustine Kofie, Axel Void, Bezt (Etam Crew), Chazme 718, Chor boogie, Clog Two, Curiot, Cyrcle, DALeast, Decertor, Dface, ETNIK, Faith47, Fintan Magee, Hense, INTI, Jade, Jaz, JR, Kenor, Lister, Logan Hicks, Low Bros, Meggs, Miss Van, Momo, Mr Thoms, Muro, Natalia Rak, Nosego, Onur, Pener, Reka, Robert “Tone” Proch,Ron English, Rone, Sainer (Etam Crew), SATONE, SEACREATIVE, Sepe, Smithone, Sten Lex, Stormie Mills, Telmo Miel, Tristan Eaton, TWOONE HIROYASU, Vhils, Wes21 and Zed 1

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Malik and “Note” Bring 17 Street Artists to a Swiss Prison: “4661m2”

Malik and “Note” Bring 17 Street Artists to a Swiss Prison: “4661m2”

It’s the ultimate captive audience for your artwork. That wasn’t the original intention for this Swiss prison mural project called 4661m² but it is one of the outcomes – and one of its myriad ironies.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Initiated by Aarau-based graffiti/street/fine artist Malik in May of 2012, the project eventually corralled 17 Street Artists, all but one from Switzerland, to enter the confines of the new high security Lenzburg Prison to paint murals on exterior walls, courtyards, hallways, and common areas.

“I was looking for a new challenge and a new and exciting project where I could show my art,” says Malik and while the 18 month project originated with his vision of getting a nice wall for himself, quickly the project grew far beyond his expectations to become an educational, sociological meditation on the penal system, the appropriate role of art within it, and our collective humanity.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artists featured on this page: Malik, Note, Benjamin Solt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Malik, Note at work. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

With help from partner artist Claude “Note” Luethi and funding from the “Lenzburg Prison Christmas Fund,” the successful mural program has also led to a short documentary this spring and the brand new release of a handsome tome by the two documenting a cross section of the images and the human experience as told by artists, prisoners, prison employees and even the director.

“The exterior wall is always also an interior wall. How we view it depends on our relative position,” says author and cultural scientist Johannes Binotto, in the forward to 4661m² – Art in Prison. The number is both the name of the project and the the quantity of concrete that the paintings eventually covered. In his examination of crime and punishment and our relationship to it, Binotto brilliantly uses the wall as metaphor from multiple perspectives by way of illuminating the ramifications of being inside or outside of any given wall throughout one’s life.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Ti Lain. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Ti Lain. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

For graffiti writers and Street Artists, the wall has been destination, a vessel of communication, but the historical examples Binotto examines fairly mutate the wall as obstruction, unifier, protector, divider. The theme continues throughout the well-photographed and documented book with artists and organizers reflecting on, reacting to, their experience and their art practice. One every present irony is that many of these street artists undoubtedly risked arrest for painting on various city walls in their earlier days.

Opening the many doors of the prison to an unsolicited offer by Malik, the Director of the prison, Marcel Ruf, says his knowledge of Street Art and artists was admittedly limited, but he knew the place needed some color. “The corridors and work spaces were judged rather negatively by the majority of the over 7,000 visitors that came to the prison open day in May,” he says in an interview, “with most finding the premises dreary and colorless.”

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Mizzo. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The book gives ample space to opinions and experiences of the artists in stunning before/after shots of spaces and pieces that you can only see now if are a prisoner or employee. Even here the experiences express a range of perspectives. Most found the atmosphere constricted, oppressive, depressing. Each artist say that they felt a certain responsibility to the audience that they wouldn’t normally have and adjusted their work accordingly because these pieces will be looked upon, in some cases, for years, or the remainder of life.

Artist Daniel Zeltner says, “I thought long and hard about the mark I would like to leave on a prison, and about who would see it, how they would react and interpret it, how they would feel. It is difficult, because the painting would not only be seen by the prison guards, but also by the prisoners – I also wanted to create something I could be proud of. Therefore, it was important to me that I paint something that’s open and leaves room for interpretation.”

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Lain. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ranging from abstract, figurative, and representational, to collage, illustration, and photo-realistic, the entire collection has something for many tastes, but we learn that the most critical audience was the staff of 180 who not only live with the art but the manage the daily affairs of the people who live in the facility. We learn that staff opinions on certain works are not unanimous but in general the replacement of monotonous grey is regarded as an improvement for the employees – and the new works provide visual signposts for navigating in a sometimes confusing maze of concrete.

One two page spread features the quotes from prisoners who have answered a survey about the project, the art, and the artists. Responses range from dismissive and critical, to suspicious, grateful, and laudatory.

The act of even considering the opinion of convicted criminals is offensive to the more penalizing among us, and this resistance to an art program of any sort is present throughout topics addressed and perhaps those avoided in the contributions here. These prisoners are likely serious offenders given their 23 hour restriction to their cells and opinions about their living conditions are surely contested.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Never Crew. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Benjamin Solt talks about briefly getting to know some of the prisoners and then questioning the wisdom of that decision. “I often chatted with them and we discussed the paintings. One of them was very open and approachable, and at some point I asked him why he was there. Just a few moments later I regretted asking.”

The austere modern brutalism of the new prison is heightened by its minimalist technological details of sensors, cameras, phone signal blocking, and iris scanning. Often participants reference disembodied voices within the compound comingling with bird songs and cow bells just outside the perimeter of the compound.

With varying degrees of discomfort and a respect for a sense of mission, the artists describe their art and their emotional and psychological responses to working in the compound. Daniel Zeltner, who worked with David Lucco on a collaborative mural in an exercise yard, describes redoing his piece nearly entirely because he was unsatisfied with the somewhat chaotic energy that he had infused it with.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artists featured on this page: Toast and Shark. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Toast. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

Onur contemplates his expected audience of primarily seniors when creating his mountain range and remarks that he felt troubled by the continuous surveillance, “I often felt watched. The knowledge that there were cameras everywhere was always at the back of my mind and as I usually work by myself in the studio this situation was quite confusing.”

Chromeo was reminded of his own previous stint in jail for doing illegal graffiti. “I found being locked in extremely difficult. Even though I wasn’t locked in this time, I struggled with the same oppressive feelings.”

For one recreation room, Malik and Note combined their painting efforts to create one continuous visual story that ignored the four planes and gives a view from the rooftops of an imaginary city at night that flows into day and subsequently spans a vast valley and stream. But bucolic scenes and sensibilities notwithstanding, their painting experience met one common description; “Intense.”

“We were surrounded by four solid concrete walls and were working in extreme heat, with continuous yakking and jeering from the inmates locked in the cells above us and all of that for four weeks, eight hours a day locked in the same room,” say the pair.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Mizzo. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Among the descriptions of the exigencies of the prison and project, there are occasional sparks of institutional levity. Bruno Graber, Chief Director, shares his observations of the project and working with the artists and he inadvertently stumbles on a truism. “Seeing the artists at work was exciting. They seem to be night owls, early mornings were not really their thing.”

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Malik. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ultimately this is a group show new works by 17 artists, but you will not be free to see them, even though you are free. The many ironies are summed up in one of Binotto’s recollections.

“The knowledge that the locked spaces within the prison are blocked from our collective gaze challenges our typical differentiation between captivity and freedom. This is like the joke where the mathematician solves the task of fencing in a herd of sheep not by herding the animals together but rather by putting up the small fence around himself and then declaring ‘I define myself to be on the outside.’”

 

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Daniel Zeltner. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In fact 4661m² plays with the definitions of internal and external space so well that it throws both into question. You may reassess the role of artists, particularly street artists, in the dialogue they bring to public space as we rush from from one task to another, sometimes just keeping our heads above water.

“I always took a deep breath as I exited through the revolving door,” says Note, “I was free again – at least until what felt like five seconds later, when my iPhone began informing me of all the obligations I’d failed to meet.”

The project 4661m² – Art in Prison was curated by Malik and Claude “Note” Luethi, and involved artists including: Malik, Note, Onur, Chromeo, Shark, Ata Bozaci, Robert Proch, Nevercrew, Mizzo, Daniel Zeltner, David Monllor, Benjamin Solt, Lain, Ti, and Sarah Parsons.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Onur. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Note. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Note. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Robert Proch. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Robert Proch at work. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: David Monllor. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Sarah Parsons. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Sarah Parsons. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Chromeo. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Malik. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Never Crew. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Never Crew . Mizzo  (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Malik, Note at work. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich . Malik. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Malik . Note. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

 

 

© 2016 Niggli, imprint of bnb media gmbh, Zurich

 

www.4661m2.com

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

Surreal is the way the world is portrayed across all of our devices today.

It may be the shrinking staff and budgets of newsrooms who are veering ever closer to the sensational or simply the yellow journalism and the PR-planted hyperbole that is rushing to fill the vacuum, but the presentation of our own world is becoming outlandish.

Orwell could have seen this time when war is described as a peace effort, oligarchy is called democracy, and Reality TV is anything but. Combined with rapid technological developments that produce outcomes previously only imagined, we may feel like our grip on the genuine is definitely loosening somewhat.

So fitting it is that a mid-sized US city hosts a mural festival celebrating the surreal and the fantastic in 2015.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali, and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In partnership and as a cultural exchange with Berlin’s Urban Nation (UN) this year, Wall\Therapy 2015 curated this selection of international and local street artists who bring doorways and mirrors for you to step through.

We were glad to be there in person this year and relieved to see that this largely homespun venture continues to be strong and community-minded despite the very hard work that it requires to pull it off. In the face of a rapidly commercializing Street Art festival scene, not only is the grassroots rather refreshing, it is a bit surreal.

Without doubt it is fantastic.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jeff Soto . Maxx242. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Classic graffiti style from NYC’s Daze has always contained elements of surreality. In his three walls he sampled even more styles.”So I used a lot of influences – photo-realistic, almost cubist, there is some lettering, window panes as metaphor. I was also thinking about fabric and the way it folds, and it turned into water,” he says. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vexta: I’ve been doing a lot of collage as my source material – birds, abstract plant shapes, and the galaxy painted over.
BSA: She’s like an earth mother, or universal mother
Vexta: She is every woman.

 

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund’s mural features his superhero vexed by a stone in his boot. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew’s Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni created a whale inside an ice whale. “We usually work with themes about the balance between humans and nature,” says Togni, “In this situation we wanted to do a piece about the balance between the elements.”  Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“She is sort of a goddess of East meets West,” says Amsterdam’s Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A highly detailed original sketch that is culled from photographs and their own staging of a model in boots, Onur and Wes21 spent many long hours into a few nights to complete their wall.
Onur: It is more of a scene than a classical mural. The wall is perfect for something like this.
BSA: So it is nature taking a bite out of its aggressor
Onur: Yes, kind of. That’s not bad. We have a sign that says beware of beaver crossing. The animals are a metaphor for something else and we are always looking for stuff like this when we are on the streets.

 

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jason Wilder Courtesy of WallTherapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We knew we had a week and we thought ‘what can we accomplish?’” says Rochester local Matt Roberts on a break from his wall with Joe Guy Allard.  “I do monsters all the time and Joe does those robots. It’s a big old fight scene. I mean, who doesn’t want destruction, some mahem? I grew up on Godzilla movies and Ultraman, stuff like that.  Just a lot of B-horror. I’m really into it. The new Godzilla movie is like my Crème Brulee.”

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE) Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto Courtesy of Wall Therapy)

 

Our deep gratitude to the Wall\Therapy Family; Ian Wilson and Erich Lehman for their invitation to participate at this edition, and to Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation and this year’s co-curator. To the artists for sharing their talent with us in such a public and generous way. To all of the volunteers including Jason Barber and Maureen Malone for their sincere dedication and attention to detail and to the production team for making certain we all had what we needed and for making our job far easier. To the photographers for sharing their work with us throughout the process. To Jonathan Binstock, Director of the Memorial Art Gallery at The University of Rochester for hosting our BSA Film Friday Live event and to Meg Colombo and Mike Besaw at MAG for helping us with everything we asked for and then more. To the city of Rochester.

Click HERE to learn more about WALL THERAPY

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Wall/Therapy 2015 Day 4

Wall/Therapy 2015 Day 4

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“Love is Sacrifice” says the calligraphic script on the new wall by Jeff Soto and Maxx242. The two words rarely appear one without the other, as any sentient being will tell you.

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Maxx242 . Jeff Soto. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Courtesy Wall Therapy)

As with most artistic endeavors there are sacrifices to be made here as well, but the outgoing inquisitive nature of Rochester people are buoying the spirits as community members continue to visit the murals-in-progress and engage with artists and the various volunteers who keep the show going.

Li-hill kept working into the night, as did Onur and Wes21 on their mural. Li thinks he can complete it within the day – he’s a fast and expressive worker so we’re guessing he’s right. Onur and Wes21’s dynamic image will be strangely realistic, dare we say surrealistic, depicting a scene of nature’s retaliation against our domination – and their pace is perhaps more steady and deliberate.

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Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

Another outer-worldly battle is taking place between monsters and robots in the blockbuster piece by Rochester-based artists Joe Guy Allard and Matthew Robers, while also-local Brittany Williams is knocking out her first-ever mural, a portrayal of a woman blossoming in heart and mind on the streets of Rochacha.

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Brittany Williams. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

Regardless of how late they stay working, nobody really wants to skip dinner at The Yards, the collaborative arts space where most artists check in as a home base and where they actually get to hang out instead of being spread out. Friday night the party starts a little earlier so hopefully they’ll be able to break from the painting and come out to the BSA Film Friday at 5 pm on University of Rochester campus with us.

By then we’ll probably see Vexta’s vibrant, colorful textures have and blinkering diamond field fully anchor her masked woman, but no one is yet predicting what the Brazilian Eder Muniz will do on his arrival – but most predict is will be colorful, surreal, and fantastic.

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Never Crew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur and Wes21 burning that midnight oil. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Taking the long view to get some perspective of the wall in progress. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot of a superhuman not unlike the artist. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 3

Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 3

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In Rochester the weather has been warm but workable, as evidenced by the progress that all the artists have been making. You don’t have a long summer in this city of Kodak so we happily have images to share from a dedicated crew of photographers who are catching all the action while the sun is still blasting and slowly baking the artists.

You’ll see that the Jeff Soto and Maxx242 is nearing completion, Daze is already making plans for a production wall with FUA crew around the corner and Andreas Englund has a number of inquiries from local passersby while he’s painting his first mural here. We’re thinking it will be something rather superhuman.

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Jeff Soto – Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto – Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Joe Guy Allard . Matt Roberts. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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NeverCrew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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NeverCrew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andeas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Brittany Williams. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo ©Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 2

Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 2

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A lot of great action at Wall\Therapy yesterday with Daze, Jeff Soto, Maxx Gramajo, Onur, Never Crew, Nate Hodge, Vexta, and Andreas making a lot of progress on their murals in Rochester.

“The artists have settled in and everyone is really enjoying the environment and vibe here in Rochester, especially the warm-welcoming from everyone involved. It’s very much about community, about becoming part of our ‘family’,” says organizer Erich Lehman.

We start with this sculptural installation by Li-Hill.

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Never Crew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto. Process shot of a collaborative piece he is doing with Maxx Gramajo . Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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