All posts tagged: OverUnder

Erik Burke – New Wheat Pastes in the Margins

Erik Burke – New Wheat Pastes in the Margins

Those longing gazes are from your family, those red-lines are through your neighborhood, those abstractions are your intersections with poverty, wealth, race, beauty, and power.

Overunder. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)

OverUnder had a “whirlwind 72-hour pandemic tour” that led him through Chicago and Gary, Indiana, and his brilliantly human painted wheatpastes showed up on many a pressed-wood board. The impolite truths of neoliberalism – neglected neighborhoods of our de-industrialized 2020, now licking ever closer to you and yours.

OU brought his kids too, at least in his paintings. “I also put in one piece that I made with my daughter – you can see her nice little pink additions.”

Overunder. Adonis standing in front of a portrait of Mayor Hatcher. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)

“There is also a portrait of a young man named Adonis next to a piece I put up of Mayor Hatcher with some abstract red lines across it (redlining),” he says.

“He was the first Black Mayor of a big US city along with Carl Stokes of Cleveland in 1967.”

Oh yes, those days of promise back then, you think.

Overunder. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Detail. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder in collaboration with her little daughter, Mackie. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Gary, Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Chicago, Southside. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Chicago, Southside. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. Chicago, Southside. (photo © Overunder)
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OverUnder Revisits “Red Summer of 1919”, 2020, in Gary Indiana

OverUnder Revisits “Red Summer of 1919”, 2020, in Gary Indiana

In a “now” obsessed culture that is in the convenient habit of forgetting, the marches against police brutality and racism this spring and summer have had an earth-shaking quality mainly because there is little real knowledge about the US past. But take a serious look at the dynamics at play and the ugly behaviors and attitudes on display in 2020 are identical to those of say, a hundred years ago.

Overunder. 1919 Sunset and 2020 Sunrise. In collaboration with Paint Gary. Gary Indiana. (photo © Overunder)

Street artist OverUnder paints a correlation in Gary, Indiana this summer between the killing of a black 17-year-old, Eugene Williams, in 1919 and the killing of George Floyd in 2020 – and a host of others during the century in between. It’s a stunning conceptual piece that optimizes the architecture, its planes and location, OverUnder adeptly braids the pain and imagery of that youth in the water, the resolute profile of local rapper Freddie Gibbs, and a YouTube timeline showing minute-years elapsed directly on housing stock that has been abandoned and shifted to the margins of this city. Talking to him about the evolution of the project, the vibrations are compounded by OU’s story that when he first conceived of this silhouetted head on red rippling waters two years ago, he had not yet learned the story of 1919.

With an aspirational attitude of hope for the future, OU calls the new installation “1919 Sunset and 2020 Sunrise”. Likewise we’re looking at today’s strong determined voices as a dawn of our new age of equality and fairness.

Overunder. 1919 Sunset and 2020 Sunrise. In collaboration with Paint Gary. Gary Indiana. (photo © Overunder)


Rooted in our history, here is OverUnder’s description of his project in his own words;

“The two pieces are a pairing speaking to now and then. A simultaneous centennial remembering the Red Summer of 1919 where a black 17-year old named Eugene Williams, floating on a homemade raft in Lake Michigan drifted beyond an imaginary racial line leading to a white man throwing rocks at him; ultimately drowning him. The Black side of the beach confronted the man and involved the police but they wouldn’t make an arrest. Instead they arrested a Black man. Fights, shots, riots, and arson exploded across Chicago leading to weeks of violence and thousands of people left homeless. Other riots were also happening across the U.S. better known as the Red Summer.

Meanwhile the Steel yards of Gary were seeing major strikes. After strikebreakers and police clashed with unionists in Gary the U.S. Army took over the city on October 6, 1919, and martial law was declared. Something all too familiar now. 

Overunder. 1919 Sunset and 2020 Sunrise. In collaboration with Paint Gary. Gary Indiana. (photo © Overunder)

The tension had been building. Prior to this America was deep in WWI. This had a twofold effect on Black Americans. First of all, most Black soldiers serving overseas were rejected by their American superiors and were reassigned to the French army who didn’t have the same racism. After serving alongside fellow allies these Black Americans became accustomed to being treated equal aka normal. However post-war at their homecoming they were given a cruel reminder of the two sides of America. 

Aside from having a terrible time readjusting after returning from fighting overseas for America other non-serving Blacks were defending their jobs from those Irish and Italian Americans returning and hoping to get their old jobs back. During the war a labor shortage in Chicago and Gary had a majority of industrial work going to Blacks migrating out of the Jim Crow south for a fraction of the pay. However with returning vets hoping to get their old jobs back racial tension was inevitable. After the drowning of Eugene Williams the multitude of tensions came to a head across Chicago and Gary.

For me I proposed this design when I was invited to paint Gary in 2018 for no direct reason aside from thinking it was pretty for an urban lakeside community. The project fell through and we revisited it unsuccessfully for the fall and then once more the next year. Funds and logistics didn’t line up again and the project was scrapped. As the Black Lives Matter movement began to regain traction following the lynching of George Floyd several histories were being retold. One of which was the Red Summer of 1919, the riots in Chicago, and past civil unrest.

Overunder. 1919 Sunset and 2020 Sunrise. In collaboration with Paint Gary. Gary Indiana. (photo © Overunder)

Upon hearing this I first couldn’t believe I had NO clue and the familiarity between the story and my original proposal. The imagery was serendipitously tethered in a centennial relapse. It was just too weird. So I reached out to Lauren at Paint Gary again and was like ‘Yo! we need to make this happen!’ It’s too on the nose. All I need is a wall. I will take care of everything else.” She lined up this particular wall at the Edison tract and I gave myself a proper 48-hour pandemic window to make it happen. 

The wall entitled 1919 Sunset shows an anonymous figure in silhouette treading water. The adjacent wall entitled 2020 Sunrise pairs a melancholy portrait of Gary rapper Freddie Gibbs with a YouTube timeline showing a 20:20 second clip paused at 19:19.”

Overunder. 1919 Sunset and 2020 Sunrise. In collaboration with Paint Gary. Gary Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. 1919 Sunset and 2020 Sunrise. In collaboration with Paint Gary. Gary Indiana. (photo © Overunder)
Overunder. 1919 Sunset and 2020 Sunrise. In collaboration with Paint Gary. Gary Indiana. (photo © Overunder)


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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.25.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.25.19

The Amazon Forest – which furnishes 6% of our oxygen is being burned – an unthinkable event in human history. Evidence points to arson – incidences are up 80% over last year. Darkness now falls hours before the sun sets in São Paulo, and G7 leaders are set to hold emergency talks over the wildfires crisis. Events like these threaten to push us into a domino effect of environmental disaster.

In related news, New Yorker David Koch died, a billionaire by inheritance, a key funder of climate change denial who used millions to sway the laws and to set the world on fire while usurping your voice. The Kochs were just on Hasan Minaj 5 days ago! – go to 10:20 on this video

Thankfully, NYC is still gorgeous and hot and steamy and sticky this week – and so is a lot of the Street Art.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Adrian Wilson, Antennae, ASVP, Dee Dee, Giulio Vesprini, Jazz Guetta, Kyro, Maria Qamar, Muebon, NDA, Never Satisfied, Nevs, Nitzan Mintz, OverUnder, Sonny Sundancer, Subway Doodle, UFO 907, and Vexx

Sonny Sundancer (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Vexx for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)
V Ballentine for JMZ Walls (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Giulio Vesprini (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Giulio Vesprini (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Adrian Wilson. This was originally painted last Thanksgiving to protest Black Friday consumerism and Amazon’s draconian labor practices. Still resonates today. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Antennae (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“The dream fills the room and there isn’t enough oxygen for both of us. I try not to move and not to breath.” Dude, get out. Nitzan Mintz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Never Satified (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A tribute to writer Kyro by DG and NOA (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Maria Qamar (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Muebon (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Subway Doodle (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Vintage Overunder and ND’A in NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jazz Guetta (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ASVP (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO 907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Summer 2019. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Two brothers. Two Murals. Two Countries. One Great Great Grandfather.

Two brothers. Two Murals. Two Countries. One Great Great Grandfather.

Overunder and his Bro create “Nostalgia”

A migration story has just been completed between Osnago, Italy and Vogorno, Switzerland by two Reno artist brothers who traced their great great grandfather’s journey via bicycle adventure this summer.

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“At either end of the bicycle trip I proposed to create a mural. Or half mural to be exact,” says Erik Burke, a Street Artist (Overunder) who has worked on walls in many cities over the last decade. He proposed the idea of creating half a portrait of Guisseppe Mozzetti in each town. “Each mural would be painted at the border of a building to create a break in the composition. By allowing the imagery to break at the edge it hopefully would hint at the absence of image, identity, and a larger picture,” he explains.

Using their only known photo of him for a study, these brothers connected the story of his past and their family roots going back to the mid 1800s. They say that the art project and the entire trip gave them a unique opportunity to study the countries and cultures that formed him before he eventually immigrated to the United States (Reno, Nevada) in 1890.

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Overunder with help from his brother. “Nostalgia”. The first half of the project goes up for La Voce Del Corpo Festival in Osnago, Italy. (photo © Overunder)

“My brother and I were navigating the Ticino countryside on borrowed mountain bikes without a map or knowledge of the language,” Erik says. “Regardless we approached most encounters with ‘Tutto bene’ and we think we came to a deeper understanding of both pizza and penne, valleys and peaks, nostos and algos.”

Those last two words speak directly to the name of the collaborative two-mural immigration mural project which they named “Nostalgia”. According to the brothers there was a certain sentimentality about the natural beauty of the countries and the people whom they encountered on their trip. All of the gathered information also permitted them to imaginine what this great great grandfather may have been like.

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Overunder with help from his brother. “Nostalgia”. The first half of the project goes up for La Voce Del Corpo Festival in Osnago, Italy. (photo © Enrico Ponzoni)

Erik explains, “The word nostalgia is a learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning “homecoming” and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning “pain, ache”. The term was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home. As I discovered my own Swiss heritage I wondered what nostalgia would mean to someone like me – a person not going home but curious about his family’s home.”

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Overunder with help from his brother. “Nostalgia”. The first half of the project goes up for La Voce Del Corpo Festival in Osnago, Italy. (photo © Overunder)

The story of actual research is slightly more complicated, including targeted emails to strangers in Vogorno in search of a possible wall to paint. Erik was already booked to paint a mural for a festival in Osnago (La Voce Del Corpo Festival) so his vision of sharing this bike trip with his brother needed a welcoming person willing to have their building painted at when they arrived in Switzerland.

“After many failed attempts at making contact with Vogorno residents I sent a seemingly unlikely email to a woman I found on the Internet who was running the Rustico Cioss who happened to share the Mozzetti name. Luckily she responded and a dialogue grew,” says Erik of the detective work that finally landed their artwork on the right building. “Her family research unearthed a document for Giuseppe Mozzetti and a few emails later she had secured permission from the municipality for the mural and was allowing us not only to paint on the house of Giuseppe Mozzetti but also stay there!”

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Overunder with help from his brother. “Nostalgia”. The first half of the project goes up for La Voce Del Corpo Festival in Osnago, Italy. (photo © Overunder)

The images form physical and psychological bookends to an immigrant story that both brothers found profound and rewarding. It also raised more questions about the concept of borders and nationality – a search further elucidated by way of painting and meeting new people.

“Many borders presented themselves to us throughout the ride from Osnago to Vogorno in the form of dialect, currency, value, power sources, politics, culture, and physical geography. The painting component also utilizes my own physical borders by taking advantage of moments of fatigue and endurance directly following cycling to paint these works, ” he concludes.

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The route from La Voce Del Corpo Festival in Osnago, Italy to Vogorno, Switzerland.

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Overunder. A road rest to re-charge. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Going up in Vogorno, Switzerland. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Abandoned home. The Bergamo Alps in the background. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Doing tricks because the bike trip wasn’t enough to tire him…why not? (photo © The Bud)

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Overunder. The original photo of Joseph Mozzetti. Photo from Ancestry.

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Overunder. “Nostalgia”. The second half of the project on the original house of Joseph Mozzetti in Vogorno, Switzerland. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. “Nostalgia”. The second half of the project on the original house of Joseph Mozzetti in Vogorno, Switzerland. (photo © Overunder)

Erik and Mike would like to extend their great thanks to Mayor Paolo Brivio of Osnago and the many people of Osnago and Vogorno for their hospitality – especially Bruno Freddi, Michele, Frederica, Enrico, Flavio, Fabio, Jacopo, and Valeria for their generous support and friendship.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 07.24.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.24.16

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Vote for the one candidate who does not need this job,” intoned one of the many speakers who are receiving a trust fund from DJ Trump this week at the RNC convention. That’s convincing, isn’t it?

Blonde Women’s Lives Matter. Make America Salem Again. I am the Law.

The Donald didn’t let us down again this week – and for those of you who think we’re being partisan, we’re not. This dork has been doing this stuff in New York since the 80s – and we are all used to his grandiose claims and mid-speech reversals.  But this week the RNC looked like it was going to devolve into Lord of the Flies crossed with the Salem Witch trials.  No wonder the Street Art we keep seeing is approximately 10 to 1 against him – and still he’s like a gushing geyser of humor, comedy gold! Except for the violent parts.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alexandre Keto, Astro, Coloquix, Cyrcle, Dee Dee, Elle, Funquest, Lapiz, Leipzig, OverUnder, Patch Whisky, Uncut Tart, and You Go Girl!.

Our top image: Elle for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Elle for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thankfully there IS a light at the other end of the tunnel. Astro for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter took over a billboard to great effect (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Coloquix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexandre Keto for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in West Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexandre Keto for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in West Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexandre Keto for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in West Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Patch Whisky for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in West Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lapiz for Urban Art Festival Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Lapiz)

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You Go Girl! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Overunder (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Overunder for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Funqest (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rabi of Cyrcle (and friends) for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uncut Tart remembers the power and style of Run DMC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uncut Tart. Michael Jackson. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uncut Tart. Notorious BIG. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uncut Tart. Bob Marley (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marina Zumi for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist. Something about freedom of religion restricted under communism? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. East River. Brooklyn, NYC. July 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 07.10.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.10.16

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For this Sunday’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week we have decided to publish one image only. It’s a brand new piece and is a portrait of an anonymous African-American man painted by Street Artist Overunder and wheat-pasted somewhere on the streets of Brooklyn.

“It’s a portrait of an anonymous black man. So it very well could be a victim, or a future victim,” he told us in an email.

This week has been a horrific one on the streets in this country. Forgive us if we speak too much here or are out of our depth but we are on the street a lot obviously and we think the conversation among all of us needs to continue if we are going to find solutions. The new videos posted online of our citizenry being murdered, some at close range, others in ambush, tell a story of where we are as a nation right now.

After seeing the videos of Philando Castile dying of gun shots by a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota and of Alton Sterling being shot at close range by a police officer while subdued and on the ground in Baton Rouge, Louisiana viewers can walk away from them feeling as if they were being witness of the shootings. Seeing police downed by sniper fire in Dallas has confirmed that violence is not the answer.

We are bigger than this, all of us.

One would have to be either racist or delusional or both to not be angered, outraged, horrified, worried and profoundly saddened by the images coming out of those videos and photographs.

But we’ve inherited the legacy of our past and no one should feign surprise that we are dealing with it nor deny its impact on us today. Americans used to send postcards bragging that they had attended a lynching of a black man or woman, and most of those acts were to punish imaginary transgressions. Picture postcards.

Suddenly the lyrics of “Strange Fruit” sang first by Billy Holiday and later by Nina Simone and others come to mind. Those disturbing, haunting words could be easily applied in today’s America. The “…Black bodies…” are not “…Swinging in the southern Breeze…” -they are being tossed around in the back of a van, or trampled upon, or choked, face down against the hard and dirty concrete of our cities’ sidewalks. They are slumped, bleeding inside their own cars. They are suffocated and piled upon while gasping for air. They are taken down while playing in the playgrounds or just walking down the street, any street. Now we are seeing them on our phones.

The pain and the grief are the same. The sense of injustice is the same. The frustration is the same. The anger is the same.

Sweep it under a rug for a while if you like, but it won’t go away.

The police officers who were murdered in Dallas while on duty and while protecting the people who had gathered peacefully to protest the killings in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights didn’t deserve to die. Random or targeted killing of police is despicable. Their families were waiting for them to have dinner together and to do what families do at the end of the day. Instead their lives were cut short and now their families have to cope with the loss of their fathers, husbands, brothers, boyfriends, friends.

Violence against police is not going to solve any problems because it assigns collective guilt – and we know the majority of cops are good hard-working everyday people trying to do the right thing. It is also just as morally wrong as violence against citizens. We are collectively smart enough not to allow this complicated scene to be simplified by media needs to polarize us into separate camps like it is a sporting match. Some families have police and protesters sitting at the kitchen table and those families, like our greater American family, find a way to identify common ground.

Many have observed that brutality against people of color is not new – we just have cameras to record it in this modern moment and now the utter pain and injustice is available for us all to see and discuss with each other. It makes you wonder about the complicity of the news organizations over the last decades, doesn’t it? Now that we all are confronting it, let’s do the right thing and work toward a more just society.

It’s racism. It’s systemic. And we can fairly call it a broken system.

That’s why there are demonstrations system-wide;
across the country over the last few days in tens of cities like Philadelphia, Tucson, Oakland, Austin, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Portland, Nashville, New York, Chicago, St. Paul, Birmingham, West Palm Beach, Columbus, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Phoenix, – even Brixton in the UK. Our consciousness has been raised – and we realize there is work to be done.

We have to believe that the majority of people don’t want to go out on the streets and do this marching and yelling – most people would rather be at a swimming pool or in a movie theater or sitting under a tree with a cold drink. But the system is broken, has been for a long time, and the injustice, pain and fears are simply too great and people are demanding solutions.

We just collectively are realizing that we can’t be silent anymore about the evidence that blacks and other minorities are being subjected to the use of force disproportionately than any other group by many police officers around the country. According to The New York Times the data is there to support the assertion in a new study released on Friday titled “The science of Justice: Race, Arrests and Police Use Of Force”

“When force is used, a new study has found, the race of the person being stopped by officers is significant,” the Times says.

Let’s not blame anybody else, let’s not be cynics, or try to deflect. These problems belong to all of us and we have to accept responsibility for improving things in our own back yards, our front yards, our sidewalks, parks, stores, stadiums, museums, laundromats, offices, schools.

What people of color have to endure day-to-day in this country just to run an errand is everyone’s responsibility. Creating an environment where people live in a continuous low-level state of fear is immoral and it’s certainly not in alignment with Christian values, nor those of any organized religion we know of. We all are morally obliged to make certain that we all as people are treated equally and with fairness. That’s the real American way. When there is injustice, we all have to be accountable for a system that corrects the injustice.

We all deserve to go home at night to those whom we love and who are waiting for us to share dinner, to tell a story, say a prayer or be kissed goodnight.

And since it is July and it is hot in NYC and across the country; please brothers and sisters, protesters and police, let our cooler heads prevail. We can do this.

With love.

 

 

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Image above: Overunder (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Overunder Searching for Gold in Northern Nevada

Overunder Searching for Gold in Northern Nevada

“It’s refreshing to work in a very un-urban environment especially when making what is commonly called Street Art,” says OverUnder as he gazes across the gruff and patchy terrain here in northern Nevada. The heterogeneous topography includes plateaus, mountain ranges, and dry basins – and many mines that produce about 80% of the gold in the US annually.

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

In big cities you could expect an aerosol bubble tag on one of these neglected shacks or industrial artifacts. OverUnder wheat-pastes his surreal illustrated portraits instead – at once out of place and still solidly present. He says he likes the contrast of putting his temporary art in this environment where it will undoubtedly fade with the sun and fierce winds.

“The palette here is bleached white and bone dry but it is interspersed with lots of subtle color varieties,” he says as his feet crunch through the sand and gravel. “It’s very dreamy in a way here; It may seem empty but it’s brimming with its own type of life.”

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Nevada. February 2016. (photo © Overunder)

 

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OverUnder: “My Sentiments Abstractly” Opens in Oakland

OverUnder: “My Sentiments Abstractly” Opens in Oakland

A mark.

That is all most of us can hope to make on the world, or even to get through it. The Celebrity Industrial Complex that is busily distracting us also routinely overlooks masses of beautiful people who are daily just trying to pay the rent, tend to their ill, worship their deity, grow their garden, pen their poem, make their mark.

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

“My Sentiments Abstractly” says the title of OverUnder’s solo show opening tonight in Oakland, California, continues the fine/Street Art/graffiti artists’ examination of his mark making, and . Feeling mortal, OverUnder is taking a wider view of the path with this collection of recent wheatpastes, painting, photography, mixed media and site-specific installation.

As he constructed the visitors experience this week to prepare for tonights’ show, OverUnder says he is bringing the grit, the weeds, the marginal stories of people he has met and places he has visited – like weeds growing through the cracks; insistent, imperfect, perfectly full of life.  Only a romantic can find beauty in places like these, and he does.

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Overunder. Process shot. (photo © Brock Brake)

 

Overunder solo exhibition “My Sentiments Abstractly” opens today at the Athen B. Gallery in Oakland, CA. Click HERE for details.

 

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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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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.30.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.30.15

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Dude, Dudette, this is the moment to make the most of Summer before it in subsumed into crazy New York fall. There is so much art on the streets you may not even want to go inside. Actually, if you haven’t seen the China: Through the Looking Glass at the Metropolitan Museum, you have to go – it could blow your mind with all the video and costume and power and history and modern western interpretations of it, sho nuff.

If you wonder what we’ve been up to and what on the near horizon- check out yesterdays posting “Round Up! BSA at NUART, Borås, Coney, BKM, and ON Brooklyn Streets”

Right now Street Artists are beginning to take into account a large pimple on the butt of the US, Mr. Donald Trump. Of course the streets always render opinions in such clever and pointed ways – helping us to cope with a corporate media infotainment machine that can’t help but chase a fire and pour gasoline on it for ratings. Actually NemO’s new mural of a man caught inside a TV-as-guillotine is also apropo.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Adam Cost, Aiko, Clint Mario, DRE, Ernest Zacharevic, Foxx Faces, Hanksy, Hunt, Indie184, Ivanorama, LUDO, Mr. Toll, NemO’s, Overunder, Phlegm, Raphail, She Wolf, Sure We Can, Thiago Goms, and Zed1.

Top image above >>> Ernest Zacharevic sidebusts COST. Overunder looms close by. Please help ID the tags. You may recognize the scene depicted from a very familiar promotional image for Nuart 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NEMO’S “Stocks – Pillory” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hanksy. Clint Mario doesn’t seem to mind the stench from the sack of shit on the street. Not the same with the pedestrian going by. He is covering his nose. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hunt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ivanorama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thiago Goms in Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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LUDO for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LUDO for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DRE – The Secret Society of Super Villain Artists (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Raphail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikki Peaches and a pinch of Dain for taste. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indie184 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sure We Can (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sure We Can (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Foxx Faces (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aiko for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phlegm (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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She Wolf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Times Square. Manhattan, NY. August 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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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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BSA Images Of The Week: 07.26.15 Rochester Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.26.15 Rochester Special

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It’s not all about the murals! A sacrilegious thing to say perhaps, especially on a Sunday, especially when we are in town to see fresh new murals at the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester. But none of the artists will take us to task because everyone knows that the roots of Street Art and graffiti are in the un-permissioned work that happens underground in hidden spots that become revered; magnets for aerosol mark-making, veritable spray can galleries. These crumbling houses of the holy are foundational to the modern Street Art scene. After all, if the good Lord didn’t want teens to get high, have sex, and catch tags he wouldn’t have created urban decay.

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

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Freedom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So it was good to get to the dirty stuff with some help from an affable Roc native named Jason who showed us around some of the darker caverns in the city this week where you can get a sense of the conversations that bubble just below the surface. These places of decay feature some old school tags, rollers, characters, bubble letters, rants, political critique – the gamut. Also, homeless people, restless hoodies on BMX bikes, and funny smelling cigarette smoke wafting past you periodically.

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Freedom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We were really honored to speak at the museum Friday and to be introduced by the director Jonathan Binstock and Wall\Therapy founder Dr. Ian Wilson for our talk and show of a series of short films about the evolving Street Art scene globally. Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) is part of the University of Rochester and houses a huge encyclopedic collection of 12,000 works of art representing cultures from around the world and across millennia so to have the opportunity to share contemporary works from across this global grassroots art movement is especially gratifying and many in the audience came up afterward to talk about how inspiring this moment in art history is to them personally.

Typically academia and institutional support has been a few steps removed from this means of expression but the last decade and a half continues to see a shifting of perspectives by some who traditionally resisted the work in the streets. We’re just glad that we can continue to provide a platform for voices high and low, trained and self-taught, polished and in development – and the feedback we continue to get from you is that the work strikes a strong chord and we are grateful. Just to keep it real, here’s a tiny collection of work from Rochester’s organic urban art scene.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring AX, Cash4, Eder Muniz, Freedom, FUA Krew, Icy and Sot, Jeff Soto, Mr PRVRT, ND’A, OverUnder, ROA, Smear, and Thievin Stephen.

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Freedom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FUA Krew commenting on the bulldozing of a homeless tent city in Rochester days before Christmas in December. Mayor Lovely Warren took a great amount of criticism for her decision in the press, and here in the tunnels. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. PRVRT (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. PRVRT and a partial ROA on top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. PRVRT and a Cash4 on top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Overunder . NDA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Overunder . Thievin’ Stephen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thievin’ Stephen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thievin’ Stephen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smear (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Soto (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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OverUnder in LA and Vegas ; Faith, Family, and Gambling

OverUnder in LA and Vegas ; Faith, Family, and Gambling

OverUnder recently traveled to Las Vegas and LA to do some mural commissions for a large brand and he tells us he was having a bit of guilt for selling his soul to the devil to pay the bills. That was eased by the coolness of the employees he worked with, he says.

But regardless of what he is doing, OverUnder says he always brings extra art work with him to put up in a city – usually on the sketchy side of town – so he feels like he has covered his bets by doing  “the sanctioned and the uncontrollable.” He attributes this unique yin/yang philosophy of balancing his artist output to the fact that he grew up in Nevada which gave him a gambling nature, always straddling the line between sanctioned and unsanctioned art.

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Overunder (photo © Overunder)

And speaking of gambling, not only did he hit the neglected, run-down, ignored parts of town – standard fare for Street Artists – but he also waded into the LA River (currently not a river), a verboten area of some profile that raises the hackles of many a politician and taxpayer as it became a showplace for record-setting graffiti tags that were enormously expensive and difficult to remove. Yeah, this is a small wheat-paste that will melt in the rain over a short period of time, but still.

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Overunder (photo © Overunder and Cass)

We asked OverUnder about these new images and an ever-evolving street work practice that at the moment seems to be influenced by home-life and possibly spirituality.

Brooklyn Street Art: The LA river is a famed and contested location for graffiti writers traditionally and not known too much for street artists. Can you talk about your experience – what significance it is to you as a visitor?
OverUnder: Since I was in LA with only a limited amount of pieces I knew one piece had to be reserved for the LA River. As a toy writer in the 90’s I deeply looked up to kings like Saber who influenced graffiti with his massive LA River piece. I was able to see it once in it’s glory but the LA River today is an endless sea of grey buff marks. I definitely see what you mean about the LA River traditionally being a famed graffiti spot and not known too much for street artists but I think as places change their roles also change. Or better yet, maybe Street Artists need to explore their roles in cities further.

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Overunder (photo © Overunder)

I made my way down to the River mid-day to a mix of car photo-shoots, bums cleaning their makeshift houses, and bored BMX kids cruising the banks. I staked my claim and prepared my wheat paste from the river itself – I love to make the paste from the place I’m working. Against common sense and the opinions of passersby, I took off my socks and shoes, walked into the questionably clear water and traversed to the target. A few of the BMX kids came over to ask questions and one of the guys named Cass snapped the shot of me working. The interaction was really pure and as their jaws were dropping a bit it reminded me of how I was so enamored of early writers like Saber for putting in work. After all, the action is the whole point of it.

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Overunder (photo © Overunder)

Brooklyn Street Art: These new figurative blue pieces look as if they are inspired by people. How did you arrive at these images?
OverUnder: The pieces as of late are not necessarily a blue period. I source 200-yard long rolls of paper at a time so that creates around 80 pieces. As I work my way through various colors I’ve come across a few favorites. Something about blue just seems right so I’ve probably hit the 1000th yard mark with it now. It doesn’t necessarily have a deeper meaning I just wanted to get away from colors associated with other figurative artists and the blue always seems to pop on your typical background of grey, cream, or beige.

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Overunder (photo © Overunder)

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you find a dilapidated facade for the mother and child image?
OverUnder: I found the building for the “mother and child” piece while cruising around Oakland. I was down there meeting with Athen B Gallery to plan a solo show for this November. That particular building jumped out to me for its proximity to public transit and its dilapidated nature. I also really like how the upper window was tilted in the same manner as the interaction between the mother and child. I like subtle things like that so maybe when the piece gets waxed there is still a hint of it left behind.

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Overunder. Oakland, CA (photo © Overunder)

Brooklyn Street Art: A praying, kneeling figure… mother and child… is this the faith and family tour?
OverUnder: Ha, I see what you mean about the overtly Christian themes. While I do like the idea of a faith and family tour I wouldn’t say it is that explicit. With the addition of my daughter to my family I have definitely been delving into some new territory. Don’t be surprised if everything I make from now on has a puppydog face on it.

But seriously, I think it’s amazing being a dad and I want to put my life into my work as much as possible. It seems especially important to me when a lot of the places I find myself putting these pieces up in are comprised of fatherless children. I lost my father 6 years ago. I can’t imagine growing up without a father, or having them locked up, or even dead. I want to remind the kids I run into that there is an outlet. It may not be pasting pictures on walls but hey, that might be a good start.

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Overunder. Oakland, CA (photo © Overunder)

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Overunder. Oakland, CA (photo © Overunder)

 

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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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OverUnder in Seattle: Peculiar Portraits & Mural for “Urban Artworks”

OverUnder in Seattle: Peculiar Portraits & Mural for “Urban Artworks”

Reno averages 114 cloudy days per year.  Seattle is about twice that number. Can you blame Overunder for moving to Reno? Despite the endless days of gray, Seattle’s pretty nice to live in, according to many. The economy is fueled by the high tech industry and is also one of the most progressive cities socially, recently enacting a $15 minimum wage, new taxes on the wealthiest 1%, and there are well funded social services for the homeless and those seriously in need.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. “Kurt Kobangs” Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

And truthfully, painting under gray skies is actually preferable to burning under hours of blasting sun, so Overunder recently returned to Seattle to create a new mural for Urban Artworks, a youth oriented public art program that is celebrating its 20th year. In addition to the “monster mural”, Overunder also had the opportunity to complete some characteristically “free-range” installations, the kind we were more familiar with when Brooklyn was his stomping ground a few years ago.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

A very distinctive style on the street that recalls work of pals Labrona, Troy Lovegates, even Barry McGee and more West Coast folk surrealists, OU continues his visual anagrams on the street that toss around the elements now familiar to his vocabulary – rolldown gates, distorted monochromatic figures, brownstone facades, somewhat brooding expressions, wit. You’ll see the linework is cleaner and more confident than ever, the palette pleasingly saturated, the waving curvilinear forms now more expressive even as they beguile.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

We wanted to see what he had to say about his work now, and how his pieces on the street came about, and how he conjured the new mural for Urban Artworks;

Brooklyn Street Art: We notice that you are doing a number of portraits recently, and that they are fairly compact. Are these people in your life or your imagination?

Overunder: The wheat paste pieces are mostly imagined although a little reality sneaks in time and again for trips. When I travel I like to make pieces about place so naturally the people that live there become game for sampling. For example one piece is of a good Seattle friend who spends each year fishing in Alaska to make money for travel. That piece shows a man engrossed in a tornado emerging from a boat atop a coin.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe a typical process for creating one of these – do you sketch, paint, cut-out, and wheat-paste?
Overunder: The process is very pure, just spray paint on paper. A typical process involves tacking a roll of paper up, cracking a beer, and just seeing what happens with a can of spray. Oh and maybe a little Freddie Gibbs or Isaiah Rashad as soundtrack.

I try to keep each piece to an hour or less so they don’t get over-worked and then I cut them straight off the wall.  For every 2 or 3 pieces I put up in the streets probably 1 piece gets tossed in the trash and another archived so I can look back at my progression (sometimes regression). These pieces are very liberating and give me the freedom that I can’t achieve in my murals. It’s just my subconscious and the medium. Especially now that most of my murals involve more research, time, supplies, and stamps of approval from various parties.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

Brooklyn Street Art: How do you chose the text that sometimes goes directly over the face, and what is it about?

Overunder: I don’t want my wheat pastes to be precious or special and the best way to de-virginize that smooth and perfect paper is to christen it with whatever’s on my mind. In a way the text chooses me. A lot of times I have no idea what I’m writing but it becomes brutally honest. There is a reason why diary and diarrhea are found next to each other in the dictionary.

Since I put shading and line work over the top the text gets pushed back and becomes more of a technique to build background texture. i.e. a kneeling red figure I put up in the ID (International District) reads, ‘There is comfort and then there is convenience and then there is undeniable devotion and then there is unquestionable kinship and then there is regrettable choices and then there is all the other stuff.’

That could be interpreted many ways but to me it was a joke about my inability to distinguish between then and than.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you connect with Urban Artworks and can you describe the organization?
Overunder: They reached out to me after hearing about me through mutual friends. It was inspiring to learn about them as they are a very unique organization that works specifically with adjudicated youth to create public art. The youth are paid by the county to work on projects and they gain work readiness skills, art experience, and self confidence through the creation of their murals.

Urban ArtWorks also takes pride in giving aspiring muralists opportunities to build their own portfolios and skill sets through the whole process. The program is in its 20th year and looking to build their roster by working more with artists beyond the Seattle area – so, I hope to be back to create with them again and maybe even lead a youth mural next time.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

Brooklyn Street Art: The mural features airborne creatures … and a cassette tape that looks like a mix of home jams. How do these fit together?
Overunder: Under the supportive assistance of Urban Artworks I created this mural titled “Contribute” for a new apartment development on Capitol Hill. While the theme involves showing birds flying to a nest with gifts to contribute I was also fortunate enough to involve several of my all-time favorite Seattle artists as they helped contribute to the overall mural.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

Collaboration has always been important to me as a humbling bi-product of process and as a tool for apprenticeship. Aside from Derek Yost (who assisted on most of the mural), I involved No Touching Ground, Kyler Martz, Yale Wolf, Paulina Cholewinski, and Kathleen Warren who is the Director for Urban Artworks. The mural itself combines Gulls, Swallows, Killdeers, and other two-winged friends reported to be seen most by the Seattle Audubon Society.

I tried to create some movement amongst the large space by weaving birds, birch trees, and unspooled cassette tape as it gets tangled in the birds nest. The background blue gradient utilizes the natural shadows cast by the architecture to create an abstract sundial from sunrise to just past high noon.

Brooklyn Street Art: Why does it always seem to be raining in Seattle?
Overunder: I don’t know but I do know that that is the reason why I moved out of Seattle in 2004.

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Urban Art Works. Process shot. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke/Urban Art Works)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Urban Art Works. Process shot. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke/Urban Art Works)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Urban Art Works. Process shot. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Kathleen Warren/Urban Art Works)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Urban Art Works. Detail. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke/Urban Art Works)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Urban Art Works. Detail. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke/Urban Art Works)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Urban Art Works. Detail. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke/Urban Art Works)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Urban Art Works. Detail. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Erik Burke/Urban Art Works)

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Overunder AKA Erik Burke. Urban Art Works. Seattle. March 2015. (photo © Jake Hanson/Urban Art Works)

 

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