All posts tagged: Palestine

Banksy Goes Into The Hospitality Business in Palestine

Banksy Goes Into The Hospitality Business in Palestine

Hotel, museum, funhouse? Political/social satire, self-advertisement, genius? All of it and more. Street Artist and showman Banksy’s team of advisors, marketers, fabricators, and assistants have already mounted a vast museum show, a theme park, a treasure hunt across New York, among other events. When it comes to creating spectacle and courting controversy, Banksy and company know how to get attention and this spring it’s happening again in fabulous Bethlehem with a hotel in which you can actually book a room – and learn Banksy’s political opinions.

Giulia Blocal took a trip there to take in the local color and to enjoy the Walled Off Hotel and she shares her observations here with BSA readers.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)


by Giulia Blocal

After having released a video ironically describing Gaza as an attractive tourist destination in 2015, Banksy is back in the Palestinian Territories with a project that levers on the same key but pushes it further. This time his invitation to visit Palestine isn’t a provocation, but a fact. And in order to be taken seriously, he opened an actual hotel in Bethlehem, which overlooks the infamous wall that divides Israel from Palestine.

A few days ago, I accepted the above-mentioned invitation and went to Bethlehem. I was eager to see with my own eyes what had already become one of the most controversial projects of the year – as it always happens when it comes to Banksy. While some people still haven’t forgiven him for dropping out of the streets, others are arguing that, with The Walled Off Hotel, he is speculating on Palestinian suffering.

When I got off the bus, several taxi-drivers-improvised-guides came to me, eager to help. Banksy-related tourism was already a thing in Bethlehem, where the artist had painted several murals (along with many other street artists who had left their sign on the wall, among whom the Italian BLU and the German twins How & Nosm) and, after the opening of The Walled Off Hotel, the situation was denounced by graffiti-purists as intolerable.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Much to their dismay, the declared goal of the project is exactly that: to bring tourists to the Palestinian Territories, therefore helping the area both economically and through addressing the inevitable media interest to the problems arising from the conflict.

However, The Walled Off Hotel is just what it claims to be: a hotel. Eight fully equipped rooms customized by Banksy and fellow artists Sami Musa and Dominique Petrin, some budget barracks for lower income travelers, a gallery showcasing artworks by contemporary Palestinian artists, a museum that looks at the wall from different angles, and a Piano Bar area where non-residents can have a ‘mocktail’, a salad or the very English afternoon tea.

Inspired by the Colonial style (in reference to the 100th anniversary of Mandatory Palestine), at a first glance the Piano Bar reminded me of a sophisticated English tea room, but after my gaze had wandered around a bit I’ve begun spotting all the quirky, twisted, Banksy-style artworks.

Banksy. Clay sculptures by Iyad Sabbah. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

CCTV cameras, which compose the sophisticated Israeli security system, are hung on the wall as if they were mounted deer heads, right above a single row of harmless slingshots, which represent the Palestinian resistance.

The bust of a rebel, who unquestionably looks like Michelangelo’s David, is in a cloud of tear gas, skewing the representation of heroes in classical art.

Vandalized oil paintings, two goldfish flirting from different bowls, cupids flying seraphically, although wearing oxygen masks… all artworks are imbued with brazen social commentary, each one highlighting a different aspect of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Next to the pieces specifically created for the hotel, Banksy reinterpreted some of his most politically subversive works of art, such as the kids swing-riding around an army watchtower (painted in Gaza in 2015) and the iconic rebel throwing the bunch of flowers, which here are actual flowers put in a vase.

After having a “Earl Grey & Tonic”, which was so good to make it up for the absence of alcohol, I was off to the Art Gallery, which is curated by the art historian Ismal Duddera, who selected different artworks from Palestinian artists and relied on Anisa Ashkar for the inauguration of the temporary exhibition. The gallery space has been totally underrated by the media, but trust me: it’s worth a visit.

I came back downstairs and headed to the museum, which aims at retracing the evolution of the occupation, from the British imperialism (represented by a wax statue of Balfour while signing the declaration, recalling that “it all began 100 years ago with an Englishman and the stroke of a pen”) to the apartheid wall, the one we can see just by peeking through the window.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

The museum displays different items, from ‘Visit Palestine’ and ‘Boycott Israel’ posters to the camera that saved the life of the cameraman Emad Burnat (author of the award-winning film ‘Five Broken Cameras’) by stopping a bullet fired by a soldier during the protests in the Bil’in village in 2005.

There are two clay sculptures by Iyad Sabbah, from the extremely moving public artwork that originally stood in Gaza, and ‘the scale of justice’, a sculpture by Banksy himself twisting a well-known Biblical adage into a more fitting “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a thousand teeth”.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

There is also a shop selling spray cans to leave your sign on the wall, although it is specified that not only it’s illegal, but also disliked by those locals who are against the ‘beautification’ of the wall.

Banksy’s sarcasm goes beyond the installations and the paintings inside the hotel and, as it often happens with his art, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The way he manages to convey media attention is itself part of the artwork and, this time, his highly provocative invitation to Israelis to visit the hotel fits for the purpose. Some people criticized the biased nature of the project as Banksy leaves no doubts where he stands but, as he spray painted on the walls of Gaza back in 2015, “if we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful –we don’t stay neutral”.

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Banksy. The Walled Off Hotel. Bethlehem, Palestine. March 2017. (photo © Giulia Blocal)


Our sincere thanks to Giulia for sharing her experience and photos with us. Read more of Giulia Blocal’s growing list of travelogues on her Travel & Street Art Blog called BLOCAL. (www.blocal-travel.com)


 

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HOW & NOSM on the Israeli-Palestinian Separation Wall

HOW & NOSM on the Israeli-Palestinian Separation Wall

After a half hour, soldiers yelled down, asking what they were doing.

“We’re from New York, we paint,” they shouted back, and continued spraying. Moments later the gate rolled up to the side and four soldiers came out, with the lead officer shouting, “What are you doing here?”

“We’re painting,” they replied.

“It’s illegal,” he shouted back. “I’ll have to arrest you.”

How and Nosm are at the Israeli-Palestinian Separation Wall, or they were until a few days ago, and no arrests were made. Invited by William Parry from the London based charity called Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), the internationally known Street Art/graffiti/muralist twins have traveled to about 60 countries with spray cans over the last decade or so, but they say they were not prepared for this experience.

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How & Nosm. Mural on a metal gate on the Separation Wall by Rachel’s Tomb. Palestinian side. Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

As graffiti writers in their youth, How and Nosm weren’t very surprised when their aerosol works were painted over or “buffed” for being in illegal locations. They were, after all, kids being vandals with spray cans and challenging authority and trying to get away with it – but it still was a bummer.

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How & Nosm. Detail. The text is translated as “Freedom for the Honorable” – a stencil made by women in an art workshop led by How and Nosm. Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

Getting their painting sprayed-over by Israeli guards was a new experience entirely.  Their image of a key, a symbol for Palestinians that is tied to homes they were evicted from, was painted onto a gate by Rachel’s Tomb. Loaded with such associations, obviously it was not a benign gesture and it was one so off-putting to the guards that shortly after H&N finished it, according to Parry, soldiers opened the gate and one picked up a spray can “and scribbled over it: ‘The occupation will prevail’ and made Stars of David symbols.”  By that time, How & Nosm were walking coolly up the street.

A typical graffiti writer back home in New York might have taken that as a serious “dis” of their canwork. Instead How says he was happy, “We painted a key and the gate opened!”

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How & Nosm. The defaced mural on a metal gate on the Separation Wall by Rachel’s Tomb. Palestinian side. Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

“I first interviewed How & Nosm a year ago in Prague at an exhibition that they were participating in,” says the British photojournalist Parry, who published a book called “Against the Wall” in 2010 about a number of Street Artists who have created work there. “We got talking about street artists and Palestine and Israel. How & Nosm were clearly aware that what they read and saw on mainstream media was only one part of the story and when I asked if they would consider doing a trip out to Palestine and Israel with MAP, they said ‘sure’.

“One year on,” he recalls “after scores of emails to follow up their commitment and logistics, my sigh of relief was audible as I saw them pass through the “Arrivals” sliding doors at the airport. First it was Nosm and about 10 minutes later, How, after he was questioned by the immigration staff about why they’d come to Israel. With their tattoos, curious NYC/German accents and a bag of spray caps and stencils, we were off.”

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How & Nosm. Main mural in the Palestinian Side of the Separation Wall. Bethlehem, Palestine. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

Not merely on “spraycation” to hit up some walls with their signature style, which they did, the two also made time to work with two populations specifically traumatized by war within the community and to teach them some of the techniques of art-making that the brothers have used in cities like LA, Lisbon, Prague, Paris, Quito, Mexico City, and Brooklyn. “Initially about five Bedouin women came to the workshop,” says Parry.

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How & Nosm.  Mural on the Separation Wall, Palestinian side en route to Manger Sq., Bethlehem, Palestine. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

“By the following day,” he reports, “as word went round the encampment of the fun they’d had, there was twice the number of people, with several kids joining in too. The women have never had any art classes. One woman, Ameera, said it was the first time she’d been given a pencil to draw with. Despite this, most showed real skill in designing and cutting out stencils to reflect life around them, creating desert-scapes and floral collages with the adept help of the twins. The workshops had a constant air of fun, creativity, chatter and laughter.” The brothers worked with the moms and the kids to create stencils, some of which were gathered together to create a collage of the works on the metal walls of one woman’s home.

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How & Nosm. Mural on the Separation Wall, Palestinian Side. Bethlehem, Palestine. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

An odd scene perhaps for some to contemplate the brash talking streetwise How and Nosm carefully and gently leading art workshops with small kids when you consider your typical image of the nihilistic rebel graffiti writer, right?

Maybe it is our own perception, or the perception that has been created for us that graffiti writers and Street Artists are rather one dimensional vandals. Things are not always the way they appear.

 

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How & Nosm. Bedouin Women Workshops. West Bank. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

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How & Nosm. Children take interest at the Bedouin Women Workshops. West Bank. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

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How & Nosm. Bedouin Women Workshops. West Bank. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

Another surprise was the easy flow of information one can get sometimes these days, even here in the these contested, war-torn lands where reliable information itself can be at a premium to get in and out. The brothers were sort of surprised one day when they went to buy a number of cans of paint in their typical red, black, and white – and they were instantly recognized by the proprietors.

“The young guys running the shop seemed excited to have How & Nosm in town and were asking where they were going, what they were planning, and said they would be very happy to show them round and get them some great walls,” says Parry. “How & Nosm remained tight-lipped and said ‘We’ll call you,’ taking the contact information of the guys,” he remembers, still marveling at the reach of the art world. “About two hours later, we were in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, looking for the ideal locations for murals and smaller art pieces.”

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How & Nosm. Beit Sahour, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

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How & Nosm. Beit Sahour, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

In the Street Art scene we always like to say that context is everything, and clearly here the artists and their hosts feel strongly about the conditions in the occupied areas they witnessed in Palestine and they place sincere blame for the dire situation that envelopes even the smallest children in an atmosphere of fear and trauma. Using art as a vehicle for expression, therapy, and perhaps furtherance of understanding, they say their workshops were instrumental is giving something valuable to the community.

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How & Nosm. Saraya Centre workshop for children. Old City, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

“It was just four days of workshops but the impression that How & Nosm left on the Bedouin women and children who participated in the workshops was enormous,” says Parry, as he speaks of the collaborative mural using the stencils the women produced on a structure in the Jordan Valley. He says he “asked what they liked most about the workshops and the women said that it gave them a rare opportunity to express themselves creatively, to discover talents, and to produce beautiful things. ‘We also rarely laugh so much,’ added Hanan, the joker in the group.”

Parry also asked the brothers about their experience. “We agreed to participate because we agree with what MAP is doing and we thought it was going to be a nice collaboration between an organization helping people in need in Palestine and for us to bring attention to the it and for us to see what’s going on in Palestine,” says Raoul.

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How & Nosm. Saraya Centre workshop for children. Old City, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

For Davide, his days there produced more of a critique of the Western media that he depends on back home. “It was important for us to see firsthand what is going on in the conflict rather than just reading about it. Even in the independent media you don’t get the full picture, it’s just not the same experience as coming and seeing the illegal outposts and settlements and other things that exist, and I think we have a better understanding of that thanks to MAP.”

For the kids, it was hard to let go, says Parry, and some even cried at the end. “They completed their artwork and mounted them on foam board to create a mural of color and symbolism,” Parry says. “As they said goodbye, one child broke down in tears, then like dominoes, several others followed.” Many people on the street came to tell the guys how much they liked the work they were putting up on different walls.

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How & Nosm. Saraya Centre workshop for children. Old City, Bethlehem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

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How & Nosm. Separation Wall, Palestinian Side. Zeitoun Checkpoint. East Jerusalem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

But the brothers say they will think twice as artists if they would recommend others to go paint there. Instead of just hitting a wall, they say they would want people to be sensitive to the impact it may have on the populations who live there. “It’s such a difficult situation here politically. We believe that just coming here and tagging, doing pieces, would be inappropriate and selfish,” says How. Nosm continues, “We felt an obligation to bring more than just our names so we brought some messages. If you’re an artist you should take that into consideration.”

Truthfully, in a continually tense war-like environment like this, almost any act, including kindness, can be interpreted as being a political act of some sort. Not all art is necessarily political however and most people understand that it is a form of expression that we can grant latitude to because of its proximity to our own creativity. Who doesn’t long to return to the world of discovery we each inhabited at least once or twice in our childhoods?

But it isn’t every day that you hear tough-talking graffiti writers speak about considering the affect of your street work on the people in the neighborhood. But this isn’t just any wall. And these aren’t just any artists.

 

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How & Nosm. Separation Wall, Palestinian Side. Zeitoun Checkpoint. East Jerusalem. September, 2013. (photo © William Parry/MAP)

For more information about MAP please 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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post. HOW-Nosm-Huffpost-BSA-Screen-Shot-2013-10-02-at-10.18

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Fun Friday 11.23.12 – VIDEO Request Edition – Chosen by You

It’s the BSA Reader Video Request edition of Fun Friday for all us peeps who are not shopping today. We asked our Facebook friends and fans for their favorite street art related video flicks and give them to you here- in no particular order. Peace out and have a great Black Friday everybody.

1. Vhils in Germany
2. Wild Style Part 1
3. Open Air
4. In Bed with Invader
5. En Masse in Miami
6. Berlin Street Art as Lyrics (Emus Primus)
7. Shai Dahan new Ted Talk “Beyond Borders”
8. TEJN LOCK ON STREET ART – Street Art Sculpture by Tejn
9. Burn – Episode 3
10. Graffiti Verite Part 1
11. Japanese Stencil
12. BLU – BIG BANG BIG BOOM
14. Hanoi Lantern Bearers – Vietnam with The Yok
15. Bomb It

Vhils in Germany

The Portuguese Street Artist at work, produced by Euromaxx, recommended by Crist Graphicart (German language)

Wild Style Part 1

The classic Charlie Ahearn movie as recommended by Nahua Prince Huitzilin

 

Open Air

“In 2006, we created this short for the University of Southern California’s Public Arts Studies Program.

This documentary explored the studios and methods of six of the top street artists in America: Faile, Skewville, Mike De Feo, Dan Witz, Espo and Tiki Jay One.” Recommended by Lou J Auguste

In Bed with Invader

H Veng Smith likes this one with Invader.

En Masse in Miami

“At the end of November (2011), the En Masse Art Initiative flew down to Miami to take part of the Miami Art Basel events. With the help of Sodec Quebec and Galerie Pangée, EM teamed up with Scope Art Fair, Fountain Art Fair, Safewalls, Primary Flight and the Found store to create multiple work of art. During 10 days, the team grew exponentially, adding members from all around the globe; Tel-Aviv, Montreal, Brooklyn, Woodstock, Staten Island, San Fransico, San Diego, Miami etc.”  – recommended by Beth Tully

Berlin Street Art as Lyrics (Emus Primus)

Emus Primus and photography of Berlin Street art, set to music. As recommended by Da Andal

Shai Dahan new Ted Talk “Beyond Borders”

The keynote is about my travel into Palestine.  Considering what is going on there –  Being that everyone is talking about the violence, this video can reflect a bit of light on how there are some ways to find peace.  It may not find the sort of wide peace we hope to all gain there, but through the message in the keynote, I hope people can see that Israel and Palestine can share a common beauty: Street-art.” Shai Dahan

TEJN LOCK ON STREET ART – Street Art Sculpture by Tejn

Suggested by Mogens Carstensen

Burn – Episode 3

“The third episode of BURN graffiti video series. Best episode so far! Featuring rolling freight, live painting and more!   As recommended by Beyond The Rail Photography

Graffiti Verite Part 1

“Part 1 of the 1995 Los Angeles graffiti documentary directed by Bob Bryan. Featured artists include Duke, Skept, Tempt, Prime, Mear, Relic, Cre8, and Design9.”

Japanese Stencil

A stencil artist creates a piece as a tribute to Japan in the wake of the destruction it suffered last year. – As recommended by Crist Graphicart

BLU – BIG BANG BIG BOOM

“an unscientific point of view on the beginning and evolution of life … and how it could probably end. direction and animation by BLU.”   This one recommended by Martha Becker

Hanoi Lantern Bearers – Vietnam with The Yok

In Vietnam on a roof. As recommended by The Yok

Bomb It

The full documentary – “Through interviews and guerilla footage of graffiti writers in action on 5 continents, BOMB IT tells the story of graffiti from its origins in prehistoric cave paintings thru its notorious explosion in New York City during the 70’s and 80’s, then follows the flames as they paint the globe.” Recommended by Orson Horchler

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Fun Friday 10.19.12

Happy Friday Peepuls. Now before we all set our sights on Friday art parties and dancing and getting crazy and writing on people’s foreheads with markers, it’s time for us to get Debatified so we are all ready to vote. Obama is ahead in New York by like a hundred and five percent but apparently there are some states in the imperfect union where it is still a toss-up and people are just not sure who’s better. Moderator Candy Crowley scoured all of New York’s Long Island Tuesday and came up with only 82 people who still don’t know who they’re voting for – 12 of them polled just before airtime were also not sure who is on the one dollar bill, so there’s a clue for ya right there. Here’s a capsulized version of what went down.

1. Becca and Philip Lumbang (LA)
2. “Purple”, a Female Group Show in Williamsburg  (BKLN)
3. Fairey’s “Sound and Vision” (London)
4. Gregory Siff is “A Matter of Time” in LA
5. Shark Toof Takes a Bite out of LA
6. Meanwhile, Back in Haunted Brooklyn…Get Out Your Knife
7. “The Art of Basketball” at the Pop International Galleries (NYC)
8. Gallery For The People at Stonebook Court Estate (Los Altos)
9. “It’s Alive 2” at Urban Folk Art Gallery (BKLN)
10. “Art on the Seam” Documentary teaser  (VIDEO)
11. Vermibus – The Sting (VIDEO)
12. ROA in the Boneyard (VIDEO)

Becca and Philip Lumbang (LA)

Becca and Philip Lumbang, two of LA’s Street Art scene, are teaming at Lab Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA with their show titled “Babes & Bears” now open.

Becca in Los Angeles (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Purple”, a Female Group Show in Williamsburg  (BKLN)

“Purple” is the new color for this season as envisioned by a strong group of female Street Artists in a group exhibition in Brooklyn, NY at Causey Contemporary. This show opens tonight.

Queen Andrea in NYC for The Grassy Lot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

PURPLE includes Alice Mizrachi, Diana McClure, Gilf, Lady Pink, Lichiban, Miss Van, Olek, Priscila De Carvalho, Queen Andrea, Ritzy Periwinkle, and Sofia Maldonado

For further information regarding this show click here.

Fairey’s “Sound and Vision” (London)

Shepard Fairey’s  solo exhibition “Sound & Vision” opens tonight in London at the Stolen Space Gallery. His first London exhibition in 5 years, Fairey brings along friend and collaborator Z-Trip to supply the soundtrack to the artwork.

Shepard Fairey in NYC at the Houston St. Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Gregory Siff is “A Matter of Time” in LA

A “Matter of Time” is the title of Street Artist Gregory Siff’s new show at Gallery Brown in Los Angeles, CA opening tomorrow night.

For further information regarding this show click here.

Shark Toof Takes a Bite out of LA

If you have never seen a shark playing ping pong you’ll have your chance at C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice Beach, CA where Shark Toof’s new show “Ping Pong Show” opens tomorrow.

Shark Toof pokes Lister’s eye out in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Meanwhile, Back in Haunted Brooklyn…Get Out Your Knife

Fall is here, leaves are turning, the sweet smell of burning fires permeates many residential neighborhoods of the city, ACs are off and windows are open and you can hear the sounds of the streets are night. And now you get to stab a pumpkin and carve a face out of it at Crest Hardware. MWAH HAH HAH HAWWWW. Joe invites you and the whole family to come out and enjoy the 3rd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest, Saturday.

For entry rules, times and more details on this event click here.

Also happening this week:

“The Art of Basketball” is a group exhibition curated by Billi Kid at the Pop International Galleries in Manhattan featuring Mr. Brainwash, URNY, The Dude Company, Skewville, Shiro, Rene Gagnon, Joe Iurato, Ewok, One 5MH, Jack Aguire, David Cooper, Cope2, Chris Stain, Cern and Billi Kid. This show is now open to the general public and you can click here for more details.

Gallery For The People Fall Pop-Up show with Sage Vaughn, Deedee Cheriel, and Curtis Kulig is now open for the general public at The Stonebook Court Estate in Los Altos Hill, CA. Click here for more details on this show.

“It’s Alive 2” showcasing the art of Mark Bode, Dr.Revolt, and Stan 153 opens tonight at the Urban Folk Art Gallery in Brooklyn. Click here for more details on this show.

“Art on the Seam” Documentary teaser  (VIDEO)

An upcoming documentary by David Freid about the art work on the wall in the West Bank.

 

Vermibus – The Sting (VIDEO)

ROA in the Boneyard (VIDEO)

A new video from Jason Wawro for the Boneyard Project features ROA.

Screenshot from video by Jason Wawro of ROA in the Boneyard Project. © Jason Wawro for Boneyard

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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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New Piece on Palestine Wall by Shai Dahan

Getting up on a wall usually requires preparation of some sort. Getting up on the wall in Palestine requires nerves of steel.

 

Shai Dahan working on his 6 meter high piece in Palestine (photo © David Freid)

Street Artist and fine artist Shai Dahan just returned from a trip to what some call the Holy Land to place a large portrait of a Jordanian Bedouin on the wall on the Palestinian side. Despite the checkpoints and soldiers in towers and the general atmosphere of hostility and suspicion that seems ever present, a non-political piece was welcomed by people in this war torn region, and locals greeted Dahan and his friend with coffees and teas all day. Kids who were watching the progress with great interest also gave them the “thumbs up” sign of approval, so they knew they were cool.

Shai Dahan created his piece based on this photography by David Freid (photo © David Freid)

Over the last decade this wall has drawn the attention of many international Street Artists like Brooklyn’s Faile, London’s Banksy, Ireland’s Conor Harrington, Italy’s Blu, and Paris’ JR, among others.  Each has reported a sense of accomplishment after pulling this feat, and Dahan reports that many of those pieces still remain there. With his friend David Freid there to shoot a documentary and provide these photos, Dahan felt like it was a rare privilege and opportunity.

Shai Dahan “Miles to Go Before I Sleep” (photo © David Freid)

“The locals loved it and although the stress of entering an area full of conflict with zero security was great, it was a very special project and one of the highlights of my career. I got to enter a place filled with anger and frustration and paint there.”

Now back in Sweden, Shai is preparing for his show opening this Friday the 25th at the Modern Art Museum of Boras.

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Fun Friday 02.04.11

Fun-Friday

All Eyes on the Streets of Egypt

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Image from his Twitpic © Ahmed Ramadan

How can you not be riveted to Al Jazeera online and Twitter and Facebook and Youtube right now as a purely people-powered movement in the streets of major cities all over Egypt is working to dislodge their president?  Even after the government shut down the internet in the most comprehensive way in history, Egyptians have taken to the streets to reassert their right to self-determination.

Mint&Serf & BSA @ District 36 Tonight

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Joe Iurato and Shai Dahan @ Vincent Michael Gallery in Philadelphia

brooklyn-street-art-joe-iurato-shai-dahan-vincent-michael-galleryExhibition Details
What: Natural Selections & Salvation: Featuring New Works from Shai Dahan and Joe Iurato
Where: Vincent Michael Gallery
1050 N. Hancock St. Suite #63 Philadelphia, PA 19123
When: Exhibit runs February 4th thru February 25th
Opening Reception Friday, February 4th 7pm – 10pm

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Conor Harrington in Tel Aviv (VIDEO)

Crossing Lines is a short film that documents Irish artist Conor Harrington’s trip to Tel Aviv, Israel and Bethleham, Palestine in May 2010.

Chris from RWK has a brand New Website

Check it out! http://chrisrwk.com/

Chris RWK (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris RWK (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Henry Rollin is 50! Shepard Slips One In

Keep your eyes open today for a new print release celebrating American Hardcore superstar and punk poet laureate Henry Rollins.  Dude is a far cry from the pretty candy coated mummification of punk that ensued as it became a commercialized lifestyle. This is the first of a two part release by Obey celebrating the quest for truth that fires inside Henry.

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18 x 24 Screen Print, Signed and Numbered Edition of 700.

Release Date: 2/4/11

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Conor Harrington in Tel Aviv with Know Hope and Zero Cents

Conor Harrington (Image courtesy Conor Harrington)

Conor Harrington (Image courtesy Conor Harrington)

From Conor’s Blog

“I spent a week in the Middle East, painting in both Israel and Palestine. I brought my boy Andy with me to film it all so we’ll have a short lil film coming out at some stage. It was one of those trips where you’ve no idea whats ahead. You can only prepare for so much and remain open to all eventualities. I think I need a holiday.”

To continue reading and see more images about Conor’s Middle East trip please go here:

http://conorsaysboom.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/middle-east-part-1-tel-aviv/

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