All posts tagged: Paolo Tolentino

COVID-19 365 Days Later; Art in the Streets That Narrated a Pandemic

COVID-19 365 Days Later; Art in the Streets That Narrated a Pandemic

What the hell just happened? Has it been a year? Or has it been 10 years? Or just one long nightmare/daymare? Or has it been 10 years? Did we already ask that?

In March 2020 we awoke to a world that was transforming before all of our eyes, yet we felt so cut-off from it and each other. The first days seem so long ago as we mark the first anniversary of the pandemic. Still, the initial shock of those days resonates in our chests so strongly that we confidently talk about a collective global trauma that has indelibly marked a generation.

Pobel. Stavanger, Norway. March 14, 2020. (photo © Tore Stale Moen)

From Stockholm to Mexico City to Barcelona to Bethlehem to New York to LA, BSA brought you street art that was responding with fear, derision, critique, hope, and humor to the never-static, always evolving barrage of Covid news. Stuck inside and afraid to expose ourselves to each other, we New Yorkers became accustomed to experiencing the outdoors only through our windows, connecting with neighbors we’ve never met who were also banging pots and pans or clapping and waving and yelling.

We listened to ambulances screaming past our windows every half hour or so during those first weeks, imagining the torn families, the terrified fellow New Yorkers now being rushed to the hospital and separated from their loved ones without a goodbye, gasping for air. We wondered if we would be next.

Jilly Ballistic and Sack Six. Manhattan, NYC. March 23, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When we did go to the streets, they were empty – or nearly. In New York this was unheard of. In this bustling, noisy metropolis, we experienced a daily disconcerting quiet. That is, until the killing of George Floyd by cops finally pushed the anger/anxiety into the streets all summer.

The deadly hotspot of New York quelled, but the fires of Covid spread west, grabbing communities who thought they would avoid impact. At the same time, local, state, and national leaders fumbled and argued or famously callously ignored the desperation of citizens, occasionally admirably filling the shoes they were elected to occupy, often misstepping through no fault of their own.

Pure Genius. Manhattan, NYC. March 23, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We have no particular wisdom to offer you today beyond the obvious; this pandemic laid bare inequity, social and racial and class fault-lines, the shredded social net, the effect of institutional negligence, the ravages of 40 years of corporate privatization, and the power of community rising to the occasion to be in service to one another in ways that made us all more than proud.

Here are some of our favorite Covid-themed street art pieces from over the last year, a mere sampling of the artistic responses. Interspersed we paste screenshots of the daily events (via Wikipedia) in 2020 that shaped our lives, and our society.

We mourn the losses of family and friends and the broken hearts and minds in all of our communities. And we still believe in the power of art to heal and the power of love to balance our asymmetries.

Trusto Corp. Los Angeles, CA. March 26, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Lapiz. Hamburg, Germany. March 30th, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Tag Street Art. Tel-Aviv, Israel. March 31, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Phlegm. April 6, 2020. London, UK. (photo courtesy of the artist) Phlegm created a visual diary of his experience with the Pandemic. We published his diary HERE
Don Langrend for USA Today Network. On April 13, 2020, we published a compilation of political cartoons with views on the Pandemic. Click HERE to see the whole collection.
Alessio-B. Padua, Italy. April 15, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Banksy. London, UK. April 19, 2020. (photo Instagram)
Shepard Fairey. Los Angeles, CA. April 20, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Banksy “The Girl with a Pierced Eardrum” Bristol, UK. April 23, 2020. (photo © Reuters/Rebecca Naden)
Cake Stencils. Bethlehem, Israel. May 10, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Almost Over Keep Smiling. Manhattan, NY. May 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Captain Eyeliner. Manhattan, NY. May 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
SacSix. Manhattan, NY. May 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Oliver Rios. May 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Teo Vazquez. Barcelona, Spain. May 25, 2020. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Adam Fujita. Brooklyn, NYC. May 25, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. Queens, NYC. June 2nd. 2020. (photo © Just A Spectator)
Russian Doll NY. Manhattan, NYC. June 6, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gianni Lee. Manhattan, NYC. June 13, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Various & Gould. Berlin, Germany. June 19, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artists)
Sara Lynne-Leo. Manhatttan, NYC. June 27, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Stikman. Manhatttan, NYC. June 27, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentifed artist. Brooklyn, NYC. July 18, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
De Grupo. Manhattan, NYC. August 1, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sticker Maul. Manhatttan, NYC. August 6, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fintan Magee. Queensland, Australia. August 16, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Persak. San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. August 23, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Novy. Manhatttan, NYC. August 29, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Asbestos. Cork, Ireland. September 8, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
1111 Army. Brooklyn, NYC. September 12, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Brooklyn, NYC. September 12, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raddington Falls. Manhattan, NYC. September 26, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faust. Manhattan, NYC. September 26, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pure Genius. Manhattan, NYC. October 31, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
I Heart Graffiti. Manhattan, NYC. November 14, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO 907 in collab with MUK 123. Manhattan, NYC. December 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Creator. Manhattan, NYC. December 28, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
City Kitty. Manhattan, NYC. December 28, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Karma. Barcelona, Spain. January 4, 2020. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Pobel. Stavanger, Norway. February 11, 2021. (photo © Tore Stale Moen)
Aya Brown. Brooklyn, NYC. February 27, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Manhattan, NYC. March 06, 2021 (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Paolo Tolentino. Manhattan, NYC. March 07, 2021 (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Manhattan, NYC. March 07, 2021 (photo @ Jaime Rojo)

As NYC went on complete lock-down and New Yorkers were ordered to remain in their homes in complete isolation the city’s residents organically joined together in a collective 7:00 pm ritual in support to the first responders. To the nurses, doctors, paramedics, trash collectors, public transportation, police, fire fighters, supermarkets workers etc…with their services and sacrifices we, the residents of this megalopolis were able to keep out hopes for brighter days to come.

Video of four former presidents urging people to “roll up your sleeve and do your part” and get the vaccine.

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BSA Images of the Week: 03.07.21

BSA Images of the Week: 03.07.21

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week.

Remember that time when your best friend’s boyfriend was installing a towel rack in the bathroom of their apartment, and he clumsily busted a hole through the wall, revealing a hidden room – which subsequently released a ghost who regularly appeared at the foot of their bed and slammed doors throughout their dwelling? We do. That’s why it was/was not shocking when a New York woman investigated the breeze emanating from her bathroom mirror. She took the mirror off the wall and discovered a portal to a three-room apartment.

Dude, if that happens to us, we’re not putting it on Tik Tok. We’re heading to Bed Bath and Beyond. In a space-starved city, newly discovered square footage is like finding gold bullion or bitcoin between couch cushions.

In other New York news, some street art neighborhoods are devoid of new works these days – perhaps because January and February are a frozen, mischievous purgatory that chases you inside in a normal year – doubly so when you’re on your 37th consecutive month of pajamas, Minecraft, and Chef Boyardee Beefaroni. Have faith; the next tumultuous 8 weeks of winter-spring-winter-spring weather will eventually coax the street artists and graffiti writers outside in a perennial sign of spring like the appearance of a robin on your windowsill.

Despite the paucity of prancing vandals at the moment, our Editor of Photography, Jaime Rojo, still managed to capture new art in the streets this week in Red Hook, Bushwick, Chelsea, and Bushwick – amongst the scores of closed restaurant huts that have besieged sidewalks citywide. Movie theaters will open for 25% capacity now, and perhaps the moribund restaurants will be coming back to life in this city that never quite sleeps.  

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adrian Wilson, Berkit, Binho, Blur, Captain Eyeliner, Colin Capernick, Comik, DYM Crew, Ethan Minsker, Know Your Rights Camp, Locs, Matt Siren, Paolo Tolentino, Sara Lynne Leo, Shark, Taboo, The Monks, and Tony De Pew.

Adrian Wilson in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC draws our attention at the increase of hate speech and violent acts against the Asian Community – spearheaded by none other than our former Hateful-in-Chief. Why the GOP continues to make this pact with the Devil is a mystery, or is it? It alerts people’s darkest, most odious traits and keeps us fighting with each other. As a true melting pot, we believe New York is better than this. (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Now, now, Sara Lynne-Leo. Remember what the minister’s wife/organist at church always says; “The Good Lord doesn’t make mistakes.” (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
The Monks for The Bushwick Collective (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Psychedelic reimaginings by Tony De Pew in collaboration with Matt Siren. (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Comik. DYM Crew. (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Blur (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Berkit, Locs and Binho (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Shark (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Captain Eyeliner (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Taboo, Host. DYM Crew. (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Ethan Minsker (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Public service messages from Paolo Tolentino (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
#knowyourrightscamp This is a form of advertisement, and we recognize it, despite its graffiti/street art vernacular. Even so, we admire Mr. Caepernick as one of the few brave sports figures of immense relevance and influence who was and still is willing to forgo fat checks in exchange for being free to speak his mind on social and racial justice issues that are close to his heart and to his home.
Untitled. Manhattan. Winter 2021. (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
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