The original Berlin Kid, if you will, Mr. Paradox is rappelling down the side of a building again, this time in broad daylight instead of surreptitiously in the darkness of night. It’s part of an initiative by Urban Nation museum and he’s happy to bring the stylized vertical letters that have set his work apart from others – something he refers to as ‘spiritual letters’. He’s his own man, independent, fearless, creative and talented.
“I have always followed my truth-seeker spirit,” he says, “setting my visions higher.”
The saturated red and blue lettering have evolved over time, but his technique has stayed the same for the last decade or so – a style many first compare to Pixaçao. It’s an often dangerous technique of graffiti lettering associated with the aerosol daredevils on the streets of cities like Sao Paulo – but that has also spread to cities like Paris, Berlin and New York.
“I don’t do Pixaçao,” Mr. Paradox tells BSA. “I do a highly advanced form of lettering that I call spiritual letters. I want to deliver art and beauty to the street – and of course to deliver critical messages about the system we live in and life in general.”
And what about the distinctive combination of blue and red colors? “They are like fire and water,” he says. “Like good and evil. Also people recognize me because of it.”
Special thanks to photographer Nika Kramer, who captures and shares these exclusive shots with BSA readers of Mr. Paradox’s installation.
Mr. Paradox’s text (above):
BRAIN WASHED PLANET: THE ELITE IS THE VIRUS ! THIS IS FOR ALL CRITICAL THINKERS UNLOCK THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE ESCAPE THE MAINSTREAM GOVERNMENT HIDES THE TRUTH THEY ARE HOLDING BACK TECHNOLOGY
The videos that we present every week on BSA Film Friday give us as much inspiration as they do our readers, and we are honored to see the progression of artists and directors as they continue to capture, document, and share their skills, techniques, and stories. This year we have seen a continued professional quality, a widened scope, a desire to connect with an audience perhaps in a way that we haven’t seen before. Each of these videos, whether completed in-studio or shot by hand on a phone, touched you- and the numbers of clicks and re-shares tell us the story. Or many of them.
INTI / “PRIMAVERA INSURRECTA”, Spring Insurrection
vandalizing public sculptures to handmade signs to waving banners, banging oil
drums and pots and pans, lighting fires, chanting, and dancing in the streets –
these are the insistent voices and perspectives coursing through streets in
cities around the world, including these scenes from Chile last month. In one
of the tales of people’s victory, these marches and mobilizations of citizens
pushing for their rights and fighting state overreach actually worked this
month and Chile’s protesters have won a path to a
During the demonstrations Chilean Street Artist INTI was at work outside in Santiago as well, adding to the public discourse, with his new work entitled “Dignity!” It was a spring insurrection, now culminating in an autumn victory
Icy & Sot: Giving Plants. Film By Doug Gillen/FWTV
Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.
People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but little nature.
While they have traveled around many international cities in the last
five years creating site-specific interventions that contemplate issues
of immigration, environmental degradation, and endangered species, the
artists felt that the gravity of this place merited something more than
just an art installation.
Working with a group called Movement on the Ground and with Doug Gillen of Fifth Wall TV in tow, the two helped build raised gardens and planted vegetables, in addition to handing out many potted plants. Today we have images of persons in the camp from Icy & Sot along with the new video, one of Doug’s best.
Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind
A massive piece by the observant eye of Guido van Helten, who knows how to capture a spirit, a gesture, a knowing expression. Here on a grain elevator in Faulkton, South Dakota, his piece becomes a clarion, captured here by Brian Siskind.
Bordalo II “A Life of Waste” A short film by Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan
Spending a lot of time and effort clawing your way to the top of the pile, braying
loudly about your achievements and kicking the people behind you back down the
hill? Look where you are standing. It’s a mountain of garbage. And you don’t really
care for the others up here.
Bordallo II has been examining our culture of waste. And making sculpture from it. “The artwork is really a reflection of what we are,” he says. “I always had my conscience.”
Land artist Jorge Gerada mounts a large project in Ouarzazate, Morocco that extends over 37,500 meters in this commissioned job for a coffee brand calendar. Using rakes, stones, dark gravel, and vegetable oil, a scene of two hands under running water is created.
In a collaborative gallery space or at a barbecue on Devil’s Mountain, Berlin’s calligraffiti writers and artists are showing off the attitude and exactitude of the city as well as the evolution of this art form.
Hosted by Theosone at the “Scriptorium Berlin” and
curated by Makearte, a small selection
of scientists artists are convened at the Letters Temple where artists create
an exhibition with lucid and ornate letter skillz. Later on Devil’s Mountain
(Tefelsberg) they paint together for the first time.
In the videos featuring daredevilry, parkour and graffiti the Lengua Drona
has been adding words to our visual vocabulary that were once reserved
for extreme sporting, National Geographic docs, Crocodile Dundee and
Now the pixação writer and urban climber, Paradox releases
unprecedented adventure footage and editing from photographer CPT. Olf,
and its sending shockwaves.
Somehow this is a new way to synthesize wall-climbing and train
surfing; positioning it as a visual and audio symphony that almost makes
you forget that these are graffiti vandals “fucking the system”,
pushing their limits – and yours.
As you thrill to these evolving genre-combining aspects of Oleg
Cricket, 1Up Crew, Berlin Kidz, and Ang Lee, it’s important to realize
that these are real risks that people take that could result in serious
injury, death, and rivers of grief if a miscalculation happens. So,
yeah, we’re not endorsing the irresponsible risks or a mounting “arms
race” of stunts, but we are endorsing the athleticism, imagination, and
sheer slickness of this FPV drone mastery, which appears to have taken
this stuff up another level.
The doublespeak of Banksy very effectively demanded a whirlwind of media
attention in the art/Street Art world once again this week. The
anti-capitalist launched a full street-side exhibition while his
personal/anonymous brand benefitted by the new record auction price of
9.9 million pounds with fees for one of his works depicting a “Devolved
Parliament” full of apes – precisely during the height of inpending Brexit hysteria
A culmination of five years of murals visible from planes, French duo Ella & Pitr nudge you awake on a sleepy Friday to say “Thank you for being part of this story!” You didn’t even realize that you were a part of it, did you? In a way, you can see your own reflection somewhere here.
Their sleeping giants have appeared in cities around the world, often too big even for the massive rooftops they are crammed uncomfortably atop. With a true knack for childhood wonder and illustration, perhaps because they have a couple of them at home for inspiration, Ella & Pitr bring the petite rebel spirit to these characters; imperfect specimens with stylistic idiosyncrasies and sometimes ornery personalities.
In the end, they were all “heavy sleepers” resting temporarily, as is often the case with (sub)urban interventions variously referred to as Street Art, public art, land art, pavement art… Make sure you stay for the end of this video that comprised most of the giants.
Graffiti Jam in San Francisquito, Queretaro with Martha Cooper
When local graff writers in Queretaro, Mexico heard that New York’s famous photographer Martha Cooper was going to be in their town for a new exhibition they decided to welcome her in the best way they knew how: A graffiti jam on a train.
With the help of the organizers at Nueve Arte Urbano, the local kings and queens scored a long wall on a busy major avenue that they could paint subway cars on and convert to an NYC train. They hoped Martha would feel at home seeing this and it looked like she definitely did.
It’s a fast-growing major city without a subway, even though it could definitely use a more inclusive and efficient public transportation system since its quick growth has swelled to a million inhabitants. Scores of multi-national corporations left the US and set up shop here since they wrote the NAFTA trade deal and now employ this highly educated population.
in plain sight. Fucking one system and embracing another. Seeking the limelight
as he hides in the darkness of Berlin’s night. This is paradox. This is Paradox.
A Berlin Kidz alumni who has been catching tags and surfing trains with photographer CPT.OLF for a handful of years, these two have created a simple exhibition to Urban Spree gallery this month. Bringing masks, video, a new photography book, prints, and a hooded figure cuffed an on his stomach, the gallery effect is spare, crisp, ill-boding, and entertaining. One may say that this presentation looks like a graffiti star is born.
parkour with graffiti, he lowers himself south on a rope, spraying vertically cryptic
symbols in primary colors down the side of a building, or steeple of a church, his
aerosol style inspired by writers in places like São Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro. In many ways, this man is now claiming a mantle while in
his physical prime, modeling one of his multiple horror batik masks atop a
speeding yellow U-Bahn – tempting fate, testing limits, testing the viewers’ tolerance.
This is more than urban exploring: This is punching it down and signing its praise simultaneously, the pulsing testosterone deafening, relentless, defiant. This is anti-hero heroicism as performance without a net below – and quite possibly it is the adrenaline rush that claims your life. Looking at these images, following the video, for one thrilling moment, you want to be there as well.
If Street Art reflects society back to itself, and we contend that it does, then we must be in love. Among the myriad sentiments you’ll find on the street are those that are politically angry, socially strident, or comically sarcastic. Additionally we often find emotional expressions on the street that are positively loving, or lustful. Whether a sign of attainment or of aspiration, these amorous interludes let us know that feelings of longing for another are universal. Happy Valentines to you with love from the street.