Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. “Graffiti Rock” Hip Hop TV
2. JR and the “Tehachapi Project”
3. PICHIAVO – Esplugues de Llobregat
4. Walala Pump & Go in Arkansas
BSA Special Feature: “Graffiti Rock” Hip Hop TV
The year was 1984. “Subway Art” was fresh on the bookshelves and “Style Wars” had just been aired on PBS and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and “Wild Style” had shown in sticky Times Square. With ascendant music stars like Grandmaster Flash and The Cold Crush Brothers rocking mics at the clubs, Blondie bringing Basquiat and Fab Five Freddy to MTV and Rock Steady Crew commanding all the competition, MCing, turntablism, graffiti and b-boying were making serious inroads into popular culture across the US and into Europe.
Enter showman and empresario Michael Hollman with a fresh idea for Hip-Hop TV that would inherit the mantle from teen dance shows of previous decades. Highly produced and rehearsed, the spontaneous looking show featured all the elements you could dream of; fly fashion, phat laces, Adidas, Kangol, a scratching lesson, Jam Master J and Run DMC battling with Special K and Cool Moe D, New York City Breakers, graffiti artist “Brim” Fuentes with the smooth disco song stylings of Shannon.
“Graffiti Rock” held everything in its hands in that moment in June when it aired, and even though the show couldn’t continue, it’s a shining beacon of triumph, empowerment and promise for the positive scene that had evolved around youth in cities like New York that gave it agency. A primer on a scene, it was so dense that you could think of this as skool, fool.
JR and the “Tehachapi Project” (Trailer)
No mention of the feckless politicians paid on the side by for-profit prisons to trample justice and capture bodies for beds, but here JR ventures inside prisons to talk about humans caught inside a system of prisons that few in the media even bother with anymore.
PICHIAVO – Esplugues de Llobregat / Video by Marta Romero
Great attitudes, European idealized classical images of women, colorful graffiti tags layered and dancing around and above your head; It’s a winning combination for Street Art duo Pichiavo, who have been on a tear around the world painting ever larger commercial walls for the last five years wherever you look. Here are two recent videos created by one of their more recent clients, a real estate investment and development company headquartered in Madrid and Lisbon.
PICHIAVO en Temprano Esplugues – Video by Marta Romero
Walala Pump & Go in Arkansas
The creative agency Justkids produced a new project in Fort Smith, Arkansas this month by rehabilitating a bit of urban blight with “eclectic tribal pop” from French artist Camille Walala. The best part? When you paint this gas station with vibrant geometry you can name it after yourself. Just call it “Walala Pump and Go”.