All posts tagged: Public Art

Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

“Why do you glorify and duplicate these two criminals?! They shouldn’t have a monument at all. Next you’re doing Hitler?”

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various and Gould try to paraphrase some of the comments they received from passersby in a park near the town-hall in centrally located Berlin-Mitte while working on their latest project with a statue of the creators of Marxist theory. Some imagined they were glorifying, others alleged defamation.

“It’s a shame how you treat Marx and Engels!”

Truthfully, this new project in public space that literally copies a monument and then transfers it to another location didn’t have much to do with the capitalist system that creates/allows very rich and very poor people, but it certainly adds stories to the overall experience of Various and Gould.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

And while these inquisitive Street Artists/Public Artists conceptual project was meant to have an interactive element, they say they didn’t really expect the constant demand of observers to engage in conversation – even to explain and sometimes defend their project, while they constructed it.

“We had a focus on communication. We got into talks and discussions with passers-by, residents and tourists, while taking the paper casts. Discussions about monuments, art, cultural politics and so on,” says Various of the roughly month-long project that spanned April and May.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

They began working in one high-visibility park with the larger-than-life bronze images of the ancestors of the scientific communism Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and ended with the figures at another park in the peripheral district of Hellersdorf three weeks later with papier mâché “skins” of them in colorful street advertisement posters.

“Most of the people coming by were very surprised, some in positive ways, some in negative,” says Gould. “Some people cheered, some people shouted at us – the later in fact for very different reasons.”

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. Original monument by sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt (photo © Boris Niehaus)

We often refer to Street Art and graffiti in terms of being “urban interventions”, active installations of artwork into the public sphere where usually no one was requesting its sudden, unannounced presence. Additionally these interventions are necessarily anonymous and done quickly when people are not around.

Various and Gould are studied and thoughtful in their preparations for their interventions and this project takes on additional significance due to the fact that they are interacting directly with another artists public art – a sort of cross generational unsolicited “collaboration” with sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt, who inaugurated his piece in 1986 and who passed away in 2001.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Calling their project “City Skins” they did a sort of test run with public sculpture in 2015 without permission. This time they have permission from the Berlin Monuments Office, with certain caveats that seemed perfectly reasonable, like using materials and methods that did no damage to the original sculpture.

“The paper enclosed the monument without sticking to the bronze itself,” says Various, “and it was opened and removed without residues, like the skin of a fruit.” – which explains the project’s name “City Skins”.

After the duo took the paper cast back to a spacious workshop at an arboretum called “Baumschule Köpenick” they reassembled the figures and covered them with ornamentative guilloche – large abstractions of patterns lifted from currency – a subtle nod to the capitalist system and the figures represented.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

One may also draw a corrollary significance to the choice of paper as their art-making material.

“Now it is in the nature of the bronze that it is heavy, stiff and immovable. Congealed to shape. The question might arise whether bronze is the appropriate medium for honoring a genius,” says Jan Kage, an author, musician, moderator and curator from the art space “Schau Fenster” in a rough translation from German.

“The artist duo has chosen a completely different material. A much more transient one than bronze, a more flexible one, and above all one that Marx and Engels had also chosen to carry their ideas into the world: paper.”

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Frederic Leitzke)

On the day of the unveiling in a park with the new colorful skinned Marx and Engels, the verdant knoll atop which it sat was a challenge to climb for the some of the 100 or so visitors who came for a Sunday reception. The incline down toward the train station also proved an ideal place for kids to roll down and get dizzy – when they weren’t racing around the new temporary sculpture and trying to catch each other.

By now the duo have been compared to the French public artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who stay in the minds of a generation of Berlinians for their 1995 wrapping of the Reichstag, a vastly larger public art endeavor with a different set of goals. They say that they are also influenced by the artist duo “p.t.t.red” (paint the town red) and their subversive intervention in New York in 1996 where they turned the Statue of Liberty red by manipulating the spot lights so the monument was illuminated in red light at night.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Frederic Leitzke)

In fact Various and Gould did their first sculptural public interventions over a decade ago in New York. “In 2006 we were both part of a one-night pop-up group show in NYC  called “Stitch Project” on 9th Street,with Solovei, Albert Zuger, Tod Seelie and many more,” says Gould. They describe an antique cash register which Various delicately cast. Somehow themes lead back to money and our relationship to it.

“Monuments are projection screens of collective memory and witnesses of a time period,” they say in their conceptual description of the project. “They reflect history, zeitgeist and models of a social system. After political upheavals, they are frequently overthrown, toppled or buried. This is testament to them being supercharged with symbolic meaning.”

Given the responses of literally hundreds of people during the two public phases of City Skins, Various and Gould feel assured that Marx and Engels and their theories are as powerfully relevant in today’s world as they were in theirs – if in a new light.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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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Elbi Elem Breaks the Rectangle for 12+1 in Barcelona

Elbi Elem Breaks the Rectangle for 12+1 in Barcelona

“Break with the rectangle as the space to intervened,” says artist Elbi Elem, the March painter for this wall curated monthly in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain. The abstract muralist says she began making kinetic sculpture in 2002 and has an interest in movement, composition and form.

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In fact she has redirected the attention outside of the rectangular canvas with an arching red line that extends beyond the stage, perhaps to annex a part of the sky and add it to the composition.

In her description of the new piece just completed, Ms. Elem says the flexible tube forms “forming a visual circuit” that captures the movement of the trains above – and becomes a framing device for anyone who may want to pose with it on the landing.

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Far from the rectilinear boxing of Mondrian and certainly not in his primary palette, the work is nonetheless geometric abstraction, calling to mind some of the heroic adds for locomotives and rail transportation of our last mid century.

By inducing the element of the handrail diagonally bisecting the wall, Elem opens the experience, rather than sealing it closed, symbolizing, as she says “traveling, moving forward, and action.”

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

 

For more information about Contorno Urbano please click HERE.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.21.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.21.16

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Happy Sunday! Evidently Donald Trump is the Anti-Christ! Full disclosure, we already sort of suspected this because he is also anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, anti-woman, anti-humility and so many other anti-s. The question is, who is going to break the news to Michele Bachman?

Also, does this mean that Obama is not going to stroll right into the United Nations and declare himself king of the world? Maybe he’s planning to appoint himself the replacement of Anthony Scalia on the Supreme Court and he’s so busy planning it that he skipped the funeral!

And what role does Formation play in all of this?

Meanwhile here on the dirty garbage-strewn sidewalk we have our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Barlo, CitiCop, City Kitty, Crisp, Faith 47, Flood, Hueman, JR, Madsteez, Mr. Renaissance Style, Otto “Osch” Schade, Queen Andrea, Specter, Stikman,Tim Okamura,WRSPNSK, XORS, and Zhu Hai .

Our top image: Faith 47. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faith 47 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Otto Osch Schade in Nairobi, Kenya. February, 2016. (photo © Urban Art International)

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Mr. Renaissance Style (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Queen Andrea is hustling hard, girl! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty with friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crisp (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR. From his Immigration series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR. The remnants of a larger installation from his Immigration series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CitiCop merges banks and police and the force of the state. In school they called this fascism. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Barlo has two flaming cocks on the street in Zhu Hai, South China. February 2016. (photo © Barlo)

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Barlo. Zhu Hai, South China. February 2016. (photo © Barlo)

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Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter ad take over in Chinatown. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hueman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Madsteez draws inspiration from a movie poster. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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XORS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WRSPNSK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flood is trying to tell us something, but we’re evidently not cool enough to understand… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tim Okamura at work at the Red Bird Space. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Times Square, NYC. February 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday: 05.29.15

BSA Film Friday: 05.29.15

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. Kiwie and Zabou in Cyprus
2. Pol Corona in Vicente Lopez (Buenos Aires)
3. Clemens Behr at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015
4. Alberonero at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015.

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BSA Special Feature: Kiwie and Zabou in Cyprus

We don’t often get to post Street Art from Cyprus, but here is an entertaining look at the recent Street Life Festival in Limassol. Mainly we posted it because Kiwie from Latvia is a ham in front of the camera and Friday is a perfect time to get up and dance!

Pol Corona in Vicente Lopez (Buenos Aires) at Nai’s house

It’s barbecue and painting season bro. Come on over.

 

 

Clemens Behr at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015

Two murals in a row from this years ALT!rove – Street Art Festival in Italy, both videos from Blind Eye Factory. Going with this years theme of Abstractism, ALT!rove brought artist including 108, Alberonero, Giorgio Bartocci, Clemens Behr, Ciredz, Erosie, Graphic Surgery, Sbagliato, Sten Lex and Tellas.

Alberonero at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015.

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The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

Here it is! Our 2014 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.

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Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year: Ask Jaime Rojo, our illustrious editor of photography at BrooklynStreetArt.com , who takes thousands of photographs each year, to respond to a simple question: What was your favorite photo of the year?

For 2014 he has swift response: “The Kara Walker.” Not the art, but the artist posed before her art.

It was an impromptu portrait that he took with his iPhone when the artist unveiled her enormous sculpture at a small gathering of neighborhood locals and former workers of the Domino Sugar Factory, informal enough that Rojo didn’t even have his professional camera with him. Aside from aesthetics for him it was the fact that the artist herself was so approachable and agreed to pose for him briefly, even allowing him to direct her just a bit to get the shot, that made an imprint on his mind and heart.

Of course the sculpture is gone and so is the building that was housing it for that matter – the large-scale public project presented by Creative Time was occupying this space as the last act before its destruction. The artist herself has probably moved on to her next kick-ass project after thousands of people stood in long lines along Kent Avenue in Brooklyn to see her astounding indictment-tribute-bereavement-celebration in a hulking warehouse through May and June.

But the photo remains.

And Rojo feels very lucky to have been able to seize that quintessential New York moment: the artist in silhouette before her own image, her own work, her own outward expression of an inner world. 

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Jaime’s personal favorite of 2014; The site specific Kara Walker in front of her site specific installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in May of this year in Brooklyn. Artist Kara Walker. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

Now, for the Video

And our holiday gift to you for five years running, here is the brand new video of favorite images of graffiti and Street Art by Brooklyn Street Art’s editor of photography, Jaime Rojo.

Of a few thousand these 129 shots fly smoothly by as a visual survey; a cross section of graffiti, street art, and the resurgence of mural art that continues to take hold. As usual, all manner of art-making is on display as you wander your city’s streets. Also as usual, we prefer the autonomous free-range unsolicited, unsanctioned type of Street Art because that’s what got us hooked as artists, and ultimately, it is the only truly uncensored stuff that has a free spirit and can hold a mirror up to us. But you have to hand it to the muralists – whether “permissioned” or outright commissioned, some people are challenging themselves creatively and still taking risks.

Once again these artists gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it. We hope you dig it too.

 

Brooklyn Street Art 2014 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

2Face, Aakash Nihalani, Adam Fujita, Adnate, Amanda Marie, Andreco, Anthony Lister, Arnaud Montagard, Art is Trash, Ben Eine, Bikismo, Blek Le Rat, Bly, Cake, Caratoes, Case Maclaim, Chris Stain, Cleon Peterson, Clet, Clint Mario, Col Wallnuts, Conor Harrington, Cost, Crummy Gummy, Dain, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Damon, Dan Witz, Dasic, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, Eelco Virus, EKG, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Etam Cru, Ewok, Faring Purth, Gilf!, Hama Woods, Hellbent, Hiss, Hitnes, HOTTEA, Icy & Sot, Jana & JS, Jason Coatney, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, JR, Judith Supine, Kaff Eine, Kashink, Krakenkhan, Kuma, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Mais Menos, Mark Samsonovich, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Miss Me, Mover, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nenao, Nick Walker, Olek, Paper Skaters, Patty Smith, Pixel Pancho, Poster Boy, Pyramid Oracle, QRST, Rubin 415, Sampsa, Sean 9 Lugo, Sebs, Sego, Seher One, Sexer, Skewville, SmitheOne, Sober, Sonni, Specter, SpY, Square, Stay Fly, Stik, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swil, Swoon, Texas, Tilt, Tracy168, Trashbird, Vexta, Vinz, Willow, Wolfe Works, Wolftits, X-O, Zed1.

Read more about Kara Walker in our posting “Kara Walker And Her Sugar Sphinx At The Old Domino Factory”.

 

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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

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31 Days of Mystery: “Banksy Does New York”

31 Days of Mystery: “Banksy Does New York”

The Director and Producers Talk About Their New Street Art Documentary.

The Banksy show is about to begin again. For those who are not familiar with what that statement implies, you’ll definitely be surprised.

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Capturing Banksy. Police stuffing B-A-N-K-S-Y balloons in the back of a van on Day 31 of the street artists month-long residency on the streets of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Banksy Does New York”, a new documentary by director Chris Moukarbel, meticulously culls and artfully arranges the play and the actors for you in just over an hour with new revelations popping up every few minutes – and you may not believe what you actually missed. But don’t feel bad; everyone missed something during the one-month “Better Out Than In” residency of the Brisol-based street artist during October, 2013. Luckily Moukarbel has done the hard work of sifting through the thousands of Instagram posts, Tweets, YouTube videos, and Banksy’s own digital clues to deftly tell you the story, or rather, stories.

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The latest HBO documentary, which airs November 17th, confronts the conventions of typical documentary making by compiling user-generated digital content, or crowd-sourcing the thousands of individual perspectives that occurred in tandem as the new works were unveiled on the streets of New York’s five boroughs. (Full disclosure: We are both interviewed in it.)

“There’s no way we could have gotten cameras everywhere even if we were trying and if we wanted to,” said Moukarbel at a special screening in Manhattan at HBO’s offices last week for many of the “content creators” whose work is woven together to reveal the larger narratives arising from the events.

“No one really knew what Banksy was doing. No one had put a frame around it,” says Chris as he describes the process of allowing the stories to tell him and producer Jack Turner what actually happened. “I mean he so expertly used social media,” says Turner, “Having an Instagram account from the first day — he invented a way for communicating his work and created a following for it and created an event that is a work itself.”

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aside from the mechanics of the unfolding dramas, “Banksy Does New York” attempts to give many of the actors center stage here where other film makers would have relegated them to the roles of extras. Out of town vloggers drive into the city to record their daily discoveries, bonafide Banksy hunters who pool their clues in real time virtually and race to discover the new piece before it is stolen or vandalized, neighborhood entrepreneurs who charge a fee to onlookers for peeking at the paintings, and even the human stories behind the public heist and subsequent art sale that is arranged for one of the sculptures.

Somehow the elusive street artist pulling strings behind the scenes comes off as a sardonic populist everyman although he probably really is just a flagrant [insert your personal projection here]. By removing himself from the show, everyone else is revealed.

And they are nearly all here too. Like the fictional nightlife doyen Stefon Zolesky on Saturday Night Live might say, “This club has everything”; artists, fans, intellectuals, court jesters, minstrels, charlatans, sideshows, soldiers, police, politicians, a priest, dogs, passion, sweetness, sarcasm, irony, jealousy, chicanery, a Greek chorus, car chases, a few fights, a couple of heartfelt speeches, some arrests, bleating lambs being lead to slaughter.

… And a winking wizard somewhere behind the curtain.

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Banksy (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

Like we said last year as the month drew to a close in an article entitled Banksy’s Final Trick, “No longer asking, ‘Who is Banksy’, many strolling New Yorkers this October were only half-kidding when they would point to nearly any scene or object on the street and ask each other, ‘Is that a Banksy?’”

We turned the interview tables on director Chris Moukarbel and producer Jack Turner to see how they developed their story for “Banksy Does New York”.

Brooklyn Street Art: They say that a documentary filmmaker can’t really have a story in mind going in to the project – because the story reveals itself as you go. Did you see the story developing as you met people and looked at video?
Chris Moukarbel: No one had really looked at the residency in its entirety so we felt like archeologists piecing together all these bits of information and trying to create a complete vision of what went down that month. Certain themes began to emerge and it was interesting to find where the work was actually pointing. The locations of each piece appeared random and actually were incredibly important to how you were supposed to see the work. Sometimes you realized that the work itself only served to bring peoples attention to the significance of the location.

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: There are so many moving parts in this story – the enigmatic artist, the illegal nature of the work, the intersection with social media, the unpredictable nature of the responses. Was this a story that was difficult to get your hands around?
Jack Turner: Good question…the basic idea from the start was simply to relive that month-long circus for those people who were not aware, not in NYC or just missed it. To be honest, we originally thought that a sequential catalogue of the work would feel repetitive – but as we did more research, we found that each of the works created vastly different reactions from the public and they helped us explore all of these themes. We can only draw our own meaning from some of the work but that is when the public reaction becomes part of the work itself – which is why public art, street art and graffiti exist.

Brooklyn Street Art: Had you had much exposure to the Street Art and graffiti worlds previous to taking on this project? What surprised you about it that you wouldn’t have expected?
Chris Moukarbel: I was never a part of the street art world but I have an art background and a lot of my work was site specific. I would create pieces that were meant to live online or on public access TV, as well as street pieces. It was interesting to get to know more about an art world with its own language – available in plain view of New Yorkers.

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What element first attracted your interest in the Banksy story when you heard that he had executed this residency in New York?
Chris Moukarbel: When HBO approached us about making the film I felt like it could be a great archive of an artists work and also a snapshot of the Internet for one month. I love public art and I was interested in the way that Banksy was using the Internet and social media as if it were the street.

Brooklyn Street Art: After seeing “Exit Through the Gift Shop” many people reported feeling like they were more confused than before about Banksy and his story. How would you like people to feel after “Banksy Does New York?”
Jack Turner: Banksy is an incredibly prolific artist and this film covers only one of the many chapters in his career. By remaining anonymous, Banksy takes the focus away from the artist or the source and he puts the focus on the statement and the work. There is a reason that he is the most infamous artist working today, he represents an idea that many people identify with…and he is really funny! I think this film, more than anything, highlights how well he uses social media to his disposal.

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

Brooklyn Street Art: You must have imagined what a response might be from Banksy to your film. What do you think he will think of this piece?
Jack Turner: It is extremely important in any project that Chris or I do to make sure that we present the whole story in a truthful way. That is why we have had such success accessing user-generated footage. We went from having a one camera crew, as documentaries are often made, to having a thousand cameras throughout the city – each giving us footage that reflects what really happened. Maybe Banksy will love it, maybe he will hate it – but the most important thing to us is that he feels like it is a true reflection of what happened over the course of that month.

Brooklyn Street Art: As producers and the director, do you think of yourselves as artists, reporters, sociologists, detectives?
Jack Turner: A couple years ago a friend of mine said that making a documentary is like getting paid (very little) to learn an enormous amount about something. I’ll take that.
Chris Moukarbel: I think of myself as a storyteller. In a way, I was still a storyteller when I was making fine art but now I’m using a popular medium that reaches a wider audience.

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

Banksy Does New York airs November 17 on HBO and is available now on HBO GO.

Director: Chris Moukarbel
Producers: Chris Moukarbel, Jack Turner
Executive producer: Sheila Nevins
Directors of photography: Mai Iskander, Karim Raoul
Editor: Jennifer Harrington
Production companies: Matador Content, Permanent Wave, Home Box Office

No rating, 70 minutes

 

 

 

 

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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

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Huffpost-Banksy-Does-New-York-Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.51.48 AM

 

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Carlo McCormick at Nuart 2012

One of the best parts about a celebration of Street Art culture like Nuart in Norway is that there sometimes is an opportunity to speak with and listen to people who make it their mission to put it into context. New York art critic, curator, editor, and writer Carlo McCormick has an exhaustive knowledge and enthusiasm for the scene that evolved on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1970s and 80s concurrently with the evolution of graffiti into a celebrated art form.  As Street Art continues apace, having perspective on some of its precursors is imperative and McCormick knows how to bring it alive.

An moment of elation with Carlo McCormick while he addresses the Nuart audience in his keynote presentation Re:mark. (image still © Nuart 2012)

To hang out with Carlo on the street is a joy because he can ground your current observations with his knowledge of their antecedents and yet become as equally appreciative of the new artists on todays’ scene whom he hasn’t heard of.  During this talk he gave this year at Nuart in a very conversational somewhat meandering unscripted way, Carlo reveals the mindset that is necessary to keep your eyes open and appreciative of the new stuff without feeling territorial or enslaved to the past. We appreciate him because he recognizes that the march of graffiti, street art, public art, and it’s ever splintering subsets is part of a greater evolutionary tale that began before us and will continue after us.

Carlo speaks about New York artist Haze and the distinct parallels between corporate branding with the practice of developing and distilling one’s tag for repetition on the street.  (image still © Nuart 2012)

Carlo at ease, conversing with you. (image still © Nuart 2012)

During his presentation McCormick dedicates a significant portion of his remarks to the historical practice of subverting advertising and official forms of messaging – referring to the Situationists, “détournement” and similar methods of playing with perception and turning it on it’s head. Here is an uncredited image from his presentation of a Times Square scene where artist Yoko Ono’s billboard toyed with the perceptions that the Vietnam war was inevitably unending while also alerting a compliant citizenry to it’s role in the matter. (image still © Nuart 2012)

“As I do my best as a really bad scholar to investigate this history of graffiti and mark-making – kind of prior to the official history – the greatest evidence that I find of stuff is in the real canon of fine art photography. Just about every famous photographer turned – I mean it’s not incidental – turned their attention to this illicit anonymous practice., ” Carlo McCormick at Nuart.

 

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Burgerman Wins Gold at Hungry Games 2012

Opening Ceremonies for The Hungry Games Chicago 2012 are tonight as olympic doodler Jon Burgerman cuts the ribbon and hopefully does not cut the cheese at Pawn Works Gallery. In a feat that must have simply shot the insurance and security costs flying through the roof, this week the gallery allowed Jon to climb a ladder to install a wall as part of their Art in Public Places project. You can see that the proceedings were intense as the infield grass appears to have undergone heavy trampling. Heroically, our man Burgerman came in first place in this event from a field of one.

Jon Burgerman in Chicago (photo © Nick Marzullo)

Jon Burgerman in Chicago (photo © Nick Marzullo)

Jon Burgerman in Chicago (photo © Nick Marzullo)

Jon Burgerman in Chicago (photo © Nick Marzullo)

Art in Public Places is in conjunction with Pawn Works Gallery, The Chicago Urban Art Society, The Mexican Museum of Art and The Pilsen Community.

 

 

 

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UFO Crashes at Brooklyn Academy of Music

UFO 907 & W. Thomas Porter Unveil Giant Wood / Metal Sculpture With 34 Eyes

“I think this is the kind of art work that people can step up to and they won’t say “Why the f*ck am I looking at this? I could do this – my kid could do this! I wanna blow people’s minds. I want people to be awestruck by it,” W. Thomas Porter exclaims in a burst of unhinged bravado that a master metal worker and inventor can claim after 3 consecutive weeks of custom cutting, bending, molding, and welding a crash-landing space ship, a 3-D realization of the UFO 907 graffiti moniker on it’s head.

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the graffiti guy known on the street as UFO 907 as his master woodworking partner, Porter has crawled like a monkey inside, around, and on top of every inch of this metal-skinned vessel with 34 rotating smooth wooden eyes.  Standing inside a Brooklyn studio staring up at this audacious labor intensive sculptural blast-off of inspiration and technical handy-work, you can’t believe that this is the same UFO who jumped roofs and trains for years spraying a rapid flat version of this ubiquitous alien vessel.

907 Crew fans may also experience a mind-melt when hearing first hand the soaring descriptive narrative UFO lets loose about this brand new street piece, “It’s a symphony between wood and metal. Seeing the wood next to the metals – it’s almost like jewelry work, it’s like it’s growing up out of the earth like a flower. It’s totally looking like this flower that is blooming, this metal is blooming out of all of this wood. It’s fun, man.” A tough NYC street graffiti writer who sometimes get’s dragged into the uncomfortable position of being called a Street Artist?  Nah, UFO is just an artist now, and the usually shy guy is so ripped about this project he frankly doesn’t care about the label. It’s about the work.

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Introduced last night at a reception hosted by The Brooklyn Academy of Music, this UFO will house a stash of copies of Showpaper, a free print publication that lists and promotes events and DIY culture all around New York. Commissioned with funding from BAMart: Public, the “Brooklyn Shelf Life Project” is Showpaper’s hand picked selection of Street Art affliated artists collaborating as pairs to create innovative new versions of the traditional street kiosk. Curated by Andrew H Shirley, the eclectic collection of street explorers also includes Adam Void & Gaia, Cassius Fouler & Faust, Leon Reid IV & Noah Sparkes, and Ryan C. Doyle & Swoon.

 

A sketch to the side of this preliminary mockup shows the full scale of the piece by UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A carpenter by trade, UFO 907 has been at it for 16 years but he didn’t try his hand at exploring his own graffiti tag in 3D till a few years ago. “It only made sense – I mean after over a decade drawing that stupid guy on the wall I began to wonder what he looked like in 3 dimensions…now I’m starting to wonder what the dude looks like in 5D!”

Porter says he started his path to metal work as a boy, tearing up old houses and rebuilding them with his father. “I’ve been making sculptures since I was 14, had no idea there was an art world then,” he says. Now that he is newly situated in his own Brooklyn studio, he’ll definitely be making more of his custom bike configurations (see his “F*ck Bike”) among other metal bending discoveries, “I’ve always been into material mashups,” he explains, “I started welding at 16, and metal became a gateway drug to all sorts of new possibilities.”

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While touring through their respective studios, BSA had the opportunity to see the entire process of making the new sculpture for BAM, entitled “The End If the Beginning”. It was also good to talk with UFO 907 and W. Thomas Porter about how they teamed up, who the UFO character symbolizes, and what they’ll think if the sculpture gets vandalized on the street.

Brooklyn Street Art: When people think of UFO 907 on the streets, it’s a quick tag with not much detail. Don’t you think they would be pretty shocked to know how much time you put into a sculptural piece like this?
UFO 907:
I guess so. If there’s one thing I’ve learned all these years in the graffiti game is you never know what your going to get when you uncover the man behind the moniker.

I’ve always felt a kind of separation between my vandalism tendencies and my artistic urges. Sure my tags and retarded throwups can look artistic but it’s just a quick elementary thoughtless expression. I’m doing the macho getting up sh*t, pissing like a dog. But with my studio work I slow down to a f*cking snails pace, considering every detail, knowing each line of the brush/pen, each turn of the jigsaw, each stroke with the sander is injecting so much f*cking feeling and energy and power into the piece. So, if ya didn’t know, now ya know.

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What part of this new piece are you most proud of?
UFO 907: I’m pretty excited to have the opportunity to work to such a large scale. I also always had a desire to fabricate a larger-than-life UFO piece and just love the idea of using metal. And of course I’m totally stoked to have the opportunity to be collaborating on such an intense piece with an artist and craftsmen I hold in high regard, W.Thomas Porter.

Brooklyn Street Art: The first time we saw a sculptural UFO it was with Ad Hoc Projects for a group show in Miami. The piece was called “Williamsburg Guy”. Was that the first time you did something like that?
UFO 907:
No, I have built a few smaller wooden UFO pieces before the “Williamsburg Guy” piece, and over the years I have messed around with some other materials to find the form I’m looking for.

Funny story about the first time we showed “Williamsburg Guy”;

The night we finished the piece I slapped together a crate and Doyle and myself threw the piece underneath the Chinatown bus, and took it down to Richmond Virginia for a group show we were involved in. If you know the size and weight of the piece that’s a pretty impressive feat. But it was free shipping! Go Chinatown Bus!

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © UFO)

UFO and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Since this is a vessel of sorts, and you have said your UFO tag is almost a self portrait, do you imagine yourself inside this sculpture looking out windows and swinging your 34 eyes in all directions looking at people?
UFO 907:
Not necessarily but I love that idea! At this point it seems less like being inside the sculpture – but more so I continue to see the UFO as an embodiment of my being. I have always seen the UFO as my self portrait, yes, but not in the sense of a photograph or painting of myself. It’s more like a window to my spirit energy and soul. The form, energy and idea behind UFO has continuously been evolving, morphing, and growing over the years. If it wasn’t it would be dead, right?

So, yes, I’m guessing at some point you might just find me sitting inside the mothership staring at ya’ll, plotting my next move. Ha ha HA!

Brooklyn Street Art: When you are making such labor-intensive carefully considered work and putting it out into the street, do you ever worry about it being vandalized?
UFO 907: Naw… that’s what happens to sh*t on the streets! I kind of secretly have a fantasy about a car running up the sidewalk and crashing into the piece. That would be pretty cool, as long as I get a nice photo of the piece pinned between the car and a brick wall!

Brooklyn Street Art: What has working with Thomas brought to your process?
UFO 907: I have been a fan of his work and his great craftsmen ship since I met him. I think I first met him the night me and Doyle were cramming to get “Williamsburg Guy” completed. Dude came through and he quietly handled shit, helping us get the piece done. Aces!

When I first heard that Andrew Shirley was curating this project, I told him I had to be on board and wanted Tom Porter as my partner. Tom has brought amazing metal work, which is not my craft but a material I love all the same, and he is a champ with the kinetics/mechanics helping us both bring our visions to life and adding many levels to the piece. As well Tom Porter is a perfect match with me with his boundless energy, obsessive attention to detail, grand positive visions, eternal positivity directed towards the project at hand. What a dude!!

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. Inside view of the structure. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Yeah, your skills seem really well suited for collaboration.
UFO 907:
Yup we both have brought what we do best to the table and all thing immediately fell into place, leading to a seemingly effortless symphony of materials and ideas.

Brooklyn Street Art: Thomas, when you think of the sense of balance this piece has to have, do you rely on lessons learned from building other projects?
W. Thomas Porter :
We set out on this project without any concept of limitations. We just decided what we wanted to get out of it and said, “F*ck it, it’s on”. I think that confidence comes from having been a builder and a bizarre mind forever. Everything I’ve done leads me to this moment. We have to come correct.

Brooklyn Street Art: Is it difficult to carry a demanding project like this across the finish line? Do you get tired of the detail work?
W. Thomas Porter:
I don’t think it’s easy to get anything actually “finished”. Starting things is easy but getting there can be war. We are up against a tough deadline, a limited budget, working for money, UFO and I both just started new studios…it’s been hectic. As for the details, I’m with the devil. Every detail is an example or the bigger picture; it’s the fabric, and the pattern, the feel and what you see.

Brooklyn Street Art: This is a collaborative piece using the skills of a metal worker and a wood worker. How did you achieve an organic feeling with such rigid and sturdy materials?
W. Thomas Porter:
It’s amazing to work with someone like UFO; Half man, half beast and all gusto. We both came to a similar place by working with our hands while our brains are off in the universe. It’s only a matter of time before that all explodes into space! I always loved wood and metal together, flesh and bone. In this case, I had to make steel feel like skin, and without a single straight line anywhere – it’s a challenge. I was blessed to have a dedicated assistant like Dagga to help plow through the process. Out of extremely limited means we came up with something greater than the sum of its parts.

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © UFO)

 

UFO 907 in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. The sculpture arrived to BAM in parts. Here is one half. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. Inside view of the armature. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The Beginning if the End”, 2012, by UFO 907 and W. Thomas Porter

Materials: Yellow Pine, Walnut, Plywood, Epoxy, Cold Rolled Steel, Hot Rolled Steel, Bearings, Ball Joints, Hardware, Wax
 

Assistants: Dagga Gaines, Kelsey Womack, Jumbo, Diego Guzman, Sadue 907, and Hest One

“Brooklyn Shelf Life” is Presented by SHOWPAPER and curated by Andrew H. Shirley. Newsboxes commissioned by BAM for BAMart: Public.

Go to http://brooklynshelflife.org/ to learn more about this project. Joe Ahearn, Managing Director

Go to BAMart: Public to learn more about this program.

Stay tuned to BSA as tomorrow we’ll feature the rest of the sculptures of “Brooklyn Shelf Life” by Leon Reid IV + Noah Sparkles, Cassius Fouler + Faust, Swoon + Ryan Doyle and Gaia + Adam Void.  Also you can visit the Showpaper Tumblr http://showpaper.tumblr.com/ for more images.

 This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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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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Fun Friday 11.26.10

Fun-Friday-black-fridayFun Friday

SKEWVILLE: “You Are Not in Kansas Anymore”

A quick home made video of Ad Deville suspiciously skirting the upper wall along an entire block in Bushwick during he and Ali Ha’s block party.  Now the news is that they are talking about taking the whole block for a sculpture garden. Hell yeah!  More public space for art? Whaddaya think?

Tara McPherson New Cheap Print “Searching for Penguins”

Check it out here:

tara mcpherson searching for penguins

Banksy!

That’s all you really have to say to get people excited these days. And today in London a new piece by the anonymous Darth Vader in a hoodie debuts at a group show called “Marks & Stencils”. It also features Greg Haberny, a very strong and prolific artist showing in Brooklyn for a few years now.

Marks

“Marks & Stencils” , 1 Berwick Street, London W1. Read more about the mysterious confluence of shows opening tonight at Nuart >>>

And check out this entertaining look at French Street Artist DRAN, who is also in the show. The video features graff and Street Art living in harmony.  Who says it can’t be done?

SACE Tribute on Houston Wall

“The ever-changing graffiti wall on East Houston Street took another turn Tuesday, with taggers covering the massive canvas with a tribute to a late Lower East Side artist.

Witnesses said a graffiti crew arrived at the wall, located at the corner of the Bowery, Tuesday morning and proceeded to cover the previous piece by street artist Barry McGee in large black letters spelling SACE — the tag name of artist Dash Snow, who died of an apparent drug overdose in 2009.”

SACE-WEB-Brooklyn-Street-Art-Copyright-Patrick-Hedlund
PHOTO CREDIT DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund

GAIA

One of his recent pieces regarding public housing.  Interesting the directions that Street Art goes….

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