European sentiment toward their neighbor to the east is nearly unanimous right now due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by the Russians. As usual, the art on the street reflects society and based on the number of works we have seen these last few days on walls here, there is a lot of dislike for Vladimir Putin.
A very cursory survey of the art in the streets yesterday turned up a multitude of small street works that mock, insult, and protest Putin. Expect many more politically charged portraits if war continues like this, and if inflation persists, and if fuel and food shortages begin in earnest….
It’s officially Spring here today – the Spring Equinox beginning in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 11:33 am. Outside of the city, away from the glare, people will be able to glimpse Mars, Saturn, and Venus. The geese have been heard honking on the river, kids have been heard screaming on the playground, aerosol cans have been heard spraying under the bridge.
We’re relieved to glimpse fresh creativity on the streets – a sure sign that people are responding to their lives in a productive visual expression. As citizens of the Precariat, the opportunity to offer unfiltered artistic expression often requires a gatekeeper to approve it. When you are a street artist, you regularly circumvent the taste-makers and the influencers, hoping to reach people directly on the street. This week we found a number of unfiltered images and messages on New York walls and felt like these works are just as fresh as crocus popping through the soil, just as relevant as the blooms pushing through branches on trees. Here we have new shots from Jersey City. These are signs of Spring!
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Beau Stanton, UR New York, 1010, Chupa, Blaze, Melski, The Cupcake Guy, SAMO, Acro, Sory, Niceo, Mona Caron, Cheez.
Taking the current Western hysteria regarding Vladimir Putin into truly Hollywood/graphic novel territory, a Baltimore based father and daughter team Mike and Daniela Kirby chalk it all up to wild-eyed evil.
The new fantasy styled scene positions the pure, innocent and unarmed Ukraine beauty rests upon the tongue of a diabolical president of Russia who is finally delivering on his promised response to NATO’s encroachment – with a well-armed military that is now destroying the country with weaponry. They even include nuclear warheads.
Calling themselves “Murals of Baltimore” Mike and Daniela say they wanted to create a public work on Broadway Square in Fells Point to express their position on the invasion, even if they knew their hard work would eventually be washed away by early spring rains.
“No one paid for this or sponsored it. We just winged it and tried to help as best we could. The mural was made with soft pastels,” he says. “It took 7 days to complete with about 60 hours of labor.”
Up-to-the-moment street art today from Polish artist M-City (Mariusz Waras), who converts the façade of a Gdansk warehouse into a social media primer on how to support the people of Ukraine. Sharing a border with this post-Soviet state which has just been invaded by Russian forces, Poland is acutely affected by the implications of possible further aggression – as are the Baltic states and the rest of Europe.
The short list asserts that many social media users may not be fully cognizant of the implications of their posting actions – especially during wartime. M-City took to the walls today to instruct some best practices in these painted advisory messages on how to create your digital ones.
In additional acts of irony, he posts these street art messages on his social media channels – and we publish them for the BSA audience as well.
BSA:Where is this located? M-City: It’s located in a very well-known building which part of Stocznia Gdańska, now Stocznia Cesarska. It is part of the Imperial Shipyard where the workers’ movement, Soliderność (Solidarity), was born.
BSA: What would you like people to understand? M-City: Our Social media landscape is full of fakes and is full of superficial messages. Because of this, many people have a bigger challenge to make their messages visible when they try to organize something and help the Ukrainians.
BSA:Did you create this for a local audience, or specifically an international audience. M-City: It’s in English because now this is a global problem. I wanted to create simple sentences so everyone can understand.
BSA:Are you personally affected by the invasion? M-City: No, it’s still far from us. But I have a lot of friends in Ukraine and I painted there a few times. Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are next to our border. Many Ukrainian people are working here now. They arrived here mostly after the beginning of this conflict years ago.
“Resistance is here to stay, welcome to your 100th day” – said people in Climate Marches across the country yesterday to President Exxon-Lockheed. God, has it only been 100 days? It feels like 1,000. Nevertheless, there are a lot of new politically themed pieces popping up on the street regularly, along with completely apolitical and humorous ones. Either way, we always dig the conversation on the street.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Adam Fujita, Brolga, Carlos Colp, Jaune, Legend, Lost Hills, Lunge Box, Myth, Raf Urban, Taco, and Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. Petro Wodkins makes Putin Sing and Explode: Sound Of Power
2. PangeaSeed’s Sea Walls. Murals For Oceans 2015: Cozumel, Mexico.
BSA Special Feature: Petro Wodkins makes Putin Sing and Explode: Sound Of Power
Showman, provocateur, and sometimes street interventionist Petro Wodkins periodically challenges political power with his strong handed and staged works that are, in turn, heavily marketed to the press and art media. Wodkins is not going for subtlety here in this high-rez commercial grade video production of Russian pop art – perhaps more of a mocking stunt than a detailed critique. But then we’re not Russians so we are sure we are missing many of the geo-political implications, but we do recognize marketing and this video leads directly to a product page, where you can purchase a bust of Putin with a speaker in his head: “The SOP bust is equipped with a high Quality Norwegian Driver, the FU10RB is an 4” full range driver offering distinct performance and sound clarity.”
PangeaSeed’s Sea Walls. Murals For Oceans 2015: Cozumel, Mexico.
It’s like Spring Break in Mexico with great murals, tattoos, beer and bikinis! What’s not to like? Also there is an connecting theme of saving the oceans and sealife. Actually this event invited forty international artists and assorted guests to come and paint and party and the people here appear to love it in this promotional video sponsored by clothing retailer The Seventh Letter. It’s PangeaSeed and like Pow! Wow! it is probably coming to a city near you!