All posts tagged: RJ Rushmore

BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

Berlin, Kathmandu, Santa Fe, Brooklyn, Sweden, London, New York, the country of Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina. The favorite stories of BSA readers spanned all of these places this year as we documented this global people’s art movement variously described as Street Art/ graffiti/ urban art. We put it out there daily and you react to it – sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – starting conversations and creating connections.

The topics of these 15 favorite stories run the gamut as well; From Banksy and Brexit, Marxism and Urvanity to a bodega completely made of felt, your voracious appetite was wide ranging. From a well crafted graffiti writing exhibition at a white suburban Pennsylvania college where the tuition is 50K to an attempt to bring reassuring cultural heritage art to the streets of Kathmandu where the museum was destroyed by an earthquake – the extremes and ironies only peaked your interest.

You loved seeing and hearing Martha Cooper getting her first solo exhibition in New York and the mania that queued thousands to see the transformation of a 5 floor bank in Berlin by graffiti writers, Street Artists, installation artists and performers. You care about the earth and its people, like the story of ICY an SOT in the country of Georgia making human sculptures of trash as a critique of globalized waste, and the story of Chip Thomas using his Street Art to draw attention to a traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming”.

And in 2017 the resonance of ‘Resistance is Female’ catapulted our story of the illegal campaign of phone booth takeovers to the top 15, showing that a uniquely impactful high-jacking of the advertising streetscape is always going to win fans.

No matter where we went in 2017, BSA readers were always invited to go along with us and discover people and art on the street and in the gallery or the museum whether it was in Scotland, Hong Kong, Berlin, Sweden, Mexico or Tahiti. We captured what we could and interpreted it – and you told us what you liked by re-Tweeting and re-Gramming and re-Facebooking.

From 365 postings over the last year, here are the 15 you liked the most.


No. 15

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

Various & Gould. Berlin, June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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: Marx & Engels. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 14

“MADRID ME MATA”: Another Look at “Urvanity”

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

MADRID ME MATA…in a good sense,”

says Fernando Alcalá Losa, the avid Barcelona based photographer of street culture. He doesn’t literally mean that the Spanish capital is deadly, but rather speaks of his devotion to Madrids’ energy, its possibility, its history, its people, and to its art. The torrid affairs of the heart are invariably complicated, as is the evolution of graffiti and Street Art from their outlaw illegal roots to their flirtations and trysts with other forms and venues; murals, in-studio practice, gallery representation, institutional recognition, or commercial viability.

We are pleased that Mr. Alcalá Losa comes to talk to BSA readers today and takes us to Madrid for the new art fair called “Urvanity” to see what he discovers with you, courtesy his words and his lovers’ view behind the camera.

Madrid Me Mata…in a good sense. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 13

Lucy Sparrow Opens an All-Felt Bodega in NYC : “8 ‘Till Late”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s 8 ‘Till Late, artist Lucy Sparrows first all-felt store in New York, and it’s literally just under the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing district. She’s made 9,000 items over roughly 9 months out of this soft fabric-like craft material – and at first impression it sincerely looks like everything you would have found in a New York bodega in the 1990s aside from the hard liquor, which is actually illegal to sell outside a liquor store in NYC, but relax, its all heartfelt.

“We sell quite a lot of self-help books as well,” chimes in Clare Croome, a cashier.

“Yes! Self-help books! Have you seen them?” says Brooks “They’ve got nothing in them on the pages, they’re just blank.”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 12

“All Big Letters” Opens, Curated by RJ Rushmore

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

All Big Letters. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 11

Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.

“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.

Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.

Anonymouse. Minuature Vignettes. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 1o

Bunnies, Birds, Sexuality and VINZ Feel Free’s “Innocence” in Brooklyn

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence” The Marcy Project. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. November 4th. 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Birds are associated with freedom, fish remind him of mindless consumerism, and frogs convey authority. He reserves reptiles for soulless soldiers of capital and authoritarian types. And the sudden preponderance of rabbits? Why sexuality and innocence of course.

“Innocence” is the name of the exhibition here curated by BSA and DK Johnston, and Vinz Feel Free has been preparing these works for many months. A project that has included his study of innocence, the show is meant to demarcate such shadings of the concept as to appear only subtly different from one another. To wit:

1. The quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
2. Freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness.

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence”.  Continue reading HERE

 


No. 09

Julien De Casabianca, Angry Gods, and Hacking Disaster in Kathmandu

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

If you are not going into the museum to see art, Julien De Casabianca is happy to bring it out to the street for you. Additionally, if the museum has been closed by an earthquake, he’ll make sure the art gets a public viewing nonetheless.

In Kathmandu recently Street Artist Julien de Casabianca continued his Outings Project by bringing a centuries-old painting outside to the side of the Artudio building in Swoyambhu on Chhauni Hospital Road with the help of Matt Rockwell of the humanitarian hackers group called DisasterHack.

He tells us that the obstacles to getting this piece up seemed insurmountable at times due to the broken social and infrastructural systems in Nepal that still plague people even today, nearly two years since the catastrophic earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 and injured 22,000 more.

Julien De Casabianca/Outings Projects in Kathmandu. Continue reading HERE


No. 08

Rocking “THE HAUS” : A 5-Floor Berlin Bank is Transformed by Artists

Kaleido. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Normally we paint advertising – hand-painted advertising, mostly with cans. So we work all over Germany, with a lot of crews, “ says Kimo, a bearded, bald energetic and sharp witted guy who is lighting up a cigarette in this tattered, beige ex-conference room.  That explanation doesn’t prepare you for what you will see in the rooms upstairs.

The floors are piled with unopened paint buckets and brushes and cans and the walls in this organizing office are covered with scotch-taped project timelines, to-do lists, and floor plans of the old bank. Each former office space is plainly labled with names of German Street Artists or graffiti  crews, some you recognize, others you don’t. More recent Street Art names are next to classic Graff heads, installation  artists mix freely with Optic Artists, photographers, sculptors, even a live moss installation.

Case Maclaim is right next door to Turbokultur with Stohead out in the hall on floor 1.  El Bocho and Emess are in small rooms to either side of 1UP on the 3rd. Herakut in a corner room numbered 506 is right next to Nick Platt and Paul Punk in 505.

Rocking The Haus. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 07

Working the Cornfields on a Santa Fe Facade with Jetsonorama

Chip Thomas. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © John Donalds)

18 year old Hawthorne Hill has learned the traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming” from his mom, according to Jetsonorama, and he places seeds in shallow holes, while his sister Metzli creates rows of wind blocks using nearby brush.

The photos are taken on Second Mesa on the Hopi nation, but the artist brings them here to Santa Fe as part of a project he’s doing with Biocultura Santa Fe.

A project originally conceived of as part of Earth Day, with a focus on where our food comes from and traditional farming methods, its good to think of who works to bring food to your table.

Working The Cornfields. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 06

“A Real Turning Point” : Sculptures on the Art Mile at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

Seth Globepainter. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”

In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.

For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.

Urban Nation Berlin. Art Mile. Continue reading HERE


No. 05

“Resistance is Female” Takes Over Phone Booths in New York

Gigi Chen for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The decentralized Resistance, as it turns out, is a majority of Americans.

And leading the charge are women and girls.

So it makes perfect sense that a new grassroots takeover of telephone booth advertising in New York is a campaign called, “Resistance is Female”. Organizers and artists say that the ad takeover project is putting out a message that corporate controlled media seems to be quelling: keep fighting, keep speaking up, persevere.

The artists have put up a couple of dozen or so new art pieces in places where typecast women typically sell shampoo or fashions: a high-jacking of the advertising streetscape which the French and the Situationists would have called détournement in earlier decades.

Resistance Is Female. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 04

Street Artist OLEK and Volunteers Create NINA SIMONE Tribute in Raleigh, NC

Olek. Nina Simone “Here Comes The Sun” Love Across The USA. Raleigh, North Carolina. October 2017. (photo © courtesy Olek)

Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Nina Simone; Three of the women whom Street Artist Olek would like us to remember from U.S. history, and who have been recently featured in public crochet portraits. Her most recent portrait done with help from the community brings art made by the public to the public in a country-wide project called “Love Across the USA”.

Sparked a year ago leading up to the US national election where a woman was on the ballot, Olek says that despite the negativity that followed, “it inspired me to create a project that would celebrate the accomplishments of women, many of whom had been forgotten throughout U.S. history.”

Today we go to Raleigh, NC to see the most recent banner of Nina Simone crocheted by Olek and a small army of volunteers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Simone, the American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement.

Olek. Here Comes The Sun. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 03

Icy & Sot and a Man of Trash in Tbilisi, Georgia

Icy & Sot.  “Human reflection on nature”. Tbilisi, Georgia. May 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

15 centuries old, Tbilisi may not last as long as this garbage man sculpture by Street Artists Icy & Sot.

“It took us only 10 minutes to collect all this trash because there was so much of it – including American brands – in the river by this village,” says Icy as he tells us about the trip he and his brother Sot made last month. A gorgeous and historically diverse city of 1.5 million people, Tbilisi reflects art, architecture, trade and culture that have given the Georgian capital a reputation as a crossroads for Europe and Asia.

During their stay with the Art Villa Garikula, a self organized community contemporary art center begun Tbilisi born painter and educator, Karaman Kutateladze in 2000, Icy and Sot did two pieces and an ad takeover that reflect the global problems posed by a consumer culture sold by corporations with little concern for its impact long term.

Icy & Sot. Human reflections on nature. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 02

“Martha Cooper” Solo Exhibition Reveals Many Unseen “Action Shots”

Martha Cooper signing the print of Futura 2000 whole car “Break”,  Steven Kasher Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An intrepid photographer who has launched a million dreams (and perhaps a few thousand careers) in graffiti and Street Art with her photography that captured crucial and seminal aspects of our culture that others overlooked.

That is just one way of seeing this brand new collection of images by Martha Cooper that is spread across one wall featuring artists at work, sometimes intimately. Here is where you see 102 individual shots of artists at work, a stunning testament to the range of art-making techniques that are practiced in the public realm, as well as a testament to the passion and curiosity of the woman behind the lens.

For Ms. Cooper’s first solo photography show in New York, Steven Kasher Gallery is featuring 30 new editions of her legendary street art photographs, the ones that have burned themselves into the collective memory of New York and of our streets in the 1970s and 1980s. While her photographs in the 1984 seminal “Subway Art” and her early Hip Hop street shots may be what she is most known for by artists and collectors and fans in cities around the world to which she travels, the new exhibit also contains more than a foreshadowing into the vast collection of important images she has not shown to us.

Martha Cooper Solo Show. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 01

Banksy Hits Brexit With New Piece, MaisMenos & BLU Used EU Flag Earlier

Banksy. Dover, England. Photo @banksy Instagram

The appearance of a new mural by Banksy in Dover, England caught the attention of many followers on his Instagram account and the mass media folks quickly reported on the new piece that comments on the current state of the EU.

10 months since the Brexit vote, the anonymous artist has created a thoughtful piece marking the crack in the European Union, depicting a white male worker on a ladder chipping away one of the stars on the EU flag, a fissure produced by the action reaching upwards and outwards toward the others.

Banksy Brexit. Continue reading HERE

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“ALL BIG LETTERS” : Exhibition of Style, Tools, and Technique of Graffiti

“ALL BIG LETTERS” : Exhibition of Style, Tools, and Technique of Graffiti

It’s called ALL BIG LETTERS but it could easily be called ALL BIG DREAMS because the outward techniques, the history, and the tools of the trade of graffiti on display at Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery all lead to more internal aspirational matters.

All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadelphia, PA. (photo © Lisa Boughter)

Yes, the earliest New York and Philly graffiti writers of the 1960s took special pains and circumvented norms to get their message out, even if the message was simply their name or a street alias. But the drive to repeat it as often as possible in as many locations as possible spoke to grander dreams of recognition among peers and the addictively elusive effervescence of capturing “fame” on a public stage. Add competition, complexity, and clever innovation to the mix, and wall writers devised ever larger strategies to pursue and acquire those dreams.

RJ Rushmore, Editor-in-Chief of Vandalog, curates ALL BIG LETTERS at his alma mater Haverford College with this as one of his principal goals; helping viewers better understand the motivation behind the tag as well as the style and techniques used.

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

Faust . Curve. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

We spoke with RJ about the show to help BSA readers get a better appreciation for ALL BIG LETTERS and Rushmore’s own use of technique for communication.

Brooklyn Street Art (BSA): How have you tried to demystify graffiti for a more general audience?
RJ Rushmore: In a gallery full of “graffiti on canvas,” you’ll see some beautiful art, but you won’t actually learn that much about graffiti. All you’ll see are things that resemble the end result of writing. That can be stunning, but it’s not the right approach for a gallery with an educational mission. Just seeing the finished product does not give you a sense of how it was made. That’s still a mystery.

ALL BIG LETTERS takes writers’ tools and strategies as its starting point, which gives a more holistic vision of graffiti. The exhibition covers style, but also the tools writers use and the importance of strategies like repetition and innovation, or the ways that writers respond to architecture. Someone should be able to enter the exhibition with zero knowledge of graffiti and leave with the ability to see a piece on the street and understand roughly how that got there, why it’s there, and why it looks the way it does.

Curve. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What role does innovation play in the pushing of the evolution of writers’ techniques? Your text accompanying the exhibition describes the drive of competition that influenced Blade in developing his style in the 70s, for example.
RJ: Reading Blade’s book, it struck me that almost every change in his style was in response to what people were doing around him. When all it took to stand out was a simple two-color piece, that’s what he painted. When other writers were using four or five colors, he used seven. When the trains were crowded with graffiti and he was forced to paint over other writers’ partially-buffed or dissed pieces, he hid that old work with cloud backgrounds or his trademark blockbuster pieces. Blade was innovating, constantly staying one step ahead of the curve, and that’s why he stood out.

Graffiti is largely a game of one-upmanship, and innovation can happen in other ways too. The first writers to discover destructible vinyl stickers stood out because their stickers were so difficult to remove. Today, anybody can order destructible vinyl from Egg Shell Stickers. Destructible vinyl is still useful, and arguably makes stickers a more appealing medium, but it’s no longer novel. Or take COST and REVS. One of their greatest innovations was using wheatpaste and sticking their work on the backs of street signs and traffic lights. They dominated a physical space that most writers ignored.

Lee Quinones. Lee George Quinones/Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Martin Wong, 1994. 94.114.1  All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What is it like to watch the act of writing? How does “performance” enter into the equation? Katsu’s fire extinguisher tag seems like a polar opposite performance from one by Faust.
RJ: Writing is a performance, and graffiti is a kind of documentation of the performance. Writers have to climb fences, repel down buildings, and break the law in highly-visible places without being seen. I’m terrible at deciphering wildstyle graffiti or dense tags, but I love reading graffiti as a remnant of a performance, looking at a piece or a tag and trying to figure out how it happened.

KATSU and FAUST may be stylistically quite different, but whether you’re looking at a FAUST sticker or a KATSU extinguisher tag, you can appreciate that acts necessary to make them. KATSU’s extinguishers are a moment of epic lawbreaking. FAUST’s stickers are subtler. There’s the moment of putting up the sticker, but there’s also the intense focus and perfectionism that goes into making it, something that FAUST’s installation in ALL BIG LETTERS touches on. KATSU innovated mostly with tools, and FAUST innovated mostly with style. Their respective methods of getting up, their performances, reflect that.

Tools of the trade under plexi: All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: When you compare graffiti writing to hacking, in this case, a city, – wouldn’t it be smart for the government to hire these hackers to better understand their city in the way that the FBI and NSA are said to hire hackers to develop spy programs and national security measures?
RJ: I suppose most cities would think to hire former graffiti writers to learn how to combat graffiti. What I would love to see, as you suggest, is a city planner hiring graffiti writers to learn how to make cities more fun.

The people who have figured this out are advertising executives. Ever wonder why so many graffiti writers go into marketing and graphic design? It’s because that’s essentially what graffiti is. Writers were developing their own “personal brands” decades before social media made the concept mainstream. Writing is a competition for fame, which is basically what advertising and marketing is.

EKG on the left. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: When you talk about hacks, are you really describing how graffiti writers have often used ingenuity and adaptation?
RJ: I have to give Evan Roth credit for this whole idea of graffiti as a series of hacks. It’s the idea that writers often use things for unintended purposes. They use subway cars as canvases, because the cars travel all over the city. They use easy-to-carry spray paint for vandalism, when their intended use is modest arts and crafts. They use fire extinguishers, because they can create massive tags. So yes, it’s ingenuity, but particularly ingenuity around using existing things for new and unintended purposes. Montana Gold is not a hack. KRINK is not a hack. Egg Shell Stickers are not a hack. But all of those commercial products developed from, and improved upon, hacks.

EKG. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What was one of your challenges in communicating a concept or idea with this exhibition?
RJ: If you’re walking in with zero knowledge, seeing a display case full of different spray cans or 140 different S’s on a wall might require some context to make sense of it all. We solved with wall text, and there’s a lot of wall text. So that’s a big ask that we make of visitors: look at the work, but also read the text we’ve put next to it.

CURVE’s piece is a great example of that challenge and how we solved it. Without context, it’s beautiful and engaging as artwork. If you come in with pre-existing knowledge of graffiti, you can probably guess at what he’s trying to do. Without that knowledge, and without reading the wall text, you might miss that the piece is as much an artwork as a teaching device, a demonstration of all the different sorts of tools and styles that a writer might use to adapt to the surface they are writing on.

I’m not sure that lots of wall text is the perfect solution, but I think it means that ALL BIG LETTERS rewards the curious. We’re asking people to spend a few minutes in the gallery, because there is an argument being made, not just a bunch of cool stuff to Instagram.

Different artists. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

Different artists. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

 

All Big Letters is currently on view at Haveford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Click HERE for more details.


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Ben Eine A to Z (and then some) in Philadelphia

Ben Eine A to Z (and then some) in Philadelphia

We are texting every day and everywhere these days. Ben Eine appears to be doing it across the entirety of South Philadelphia.

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

The prolific London artist who is known for his distinctive lettering style sits right at the border of graffiti and Street Art with a nod to both. Now he is firmly also a muralist after knocking out nearly forty letters in his circus font on metallic pull-down shutters for neighbors and businesses here.

“Honestly, we started with me finding Ben about 7 shutters to paint,” says RJ Rushmore of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, “and he just went from there and wound up getting permission for literally dozens more.” The program has a way of uniting artists with community in a holistic way.

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There’s no place like it. Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

“It’s a great experience getting positive feedback from the people who live in the neighborhoods I paint,” says the former graffiti writer who might not have asked for permission when he began a couple of decades ago. “When I did graffiti no one enjoyed what I painted aside from a few writer friends. Now days it’s the total opposite. What I paint is pretty happy. It’s hard not to like it.”

The idea to ask Eine to come to the city began when Rushmore and local muralist Shira Walinsky were looking for good ways for the mural program to engage with the neighborhood of settlers from Bhutan, Burma, and Nepal. Many of these folks are refugees and meet at a community arts and resource center here named Southeast-by-Southeast.

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

While Street Art has been accused alternately of being a tool for vandalism and for gentrification, this mural program had a Street Artist in mind to bring the neighborhood something positive, slowly transforming the feelings of connectedness and even pride.

“We both love seeing shutters painted, and we thought that more painted shutters would be a positive contribution to South 7th Street. As for bringing Ben specifically, we both love his work, and we wanted to see some of it in Philly,” says Rushmore, “We also hoped that having an internationally recognized artist paint near Southeast-by-Southeast would bring wider attention to the community center and the neighborhood’s under-served refugee population.”

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

What the organizers and the artist may not have anticipated was the enthusiastic support that came from the community once they saw how Eine’s pleasantly poppish letters perked up the place – nor how many excited neighbors would begin requesting them.

“I think it was 39 shutters,” says a newly exhausted Eine with some satisfaction. “That’s the most I’ve painted over the course of four days. Random shutters scattered around a city are cool – but when you paint every shutter on a block you totally change the dynamic of that area.”

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

“Ben hadn’t planned to paint 39 shutters, but once he got to about 15, it became about painting an entire alphabet, and then he just kept going,” RJ tells us. “It was a marathon. Luckily, the interest from building owners just snowballed. People would come by while he was painting, love what they saw, and offer up their own shutters down the street or around the corner. Ben’s work sold itself.”

Did he find the uneven and rolling surface of the metal grating especially difficult to paint? “It really depends on what I’m painting. Big walls are great for big words. The shutters are perfect for one letter. They are super quick to paint. It almost feels like graffiti,” he says, perhaps thinking of his earlier years of “hitting” and running, can in hand.

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

They say the project gathered steam after the first people said yes to Ben’s work. Savannah and Julio are a husband and wife team who co-own and run a bodega right in the heart of the neighborhood and they requested that Ben paint their initials on their two shutters.

Rushmore points to their openness and generosity as contributing to the positive buzz. “Once Ben arrived, Julio and Savannah loaned us a stepladder.” Other neighbors got excited and RJ said their excitement fueled him as he kept knocking on more doors.

“There were even a few locations that had initially turned me down, but changed their minds once they met Ben and saw exactly what he was doing. I didn’t hear a single negative reaction from anyone living or working nearby.”

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

Eine says he feels good that he is leaving behind something that the neighborhood can relate to and feel proud of and he appreciates the restorative nature of programs like Philadelphia Mural Arts.

“It’s important to involve the community in these art projects,” he says, “These are the people who live there. I get on a plane, fly somewhere else, and most of the time I never see my painting again. I always consider who is going to walk past my painting everyday and how it’s going to change their day.”

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

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Ben Eine. Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia. July 2015. (photo © Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Program)

 

To learn more about The City Of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and to Volunteer click HERE

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Curator and artist Ryan Seslow has pulled off an overview of art on the streets and the practices employed, minus the drama. So much discussion of graffiti, Street Art, and public art practice can concentrate on lore and turf war, intersections with illegality, the nature of the “scene”, shades of xenophobia and class structures; all crucial for one’s understanding from a sociological/anthropological perspective.

“Concrete to Data”, opening this week at the Steinberg Museum of Art on Long Island, gives more of the spotlight to the historical methods and media that are used to disseminate a message, attempting to forecast about future ways of communicating that may effectively bridge the gap between the physical and the virtual.

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Joe Iurato. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seslow has assembled an impressive cross section of artists, practitioners, photographers, academics, theorists, and street culture observers over a five-decade span. Rather than overreaching to exhaustion, it can give a representative overview of how each are adding to this conversation, quickly presenting this genre’s complexity by primarily discussing its methods alone.

Here is a sneak peek of the the concrete (now transmitted digitally); a few of the pieces for the group exhibition that have gone up in the last week in the museum as the show is being installed.

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Chris Stain. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink at work on her mural. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Fekner. Detail of his stencils in place and ready to be sprayed on. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Henry Chalfant. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Billy Mode. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Oyama Enrico. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Col Wallnuts. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

CONCRETE to DATA will be exhibited at the Steinberg Museum of Art, Brookville, NY January 26th 2015 – March 21st 2015.

Opening Reception – Friday, February 6th  2015 6PM -9 PM 

Follow the news and events via – http://concretetodata.com

Follow @concretetodata on Instagram – #concretetodata

Curated by Ryan Seslow@ryanseslow

Museum Director – Barbara Appelgate

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Nuart Festival 2014 Artists and Guests Announced (VIDEO)

Nuart Festival 2014 Artists and Guests Announced (VIDEO)

The 2014 Edition of Nuart and Nuart PLUS Brooklyn-Street-Art-Nuart-2014

NUART is one of the first Street Art festivals and has remained a jewel. While we declared it an important part of the first decade of the modern Street Art explosion, we’re happy to say that it remains focused on a spinning a colorful balance of international artists, stunning placement in public, a very cool indoor gallery show, side projects, community engagement, smart-aleck critics, and sulking teens with no good on their minds. We’re also pleased to participate in person this year alongside folks like Carlo McCormick, RJ Rushmore, Evan Pricco, Natalie Hegert, and Peter Bengtsen.

Nuart founder Martyn Reed and his crack team keep expanding and evolving the programming of this festival that has focused exclusively on Street Art since ’06 and this year promises a few cool surprises like John Fekner as artist and lecturer, M-City knocking out an entire ship, and Iran’s brother duo Icy & Sot in one of their first international trips from their new hometow of Brooklyn who will be painting a wall and teaching kids how to cut stencils. And of course the OS Gemeos movie and BSA Film Friday LIVE!

Organized by EIRIK SJÅHOLM KNUDSEN this years Nuart PLUS is examining in detail two themes that are really topical at the moment – the rise of festivals and legal/ commercial murals and the relative importance and occurence of activism and illegal work on the Street Art scene in general. We’re looking forward to participating on panels, doing a couple of presentations, meeting folks who live in the Stavanger community, and of course seeing the great pieces that the invited artists will be doing live.

And now, we proudly unveil this year’s line-up for 2014:

Andreco (IT), Borondo (ES), Dotdotdot (NO), Etam Cru (PL), Fra.Biancoshock (IT), Icy & Sot (IR), John Fekner (US), Leval (FR), M-City (PL), Martin Whatson (NO), Mathieu Tremblin (FR), SPY (ES), Strøk (NO), Tilt (FR), ± Maismenos ± (PT)

 

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Here are all the details directly from the NUART PR team:

The ARTISTS

ANDRECO

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Andreco. Belluno, Italy. (photo © Andreco)

Andreco is a multi-talented artist/scientist blend who splits his time between Bologna and New York City. His work brings an authenticity due to his Post. Doc research on green technologies for urban sustainability, where he collaborated with the School of Engineering and Architecture of the University of Bologna and the Columbia University of New York City. Andreco is an environmental engineer with a PHD specializing in sustainability which he uses in his murals describing the relationship between humans and nature as well as between the built environment and the natural landscape. Andreco varies his research between anatomy, urbanism, environmental sustainability, ecology and symbolism; At the base of this research he has begun exploring and creating new symbols in his work. Andeco’s art/science juxtapositions appear as many techniques from public installations to videos, to wallpaintings or drawings and he has been exhibited in numerous international museums, galleries, and festivals.

BORONDO

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Borondo (photo Courtesy NUART)

Borondos’ stunning realistic paintings stems from his academic training from the Beaux-Artes. The young Italian artist is a master of a multitude of techniques to let the audience interact with his pieces, one favorite being where he scratches paint off of glass to let the light shine through. This gives his pieces an integrating effect that gives viewers a glimpse of what’s hidden on the inside of the work by looking at (and through) any given piece from the outside. He has a special fondness for utilizing empty   store windows in this way as they are inherintly interesting ‘canvases’ for this technique.

FRA.BIANCOSHOCK

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Fra.Biancoshock. Milan, Italy. (photo © Fra.Biancoshock)

Fra.Biancoshock, the father and creator of ’emphemeralism’, lives and works in Milan, Italy. For years he worked, never questioning his motives or purpose in his creations or describing himself as an artist. As he began to dig deeper into the nature of his work it became clear that there was no perfect genre for his pieces to fit into – he uses both urban inclination, which is typical street art and a expressive process, which draws inspiration from the classical conceptual and perfomative arts. This is why he invented ephemeralism – for the purpose of producing works of art that must exist briefly in space but endlessly through photography, video, and media. Since the beginning of his journey Fra.Biancoshock has realized more than 450 works in the streets of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Malaysia and Singapore.

MARTIN WHATSON

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Martin Whatson. Nuart 2013. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Norwegian born and based stencil artist Martin Whatson studied Art and Graphic Design at Westerdals School of Communication in Oslo. It was here he discovered stencils and the sprawling urban art scene. Being previously interested in graffiti and the development of street art he started his own production in 2004. In his work Martin Whatson searches for beauty in the easily dismissed, things that are commonly thought of as ugly, out of style or left behind. He has an interest for decay that manifests itself as inspiration from landscapes, older buildings, or soon to be demolished compounds. In this combination of contemporary versus decrepit he develops a unique style in creating either unity or conflict between materials and motives – like a wrinkled old lady on a shiny plate of aluminum. In the beginning he found inspiration from political backdrops, inspired by DOLK and Banksy, but since has found a more aesthetic and subtle taste.

MATHIEU TREMBLIN

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Mathieu Tremblin (photo Courtesy NUART)

Mathieu Tremblin has a conceptual yet playful expression to his works. The French artist works under his concept of “Tag Clouds” where Tremblin re-makes tagged walls and areas by redesigning the names into fonts that are easily lebigle for the average viewer. His work mimics watermarks, that is, graphics to prevent image counterfeiting, by painting his fonts onto walls that are already tagged. By doing this he balances preserving the artist’s original intent, which is getting your mark out there, and cultivating it by forming a new aesthetic and quick to understand graphic representation.

STRØK

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Strøk (photo Courtesy NUART)

Strøk is a Norwegian stencil artist that works dualistically under his own name, Anders Gjennestad, for studio work and Strøk for street work. He was born in Arendal in 1980 and currently splits his time between Oslo and Berlin. His stencils have incredible detail and through the multiple layers achieve a photorealistic representation that questions both our perception and perspective concurrently; His figures float across the walls  in a world where time is standing still. Strøk’s characters are often at play with the environment in which they are placed, carefully hung along rusted metal and decimated plaster or the decaying ruins of factory walls – He obviously has a love of tactile material. There is a sensation that his figures are in mid-movement, caught in a timeless moment between actions, and the tension this creates to the viewer creates an intimate experience not often found in the vast world of street art today.

JOHN FEKNER

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John Fekner (photo Courtesy NUART)

John Fekner was ‘anonymously known’ in the 1970s for several hundred environmentally conceptual works consisting of words, symbols, and dates spray painted throughout the five boroughs of New York. These “Warning Signs” pointed out hazards and dangerous conditions that overtook New York City and its environment in the 70s. The project expanded into 1977 where Fekner created “Word-Signs”. Through hand cut cardboard stencils and spray paint he began a crusade that was tirelessly concerned with environmental and social issues. In the industrial streets of Queens and the East River bridges he began and continued to the South Bronx as late as 1980. His “messages” brought awareness to areas that were in desperate need of attention, whether through demolition or repairs. His labelization of these structures brought emphasis to the problems, where the objective was a shout to the authorities, agencies, and local communities to, above all, take action.

DOTDOTDOT

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Dot Dot Dot (photo Courtesy NUART)

Dot Dot Dot is a pseudonym for an anonymous stencil artist from Norway. Following in the footsteps of Banksy and those before him, Dot Dot Dot prefers to remain anonymous. This is possibly due to both his long career in graffiti as well as the allure of mystery. What we do understand is that his prolific career started in 1997 in Oslo, where he was born. He has since operated under many pseudonyms but settled on Dot Dot Dot after succesfully shifting to a more conceptual and figurative style. He began focusing primarily on stencil work in 2007 and has gained notoriety in Norway for being one of the country’s leading street artists.

ETAM CRU

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Etam Cru (photo Courtesy NUART)

Etam Cru is the polish artistic duo of Sainer and Bezt working together, equally, on everything from street art murals to more classical fine art oil paintings on canvas. They both graduated from the Fine Arts in Lodz and have since worked succesfully both separately and as a crew. Their phenomenal, illustrative large-scale murals can be seen all around the world.

ICY & SOT

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy and Sot are two brother stencil artists from Tabriz Iran who currently reside in Brooklyn, NY. Since 2006 they have continued on their mission to break down pre-conceived notions of a fleeting Iranian tradition through their striking stencil artwork.  They have made awe-inspiring headway creating international buzz by any means necessary, both as skaters and artists, highlighting peace, war, society issues and human rights. The duo has done outdoor pieces in the streets of Iran, Turkey, Paris, San Francisco, New York and more as well as several exhibitions.

LEVALET

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Levalet (photo Courtesy NUART)

French artist Levalet is best known for his life-sized ink drawings of human figures displayed around urban spaces which often utilize real objects such as books, umbrellas, cloth and, of course, natural objects from the chosen site for that particular piece. The French artist drafts and completes them first in his studio before heading to paste them onto walls strewn across the urban landscape.

SPY

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Spy (photo Courtesy NUART)

Spy is a modern day surrealist who intervenes in urban environments. The Spanish artist transforms our perspetive of the everyday by replacing objects found in the public space. He does this by, for example, rearranging the existing layout of a site and swapping objects that do and don’t belong, and therefore challenges us to rearrange our own definition of normality and make us aware of how our perception defines our world. Through context, or lack of, he suggests new perspectives.

TILT

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Tilt (photo Courtesy NUART)

Tilt, originally from Toulouse in South France, is an internationally recognized traditional graffiti artist. From a young age he learned his trade on the streets and on the trains. It was during this time he did his first tags on skateboards ramps in 1988 and has since come to define himself as a ‘graffiti fetishist’. The career that followed has been nourished by extensive travel. His inspirational journeys have seen Tilt leave his mark, whether through exhibitions or street pieces, as far and wide as the U.S.A,  Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Australia, India, New Zealand, Laos, Taiwan, China, Canada, Phillipines, Indonesia, and more than 12 countries in Europe alone.

M-CITY

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M-City (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City, otherwise known as Mariusz Waras, is a Polish artist revered for his industrial, large-scale murals. M-City has worked on walls all around the world, including several trips to Nuart’s previous events and projects. One of Poland’s best known artists, his work involves hundreds of preciously cut stencils being pieced together to create an imagined cityscape filled to the brim with mechanical and industrial objects. His work is motivated by industrial areas and their surroundings where he takes inspiration from the factories, chimneys, cranes, hydroelectric plants, and other mechanized beasts that dominated his native town and childhood. His work is known to scale up to 85 meters long.

MAISMENOS

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Maismenos (photo Courtesy NUART)

Viral, direct, incisive. ± (2005) is a unique project that intervenes in current social structures by reflecting on models of politics as well as social and economical organizations that dictate life. It begs us to question, above anything else, the social implications and consequences resulting from these structures, displaying programmatic expression streamlined to an equation of simplicity and opposites: black/white, positive/negative, more/less.

NUART FESTIVAL 2014

Opening date:
06.09 at 19:00

Exhibition period, Tou Scene:
07.09 – 10.12

Opening hours:
Wednesday – Friday 12.00 to 17.00
Saturdays and Sundays from 11.00 to 16.00
Closed Monday and Tuesday

NUART PLUS 2014 – PROGRAM

This year’s Nuart Plus program will tackle the two ends of the street art-continuum, namely “safe murals” on the one hand and street art and activism on the other. While activism was an essential part of the early street art scene, we have over the last decade or so seen a gradual gravitation towards council- and sponsor approved safe murals as the dominant form of street art.  Is this a development we should embrace as a natural development of the scene, or should it be vigorously contested? Do artists approach street art differently if they are doing legal, versus illegal work? Do artworks that are perceived as unsanctioned engage the viewer in a different way than art that are perceived as sanctioned? Are safe-murals and activist street art complements where the development of one reinforce the other, or are they substitutes that repress one another?

Over three days, the Nuart Plus-program will dig into these- and other exiting questions related to muralism, activism, and the tension between the two. By doing so, we hope to stimulate both audience and participants to reflect around which end of the continuum we believe street art should gravitate towards in the future, or if the scene really need to gravitate anywhere at all.

 

Thursday  4th of September

21.00  FIGHT CLUB A.K.A. THE PUB DEBATE: Muralism vs. Activism: A Tag Team Battle

Team Captains, Evan Pricco (Juxtapoz Magazine) arguing on behalf of the contemporary mural art movement and writer Carlo McCormick, accusing in the name of activist art, will battle to inebriation as to which is the more valid public art form. Team Pricco will argue that the contemporary mural movement will undoubtedly have support from corporate interests because art is at its most popular, and that certain financial support is not a bad thing. Team McCormick will fight on behalf of the activist art, that the true nature of activist muralism is without corporate or institutional interest.

It may not be pretty, and it may not even make much sense, but in the end it will settle, once and for all, who indeed creates the true people’s art- those who make great paintings that edify the masses, or those who prefer to prod and provoke them to awareness.

In the spirit of collaboration, and the bloodlust of competition, Pricco and McCormick will assemble consensus-opinion based teams made up of artists, fellow critics, the citizens of Stavanger, or just people in the bar drunk enough to have already made up their minds. This pub debate promises to be the most uncompromising of all culture wars.

Friday 5th of September

12.15-15.30  SEMINAR DAY 1: MURALISM

12.15-12.20 Welcome and Introduction

12.20-13.00 Andreco: Artist Presentation

13.15-13.50 Peter Bengtsen: “Street art, murals and public space as a site of exploration

13.55-14.30 RJ Rushmore: “Art Ignites Change: Infiltrating the System to Promote Social Justice”

14.45-15.30 Panel
Moderator: Evan Pricco
Panelists: Andreco, Peter Bengtsen, RJ Rushmore, Jaime Rojo

 

16.00   FILM SCREENING:  CIDADE CINZA
The Scandinavian premiere of “Cidade Cinza”.                                                       

Synopsis: A new way of painting graffiti was born in Sao Paulo. Hip hop was replaced by Brazilian regional culture and OsGemeos’ crew works were spread to galleries around the world. However, a new visual pollution combat act made the City Hall cover their paintings in grey in their hometown.

 

19.00 BSA Film Friday LIVE

Short form video as a medium for storytelling is becoming more prevalent and important across all media and digital platforms today and BSA celebrates it every Friday with Street Art and graffit-inspired videos from many angles and many countries. Join Steve and Jaime from BSA and special guest RJ Rushmore from Vandalog as we explore some of the major themes that are being addressed today, some of most popular videos and our personal picks in this entertaining and educational show.

Saturday 6th of September

12.15-15.30 SEMINAR DAY 2: STREET ART AND ACTIVISM

12.15-12.20 Welcome and Introduction

12.20-12.55 John Fekner: “Being There There Being”

13.00-13.20 Maismenos: Artist Presentation

13.30-14.05 Carlo McCormick : “The Torn-Off Head Stuck in the Hatch of a Sewer Drain, or the Occupation and Negation of Public Space”

14.10-14.45 Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo : “#activism on the Street Now”

Taking a cue from the techniques of the earlier generations of subverters and culture jammers, many of today’s Street Artists are combining the language and techniques of advertising and media to effectively advocate for a cause.  Others are doing it one small handmade piece at a time. Personal or global, activism and Street Art are alive and well and Harrington and Rojo give a multimedia sampling of the opinions being expressed.

15.00-15.45 Panel
Moderator: RJ Rushmore
Panelists:  Maismenos, Steven P. Harrington, Carlo McCormick, Mathieu Tremblin

 

12.00-15.00 WORKSHOP WITH ICY AND SOT

The two Iranian brothers Icy and Sot is invited to join Nuart Festival this year to make an artwork, but this Saturday they’re taking some hours off to teach children of all ages how to make a stencil piece from scratch.

 

15.45-17.00 STREET ART TOUR (meeting spot: Rogaland Kunstsenter)

Our talented Nuart guides talk about the artists, the ideas behind the artworks and other fun facts from the festival and working with street art. Displays artworks so fresh that the paint is hardly dry. Let’s just hope they’re done… Come join us and be the first to see what new artworks Stavanger has received in 2014!

16.oo FILM SCREENING:  CIDADE CINZA
Synopsis: A new way of painting graffiti was born in Sao Paulo. Hip hop was replaced by Brazilian regional culture and OsGemeos’ crew works were spread to galleries around the world. However, a new visual pollution combat act made the City Hall cover their paintings in grey in their hometown.

19.00 NUART-EXHIBITION OPENING (venue: Tou Scene)

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“NUART 2012” International Street Art Catalysts in Norway

“By far the best exhibition we’ve yet created,” says Martyn Reed, organizer of the Nuart 2012 street art festival as it draws to a close in Stavanger, Norway.  What’s left after two weeks of painting, panel discussions, and parties stands on it own; The Art.

On old factory buildings, bricked stairways, in labyrinthine tunnels, and hanging on gallery walls, the city itself has welcomed international Street Artists to do these installations over the last decade and the funding for the events, artists, and materials are largely contributed to from public grants.

It’s a stunning model of arts funding that we’d like to see more of; one that is sophisticated enough to make behavioral and aesthetic distinctions and that is appreciative of the positive contributions of Street Art to the contemporary art canon. Here is one model that recognizes the importance of art in the streets as something necessary, valued. And the city of Stavanger keeps inviting a varied mix of well-known names and newcomers who show promise year after year.

Ben Eine (photo © Ian Cox)

At some point during the panel discussions at Nuart Plus this year there was talk about the dulling effect that the growing popularity of Street Art festivals specifically and sanctioned public art generally can sometimes have on the finished pieces. Certainly we are all familiar with those brain-deadening community murals of yesteryear that include lots of diversity, droning morality lectures and cute ducks. But we think the right balance of currency, community, and unchecked creativity can often catalyze great results, and smart people will know how to help keep it fresh.

Another topic discussed this year, at least in part based on our 2011 essay “Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World”, which we wrote for Nuart’s “Eloquent Vandals” book, is the game-changing influence that the Internet continues to have on the Street Art movement itself.  Considering that in the last year alone we have shown you art in the streets instantly from Paris, Iceland, Istanbul, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Copenhagen, London, Sweden, Atlanta, Bristol, Baltimore, Boston, Berlin, Beijing, Brooklyn and about 25 other cities on five continents, we think it’s worth quoting the intro from that essay; “The Internet and the increasing mobility of digital media are playing an integral role in the evolution of Street Art, a revolution in communication effectively transforming it into the first global people’s art movement.”

Aakash Nihalani (photo © Ian Cox)

Solidly, Stavanger took a lead in the Street Art festival arena early and is still setting standards for high quality as an integrated cultural event without compromising integrity with so-called ‘lifestyle’ branding. These images from 2012 show just a sampler of the many directions that Street Art is taking us, with traditional graffiti and letter-based influences and new overlays of 20th century fine art modernism keeping the scene unpredictable and vibrantly alive. Nuart artists this year included Aakash Nihalani (US), Dolk (Norway), Eine (UK), Ron English (US), Saber (US), Sickboy (UK), Mobster (UK), HowNosm (US), Niels Shoe Meulman (NL), Joran Seiler (US), and The Wa (France).

Thanks to Ian Cox for sharing these images, some exclusive and some previously published.

Aakash Nihalani installing a piece on the street. (photo © Ian Cox)

Sickboy takes in his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Saber at work. (photo © Ian Cox)

Saber (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

Jordan Seiler (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr takes in the wall. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr makes MOM proud. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr indoor installation. Detail. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr makes friends with the notoriously wet climate in Stavanger. (photo © Ian Cox)

Ron English at work on his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Niels Shoe Muelman working on his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Niels Show Muelman (photo © Ian Cox)

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NUART FESTIVAL Presents: Nuart 2012 (Stavanger, Norway)

Nuart 2012

NUART FESTIVAL 2012 . STAVANGER NORWAY
“The best street art festival in the world”  September 29 – November 18

AAKASH NIHALANI (US), DOLK (NO), EINE (UK), RON ENGLISH (US), SABER (US),HOWNOSM (US), MOBSTR (UK) NIELS SHOW MEULMAN (NL), JORDAN SEILER (US), THE WA (FR), SICKBOY (UK)

Now in its 12th ground-breaking year, Nuart 2012 – the annual contemporary street and urban art festival based in Stavanger, Norway –is set to be the biggest yet. An invited international team of street artists will take to the streets of Stavanger from September 20 – with an indoor show running at Tou Scene from 29 September to 19 November. The likes of Ron English and Ben Eine will leave their mark on the city’s walls, both indoor and out, creating one of Europe’s most dynamic and constantly evolving public art events. Known as ‘the Cannes’ festival of street art, Nuart’s works are exposed to over 100 000 people each week – including some of the most talented, insightful and connected individuals in the urban art world. 2012 sees the event set to attract record numbers as the festival begins to go global, with the additional Nuart Plus summit – running from 27-29 September – bringing global professionals and experts in the field together to discuss and explore this un-stoppable movement in contemporary art.

Fromthe billboard hijacking activism of Ron English (US) and Jordan Seiler (US) to The Wa’s (FR) playful urban interventions, from Saber’s (US) uncompromising stance on the positive power of Graffiti to Aakash Nihalani’s (US) more concise and conceptual use of coloured tape, Nuart 2012 has brought together an unlikely group of “festival” artists, whose diverse work and methods offer an authentic reflection on the real practice of Street Art. The UK’s globetrotting, ‘Obama gift-giving’, Eine and LA’s HowNosm are sure to set the standard for large breathtaking murals, whilst Dolk – Norway’s finest exponent of the genre popularised by Banksy – will produce some of his iconic stencil-work. Alongside the character driven graffiti of Sickboy (UK), the calligraphiti of Amsterdam’s Niels Shoe Meulman and the text driven Mobstr (UK), Nuart is set to create an explosion of – ‘mostly legal’ –  works, both inside, and out. Nuart 2012 sees a conscious shift away from the “acceptable” face of Street Art that has become favoured by councils and municipalities around the world. Recognising that there is a danger of this vibrant culture becoming sanitised by a surfeit of oversized legal murals Nuart 2012 will continue to take to the streets in new and more illicit ways. Alongside it’s exhibition at Tou Scene – which will host over half a kilometre of works along its 19th century tunnels – outdoor landmarks and un-missable billboards will be re-envisioned as subversive pieces of striking art. And if this isn’t enough to excite you, sister festival Numusic will be providing the weekend’s entertainment, with the likes of Mad Professor, The Orb, Lindstrøm, and many more performing. Nuart is set to break more than just boundaries in 2012 – will you be there?

The private view of the newly finished works will be held on the opening night:  Saturday September 29.

Nuart Plus: Sept 27-29:
Three days of key note talks and presentations, panel debates with visiting artists and related .
Film premieres. Ron English presents the Documentary ‘Popoganda’.

Sept 29-Nov 18
Nuart Opening (Indoors). Tou Scene
Nuart once again occupies this 19th Century Brewery Complex turned arts centre nestled on the coast of the Norwegian Fjords. These seven abandoned tunnels, offer over half a kilometre of wall space, and although an indoor space, it still retains the rough and ready urban elements we’re used to. Each single tunnel, at 15 x 15 x 5 metres is larger than the cities main commercial gallery space. With a fore-hall for group works and collaborations and an interlocking tunnel measuring over 40 metres long, this vast space is ideal for experiencing the best that Street Art has to offer.

Education
This years exhibition will be open 6 days a week for 6 weeks and with regional council support, will be host to over 3000 of the city’s high school students, Nuart being favoured over the city museum to extend the students horizons. That’s right. It will be compulsory to attend.

Sept 27-
International Guest speakers include
Carlo McCormick (US), Editor of the influential Paper Magazine, author, curator and renowned cultural critic.
Tristan Manco (UK), Author of several highly respected books on Street Art, co-organiser of cans Festival and curator for Pictures on Walls
Elisa Carmichael (US), Recently listed as one of the 30 under 30 art professionals to watch by the influential artinfo, Curator and co-owner of LA’s Carmichael gallery and founder and editor of the Internationally distributed art magazine The Art Street Journal
Rj Rushmore (US). Founder and writer for one of the worlds leading Street Art blogs, Vandalog
Evan Pricco (US), Managing editor of world leading  art magazine Juxtapoz.

Nuart specialises in showcasing work born out of urban creativity; we pride ourselves on giving a voice to artists and movements that are under-represented in mainstream cultural life, though widely acclaimed internationally.

Nuart’s street work begins Sept 20th
Nuart Plus “International Street Art conference” begins 27 September.
Nuart’s main exhibition opens 29 September.
The exhibition will be open 6 days a week and run for a full six weeks until Nov 18th .

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Fun Friday 05.13.11

Fun-Friday

A GUIDE TO WHAT’S UP, BROTHERMAN AND SISTERWOMAN

This weekend is a perfect storm of shows that are opening on the East, West and points in between.

Up Close And Personal: RJ Curates Street Artists Into an Upper West Side Apartment (NYC)

In the intimacy of a private residence in the Manhattan suburbs of UWS, RJ Rushmore of Vandalog fame along with Keith Schweitzer and Mike Glatzer of newly minted M.A.N.Y. have mounted a fresh new open house show just off Broadway. An exquisitely curated show with marquee names and a few newbies the selection is solid in quality and unusual in it’s scale.

brooklyn-street-art-WEB-troy-lovegate-other-vandalog-RJ-Rushmore-Keith-Schweitzer-Mike-Glatzer

Troy Lovegates aka Other (image courtesy of the curators)

Participating artists include:
Aiko, Chris Stain, Clown Soldier, Don Leicht, Edible Genius, Elbowtoe, Gaia, How & Nosm, Jessica Angel, John Fekner, Know Hope, Logan Hicks, Mike Ballard, OverUnder, R. Robot, Radical, Retna, Skewville, Tristan Eaton, Troy Lovegates aka Other and White Cocoa.
brooklyn-street-art-WEB-AIKO-vandalog-RJ-Rushmore-Keith-Schweitzer-Mike-Glatzer

Aiko’s cans are on proudly on display at the bachelor pad, and that’s not all (image courtesy of the curators)

Dates: May 12th– 15th, 2011
Times:
May 12th, 7 – 9pm
May 13th, 7 – 9pm
May 14th, noon – 9pm
May 15th, noon – 7pm
Note: Due to the limited exhibition space, people may be admitted in block times every half-hour.
Location: Apartment on the Upper West Side (217 West 106th Street, Apartment 1A, New York, NY 10025) – Between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues.
Cost for entrance: Free

Go to Hellbent and John Breiner Tonight in Brooklyn (NYC)

Mighty Tanka is presenting a show with two Brooklyn based artists: Hellbent and John Breiner.
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Mr. Hellbent says of the show: “The best part of making a show like this is to finally see it up on the wall and the way that everything interacts. I have been thinking of these pieces as parts of a quilt, different fabrics being stitched together. The different colors, floral stencils, animals, and jaw bones melding together and playing off one another, even down to the different depths and sizes of panels, but until it was hung they were just pieces, not yet a whole. Its given me an opportunity to show the different elements that i am working with and how they have grown out of one another and to display all the different carvings and stencils patterns together, where on the street they are separated in different locations.”

To learn more about “Smiled Distress” at Mighty Tanaka tonight please click on the link below:

Matt Siren and My Plastic Heart present “Ghost in the Machine” (NYC)

25 spirits in the material world have made tributes to Street Artist Matt Siren’s Ghost Girl character for this show on the Lower East Side tonight. The custom toy show transforms the character that appears in doorways around New York, each putting its own unique spin on his character.

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The show includes work from 64Colors, Royce Bannon, Steve Chanks, Chauskoskis, DarkCloud, Deeker, Gril One, J*RYU, Jester, Keely, Abe Lincoln Jr., Map-Map, Marka27, Brent Nolasco, Lou Pimentel, Reactorss, Marc Reusser, Todd Robertson, Robots Will Kill, Chris Ryniak, Matt Siren, Scott Tolleson, Julie West, Wheelbarrow, Wrona

Click on the link below to learn more about this show:

http://www.myplasticheartnyc.com/gitm_051311/preview/gitm_051311_preview.html

210 Forsyth St   New York NY 10002 | 646 290 6866
Ghost in the Machine
May 13th 2011 – June 12th 2011

Chicago Street Art Show Tonight (CHI)

Tonight the book “Chicago Street Art” is being released at the the Chicago Urban Art Society  in conjunction with a show titled “The Chicago Street Art Show”

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Brooklyn’s AD HOC has a New Puppy in Los Angeles (LA)

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On the West Coast the dynamic duo and husband and wife Garrison and Allison Buxton have curated a group show “I have a dream, I have a nightmare: Friday the 13th” at The New Puppy Gallery opening this Friaday from 7:00 to 11:00 pm

Artists include: Alison Buxton, Beau Stanton, Bill Fick, Broken Crow, Bunnie Reiss, Chor Boogie, Chris Stain, CRASH, Dabs & Myla, Daryll Peirce, David Loewenstein, Don Leicht, Ezra Li Eismont, Garrison Buxton, Hellbent, Joe Iurato, John Breiner, John Carr, John Fekner, Jordan Seiler, Know Hope, Lady Pink, Michael De Feo, Mikal Hameed, Paul Booth, Peat Wollaeger, Ray Cross, Rex Dingler, ROA, Robert Steel, Sean Starwars, TheDirtyFabulous, & Thundercut.

Ad Hoc Art – www.adhocart.org

New Puppy LA – www.newpuppla.com

WHERE: 2808 Elm Street, Los Angeles, California 90065

English Kills Group Show Saturday, “The Mother Ship” (NYC)

Chris Harding, owner and ringmaster of the Bushwick Brooklyn-based space station English Kills brings out his strong stable of artists for this group show aptly titled “The Mother Ship” opening this Saturday at 7:00 pm. It’s not necessarily Street Art – but this is a hotbed of new ideas so it is always worth your trip.

brooklyn-street-art-WEB-english-kills-gallery

Participating artists include:

Brent Owens, Andy Piedilato, Vilaykorn Sayaphet, Jim Herbert, David Pacheco, Hiroshi Shafer, Gyles Thompson, Sarah H. Paulson, Holly Faurot, Tescia Seufferlein, Peter Dobill, Steve Harding, Judith Supine, Lenny Reibstein, Andrew Ohanesian, Jason Peters, Don Pablo Pedro, Steven Thompson, Andrew Hurst and Rob Andrews.

English Kills is located at:

114 Forrest St. Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(718) 366-7323

Specter is a “Repeat Offender” 5/14 at Pawn Works in Chicago (CHI)

Brooklyn based artist Gabriel Specter’s solo show “Repeat Offender” opens this Saturday at the Pawn Works Gallery.

brooklyn-street-art-WEB-specter-pawn-works-gallery

Opening Reception Saturday, May 14, 2011/ 6-10pm

PawnWorks
1050 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60622

Ph: 312.841.3986

London Police in Denver, “Amsterydynasty”

In Denver Colorado Black Book Gallery brings back the glamour of the 80’s with The London Police and Handiedan in a show titled “Amsterydynasty”

brooklyn-street-art-WEB-the-london-police-black-book-gallery-Handiedan


Opening reception May 14th at 7pm

Click here to learn more about this show

Olek Crochets for a Bicycle in Poland

ROA in San Francisco

Women’s Faces in Art

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art by Philip Scott Johnson.

MoCA Art in the Streets. Wisk, Ser, Chubbs and Prime destroy a wall.

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Vandalog and M.A.N.Y. Present: “Up Close and Personal” (Manhattan, NY)

Up Close And Personal

brooklyn-street-art-troy-lovegate-other-vandalog-RJ-Rushmore-Keith Schweitzer-Mike Glatzer

Troy Lovegate AKA Other (image courtesy of the curators)

Starting on May 12th, a New York City home will play host to a new type of street art exhibit. While the community concentrates on artists creating larger murals in often controversial public spaces, the subtle nuances of the genre are lost in the hype. Up Close and Personal explores the craft of artists who usually work in large-scale formats outdoors, by challenging them to create pieces that conform to the intimacy of a residential indoor setting. The works will be no larger than 30 x 30 inches, as small as a Metro card and exhibited on the walls of a small city apartment. As street art continues to morph into an all-encompassing art genre, Up Close and Personal will showcase works by talented artists whose work is impressive both indoors and outdoors. Up Close and Personal is curated by RJ Rushmore of Vandalog, and Keith Schweitzer and Mike Glatzer of M.A.N.Y.
Participating artists include:
Aiko, Chris Stain, Clown Soldier, Don Leicht, Edible Genius, Elbowtoe, Gaia, How & Nosm, Jessica Angel, John Fekner, Know Hope, Logan Hicks, Mike Ballard, OverUnder, R. Robot, Radical, Retna, Skewville, Tristan Eaton, Troy Lovegates aka Other and White Cocoa
brooklyn-street-art-logan-hicks-detail-vandalog-RJ-Rushmore-Keith Schweitzer-Mike Glatzer

Logan Hicks. Detail on anodized aluminum.  (image courtesy of the curators)

Dates: May 12th– 15th, 2011
Times:
May 12th, 7 – 9pm
May 13th, 7 – 9pm
May 14th, noon – 9pm
May 15th, noon – 7pm
Note: Due to the limited exhibition space, people may be admitted in block times every half-hour.
Location: Apartment on the Upper West Side (217 West 106th Street, Apartment 1A, New York, NY 10025) – Between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues.
Cost for entrance: Free
M.A.N.Y. (Murals Around New York) is a team of artists and curators who organize street and contemporary art exhibitions around the United States.
Vandalog is an international street art blog that covers the art scene as it evolves. Posting interviews, art news, show critiques and photographs of relevant works, Vandalog has gained a loyal following among the street art world. Founded in 2008 by then teenager RJ Rushmore, Vandalog now includes various writers and publishes across a number of social media platforms. Vandalog was Arts Media Contact’s top art blog of 2010.
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Swoon Goes to Zambia to Teach and Create

In March Brooklyn Street Artist Swoon, artist Matt Small, gallerist Mike Snell (of Black Rat Projects), and blogger RJ Rushmore (of vandalog.com) all went to Kabwe, Zambia to teach art classes at a school called Robert Shitima School.  The classes covered a variety of art-making techniques including print-making, linotype carving, portraiture and collage.

One of the students that Swoon met
One of the students that Swoon met in Zambia

A shanty-town about 130 km north of Lusaka, the capital, the population of Makululu is estimated at 80,000 people and is frequently referred to as one of the worlds largest slums.  Many of the students at the Robert Shitima School are from the town and are orphaned and/or live on the streets.

A cut paper piece by Swoon
A cut paper piece by Swoon at the school.

Swoon and Co. were at the school thanks to Zamcog, a non-profit with a less than 2% overhead, that is working to create sustainable change through improved educational opportunities.  Children receive K-9 schooling at no cost at the non-denominational facility, which is run by The Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

One of Swoon's mirrored pieces.
One of Swoon’s mirrored pieces.

The approximately 200 kids were very excited to learn new art-making techniques and to use the art supplies the team brought to share. Said RJ, “They were painting their bikes, found wood, the occasional piece of paper and anything they could get their hands on.” At this point the school is working to provide more basic needs for the students, so the three days in which the students learned about art were an uncommon opportunity for each kid to engage in their creative side.

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(all photos courtesy Heather Macionus)

To learn more about Zamcog, go HERE


In case you missed it, this was Swoon’s piece from our auction on Saturday.

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Faile Retrospective at Lazarides; a Bastion of Color Up the Street (plus new Deluxx Fluxx Video)

A Blur of Excitement at the two Lazarides galleries in London this week. One of Brooklyn duo Failes's carved and painted spinny poles on display. (photo © Ian Cox)
Chop-Chop! It was a Brooklyn blur of excitement at two galleries run by Steve Lazarides in London last week. Here we see three of Failes’s carved and painted spinny poles on display for their 10 year retrospective. (photo © Ian Cox)


Plenty of room to rollerskate in the Faile retrospective showroom. (photo <a href=

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© Ian Cox

And then people started arriving. © Ian Cox

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Outside the main retrospective, we trundle up about five blocks to the Bast & Faile show called "Faile Bast Deluxx Fluxx Arcade." (photo © Ian Cox)

Meanwhile in the Bast & Faile Arcade across the street
I used to have an Elton John flourescent poster in my closet when I was a kid. Just sayin.

Remember Elton John played the Pinball Wizard in Tommy? Guess Who had the black-light poster of him as the Pinball Wizard in his closet when he was a kid? Pass the bong please. (photo © Ian Cox)

Rumor has is that there will be a line of Faile bongs out in time for Christmas. (photo © Ian Cox)

Naturally, the show opening was catered. This woman in a colorful cat-suit was offering flourescent Doritos and dip. (photo © Ian Cox)

More of Ian’s images HERE

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Street Signals 10.10.09

Brooklyn-Street-Art-STREET-SIGNALS_1009

New Train Company Hires Well-Known Street Artists/ Graffiti Artists to Paint Trains

Vandalog Blog Writer Publishes New Book About Upcoming Street Art Show in London: “The Thousands”

Veng from Robots Will Kill painted this image one week ago in Bushwick. Now it is going to be in the book "The Thousands", by RJ Rushmore
Veng from Robots Will Kill painted this image one week ago in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Now it is going to be in the book “The Thousands”, by RJ Rushmore

Michael “RJ” Rushmore, founder of Vandalog, and bloggy friend of BSA, is still toiling in the fields of street art, turning out an impressive exhibition of street art next month called “The Thousands”, featuring work by some better-known street art names as Faile, Skewville, Banksy, Chris Stain, KAWS, Robots Will Kill, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Herakut, and Barry McGee.  To accompany the show RJ has written a cool book called “The Thousands: Painting Outside, Breaking In.”  It is so up to date it features an image of Veng’s mural from last weeks MBP Urban Arts Fest! Damn son, those pics travel fast!

Says RJ on his blog “I am ecstatic. This is a street art book with all the artists I’ve always wanted to see in a book together. Plus, it’s not just me writing standard bios for the artists (though there is a bit of that), a lot of the book was written by other contributors. Mike Snelle from Black Rat Press wrote the forward (did you know he is an amazing writer?), Panik ATG wrote about Burning Candy, Know Hope wrote about Chris Stain, Gaia wrote about Know Hope… the list goes on.”

The book is only available on publisher DRAGO’s website right now.

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