All posts tagged: Robert Proch

UPEA Finland 2018, A Cross Country Installation of Quality Murals

UPEA Finland 2018, A Cross Country Installation of Quality Murals

UPEART 2018 in Finland took place during the month of September including 20 international and local artists in 12 different cities across the country.

Case Maclaim. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we give you a recap of some favorite scenes from the festival across many cities of Finland thanks to the vision and organizing of Jorgos Fanaris and his team who collectively direct the festival from their headquarters in a post-industrial neighborhood of Helsinki. While there is a proud graff scene and history here, and the city has areas like the Pasila Street Art District, the capital is usually known as a sparkling international city of islands and a peninsula by the Gulf of Finland facing Tallinn, Estonia across the bay.

Proudly humble, elegant and rationally romantic, the city is flanked on all sides by arts and culture, low and high, with historical art institutions like the National Museum as well as the more contemporary Kiasma and cross disciplinary Kunsthalle Helsinki. A deeper rooted cultural history is also apparent in the traditional wooden architecture, the influence of its neighbors Sweden and Russia, and its ability even today to evolve with the most modern of global design practice.

Case Maclaim. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For urban explorers like ourselves who wander the margins and explore the forgotten, neglected parts of the metropolis, it was a bit of a shock to see 8 charming Finnish cities and towns in only a few days – interspersed with millions of birch tree forests and sweeping vistas of farmland, with Russia visible at one point just across a canal.

We drove from uncongested towns surrounded by woodlands like Joensuu and Hyvinkää to midsized cities like Tampere and Espoo, using a stick shift Volkswagen and minding the speed cameras on a smooth and well maintained system of roads and highways. Usually we’re looking out for rats and broken glass and homeless drug users, not slow-moving farming tractors and wily-eyed moose who may cross your path.

Case Maclaim. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But the murals! Choosing from among some of the most accomplished painters and planners of design in the current international scene, Fanaris relies on his own history with graffiti, hip hop, and perhaps the Finnish National Opera when selecting participants to invite.

The quality is high in many instances throughout the mural program and municipalities are gifted with some works may prove timeless – until they fade. Perhaps more decorative than transgressive as a whole, these are public works made in collaboration with local tastes. Some meanings are buried beneath layers, others more obvious and on the surface. An unrealized irony of many “legit” mural programs like this one is many of these artists used to do the illegal stuff too.

As UPEART travels and evolves it will be interesting to see how it changes. Fanaris tells us that the future will include installations, sculpture, even performance as the festival becomes more integrated with communities. With a solid foundation of curation on a massive country-wide scale in these first three years, we look forward to see where UPEART moves next.

Mantra. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When I was a child I was not curious about painting,” Mantra says, “I was more curious about what I could find in the garden so that’s why I spent a lot of time studying these insects and these animals.” Later he shows us images of butterflies and other winged creatures rendered in high fidelity inside decaying factory rooms, including a large dead bird lying on its side. “I painted this because I had seen a dead bird in the garden only a week before.”

Read more: Mantra in Hyvinkää for UPEART Festival 2018 Finland – Dispatch 5

Mantra. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Mantra)

Mantra. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Mantra)

Sainer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think my work is changing recently,” he says. “I have liked to do plainer paintings – like small landscapes . I’m not really into the characters that much in the same way that I was. When I do paint characters they are in the shadow. I like the idea of making portraits where the portrait is not the most important part of the painting.”

BSA: That’s so anti-intuitive – because normally that would be the center focal point, right?

Sainer: Yes – even here the portrait is central but I am trying to play all around it just to hide it. It’s just one of the ideas that I am trying to work with these days.

Read more from our interview with Sainer here.

Sainer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Waone. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ukrainian artist Waone, of Interesni Kazki titled his mural “Spirit of Antique Book”.

“Reading the real book in the age of technology and internet may look rare and a kind of old fashioned, but not for me,” he says. “This mural ‘Spirit of Antique Book’ I dedicated to all book lovers. It represents the wonderful way to escape from ordinary life to extraordinary worlds, and depicts that magic moment when you read the book and lose yourself between the pages.”

BSA: Does it concern you that school children today are becoming unfamiliar with reading traditional books on paper?

Waone: Hmm I didn’t think about books in schools, in Ukraine we still use “normal” books… But I’m sure normal books will become more and more rare. I don’t judge it and I’m not saying that’s good or bad. I just love the book esthetic, a strong symbol of knowledge.”

Waone. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Natalia Rak. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Natalia Rak. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sepe. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Helen Bur. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eero Lampinen. Work in progress. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of his own work, he says, “It’s like a mix of fantasy with contemporary and realistic elements – kind of magic realism. I like to play around with fashion different types of characters.”

The characters are here in the evolving mural – three figures who are working the runways of the street in distinctly different styles.

“There is a night demon, a rubber-outfit person, and then an older character,” he says, “They are all walking separate ways in the streets – and it plays around with this street.”

Read more with Eero Lampinen here.

Eero Lampinen. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Eero Lampinen)

Pertti Jarla. UPEArt Finland 2018. Tampere, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How & Nosm. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Lisalmi, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How & Nosm. UPEArt Finland 2018. Lisalmi, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Proch. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Proch. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal made a number of interesting installations in Karakallio in Espoo, including a haunting series of small buildings attached on trees throughout the forest.

Read more about Isaac Cordal at UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 3

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

NOTE: No trees were damaged by installing the birdhouse sculptures on them.


All the participating artists on UPEArt 2018 are: Andrew Hem, Case Maclaim, David De La Mano, Eero Lampinen, Fabio Petani, Gummy Gue, Helen Bur, How & Nosm, Isaac Cordal, Jussi Twoseven, Kenor, Leon Keer, Mantra, Natalia Rak, Pertti Jarla, Robert Proch, Sainer, Sepe, Silja Selonen and Waone.

 

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BSA + UPEA in Finland

BSA + UPEA in Finland

BSA is excited to bringing you new works from Finland next week as we explore Helsinki and nearby cities that are part of the UPEA 2018 Festival. A unique model of mural festival that invites international and local artists to paint across the entire country, UPEART has quietly entered the global Street Art and graffiti stage without entering the fray: providing top caliber artists with uncommon opportunities to create works in cities for a handful of years now.

Waone Interesni Kazki at UPEART (image © the artist)

The full line up for this year’s stellar UPEART edition is:

Andrew Hem, Case Maclaim, David de la Mano, Eero Lampinen, Fabio Petani, Gummy Gue, Helen Bur, How & Nosm, Isaac Cordal, Jussi TwoSeven, Kenor, Leon Keer, Mantra, Natalia Rak, Pertti Jarla, Robert Proch, Sainer, Sepeusz, Silja Selonen and Waone Interesni Kazki, who poses here yesterday with the mural he’s been working on for 10 days


To keep on top of the action on the ground and up on the lifts click on UPEA’s FB link below:

https://www.facebook.com/upeart/

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch Welcome Autumn : “Enjoy The Silence” In Łódź, Poland

Etam Crew and Robert Proch Welcome Autumn : “Enjoy The Silence” In Łódź, Poland

In the northern hemisphere and in dirty Brooklyn the new season of Fall is upon us and in our minds we begin to hear Sinatra’s “Autumn in New York” intermingled with Van Morrison’s “Moondance” under the cover of October skies.  Yet on a hike through the Catskills just north of the city to see the leaves as they turn colors you reach a peak and look down on the rolling hills and the Hudson River below, smell the crisp clean air and listen.

What is that sound?

The buzzing of the city has left you momentarily and there is nothing but silence, spare the rustling of leaves blowing by your boots.

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Perhaps this is the kind of silence that Etam Crew and Robert Proch are speaking of in their home country of Poland, which is also enjoying this turn from summer to autumn. Their new mural “Enjoy the Silence” combines the distinctly different styles through a shared palette of earthen tones, with Proch subtly softening the sharp illustrations of Bezt and Sainer with an impressionism that unifies. This is the harvest of three artists who have been working hard on their respective crafts.

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Part of the newly branded initiative UNIQA Art Łódź, “Silence” is one of the few murals that will be made in this mural-soaked city as curator Michał Bieżyński slowly moves the focus to sculptural installations in public space.

Happily, BSA has been there since the inception of the Łódź project and we’re pleased that we can continue to partner with Bieżyński to bring BSA readers these exclusive images of the new mural and a fresh new YouTube video of it’s process.

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch. “Enjoy The Silence” Detail. UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch. “Enjoy The Silence” Detail. UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch. “Enjoy The Silence” Detail. UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch. “Enjoy The Silence” Detail. UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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Etam Crew and Robert Proch. “Enjoy The Silence” Detail. UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

 


Our most sincere thanks to Mr. Bieżyński for sharing this project in exclusive with BSA. For more about UNIQA Art Łódź Project visit:

www.facebook.com/lodzmurals

https://instagram.com/lodzmurals

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Malik and “Note” Bring 17 Street Artists to a Swiss Prison: “4661m2”

Malik and “Note” Bring 17 Street Artists to a Swiss Prison: “4661m2”

It’s the ultimate captive audience for your artwork. That wasn’t the original intention for this Swiss prison mural project called 4661m² but it is one of the outcomes – and one of its myriad ironies.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Initiated by Aarau-based graffiti/street/fine artist Malik in May of 2012, the project eventually corralled 17 Street Artists, all but one from Switzerland, to enter the confines of the new high security Lenzburg Prison to paint murals on exterior walls, courtyards, hallways, and common areas.

“I was looking for a new challenge and a new and exciting project where I could show my art,” says Malik and while the 18 month project originated with his vision of getting a nice wall for himself, quickly the project grew far beyond his expectations to become an educational, sociological meditation on the penal system, the appropriate role of art within it, and our collective humanity.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artists featured on this page: Malik, Note, Benjamin Solt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Malik, Note at work. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

With help from partner artist Claude “Note” Luethi and funding from the “Lenzburg Prison Christmas Fund,” the successful mural program has also led to a short documentary this spring and the brand new release of a handsome tome by the two documenting a cross section of the images and the human experience as told by artists, prisoners, prison employees and even the director.

“The exterior wall is always also an interior wall. How we view it depends on our relative position,” says author and cultural scientist Johannes Binotto, in the forward to 4661m² – Art in Prison. The number is both the name of the project and the the quantity of concrete that the paintings eventually covered. In his examination of crime and punishment and our relationship to it, Binotto brilliantly uses the wall as metaphor from multiple perspectives by way of illuminating the ramifications of being inside or outside of any given wall throughout one’s life.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Ti Lain. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Ti Lain. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

For graffiti writers and Street Artists, the wall has been destination, a vessel of communication, but the historical examples Binotto examines fairly mutate the wall as obstruction, unifier, protector, divider. The theme continues throughout the well-photographed and documented book with artists and organizers reflecting on, reacting to, their experience and their art practice. One every present irony is that many of these street artists undoubtedly risked arrest for painting on various city walls in their earlier days.

Opening the many doors of the prison to an unsolicited offer by Malik, the Director of the prison, Marcel Ruf, says his knowledge of Street Art and artists was admittedly limited, but he knew the place needed some color. “The corridors and work spaces were judged rather negatively by the majority of the over 7,000 visitors that came to the prison open day in May,” he says in an interview, “with most finding the premises dreary and colorless.”

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Mizzo. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The book gives ample space to opinions and experiences of the artists in stunning before/after shots of spaces and pieces that you can only see now if are a prisoner or employee. Even here the experiences express a range of perspectives. Most found the atmosphere constricted, oppressive, depressing. Each artist say that they felt a certain responsibility to the audience that they wouldn’t normally have and adjusted their work accordingly because these pieces will be looked upon, in some cases, for years, or the remainder of life.

Artist Daniel Zeltner says, “I thought long and hard about the mark I would like to leave on a prison, and about who would see it, how they would react and interpret it, how they would feel. It is difficult, because the painting would not only be seen by the prison guards, but also by the prisoners – I also wanted to create something I could be proud of. Therefore, it was important to me that I paint something that’s open and leaves room for interpretation.”

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Lain. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ranging from abstract, figurative, and representational, to collage, illustration, and photo-realistic, the entire collection has something for many tastes, but we learn that the most critical audience was the staff of 180 who not only live with the art but the manage the daily affairs of the people who live in the facility. We learn that staff opinions on certain works are not unanimous but in general the replacement of monotonous grey is regarded as an improvement for the employees – and the new works provide visual signposts for navigating in a sometimes confusing maze of concrete.

One two page spread features the quotes from prisoners who have answered a survey about the project, the art, and the artists. Responses range from dismissive and critical, to suspicious, grateful, and laudatory.

The act of even considering the opinion of convicted criminals is offensive to the more penalizing among us, and this resistance to an art program of any sort is present throughout topics addressed and perhaps those avoided in the contributions here. These prisoners are likely serious offenders given their 23 hour restriction to their cells and opinions about their living conditions are surely contested.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Never Crew. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Benjamin Solt talks about briefly getting to know some of the prisoners and then questioning the wisdom of that decision. “I often chatted with them and we discussed the paintings. One of them was very open and approachable, and at some point I asked him why he was there. Just a few moments later I regretted asking.”

The austere modern brutalism of the new prison is heightened by its minimalist technological details of sensors, cameras, phone signal blocking, and iris scanning. Often participants reference disembodied voices within the compound comingling with bird songs and cow bells just outside the perimeter of the compound.

With varying degrees of discomfort and a respect for a sense of mission, the artists describe their art and their emotional and psychological responses to working in the compound. Daniel Zeltner, who worked with David Lucco on a collaborative mural in an exercise yard, describes redoing his piece nearly entirely because he was unsatisfied with the somewhat chaotic energy that he had infused it with.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artists featured on this page: Toast and Shark. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Toast. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

Onur contemplates his expected audience of primarily seniors when creating his mountain range and remarks that he felt troubled by the continuous surveillance, “I often felt watched. The knowledge that there were cameras everywhere was always at the back of my mind and as I usually work by myself in the studio this situation was quite confusing.”

Chromeo was reminded of his own previous stint in jail for doing illegal graffiti. “I found being locked in extremely difficult. Even though I wasn’t locked in this time, I struggled with the same oppressive feelings.”

For one recreation room, Malik and Note combined their painting efforts to create one continuous visual story that ignored the four planes and gives a view from the rooftops of an imaginary city at night that flows into day and subsequently spans a vast valley and stream. But bucolic scenes and sensibilities notwithstanding, their painting experience met one common description; “Intense.”

“We were surrounded by four solid concrete walls and were working in extreme heat, with continuous yakking and jeering from the inmates locked in the cells above us and all of that for four weeks, eight hours a day locked in the same room,” say the pair.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Mizzo. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Among the descriptions of the exigencies of the prison and project, there are occasional sparks of institutional levity. Bruno Graber, Chief Director, shares his observations of the project and working with the artists and he inadvertently stumbles on a truism. “Seeing the artists at work was exciting. They seem to be night owls, early mornings were not really their thing.”

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Malik. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ultimately this is a group show new works by 17 artists, but you will not be free to see them, even though you are free. The many ironies are summed up in one of Binotto’s recollections.

“The knowledge that the locked spaces within the prison are blocked from our collective gaze challenges our typical differentiation between captivity and freedom. This is like the joke where the mathematician solves the task of fencing in a herd of sheep not by herding the animals together but rather by putting up the small fence around himself and then declaring ‘I define myself to be on the outside.’”

 

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Daniel Zeltner. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In fact 4661m² plays with the definitions of internal and external space so well that it throws both into question. You may reassess the role of artists, particularly street artists, in the dialogue they bring to public space as we rush from from one task to another, sometimes just keeping our heads above water.

“I always took a deep breath as I exited through the revolving door,” says Note, “I was free again – at least until what felt like five seconds later, when my iPhone began informing me of all the obligations I’d failed to meet.”

The project 4661m² – Art in Prison was curated by Malik and Claude “Note” Luethi, and involved artists including: Malik, Note, Onur, Chromeo, Shark, Ata Bozaci, Robert Proch, Nevercrew, Mizzo, Daniel Zeltner, David Monllor, Benjamin Solt, Lain, Ti, and Sarah Parsons.

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Onur. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Note. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Note. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Robert Proch. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Robert Proch at work. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: David Monllor. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Sarah Parsons. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Sarah Parsons. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Artist featured on this page: Chromeo. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Malik. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Never Crew. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Never Crew . Mizzo  (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Malik, Note at work. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich . Malik. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

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4661m² Art In Prison . Malik . Claude Luethi. Niggli Imprint. Zurich. Malik . Note. (photo © courtesy of 4661m²)

 

 

© 2016 Niggli, imprint of bnb media gmbh, Zurich

 

www.4661m2.com

 

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This article is also published in The Huffington Post

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Borås “No Limit” 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities

Borås “No Limit” 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities

The Spanish Street Art duo Pichiavo brought the antiquities and modern day graffiti together last week on a soaring multi-story wall in Borås, Sweden. Ironically both are under attack at any given time these days – one by terrorists eager to erase and loot symbols of unholy civilization and the other by the municipal buffing of unsanctioned aerosol tags. In one mural the Valencia-based duo are encompassing many battles and, as it rises amidst a building complex that was once a textile mill here by the Viskan River, the duality of the piece is awash with color and movement like so many fabric dyes being dumped into a stream.

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Pichiavo. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For Pichi and Avo, who merge their names as one on artworks, the creation process of their murals includes first laying down a blanket of aerosol tags and then precisely rendering the figures of Greek and Roman mythology and sculpture over top as a semi-transparent screen. In this case the fierce Greek goddess Latona guards her son Apollo and his sister Artemis, commanding the bricked space and raising questions.

As a passerby looks at this mashing of imagery one may be reminded of the fiery and perplexing tensions that exist in discussions in academic and public-policy circles about the worthiness of graffiti, street art, and urban art alongside traditionally more revered art forms and styles. Another audience will see the battles between the various practices on the streets themselves, of which Pichiavo are well acquainted. Witness the faded “Toy” bubble branded on the infants hip – a term used to disparaged new unskilled graffiti writers.

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Pichiavo. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pichiavo tell us that the supportive relationship depicted extends between the mother and her children and that the figures are deliberately chosen to portray their own experiences. “Our aim was to represent graffiti and Street Art and the overall movement through Leto’s figure. Here her children are the writers, or artists. According to Greek mythology Apollo and his sister Artemis were the most important protectors of Leto, defending her from attackers of all kinds. This allegory can be applied in the Street Art world, where many people try to take advantage of something that it is growing and we, the writers ourselves, need to defend and protect that which we care about.”

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Pichi & Avo showing off their work at No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This is No Limit, the second installation of murals done primarily by Street Artists in Borås, a pristine and pleasant city about 45 minutes east of Gothenberg. With the leadership of artist Shai Dahan and organizers Stina Hallhagen and Anders Khil the local tourism office works year round to promote this festival and the quality of the pieces are top notch due to the careful choices of international big names and up-and-comers.

In addition to this diversity, the scale is varied with massive walls like those by the Chilean Inti and Poland’s Robert Proch, and more personal-sized installations in surprise locations around town by American illustration artist David Zinn and New Jersey’s sculptural stencillist Joe Iurato.

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Pichiavo. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With maps, food trucks, tours, and near daily coverage from local media, including the largest outlet “Borås Tidning”, whose façade was painted this year by Los Angeles native Tristan Eaton, this city of about 65,000 turns out small crowds to watch the progress from the sidewalk and interact with the artists.

“The people here are enthusiastic about the artists and their works and really engage with the art,” says Dahan, who serves as director of the “No Limit” festival and who also organized a pop-up gallery show of work by international and local artists in the heart of the city.

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David Zinn. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Across the street from the university is a “first” for a mural by the Chinese-born artist DALeast, who has not previously worked in the industrial cerulean hue that dyes the fibre-like threads weaving an enormous flying bird’s wingspan across a graduated modern façade. Dahan tells us that it is meant to be seen from the ground level for students and faculty at The Swedish School of Textiles.

“When he arrived in town he sat with his black book right here,” he says, motioning to the contiguous wooden seating platform running along steps leading up to the august bird. “He sketched the entire mural from this vantage point, and this is the best perspective to see it from.”

Next year the city is planning a sculpture festival and the murals will return in 2017. In the mean time, have a look at new work from Curiot, DalEast, David Zinn, Dulk, Inti, Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Robert Proch, and Tristan Eaton.

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Robert Proch. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Curiot. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dulk. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dulk. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dal East. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dal East. Detail from a photo taken above ground. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

See our previous updates:

“No Limit” in Borås, Update 1 : Temporary, Anamorphic David Zinn

“No Limit” in Borås, Update 2: Joe Iurato Climbing the Streets

“No Limit” in Borås: Update 3: Shots of Murals in Process

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“No Limit” in Borås: Update 3: Shots of Murals in Process

“No Limit” in Borås: Update 3: Shots of Murals in Process

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The process of getting one of these huge murals up in Borås entails many hours, days, paint, a scissor lift, compressors, brushes, buckets, sandwiches, sunscreen, ponchos, lunches, bathroom breaks, discussions, last minute runs to the hardware store, drizzling and pouring rain, warming sun, and entertaining questions from the inquisitive passersby.

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Dal East takes a photo of his mural. Detail. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

That last item on the list is particularly true here in Borås for the No Limit festival because director Shai Dahan and the tourism board here have done such a thorough job of publicizing the festival that literally crowds of spectators have greeted the artists at certain times during the past week, while the normal flow includes at least a handful of new people arriving at all times to take in the action first hand. Families, singles, old folks, boomers, skater kids – the interest level is rather unusual actually.

We only added to that number of spectators this week, but we also get to ride in the scissor lift so that is even more distracting to the artists. But what the heck.

Yes there will be finished pieces all presented together here for our No Limit round-up next Wednesday. In the mean time you can take a look here at some of the artists working on their walls in process high above the street in their buckets aloft in the sky, enjoying their final moments before they soon leave this town.

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Dal East Takes a photo of his mural. Detail. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ta-daaaaaah! The Pichiavo duo poses in from of their freshly completed mural. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INTI. School children interested in the process of making a mural arrived suddenly, like little fluorescent ducklings milling about. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INTI. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INTI. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INTI. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Process shot. No Limit Festival 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Colab Gallery Presents: “Public Provocations” A Group Exhibition (Weil am Rhein, Germany)

Public Provocations

The Colab Gallery presents the fifth edition of PUBLIC PROVOCATIONS. It combines various styles, disciplines and techniques of Urban Art. Nine artists from all over the world will be providing insight into their creative work. Every single artist is unique, and the exhibition will be as extraordinary as each exceptional piece of work is. PUBLIC PROVOCATIONS – a cross section of current works of the urban art scene.

PUBLIC PROVOCATIONS is opening on Saturday, June 8th at 8 pm and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

Alice Paquini, Robert Proch, Amose, Michael Grudziecki, Wolfgang Krell, Chris Stain, Case, Gris1, Orticanoodles.

http://www.colab-gallery.com/en/exhibitions/current-exhibition/public-provocations-v

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