All posts tagged: Roc Blackblock

BSA Film Friday: 07.05.19

BSA Film Friday: 07.05.19

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

Now screening :
1. VHILS “Debris” Sets Macau in Golden Nostalgia
2. OKUDA: The International Church Of Cannabis
3. Mr. Sis. and #SoloUnBeso
4. Parees International Mural Festival. Oviedo, Spain. Edition 2018.

BSA Special Feature: VHILS “Debris” Sets Macau in Golden Nostalgia

Is anybody listening?

Last year Vhils published this film about communication – personal, intimate, and global. We waited a year to see if it felt equally timeless as the first time we viewed it and indeed it is. Some stories like these have an additional element that secures their status. Surrounding the portraits created by the Portuguese Street Artist in Macau, this collage of images, interactions, flashes of expression and sequences of behavior is accompanied by a linear/circular narration that attempts to reconnect to a personal history while chiding the narrators own behavior.

It’s a winsome recounting of memories that are shared globally; a communal and personal experience at once told with clarity and emotional nostalgia, written and directed by José Pando Lucas.

OKUDA: The International Church Of Cannabis

One would hope that the International Church of Cannibis would look like this! Owing perhaps to psychedelic art of 1960s counterculture, liquid light art, concert posters, murals, underground newspapers, and of course kaleidoscoping the world with new eyes, the Spanish Street Artists Okuda San Miguel transformed this internal architecture into a truly holy space. Denver is one of those American cities that still has a good economy thanks to Colorado’s low taxes, growing marijuana industry and soaring real estate market. It seems like the whole city has invited many Street Artists to transform street space over the last decade and with a good collector’s base, the art galleries are busy and special projects are popping up everywhere to show off the skillz.

With a new church that uses pot as a sacrament, this project is spearheaded by Steve Berke, who’s Wikipedia posting lists him as “two-time candidate for mayor of Miami Beach, cannabis activist, rapper, YouTuber, entrepreneur, and former All-American tennis player.” Dude, just gaze at the ceilings here and you realize that the possibilities are awesome.

Mr. Sis. and #SoloUnBeso

“Artist Mr. Sis is in Barcelona painting this pair of full figured females going in for the kiss on this billboard for Contorno Urbano,” we wrote a few weeks ago in a posting about this wall. Today we have the finished video.

See more here: “Mr. Sis Paints #SoloUnBeso in Barcelona”

Parees International Mural Festival. Oviedo, Spain. Edition 2018.

A new mini-doc from the Parees Festival in Oviedo, Spain has just been released about the 2018 edition. It features on-screen interviews with many of the artists who were involved, including Colectivo Licuado, Roc BlackBlock, Taquen, Xav, Andrea Ravo Mattoni, Kruella d’Enfer, Alfalfa y Twee Muizen.

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No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

This past Sunday, February 17 at La Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas ( Three Smokestacks Square) in Barcelona an international group of artists participated in the first “No Borders Festival.”

Carles G.O’D. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

Called “Murs Contra el Murs”, which is Catalan for “Walls Against Walls”, the multi-mural festival intends to highlight the ongoing humanitarian crises of refugees and immigrants at international borders around the world.

Graffiti artists, Street Artists, painters, and illustrators came together to create new murals to speak to the issue and encourage debate and conversation. Artists included Btoy, Carles G.O’D, Dixon, Eledu, Enric Sant, Javier Arribas, Juanjo Surace, Julieta XLF, Kenor, Kram, Pincho, Roc Blackblock, Ruina, Saturno, Simón Vázquez, Tutzo, and Wati Bacán, among others.

Julieta XLF. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

NO BORDERS is a grassroots organization that was created to raise awareness about the refugees, to demand their acceptance, and to raise funds through debates, art and documentaries.

They say they want to raise the uncomfortable questions – which will undoubtedly lead to uncomfortable answers as well. To paraphrase the text on their website:

“Do we settle for a society that violates its moral and legal obligations to refugees? A refugee is a person who flees – Flees because he is on the losing side. Because he thinks, feels or prays differently than those who point him with their weapons.”

As usual, artists are bringing these matters to the street for the vox populi to debate.

Our sincere thanks to photographer Lluís Olive for sharing his shots of the walls with BSA readers.

Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
El Rey de la Ruina. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Juanjo Surace. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Royal. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Saturno Art . Eledu Works. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Pincho. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Kenor. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
Roc Black Block . Rubicon. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)
TVTZO. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

For more information on the festival running through March 3rd that includes documentaries, panel discussions, workshops, and prints, please go to https://noborders.es/ and follow @nobordersrefugees on Instagram

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The Weeknd: Fer Alcala in Cardedeu, Granollers and Baladona, Catalunya, Spain.

The Weeknd: Fer Alcala in Cardedeu, Granollers and Baladona, Catalunya, Spain.

Today we take a random walk around some of the most interesting street art in the metropolitan area of Barcelona with photographer and fervent observer of the scene, Fer Alcala, who shares with BSA readers about his own participation in the scene as a documentarian and vibrant part of the street ecosystem. An insatiable chaser of Street Art and murals, Fer doesn’t let a recent back operation keep him down for long and soon you are off discovering more in Granollers, Cardedeu, and who knows where else!


– by Fer Alcala

2017 was a weird year for me. It’s been more than 6 months that I’m trying to learn how to live in pain as I have a problem in my backbone which is healing as a Work In Process (WIP). At the same time, I’ve had the chance of collaborating with lots of artists, taking part in very interesting projects and shooting tons of photos. However it has not always been easy for me to find the motivation and the energy to go out there and hit the streets.

Roc Blackblock. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Apart from all this, you know how it works; There’s that spark, that unavoidable feeling that pushes you to do what you love to do despite everything else. So, this is what happened to me some weeks ago while being alone at home: I HAD to go for a walk, yes or yes. So, I did.

I had the need to go to Badalona and check some of the latest pieces of Spogo out. Spogo’s work is familiar to the BSA readers:  One of the finest abstract artists in the country, Spogo opens walls in his hometown and gives the chance to other artists to paint in his playground, developing a homeland legacy that is appreciated by neighbors, pedestrians and fellow artists. In these times when street art and gentrification are becoming almost synonymous, Spogo’s personal effort contributes to beautify the city through collabs with Elbi Elem, Tayone, Ángel Toren, Lost Optics, Kazzius or Nico Barrios & Toni Cuatrero.

Aryz . Gurtel. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In the meanwhile, it’s nice to find a big wall by H101 by chance, almost feeling it as a tribute to the defunct Sixe wall in the opposite side of the highway which was replaced by some useless gardening ad. It was also a great pleasure to find ‘Inocente II’, the great mural by Mohamed Lghacham and Iván Floro, two friends that hadn’t painted together in 6 years and whose figurative skills are reaching mastership levels.

So, in order to keep on feeding my hunger for art, I decided to visit the always interesting city of Granollers with about 60,000 inhabitants which is 40 minutes away from Barcelona by train, after seeing online what Velvet and Zoer had created for ‘Murs que parlen (Walls that speak)’. Murs que parlen is a project promoted by Granollers’ town hall, a project which they say is seeking to give life and color to some medium and large scale walls of the city. The result of the work of the French artistic duo, who were advised by Aryz on the occasion, is one of my personal faves in Catalunya this year.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I love how Zoer has explained the whole process in his IG account:

‘One month ago, Velvet and me started painting this mural in Granollers / Catalunya. Relating an artistic action to its close environment and context is a big question as: Does the mural/ public space/ art have to make a clear connection with its time or to a special meaning? The population of Catalunya expressed recently its will of autonomy and most generally the possibility of reorganizing the society around a strong regional and cultural defense. As foreigners, we can only watch and interpret the information from a certain distance.

The Can Bassa district in Granollers is a very quiet district, let’s say mostly Castillan, or inhabited by people from all of the country. We were invited to take a look at the academic system here, by giving a class to young art students and by visiting the primary school though the high school. The focus is set on the personal development and awakening in creative fields, developing an atmosphere of exchange and curiosity.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In a dance class, where children were training, we found dozens of drum sticks in a blue plastic basin. Besides that we had the chance to meet Toni Cumella and to visit his splendid ceramic factory. Their ceramics are designed for architecture mainly, where a million single pieces can shape an ensemble, become a pattern, a second skin to a concrete structure.

Well known for having designed this sophisticated ceiling ceramic map for the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona, they worked as well with Renzo Piano on the Centro Botin, creating a sensational floating pattern from thousands of ceramic disks modeling the facade and reflecting the light. During the inauguration, musicians were playing percussion using the ceramic facade as a giant drum with thousands of pads’.

Aryz . San . Zoer. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It’s great to see how interacting with the locals and taking into account the neighbors’ participation is becoming so important and giving meaning to the artist’s work, even becoming a norm in several projects all over the world.

My next stop was another Murs que parlen wall. It’s strange because almost no one out there has taken pics of this colossal Sixe Paredes piece. I tried to shoot it from the courtyard of the school, but the place was closed and nobody was working that day. To know more about this beautiful work, please check this nice documentary that a local TV filmed for the occasion.

Sixe Paredes. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It has been approximately four years since I had the chance to visit Roca Umbert. This cultural facility keeps some almost hidden gems by Aryz, Zoer, and Daniel Muñoz ‘SAN’ and Roc Blackblock, among others. Born as a tribute to Ferrer i Guardia and the modern school, with 250 students taking part in the process, this is what Roc said about it on his FB page at that time: ‘We arrived to the conclusion that education, knowledge and wisdom are the real superpowers that allow us to face all the challenges with success’.

One of the things that I love about Granollers is that it has everything: big walls, random ones all over the city, abandoned factories…and the ditch. Home of a superb, but now buffed old smoking bird by Aryz, this never ending urban canvas offers tons of great art by some of the biggest and more interesting names in da house: Aryz, Rostro, Cinta Vidal and Peeta, Japon, Treze … this list could go on forever, so here you have an small selection of what you can find down there. And, please, be careful if you decide to cross the river.

Velvet. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

As I was on fire, I decided to take the train and go to Cardedeu. This almost 13 km2 village is a creative gold mine. Aryz’s and Cinta Vidal’s homeplace, Cardedeu’s outskirts gives shelter to one of the most admired abandoned factories in the biz: Ofidirect. I’ve been here several times with lots of different friends, artists and colleagues and everybody loves the place.

It was the first time that I was there alone and I have to say that I was almost overwhelmed by the silence and the majesty of this concrete and brick space. Being some kind of a private playground for the MixedMedia Crew and other artists and graffiti writers, Ofidirect is still alive preserving its urban decay beauty and charm. It was funny for me to see how Zoer, Velvet and Aryz had got some fun in there apart from the big Wall in Granollers.

Zoer. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

After a 40 minutes walk to go back to Cardedeu, some beer, and a train and back to Barcelona, I was at home editing pics and speaking with friend artist @elbielem. She asks me about an Aryz mural in Cardedeu. ??? I had no clue about what she was talking and Aryz painting in his hometown on kind of a big wall? He’s one of my favorite artists and I had been there for hours and I haven’t got any f*cking idea about it? Well: sh*t happens. Best street art hunter (hate this title…) ever.

I went back to Cardedeu the next day very soon in the morning, but that, my friends, is a different story

Velvet . Aryz . Gurtel . Zoer. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Treze. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Ratos. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Sergi Marqués. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

KIKX. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Japon VLOK. Ofidirect/Cardedeu, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Rostro. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Aryz . Rostro. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Cinta Vidal . Peeta. Granollers, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Mohamed Lghacham . Iván Floro. “Inocente II” Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

‘This wall is the second part of another one that I painted two years ago about the same issue,” says artist Mohamed Lghacham who painted this wall with assistance of Iván Floro.

“Its main character is a friend of mine who was born on December 28th which is the ‘Santos Inocentes’ day in Spain (note: this is the equivalent of the April’s fool day in the States). Basically, it consists on playing little jokes on your friends and relatives. When my friend was a little kid and it was his birthday his classmates didn’t trust him, thinking that he was just kidding. There’s not a big concept behind the piece: it’s just something anecdotal that seems funny to me.

The idea about painting that mural came from Badiu Jove Badalona as one of the activities of Conect’Art which is an art fair for young creators that takes place in the city.” Lghacham says he would like to thank his assistant Floro.  “Everything went great and I guess that we will work together often in the near future.”

Spogo . Nico Barrios . Tony Cuatreros. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Spogo . Elbi Elem. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

H101. Baladona, Spain. December 2017. (photo © Fer Alcalá)


Instagram handles:

Sixe @sixeparedes, Spogo @spogo15, Elbi Elem @elbielem , Tayone @tayone.abz , Ángel Toren @angeltoren , Lost Optics @lostoptics, Kazzius @kaz.zius or Nico Barrios @mrnobodysmind ,Toni Cuatrero @tonicuatrero, H101 @h1_01, Mohamed Lghacham @oiterone, Iván Floro @van_vuu, Velvet @velvetcsx, Zoer @zoerism, Aryz @mr_aryz, Daniel Muñoz ‘SAN’ @danielmunoz_san, Rostro @rostrovalseca , Cinta Vidal @cinta_vidal & Peeta @peeta_ead , Japon @japonvlok , Treze @acidcollapse, Peeta @peeta_ead , Japon @japonvlok , Treze @acidcollapse

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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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“The Intimacy Project” Gets Close to the Artist with Fer Alcala

“The Intimacy Project” Gets Close to the Artist with Fer Alcala

“…the real heroes are the people noticing things, paying attention.”

~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Twee Muizen. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Somewhere between celebrity and anonymity sits the Street Artist, depending on their wishes and fortune. We always feel lucky to see the artwork first anonymously on the street, because it needs to stand for itself, free of the passerby’s association with their knowledge of its author. Later, when you are in the presence of the artist with their work, the relationship you have with it is permanently altered. If you have established some trust, you also can learn so much about an artists relationship with the physicality of their process of art-making; the posture, the breathing, the gesture, the distance.

Photographer Fernando Alcalá Losa has made it a focus of his own art practice to notice the small and the great aspects of the artist’s process and captures important details that allow the viewer to understand the dynamics and relationship between an artist and their creation. In December on BSA he wrote,

“It’s about being there, right there, feeling the energy of creation. It’s about intimacy, about detail, about the personal connection with the artist, because you were able to be that close. And not everyone can be that close, that’s for sure…

I’m grateful for having the chance of living these moments of proximity, knowing that those artists that you’re shooting at trust you and allow you to be there, right there.”

Ulises Mendicutty. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Today on BSA we’re pleased to present a very rare collection of Fernando’s images that tell just these stories, these primary relationships that are in alignment with the life of a creator; a struggle, a dance, a wandering journey of discovery, a spirited production, an execution of plan. All of these aspects and more can be seen, and sometimes captured by the artist behind the lens.


“The Intimacy Project”

Fernando Alcalá Losa

Some weeks ago, I read a post from someone on Facebook saying that the figure of the artist wasn’t important, saying that the piece was the only relevant thing in fact.

It sounded funny to me because there’s no artwork without the artist, but I understand what was meant, although I disagree from a photographic point of view. “The Intimacy Project” is an idea that has been in my head for some time and it has been developing in parallel with my evolution as a Street Art photographer.

Yoshi Sislay. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

When I started to interact with artists, I was kind of obsessed about keeping the distance, physically speaking, and about not disturbing the artist. As time went by, I began getting closer to everything; not only to the wall, but also to the person who paints the wall. I became more confident, always trying to be respectful and operating from my best intentions – and I continue doing this today.

“The Intimacy Project” is about the person behind the artist, about the human side of the creative process and about what happens from a close up view while a piece of art is being produced.

It’s about gestures, expressions, obsessions and techniques. Because the artwork, the final result, is important, but the human being who creates it is also important for me…indeed…

Margalef. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Irene Lopez. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

Nuno Gomes. Us Festival 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá. OlympusE510)

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

Conse. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Smates. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

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

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

Smates. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Berol. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Berol. Barcelona, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

SAV45. Lloret Del Mar, 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano 2017. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Elbi Elem. Contorno Urbano 2017. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Shana. ContornoUrbano 2017. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

Shana. ContornoUrbano 2017. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, FujifilmXT10)

 

Ivana Flores. Base Elements Gallery. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá OlympusE510)

Miss Van. Fem Rimes, Fem Graff-2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá iPhone 6)

Cinta Vidal. Contorno Urbano 2016. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, OlympusE510)

Cinta Vidal. Contorno Urbano 2016. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, OlympusE510)

Reskate Studio. Contorno Urbano 2016. L’Hospitalet De Llobregat (photo © Fer Alcalá, OlympusE510)

Fasim. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá OlympusE510)

She One. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá OlympusE510)


“The Intimacy Project”

  • Took place over the course of one year

  • Three different tools used: Iphone, OlympusE510, FujifilmXT10

  • Scenarios: Openwalls Conference 2016, Ús Festival 2016, Contorno Urbano 2016 / 2017, La Arnau Gallery, Fem Rimes, Fem Graff 2016, Nau Bostik, Wallspot


 

 

 

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BSA Film Friday: 03.31.17

BSA Film Friday: 03.31.17

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. Vegan Flava – Trapped Peace
2. Rime “UP ON THROUGH”
3. Street Art City
4. 12 + 1 Roc Blackblock. Barcelona

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BSA Special Feature: Vegan Flava – “Trapped Peace”

The urban artist Vegan Flava typically is seen in abandoned buildings and ex-factories. Here’s a quick look at his studio practice, giving you an insight into the transition that many artist make from one venue to another, one set of materials exchange for a different set.

Rime “UP ON THROUGH”

“If I’m gonna play, I’m gonna play with some new math,” says graffiti/street/fine artist RIME on the attitude of risk-taking and experimentation that artists must continue to embrace to grow. In his case, his inspirations come from many sources and he shows you how he is digging deep in this promo for his current show at Wall Works gallery through May.

Street Art City

A Street Art outdoor museum called “Street Art City”, with an admission fee and selected artists re-facing buildings in a compound. For how many years have you said that the Street Artists are creating a museum? Here in LURCY-LÉVIS, France, one actually is opening on April 28th.

An additional project includes a 128 room former hotel with each room a separate installation by an artist. The idea has been successful elsewhere, including The Haus in Berlin that opens April 1, so it appears that the model of haunted house/ theme park is gaining interest – perhaps it will merge with art/music/performance festivals in cities around the world. Actually, bet on it.

 

12 + 1 Roc Blackblock. Barcelona

Roc Blackblock does his stencil mural for the 12+1 project in Barcelona and the video gives you a better idea how detailed and careful the work must be, particularly to create the birdcage that the protagonist finds themself withing.

 

 

 

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

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

“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.

Manolo Mesa at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)


~ Fernando Alcalá Losa

The 1st edition of Urvanity International New Contemporary Art Fair, which took place in the always vibrant Madrid last week, was the perfect excuse for us for going down there, see some old friends, meet a bunch of new ones, work in our ‘diplomatic relationships’ and, yes, try to take a couple of decent pics.

Today I have a few more words about Urvanity, as BSA has already published an article about the event that you can read here.

Isaac Cordal at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

It was a great pleasure for us to have the chance to enjoy the art of some of the top names in the biz represented by galleries like Stolen Space (London), Open Walls (Berlin), Montana and Fousion Gallery (Barcelona) or Pretty Portal (Amsterdam).

A special mention goes to PDP Gallery (Paris) and their young troupe of figurative artists Mohamed Lghacham, Manolo Mesa and Iñigo Sesma. Love their work.

Other artists in attendance were Mist, Miss Van, Aryz, Vermibus and Enric Sant – who gave a fantastic lecture about his career that helped a lot to all of us who have been following the evolution of his work to understand what hides behind his nightmare characters. All of it with a constant smile in his face…

D*Face at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

So, although the final result of the fair seemed to be very positive for everyone, I needed to know a little bit more about the organizers’ impressions of this 1st edition. This is what director Sergio Sancho, through communication manager Monica Iglesias, told me about it:

What were the biggest obstacles that you had to beat in order to make Urvanity happen?

At first, it was very difficult to find the right spaces that we needed. 1st editions are always difficult and the bet that people have to do for a new project is big. Step by step we have been showing that our proposal was serious and solid and the galleries were entering the project slowly. It’s true that we duplicated efforts in order to get customers from September on, because we couldn’t get the space until July.

This fact caused a challenge for some of the galleries who had already confirmed their presence in other fairs. Nevertheless, we are very happy about the representation that we got this year and we hope that the number of galleries grows next year. We will have more time and we also have learnt a lot. 2018 will be the year when this thrilling project that has generated so much interest will consolidate.

Pichi & Avo at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Why there were so many problems getting the walls? Lack of help from local authorities?

Lack of time hasn’t helped with this issue either. The walls pregame was launched once we had confirmed the galleries as we wanted these walls to be painted by artists represented by galleries with presence in the fair and whose artwork was exhibited there. Madrid is a difficult city for getting mural interventions done and it’s worse if they are in the city centre. In the end, we needed to solve some difficulties and changes of locations and we made it happen with a superb level of artists.

Our collaborator Madrid Street Art Project has done a great work here. Let’s say that the authorities have realized the importance of these kinds of projects for the city and for the neighborhoods. We are very happy with the final result.

 

Jordan Seiler at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Enric Sant at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

I notice that the presence of women artists whose work was exhibited in Urvanity (Miss Van, Peca, etc) was very small, in the conferences too and, obviously, among the artists who have painted the walls. Of course, Urvanity can’t decide which artists the galleries decide to present, but have you got any plans about this in next year edition?

It’s true that in addition to the ones you mention, Laurence Vallières y Jessica Hess have been in Urvanity. Nuria Mora closed the conferences in front of a fully crowded audience. But feminine representation is way smaller than masculine one. Personally, I totally support the fact that this will change in next year’s edition and I will try to have more women represented in the fair. We, as Urvanity managers, will try to create some kind of initiative in order to make this happen.

Ben Eine. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Ok. Galleries, museums and canvases are great. But these do not compare to seeing streets and walls and five walls were painted during the week that Urvanity took place, with Ben Eine, Jason Woodside, L’Atlas, Mohamed Lghacham and Manolo Mesa chosen to get the job done.

Different styles and techniques applied for difficult surfaces (those waves in the Woodside Wall…) and they did a hell of a job. We’ll let the shots speak for themselves. Big props go to Guillermo de la Madrid (@guilloso) and special thanks to Pepa Marteles (@pepamarteles) for allowing us to invade her home.

Manolo Mesa. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

As I said before, Madrid has a super active cultural scene. It was impossible for us to see everything that we had planned, but there were a couple of things that were a must. One of these things was ‘Nothing Lost’, Alice Pasquini’s 1st solo show in Spain at that paradise on Earth called Swinton & Grant.

Located in front of Tabacalera walls, this venue is the place that you are desperate to have in your town if you love art, books, coffee and culture in general. Besides, Goyo (@goyovn) & Sergio (@sergiobang), the guys running the project, are beautiful human beings.

Manolo Mesa . Mohamed Lghacham. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Mohamed Lghacham)

I asked Goyo if he could tell me some personal info about why they decided to work with the Italian artist and some tips about how their work relationship was…

First time we spoke to Alice Pasquini to host a solo show by her at Swinton Gallery was in December 2013, even before we opened our space in Madrid. Everyone understood that this is a long awaited dream-come-true for us.

But the dream was even brighter when we started to work with her. Those days deciding which found objects she was going to paint, which projects we were going to show, and, after she came to Madrid, those days preparing the show and painting the wall for our “Mind the wall” project were really amazing.

To work next to Alice was smooth, funny, and most of all a powerful breath of fresh air for us. She made us feel comfortable working next to one of the most significant artists in the scene of the urban arts, and that’s something we will always thank her for.

Mohamed Lghacham. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Mohamed Lghacham)

Pasquini’s exhibited pieces at Swinton are intimate and precious. I love the wide range of materials used as canvases: fabrics, stone, wood, and traffic signs. Her collaboration with photographer Stefano C. Montesi has even produced a 3D installation where you can dive even deeper into Alice artwork. ‘Nothing Lost’ will be at Swinton until March 11th. Don’t forget to pass by if you are around…

In the meanwhile, we managed to enjoy some time with artists, cultural managers, photographers, street art aficionados and neighbors. Roc Blackblock is a veteran multidisciplinary artist from Barcelona who was in Madrid to get some things done. A stencil master, Roc’s artwork is full of social consciousness, working class heroes and politics.

L’Atlas. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Having the chance of documenting his creative process (it wasn’t the 1st time) while listening to him talk about his future projects and ideas was something very close to a master class. He painted two walls during his stay in the capital. The first one was in one of the outside walls of the squat ‘La Quimera’. Title: ‘This is not a crisis, this is capitalism’. The second one was in ‘Esto es una plaza’, a peaceful self-managed urban garden in Lavapies. Title: ‘Milicians’.

This is what Roc has to say about the ‘Milicians’ art piece…

I loved painting in ‘Esto es una plaza’ because of the characteristics of the project. It’s a real example of how neighbors make a public space of their own. They manage it in order to improve their own environment, making decisions horizontally about management, ecology, sustainability, and self management of their own necessities and wishes.

Jason Woodside. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

From the very first time I visited the place, I loved how this space was putting different generations together: children playing with sand, grandpas and grandmas growing vegetables, a poetry lecture over there… It seemed the perfect space to me for painting a piece about the militia during the Spanish Civil War. They not only fought against fascism, but they also headed a true revolution; making factories and fields collective, building a more equal society.

Three days in Madrid. That was it. It’s never enough…

I hope that Urvanity will take place next year. I also hope that I can make it there before it happens.

Alice Pasquini Nothing Lost Swinton & Grant Gallery. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Alice Pasquini Nothing Lost Swinton & Grant Gallery. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Alice Pasquini. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Alice Pasquini. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

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

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

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

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

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

Roc Blackblock No Es Crisis Es Capitalismo Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

 

 

 

 

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“Liberate the Child Within” Roc Blackblock for 12 + 1 in Barcelona

“Liberate the Child Within” Roc Blackblock for 12 + 1 in Barcelona

Free your mind, and the rest will follow.

Not only is it a lyric from a 90s pop song, it is a truth that people learn everyday to liberate themselves from attitudes and world views that they’ve accepted but now want to let go of.

Roc Blackblock. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)

Catalan Street Artist Roc Blackblock creates a cage around the head and shoulders of his protagonist for the Project 12+1 in Barcelona. He calls it “Llibera l’infant que portes dins!”, which translates as “Liberate the Child Within”.

It makes sense because many adults stopped being creative or expressing their creativity after childhood – bowing to messages from schools, parents, even religious institutions. At some point we don’t even trust our abilities to be creative anymore.

Roc Blackblock. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)

But Roc says you can get back there.

“It’s an invitation to reconnect with the aspects of ourselves that adult life and social pressures have repressed and dulled; spontaneity, creativity, fantasy, and imagination,” he says.

It’s worth a try, right?

Roc Blackblock. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

Roc Blackblock. Contorno Urbano “12 x 1” 2017. Barcelona. (photo © Clara Anton)

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Barcelona: Open Walls Mural Festival and Conference 2015

Barcelona: Open Walls Mural Festival and Conference 2015

Barcelona was known as a city at the epicenter of a bustling lively organic Street Art scene in the mid 2000s. Today that has greatly been cracked down upon by authorities but the Spanish city now boasts a mural festival called Open Walls, which celebrated its third edition last month with public works spanning a great number of influences and styles. Of course there is still plenty of autonomous unpermissioned Street Art to be seen as well.

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Borondo at work on his sketch for his enormous piece at Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

This years’ interventions included new large format walls from Roc Blackblock, Ethos, Borondo, Zosen and Mina Hamada, and Mohamed Lghacham. Site specific walls included works by BYG, Enric Font, Sav45, Rubicon, Tayone, and Reskate Studio with Marina Capdevila and Amaia Arrazola. Boldly, the festival featured an open call to the first 20 respondents to paint a huge project together, effectively disarming any accusations of hierarchical favoritism or gate keeping.

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Borondo. Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

Open Walls 2015 also featured a conference with speakers, debates, tours and workshops that expand the discussion of art in the urban environment beyond typical Street Art and graffiti fare. The academic and institutional world is gradually grappling with bigger questions around urban planning and public space as it pertains to art in the streets and formal art teaching is still broadening its consideration of an artist movement that started quite outside its purview.

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Borondo. Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

Invited speakers included photographer Martha Cooper, graffiti artist and historian Jay Edlin, RJ Rushmore of Vandalog, Sergi Díaz (ICUB), representatives of the Madrid Street Art Project, philosopher Gabriela Berti, art historian Will Shank, and conservator Rosa Senserrich. The international and multidisciplinary program of professionals addressed issues regarding documentation, conservation, restoration, the history of Street Art, and its evolving role in the urban experience.

Here are some images courtesy of the festival photographer Fernando Alcalá Losa and of BSA contributor Lluis Olive Bulbena.

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Borondo. Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

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Roc Black Block. Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

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Roc Black Block. Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Zosen . Mina Hamada Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

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Zosen . Mina Hamada Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

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Zosen . Mina Hamada Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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ETHOS. Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

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Mohamed Lghacham AKA Oiter. Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

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Mohamed Lghacham AKA Oiter. Open Walls Conference 2015. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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SAV45. Open Walls Conference 2015. Site Specific Call. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

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SAV45. Open Walls Conference 2015. Site Specific Call. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Rubicon1. Open Walls Conference 2015. Site Specific Call. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Manu Manu . Open Walls Conference 2015. Site Specific Call. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Manu Manu . Open Walls Conference 2015. Site Specific Call. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Simon Vazquez . Sebastien Waknine . Open Walls Conference 2015. Open Call, Banc de Sang Wall. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Osnam . Caster . Cayn. Open Walls Conference 2015. Open Call, Banc de Sang Wall. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Mer Bl . Open Walls Conference 2015. Open Call, Banc de Sang Wall. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Copia . Open Walls Conference 2015. Open Call, Banc de Sang Wall. Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Jordan Seiler. Open Walls Conference 2015. Bus Shelter Take Over. Barcelona. (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

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This article was also published on The Huffington Post.

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