All posts tagged: Rochester

The Grass Is Greener in Rochester for Wall\Therapy 2017: Completed Walls

The Grass Is Greener in Rochester for Wall\Therapy 2017: Completed Walls

With a theme of “Art and Activism”, the 2017 edition of Wall\Therapy is happening mid-summer in Rochester with local and national artists coming to complete murals that keep people in mind. More of a grassroots mural festival than many, this one works to deepen engagement with the community through new programming intended to connect residents of all ages. BSA is happy to support Wall\Therapy again this year and we invite you to take a look at a people-powered organization that continues to keep it real.


Most of the walls have been finished here in Rochester and the artists are resting up after a pretty intense week and a half of creating new murals for Wall\Therapy. It’s a perfect time of year here – August is sunny and warm and there are sunflowers in backyards and morning glories climbing fences along empty lots. There’s a lot to do around Rocha-cha, and now there are many more murals that are drawing people together to stand on the sidewalk or hang out a window and examine and discuss.

Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, as they say, and many people don’t realize how much of an adventure they can have going for a walk or a hike through their own city. We were so impressed by a short story that Street Artist Sean9Lugo shared with us that we decided to end our coverage of Wall\Therapy with it – a parable for our relationship with animals and the earth. Additionally, his illustrated, painted wheat-pastes here help to illustrate the story.


Our sincere thanks again to the Wall\Therapy founders, organizers, volunteers, artists, and photographers along with the members of the community who lent a hand and some time to making this successful event happen.

Sean9Lugo.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

“The Grass Can Always Be Greener”

Over the years the people that have inhabited mother earth did not treat her well. She was used and abused – crying thunderous tears that flooded her rivers, cracking her foundation and exposing the howling songs of sorrow that gust across her skies. It was the animals who tried to stop us from breaking her heart but we did not listen and only continued on without any regard. We believed we were making improvements to life, yet it was not us but the flowers, trees and rest of the creatures that suffered the consequences the most.

Something had to be done and it was Olivia who made it her mission to replenish mother earth with the plants and animals that once called her home, but barely survived our arrogance, for this was the only way to revive her broken heart.

One day Olivia sat along the Lower Falls overlook apologizing to mother earth for the damage done when a raccoon nibbling on some clover and dandelion turned to her asking why there was so much sadness in her eyes. After explaining to the raccoon what troubled her he ran away in excitement only to return at a much slower pace atop a turtle. The raccoon and turtle took turns with their story, ultimately saying that it only those whose hearts beat to the same beautiful rhythm as mother earths that could bring the spark back to the horizon across the waters, land, and sky.

Sean9Lugo.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Immediately the raccoon ran into a deep burrow in the ground coming back up with handfuls of soil, each time placing it into Olivia’s hands who smeared it across the turtles shell. It was only the touch of a human that could slowly reverse the damage caused by all of us, and after the last handful was placed on the turtles broadened back, lo and behold the earth began to grow in an instant.

The soil upon the turtles back continued to sprout with blossoms and as it grew the air smelled sweeter, the fish could breathe better and the sky was illuminated with a luminous orb. It had been years since mother earth shone this bright. The animals all around the falls ran to see the beauty that was forming around them and rejoiced but immediately sought council as they knew there was still work to be done with the help of Olivia.

Sean9Lugo.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Next the ducks received her on their interknit wings and slowly raised her into the skies where she was met by the elder stork who was honored to have Olivia’s presence in the skies with him. With gratitude he passed on to her bags of life, explaining to her that they held creatures that would bless the earth, and again only a humans touch could release the contents of the bags. As she was lowered back to the growing earth around her, which was now carpeted with greener grass and trees sprouting everywhere, she gently placed the bags down. The bags began to roll around with the tops spilling open, releasing fish, land animals, insects and every other creature that for so many years did not exist on mother earth.

Sean9Lugo.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

As soon as the animals embraced their new home they gathered around Olivia proclaiming her the Great Defender of the earth. Other people rushed to her side, tears rolling down their cheeks from the overwhelming beauty that was intensifying across the horizon. It was on this day that people promised to gently care for mother earth and her children because they finally realized that we must live in harmony with all that surrounds us.

El Fin

~ Sean9Lugo

Sean9Lugo in Collaboration with Magnus Champlin.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

BSA: You have been busy the last few days with wheat-pasting your characters around town. Have you been enjoying Rochester?
Sean9Lugo: I love Rochester, it reminds me of a bunch of different cities – Detroit, Philly and The Bronx – all put together in a pot of arroz con gandules.

BSA: How did the collaboration on the naturescape wall come about and are you pleased with the results?
Sean9Lugo: I felt like the final scene/wall needed to have a landscape to bring the story written by Savage Habbit in full circle. I reached out to Erich from Wall Therapy and asked if he knew anyone in town who would like to collaborate and paint a Bob Ross style landscape and he delivered with flying colors, putting me in touch with local artist Magnus Champlin.  So to answer your question, yes I was thrilled to see how the vision came out.

BSA: What is the most common reaction of passerby to your work?
Sean9Lugo: Most people either laugh, say “that’s cute” or question “why the head?”

BSA: If a bear and you were spotting a jar of peanut butter up a tree in the woods at the same time, who would win?
Sean9Lugo: No contest, I would destroy the bear… peanut butter is my shit.

Sarah C. Rutherford.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Roc Paint Division.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Roc Paint Division. Detail.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Jess X Snow. Detail.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Jess X Snow. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Ian Kuali’i. Detail.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda Yrene La Morena. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Lucinda Yrene La Morena. Detail.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Todd Stahl. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Todd Stahl. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Aubrey Roemer. Work in progress. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

 

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Finishing Pieces in Rochester for Wall Therapy 2017: Dispatch 3

Finishing Pieces in Rochester for Wall Therapy 2017: Dispatch 3

With a theme of “Art and Activism”, the 2017 edition of Wall\Therapy is happening mid-summer in Rochester with local and national artists coming to complete murals that keep people in mind. More of a grassroots mural festival than many, this one works to deepen engagement with the community through new programming intended to connect residents of all ages. BSA is happy to support Wall\Therapy again this year and we invite you to take a look at a people-powered organization that continues to keep it real.


Eeerbody get their hands in the air! Dance like you just don’t care!

Sean9Lugo at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Sean9Lugo’s been gesticulating with a victorious pose in Rochester for Wall\Therapy for the last few days, wheat-pasting his human/stuffed animal amalgams on walls here and there. The New Jersey native had to travel a half day to get here but didn’t waste any time or his signature sense of street humor once he arrived. As a collaboration with artist Magnus Champlin he even brought his creatures out to frolic in a pastoral natural setting.

Sean9Lugo for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Saturday’s successful panel discussions and block party have put wind under the wings (and perhaps a couple hangovers) as they work to complete their murals. Todd Stahl’s participation on the activism panel Saturday at Wall\Therapy’s first conference took him away from his wall that is inspired by the plight of refugees world wide, Syrians in particular.

Based in part on images from humanitarian photographer Manar Bilal, the collaged scene includes text, form, and warplanes – an ironic choice that reminds us that wars make refugees and cause suffering, regardless of whose fighting. Stahl is sharing the painting duties with community members and many have been eagering joining in, each bringing their particular style and talent to the overall composition.

Sean9Lugo at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Thematically the festival this year is closer to the ground than previous years, closer to day-to-day issues that affect residents of Roc. With a focus on art and activism – a combination familiar to the Street Art world dating as least as far back as the early billboard jammers – the themes of our systemic racism, LGBTQ issues, women’s rights, families, feminism, the war machine, and the importance of community are all on display with great tact.

Sean9Lugo for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sean9Lugo and Magnus Champlin at work on their collaboration for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Sean9Lugo at work on his collaboration wall with Magnus Champling for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda Yrene/La Morena. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Lucinda Yrene/La Morena. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Ian Kuali’i at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

Ian Kuali’i work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Todd Stahl at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Todd Stahl work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

 

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Wall Therapy 2017: An Intersection of Art, Celebration and People Power : Dispatch 2

Wall Therapy 2017: An Intersection of Art, Celebration and People Power : Dispatch 2

With a theme of “Art and Activism”, the 2017 edition of Wall\Therapy is happening mid-summer in Rochester with local and national artists coming to complete murals that keep people in mind. More of a grassroots mural festival than many, this one works to deepen engagement with the community through new programming intended to connect residents of all ages. BSA is happy to support Wall\Therapy again this year and we invite you to take a look at a people-powered organization that continues to keep it real.


Wall\Therapy is progressing very nicely right now with three members of Rochesters’ youth mural program doing self portraits.

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Etana Brown, Nzinga Muhammed, and Kaori-Mei Stephens are each 17 years old and are focusing the message that All Black Lives Matter. Elsewhere Jess X Snow is doing a portrait of transgender poet Chrysanthemum Tran and muralist Sarah C. Rutherford honors all mothers with her portrait of Trelawney McCoy, a celebrated Rochester native who has opened her home to children through adoption and fostering. The mural is part of Rutherford’s “Her Voice Carries” project.

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Today is the inaugural Wall\Therapy conference featuring Keynote speaker Jessica Pabón-Colón and a full day of panels and discussions and a project room featuring representatives from other community-based art programs and social justice/relief organizations such as the O+ Festival, WXXI, The Ghandi Institute, the New York Civil Liberties Union, Refugees Helping Refugees, Flying Squirrel Community Space and the Visual Studies Workshop.

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Tonight is the block party, a summertime celebration with Kaleidoscope Collective, a local artist space that will include an artist market, an official revealing of the murals by Aubrey Roemer and Jess X Snow, food trucks, live art, and music from Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People. Check out this video by the ebullient and classy Ms. Ponder performing with this talented local family of friends with an inspirational tagline, “Live Your Life, Love Your Life.”

Jess X Snow at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Josh Saunders)

Jess X Snow at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Josh Saunders)

Jess X Snow at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Jess X Snow. Work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

Ian Kuali’i at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Josh Saunders)

“Yesterday was super productive. I was able to paste up everything for Rochester’s new hand cut paper mural and starting today I begin the actual process…weather permitting naturally…,” says Ian Kuali’i on his Facebook page.

Ian Kuali’i at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Ian Kuali’i at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Aubrey Roemer. Work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

Aubrey Roemer at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Aubrey Roemer at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda Yrene/La Morena. Work in progress Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda Yrene/La Morena. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Todd Stahl. Work in progress Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

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Wall Therapy 2017 Under Way! Local-Heavy Artist Roster Brings Spirit of Community to Rochester

Wall Therapy 2017 Under Way! Local-Heavy Artist Roster Brings Spirit of Community to Rochester

With a theme of “Art and Activism”, the 2017 edition of Wall\Therapy is happening mid-summer in Rochester with local and national artists coming to complete murals that keep people in mind. More of a grassroots mural festival than many, this one works to deepen engagement with the community through new programming intended to connect residents of all ages. BSA is happy to support Wall\Therapy again this year and we invite you to take a look at a people-powered organization that continues to keep it real.


Aubrey Roemer, La Morena, Roc Paint Division, Sarah Rutherford, and Todd Stahl have already begun work with gusto (!) on their walls as the 2017 edition of Wall\Therapy gets into full swing right now in the city of Rochester in northwestern New York State.

Sarah Rutherford at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Begun by Dr. Ian Wilson a handful of years ago and joined by professional partner Erich Lehman as co-producer, the community level interventions of murals throughout the city have been a metaphorical analogue to the medical programs he has championed, including providing high-tech teleradiology services to underserved communities here and abroad. Thinking of artists as healers and artworks as a kind of therapy for a community, Wall\Therapy takes on a unique personality among the mural festivals that are currently happening in cities around the world.

Sarah Rutherford. Work in progress. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

This years’ collection of artists is keeping it very local, with a few exceptions from elsewhere in the US. Organizers say they are looking to deepen their engagement with Rochester’s communities through new programming intended to connect Rochester residents of all ages and all walks of life – including a new conference component. “Arts & Activism” will feature speakers and panels organized around topics like social change, community activism, and creative practice.

Todd Stahl. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

No doubt many will be interested in the keynote on Saturday by Dr. Jessica Pabón-Colón, Assistant Professor for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at SUNY New Paltz. She’ll be talking about her upcoming book “Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora” and she’ll examine how contemporary street and graffiti art movements have responded critically to the demands of the creative neoliberal city, with examples of works to provoke thought on the relationship between aesthetics and politics.

Todd Stahl at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Over the next week BSA will be bringing you progress shots and finished walls in this community-centric, volunteer infused festival that merges the aesthetics of community murals with the influences of today’s Street Art scene.

Wall\Therapy 2017 artists include Aubrey Roemer, La Morena, Todd Stahl, Ian Kuali’I, Sarah C. Rutherford, Jess X Snow, Sean 9 Lugo, and Roc Paint Division.

Our very special thanks to photographers Mark Deff, Lisa Barker, Jason Wilder, and Thomas Flint for sharing their images of the action for BSA readers.

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Aubrey Roemer at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Tomas Flint)

Aubrey Roemer at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Josh Saunders)

Aubrey Roemer with some little help for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Aubrey Roemer work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Lucinda at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Josh Saunders)

Lucinda work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

La Morena at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.17.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.17.16

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Hillary Clinton announced in Brooklyn this week that she supports raising the minimum wage to $250,000 a speech while Bernie Sanders scoped around the showroom of a Danish furniture designer in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to order a new blond wood desk and chair for the Oval Office. The two sparred live on national TV from Brooklyn Thursday but you couldn’t tell they were in the BK because the CNN logos engulfed the screen and candidates and the actual citizens were reduced to a babbling rabble who hooted and hollered like sports fans somewhere in the dark. Wonder how long CNN intends to have their brand new warehouse-sized logo beaming across the river at Manhattan.

Meanwhile, on the streets here it is pretty evident who many New Yorkers favor and the majority of new Street Art pieces and graffiti pieces are feeling the Bern. It’s true, we tend to hang out with artists, creatives, punks, hippies, and assorted wild-eyed weirdos – so its not exactly a true cross-section, but Clinton fans are not making much art on the streets. Possibly that is because level-headed reasonable people don’t feel the need to express their support for her so loudly and visibly. It will be interesting to see if Big Media predictions of a 17% Clinton lead are true by Wednesday morning. The Wall Street Journal seems to be banking on it.

Trump is #1 in NYC for the Republicans, presumably because of “New York values”.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Caratoes, Elle, Ever Siempre, Faust, Flood, Icy & Sot, Lola Jiblazee, Lora Zombie, Nafir, Shantell Martin, Stuart Ringholt, Thiago Goms, Thievin’ Stephen, Thomas Allen, TriHumph, Vandal Expressionism, Vanesa Longchamp, Vexta, You Go Girl!, and Zabou.

Our top image: Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot . Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thomas Allen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flood (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vandal Expressionism (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thievin’ Stephen in Rochester, NY. (photo © Thievin’ Stephen)

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Lola Jiblazee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TriHumph styles Bernie as Bowie. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EverSiempre in Ostend, Belgium for Crystal Ship Fest 2016. (photo © EverSiempre)

“Homage to the Past and Future”

The city of Oostende began its great reforms in 1883. King Leopold II earned the nickname the “constructor” for his contribution to public works. These reforms were possible thanks to the large profits that were made from the king’s colony, an area sixty times larger than Belguim: the Congo. In the Congo, rubber was a resource that became precious because of its use in the automotive and bicycle industries. The king imposed high quotas on rubber production in the Congo and forced the indigenous population to comply using coercive methods and extreme violence. It is estimated that during Leopold’s years of domination about ten million natives were killed in the Congo.

“Homage to the Past and Future” is a work that talks about the heavy legacy of the past, about how societies live with the consequences of those that came before and how they build their current reality to be better. The mural is located at the urban entrance to the city, a work that perhaps Leopoldo II had not imagined at the gates of the resort town. Today, the reality is different; diversity flourishes in the city and the image is of a resident of Oostende. Humans learn from their mistakes and the future will always be better if our present remembers and pays homage to the real heroes.”

-Ever

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Faust. Shantell Martin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zabou for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Caratoes for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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You Go Girl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Elle for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lora Zombie for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vanesa Longchamp for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GOMS for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. SOHO, NYC. Spring 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.28.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.28.16

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This simple lollipop paste-up reminds us this week that it may appear to be sweet, but sometimes it is poison. Guess that truism should be obvious to you kids, but it doesn’t hurt to remind each other.

Here’s our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring ECB, Escif, JPS, Kai, London Kaye, Lunge Box, Mogul, Nick Walker, Omen, Tref.no, The J0n, and Shai Dahan.

Our top image: A questionable lollipop on the street. Lunge Box. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lunge Box. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TREF in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The J0n in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JPS in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The J0n in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ECB in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Omen in Rochester, NY for Wall Therapy Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kai (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shai Dahan in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nick Walker in Stavanger, Norway for Nuart Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Escif in Stavanger, Norway for Nuart Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mogul in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A belatedly found piece by Londo Kaye. There’s is never too late for love though… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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BSA Galavanting, The New Year and You

BSA Galavanting, The New Year and You

BSA galavanted through the streets last year and here we re-paste our recent newsletter to BSA readers. Sign up for it if you like. Here’s the original.

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Happy New Year from BSA!

From Berlin to Norway to Rochester and Mexico, Faile to Swoon to Ron English to Dan Witz and Gilf!, BSA was in museums, galleries, artists studios, at festivals, on panel discussions, on stages, on TV, radio, in theaters, and of course in the street.

Here are some highlights of the some of the amazing things BSA did with you in 2015. We sincerely thank you for your support and send love to you and yours in the new year!

***

In ’15 BSA Created “Persons of Interest” with UN in Berlin
Brought 12 Brooklyn Street Artists to Berlin with “Persons of Interest” show for Urban Nation Museum (UN)/ProjectM7

Reviews in:
Juxtapoz, VNA, Hi-Fructose, Huffington Post, Butterfly

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The (almost) complete “Persons of Interest” crew courtesy ©Sandra Butterfly

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BSA Presented “On the Radar” in Coney Island
With Jeffrey Dietch’s Coney Art Walls program at Coney Island Museum for Coney Art Walls, we presented 12 artist to watch who are on our radar.

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BSA Presented Faile at the Brooklyn Museum
A beautiful experience to be a part of the FAILE exhibition from its earliest planning stages to its full summer run at Brooklyn Museum, the cherry on top was to host an in-depth presentation and conversation with Faile’s Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil and BKM curator Sharon Matt Atkins in front of an enthusiastic Brooklyn audience.

Aside from The Pope landing in New York at the exact time people were traveling to the show and some microphone difficulties at the beginning of the show, it was a complete and total thrill for us. See the full video on LiveStream here.

What Happened with BSA + FAILE at the Brooklyn Museum?

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Steven P. Harrington, Patrick Miller of Faile (top), Sharon Matt Atkins, Patrick McNeil, and Jaime Rojo (image © by and courtesy of The Dusty Rebel) (@DustyRebel on Instagram)

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BSA Joined Swoon to Inaugurate Her New Heliotrope Foundation
The tenacious and visionary Street Artist grounded her dreams in a formal foundation in 2015, allowing her to pursue even greater reach in her growing projects in New Orleans, Haiti, and Braddock, PA. We were honored to interview her and to help celebrate the official beginning of The Heliotrope Foundation with the help of special guest and board member Kaseem Dean aka Swizz Beatz.

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Callie Curry (aka Swoon), Kasseem Dean (aka Swizz Beatz), Jaime Rojo, Steven P. Harrington inaugurate The Heliotrope Foundation

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photo ©Daniel Feral

BSA Hosted Martha Cooper, Bortusk Leer, and Herman De Hoop at Nuart Plus
For presentations from each of the guests and panel discussion on the intersection of “Play” and public space at NUART 2015 in Stavanger, Norway.

Read our published essay for the academic conference at Nuart: “TECHNOLOGY, FESTIVALS AND MURALS AS NUART TURNS 15

NUART 2015 Roundup: A Laboratory on the Street

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Jaime Rojo, Harmen De Hoop, Martha Cooper, Bortusk Leer, Steven P. Harrington at Nuart Plus (©MZM Projects)

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Banksy Does New York Took Us to Theaters Around the World
Good News: The movie got on NetFlix, iTunes, in festivals, and in theaters in cities around the globe
Bad News: People think we have a museum

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We Flew Over World’s Largest Mural
Flew by helicopter above the world’s largest mural by Ella and Pitr in Stavanger, Norway with two of our most admired photographers; Martha Cooper and Ian Cox. Thanks Nuart!

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Ella & Pitr © Jaime Rojo

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Ian Cox, Martha Cooper, Jaime Rojo getting ready to fly over Ella & Pitr in Norway (photo selfie ©Ian Cox)

We presented BSA Film Friday Live at MAG Gallery
Under the direction of Jonathan Binstock at University of Rochester Museum the MAG Gallery hosted us during the Wall\Therapy festival.

This is the grassroots sort of festival that rings true to us these days and the down-to-earth volunteers and organizers of this event, along with those of our associates at Urban Nation (UN), made this a highlight of the summer.

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

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Steven P. Harrington at MAG Gallery for Wall\Therapy (photo ©Jason Wilder)

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BSA moderated 1st panel for 1st event of 1st edition of LoMan Festival
“OMG Is this Street Art?” was the name of our panel with guest panelists Ron English, Gilf!, Dan Witz, and Jonathan Levine.

LoMan Art Festival Launches Its First Blast in NYC

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Ron English, Ann J Lewis, Dan Witz, Jonathan LeVine, and Steven P. Harrington for first LoMan festival event in August (photo ©Rodrigo Valles‎).

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BSA in Berlin Radio Interview with Vantage Point
We talked about Jay-Z, Bowie, Bushwick, the democratization of Street Art, cultural imperialism, the UN and what it is like to bust out a blog seven days a week and still keep your mind and heart open to discovery.
Listen to it here on Vantage Point and Soundcloud:

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BSA completed its fifth year in partnership with The Huffington Post in June 2015 (225+ articles) and was translated in Spanish on El Huffington Post, in French on Le Huffington Post, in Italian on L’Huffington Post, in Korean on Huff Post Korea, in Portuguese on Brasil Post, and in Greek for Huffington Post Greece.
BSA posted every single day and did 23 interviews and studio visits and published articles about street art in 103 cities
BSA was reference or appeared in the media in The New York Times, The Today Show, Le Monde, Agence France Press, German Rbb Tv, Borås Tidning, El Diario, El Heraldo, ArtNet News, Juxtapoz, VNA, Hi-Fructose, and others.
BSA’s Director of Photography Jaime Rojo took more than 10,000 images and we picked 143 as BSA 2015 Images of the Year.
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Special thank you to photographer Martha Cooper and Nuart Festival director Martyn Reed for the banner image from this years festival.

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BSA Top Stories As Picked by You from BSA and HuffPost in 2015

BSA Top Stories As Picked by You from BSA and HuffPost in 2015

You picked them!

Last week you saw the Top Murals and the Top Videos. Today here are our Top Stories of 2015.

BSA readers told us by your direct comments and online sharing – that you love our coverage of Street Art festivals: 8 of the top 15 postings in ’15 were about them.

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The rest of the most popular stories can be described as being about powerful personalities and consequential work on the street that is not simply visually impactful but is backed by a story that runs deeper.

Following are your top 15 postings from the year on BSA and our articles on The Huffington Post along with an excerpt from the original posting.

 


NO. 15

 A Mexican Mural ‘Manifesto,’ Blackened Flags And Censorship (March 04 2015)

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Erica il Cane (photo © Fifty24Mex)

“Striking and massive murals by international street artists have been populating the walls of Mexico City for the last five years thanks to the emergence of a global Street Art scene, a rise in mural festivals, and the country’s tradition of institutional support for murals that further a socio-political mission. There hasn’t been much of the latter lately, however, and it is doubtful that a new politically charged mural campaign underway in certain central neighborhoods is likely to receive tax dollars for the paint and ladders.

Without sighting a specific ill to address, the new mural initiative named “Manifesto” is challenging a select group of local and international street artists to express their opinions on weighty and topical matters through murals, “using art as a social tool to propose, reflect and inform.” Among possible topics that might be addressed, the manifesto for “Manifesto” says, are increasing poverty, glorified materialism, the exhausting of natural resources, a fraying social web, and a dysfunctional justice system.”

More…


NO. 14

Malik and ‘Note’ Bring 17 Street Artists To A Swiss Prison (November 04, 2015)

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(photo © Malik)

“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.”

 More…

 


NO. 13

The Coney Art Walls: First Three Completed and Summer Begins  (May 27, 2015)

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Kave (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Instead of being hunted down for catching a tag or bubble-lettered throw-up, a couple dozen graffiti/street art painters are invited to hit up Coney Island this summer — and since we’ve just marked the unofficial first weekend of summer in New York — we’re bringing you the first three freshly completed pieces.

Part of “Coney Art Walls”, the muralists began taking the train out to this seaside paved paradise that is re-inventing itself once again, this time courtesy of art curator Jeffrey Deitch.”

More…


NO. 12

50 Years From Selma, Jetsonorama and Equality in Brooklyn  (June 27, 2015)

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Jetsonorama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“From Selma to Ferguson, Birmingham to Charleston, Jimmie Lee Jackson to Michael Brown, Street Artist Jetsonorama is crossing the country from Arizona to New York and a half-century of America’s struggle with our legacy of racism and injustice.

As marches have continued across the country in cities like Ferguson, Oakland, Baltimore, New York, Dallas and Cleveland in the past year addressing issues such as police brutality and racism, the south is taking down confederate flags on state houses and the US is mourning another mass shooting.

Now as Americans everywhere are pulling out and waving the stars and stripes to celebrate freedom, this new powerful installation on a Brooklyn wall reminds us of what New York poet Emma Lazarus said, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free.’ ”

More…


NO. 11

Gender, Caste, And Crochet: OLEK Transforms A Shelter In Delhi  (March 25, 2015)

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Olek (photo © Street Art India)

” ‘It felt like I gave a birth to an oversize baby without any pain killers. I had to pull the black magic to make it happen. Physically and emotionally drained. Was it worth it? Absolutely YES,’ she types onto her Facebook page to let friends and fans know that she has finished the seven-day marathon of crocheting and directing a full team of volunteers and St+Art Delhi organizers. Triumphant, she stands atop the woman’s shelter, a one story structure of corrugated metal and concrete 40-feet long and 8-feet high, with a fist in the air, a symbol of celebration as well as a show of solidarity with the sisterhood of those who helped her make it and those will seek refuge here when other options have been exhausted.”

 More…

 


NO. 10

A Tidal Wave of Lodz Reborn: ‘Lodz Murals’ Distinguishes a Polish City (October 28, 2015)

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Alexis Diaz (photo © Maciej Stempij)

“Now I don’t want to create any new festival, any new brand — just want to keep the name as simple as possible,” he says of Lodz Murals, an ongoing program that functions year round rather than focusing specifically on a short-term festival. With all responsibilities for organizing, promoting, and working with city and private business under one roof, Michał says that his vision is to create the same sort of iconic image of Lodz with murals as Paris with the Eiffel Tower.

“I would like that people on the global scale would think of Lodz as a city with exceptional public art,” he says grandly while acknowledging that public art shines in many other cities as well. “When you are thinking about public art, one of the first places that you will see in your mind’s eye is Lodz. Of course, comparing the mural project to the one of the most important “pearls” of modern architecture is pure overstatement, but I would like to create this type of mechanism, this type of association.”

 More…


NO. 9

WALL\THERAPY 2015: Surrealism and the Fantastic (July 29, 2015)

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Never Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.”

More…


NO. 8

NUART 2015 Roundup: A Laboratory on the Street (September 12, 2015)

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Ella & Pitr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“As we mark the halfway point of this decade and see the institutional discussions of Street Art taking form while academics try to place it in the canon of art-making and decide upon the nature of its impact, they do it with the knowledge that gallery shows, museum exhibitions, high-profile auctions, individual collecting, lifestyle marketers, and public festivals of many configurations and aspirations are already embracing its relevance. No one can possibly gauge this story in all of its complexity but some will capture its spirit. Being on the street helps.

One way to get a pulse on the present is to attend shows like Nuart and witness the diverse stratagems that artists are using to engage their audiences and judge if they are successful at realizing their intentions. With a deliberately mixed bag of thinkers, feelers, documentors, aesthetes, and pranksters culled together for your edification, this show stokes the discussions.”

More…


NO. 7

Coney Art Walls: 30 Reasons to Go to Coney Island This Summer  (June 24, 2015)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The gates are open to the new public/private art project called “Coney Art Walls,” and today, you can have a look at all 30 or so of the new pieces by a respectable range of artists spanning four decades and a helluva lot of New York street culture history. We’ve been lucky to see a lot of the action as it happened over the last five weeks and the range is impressive. These are not casual, incidental choices of players lacking serious resumes or street/gallery cred, but the average observer or unknowing critic may not recognize it.”

More…


NO. 6

Barcelona: “Open Walls” Mural Festival and Conference 2015 (November 11, 2015)

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RocBlackBlock (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

“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, non-comissioned street art to be seen as well.”

 More…


NO. 5

Basquiat’s Rarely Seen Notebooks Open At The Brooklyn Museum (April 01, 2015)

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Basquiat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In ‘Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,’ now running at the Brooklyn Museum until August 23, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

 More…


NO. 4

Borås ‘No Limit’ 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities (September 17, 2015)

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Pichi & Avo (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 stencilist Joe Iurato.”

More…


NO. 3

Street Art Sancocho: ArteSano Project Brings Dominican Flavor  (January 08, 2015)

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Mario Ramirez (photo © Tots Films)

It could be the name influencing our perception, but in one way or another it looks like these artists are chosen for their down-to-earth hand hewn approach. Sometimes decorative, sometimes storytelling, there are familiar themes and motifs that play well to their local audience as well as the virtual gawker.

Even with two dozen artists, it isn’t bloated: no logos or product tie-ins or DJs or high flying scissor lifts scaling massive multi-story walls with abstract surrealism, hyper photo-realism or dark pop human/animal/robot hybrids here – yet. Well, we take that back on the surrealism score; Pixel Pancho is here with a brood of chickens bobbing their industrial mesh necks atop fired tile bodices, hunting and pecking their way toward the beach, and Miami artist duo 2alas & Hox created a portrait of a boy with a partial mask overlay that calls to mind cyborgs (and Sten & Lex). But here in the loungey bare-foot tropical DR coastal area, even Pixel Pancho mutes the hues toward sun-bleached pastels, more easily complimenting their surroundings.”

 More…


NO. 2

Renaissance Masters, Keith Haring and Ninja Turtles in Brooklyn Streets (July 15, 2015)

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Owen Dippie. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

And so it made sense last week when Dippie skillfully merged imagery spanning five centuries, two continents, and two distinctly different art movements. Call it a measured miracle, a ratherish revelation that Dippie completed a deftly realized mashup of Raphael and Keith Haring, with the Madonna del Granduca holding Haring’s icon-symbol that is variously referred to as ‘Radiant Baby,’ ‘Radiant Child,’ and ‘Radiant Christ.’ ”

More…

 


NO. 1

YZ and Her ‘Amazone’ Warrior Women On Senegalese Walls (January 14, 2015)

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YZ (photo © YZ Yseult)

“French Street Artist YZ Yseult has begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th Century West African country of Dahomey, who are more commonly referred to as Amazons. A startling narrative of female power not often heard today for some, but as YZ is researching her own history as a descendent from slaves, her portraits reflect a personal impetus to tell these stories with a new force. She has named this series of strong warriors on the street ‘Amazone’.”

More…

 

 

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BSA Film Friday: 08.21.15

BSA Film Friday: 08.21.15

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

Now screening :

1. (RE) Prisma by Narcelio Grud
2. Cranio in France
3. Wall Therapy 2015: Li-Hill

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BSA Special Feature: Narcelio Grud and Mara Hope

The ship Mara Hope, stranded for 30 years on Iracema Beach alongside the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, received a benediction of more color in July thanks to Street Art interventionist and experimenter Narcelio Grud. A mistake in 1985, the ship has become a monument over time, a symbol of the history of the fishing industry, and after so many years a symbol of personal history for people who have grown up with it.

Grud says that he was bringing local color out to the sea, a way to reach out to this large hulking object that has been abandoned and forgotten. The video gives a better idea of the scale of the piece and keeps in perspective the relative impact that an artist can have.

 

Cranio in France

The Brazilian artist Cranio; Ever wonder what is in his cranium? Here it spills out across this great wall in the southern suburbs of Paris. As the painting is gradually unveiled you can see the increased interest of passersby and how the public space is converted into a gathering area for discussion and community.

Wall Therapy 2015: Li-Hill

 

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BSA Film Friday 08.14.15

BSA Film Friday 08.14.15

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

Now screening :

1. Germen Colectivo Brings Color to a Mexican Town
2. NEVERCREW at Wall\Therapy 2015
3. JR’s Ballerina Welcomes New Film and New Condos
4. Hitnes: The Image Hunter. On The Trail Of John James Audubon

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BSA Special Feature: Germen Colectivo Brings Color to a Mexican Town

It’s raw video, with no narration, slipping audio, and uncredited interviews, but it doesn’t matter because this community project in a Mexican town called Pachuca is brightly hued after 14 months of painting the hillside neighborhood by the Germ Collective.

According to Ricardo Lopez of the Associated Press

“It’s an homage to the wind: the city of Pachuca is nicknamed “la bella airosa,” a Spanish phrase that loosely translates as “the beautiful breezy city.”

Project director Enrique Gomez said the goal is to promote community integration and change the negative image of the neighborhood.

“I never thought we would have such a big impact,” said Gomez, a tattooed and goateed former gang member who turned his life around when he rededicated himself to graffiti art and muralism.

Before, he said, Las Palmitas was a sketchy area where people avoided going out after dark or interacting with each other. But as the project nears its final stages, you see people talking to each other more, children hanging out on the steep stairways that cut through the neighborhood.

“Honestly, what surprises me the most is that people are really changing,” Gomez said. “They are growing, there is more community spirit. People are taking the security of their neighborhood into their own hands.”

 

NEVERCREW at Wall\Therapy 2015

“Swiss-based duo NEVERCREW adorned a wall with a magnificent addition to their ongoing series of murals celebrating whales. With reflections of the Rochester skyline in the external whale, this mural is part of their current body of work, bringing attention to the preservation of these massive denizens of the deep.”

 

JR’s Ballerina Welcomes New Film and New Luxury Condos

This well heeled flying ballerina by JR graces the site where an eight story luxury condo is slated to land in Manhattan. A great stop action video here shows the French artist beginning the project in the bucket with DDG real estate CEO Joe McMillan and then speeding away fashionably on two wheels through busy Manhatttan traffic.

Discussing the 75 foot tall dancer in mid air, DDG, the developer who owns the site explains on their website that “JR’s interest in ballet inspired his art film Les Bosquets, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this spring. His new street artwork bears a striking similarity to the image promoting the film on the Tribeca Film Festival’s website.” DDG tells The Real Deal website, “the installation will ‘remain indefinitely,’ or, at least until the condos start rising.”

 

Hitnes: The Image Hunter. On The Trail Of John James Audubon

Muralist and Street Artist Hitness has begun following the Audubon Trail, and is painting all along the way.

He began in Philadelphia and made his way to Mill Grove, which was Audubon’s first home in the US, and then moves southward to Pickering Creek Audubon Sanctuary in Easton, MD.

Keep track of him on theimagehunter.org

Direction: Giacomo Agnetti

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT “From the Ruins” in Rochester

Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT “From the Ruins” in Rochester

When we were in Rochester for Wall\Therapy in July we also caught a new mural going up by local artists Sarah Rutherford and Mr. Prvrt, who have witnessed the fall of some of the city’s titans falter and present this overview possessed with sadness and hope. Titled “From the Ruins” the mural depicts a handful of architectural features and landmarks associated with the city which just witnessed the demolition of an iconic building in the “Kodak Complex” downtown.

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Also included are the Art Deco inspired “Wings of Progress” atop one of the city’s most notable skyline features the Depression era Times Square building by archtitects Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker . The artists intend to pay tribute: “The concept echos what is happening in Rochester, especially the downtown,” says Rutherford, “by taking pieces from the rubble and rebuilding a new structure and city.”

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015 (photo © Mark Deff)

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Sarah Rutherford and Mr. PRVRT. Rochester, NY. July 2015. CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE. (photo © Mark Deff)

 

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WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

Surreal is the way the world is portrayed across all of our devices today.

It may be the shrinking staff and budgets of newsrooms who are veering ever closer to the sensational or simply the yellow journalism and the PR-planted hyperbole that is rushing to fill the vacuum, but the presentation of our own world is becoming outlandish.

Orwell could have seen this time when war is described as a peace effort, oligarchy is called democracy, and Reality TV is anything but. Combined with rapid technological developments that produce outcomes previously only imagined, we may feel like our grip on the genuine is definitely loosening somewhat.

So fitting it is that a mid-sized US city hosts a mural festival celebrating the surreal and the fantastic in 2015.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali, and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In partnership and as a cultural exchange with Berlin’s Urban Nation (UN) this year, Wall\Therapy 2015 curated this selection of international and local street artists who bring doorways and mirrors for you to step through.

We were glad to be there in person this year and relieved to see that this largely homespun venture continues to be strong and community-minded despite the very hard work that it requires to pull it off. In the face of a rapidly commercializing Street Art festival scene, not only is the grassroots rather refreshing, it is a bit surreal.

Without doubt it is fantastic.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jeff Soto . Maxx242. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Classic graffiti style from NYC’s Daze has always contained elements of surreality. In his three walls he sampled even more styles.”So I used a lot of influences – photo-realistic, almost cubist, there is some lettering, window panes as metaphor. I was also thinking about fabric and the way it folds, and it turned into water,” he says. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vexta: I’ve been doing a lot of collage as my source material – birds, abstract plant shapes, and the galaxy painted over.
BSA: She’s like an earth mother, or universal mother
Vexta: She is every woman.

 

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund’s mural features his superhero vexed by a stone in his boot. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew’s Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni created a whale inside an ice whale. “We usually work with themes about the balance between humans and nature,” says Togni, “In this situation we wanted to do a piece about the balance between the elements.”  Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“She is sort of a goddess of East meets West,” says Amsterdam’s Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A highly detailed original sketch that is culled from photographs and their own staging of a model in boots, Onur and Wes21 spent many long hours into a few nights to complete their wall.
Onur: It is more of a scene than a classical mural. The wall is perfect for something like this.
BSA: So it is nature taking a bite out of its aggressor
Onur: Yes, kind of. That’s not bad. We have a sign that says beware of beaver crossing. The animals are a metaphor for something else and we are always looking for stuff like this when we are on the streets.

 

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jason Wilder Courtesy of WallTherapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We knew we had a week and we thought ‘what can we accomplish?’” says Rochester local Matt Roberts on a break from his wall with Joe Guy Allard.  “I do monsters all the time and Joe does those robots. It’s a big old fight scene. I mean, who doesn’t want destruction, some mahem? I grew up on Godzilla movies and Ultraman, stuff like that.  Just a lot of B-horror. I’m really into it. The new Godzilla movie is like my Crème Brulee.”

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE) Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto Courtesy of Wall Therapy)

 

Our deep gratitude to the Wall\Therapy Family; Ian Wilson and Erich Lehman for their invitation to participate at this edition, and to Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation and this year’s co-curator. To the artists for sharing their talent with us in such a public and generous way. To all of the volunteers including Jason Barber and Maureen Malone for their sincere dedication and attention to detail and to the production team for making certain we all had what we needed and for making our job far easier. To the photographers for sharing their work with us throughout the process. To Jonathan Binstock, Director of the Memorial Art Gallery at The University of Rochester for hosting our BSA Film Friday Live event and to Meg Colombo and Mike Besaw at MAG for helping us with everything we asked for and then more. To the city of Rochester.

Click HERE to learn more about WALL THERAPY

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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