All posts tagged: Sculpture

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

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

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

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

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. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

And while these inquisitive Street Artists/Public Artists conceptual project was meant to have an interactive element, they say they didn’t really expect the constant demand of observers to engage in conversation – even to explain and sometimes defend their project, while they constructed it.

“We had a focus on communication. We got into talks and discussions with passers-by, residents and tourists, while taking the paper casts. Discussions about monuments, art, cultural politics and so on,” says Various of the roughly month-long project that spanned April and May.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

They began working in one high-visibility park with the larger-than-life bronze images of the ancestors of the scientific communism Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and ended with the figures at another park in the peripheral district of Hellersdorf three weeks later with papier mâché “skins” of them in colorful street advertisement posters.

“Most of the people coming by were very surprised, some in positive ways, some in negative,” says Gould. “Some people cheered, some people shouted at us – the later in fact for very different reasons.”

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. Original monument by sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt (photo © Boris Niehaus)

We often refer to Street Art and graffiti in terms of being “urban interventions”, active installations of artwork into the public sphere where usually no one was requesting its sudden, unannounced presence. Additionally these interventions are necessarily anonymous and done quickly when people are not around.

Various and Gould are studied and thoughtful in their preparations for their interventions and this project takes on additional significance due to the fact that they are interacting directly with another artists public art – a sort of cross generational unsolicited “collaboration” with sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt, who inaugurated his piece in 1986 and who passed away in 2001.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Calling their project “City Skins” they did a sort of test run with public sculpture in 2015 without permission. This time they have permission from the Berlin Monuments Office, with certain caveats that seemed perfectly reasonable, like using materials and methods that did no damage to the original sculpture.

“The paper enclosed the monument without sticking to the bronze itself,” says Various, “and it was opened and removed without residues, like the skin of a fruit.” – which explains the project’s name “City Skins”.

After the duo took the paper cast back to a spacious workshop at an arboretum called “Baumschule Köpenick” they reassembled the figures and covered them with ornamentative guilloche – large abstractions of patterns lifted from currency – a subtle nod to the capitalist system and the figures represented.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

One may also draw a corrollary significance to the choice of paper as their art-making material.

“Now it is in the nature of the bronze that it is heavy, stiff and immovable. Congealed to shape. The question might arise whether bronze is the appropriate medium for honoring a genius,” says Jan Kage, an author, musician, moderator and curator from the art space “Schau Fenster” in a rough translation from German.

“The artist duo has chosen a completely different material. A much more transient one than bronze, a more flexible one, and above all one that Marx and Engels had also chosen to carry their ideas into the world: paper.”

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Frederic Leitzke)

On the day of the unveiling in a park with the new colorful skinned Marx and Engels, the verdant knoll atop which it sat was a challenge to climb for the some of the 100 or so visitors who came for a Sunday reception. The incline down toward the train station also proved an ideal place for kids to roll down and get dizzy – when they weren’t racing around the new temporary sculpture and trying to catch each other.

By now the duo have been compared to the French public artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who stay in the minds of a generation of Berlinians for their 1995 wrapping of the Reichstag, a vastly larger public art endeavor with a different set of goals. They say that they are also influenced by the artist duo “p.t.t.red” (paint the town red) and their subversive intervention in New York in 1996 where they turned the Statue of Liberty red by manipulating the spot lights so the monument was illuminated in red light at night.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Frederic Leitzke)

In fact Various and Gould did their first sculptural public interventions over a decade ago in New York. “In 2006 we were both part of a one-night pop-up group show in NYC  called “Stitch Project” on 9th Street,with Solovei, Albert Zuger, Tod Seelie and many more,” says Gould. They describe an antique cash register which Various delicately cast. Somehow themes lead back to money and our relationship to it.

“Monuments are projection screens of collective memory and witnesses of a time period,” they say in their conceptual description of the project. “They reflect history, zeitgeist and models of a social system. After political upheavals, they are frequently overthrown, toppled or buried. This is testament to them being supercharged with symbolic meaning.”

Given the responses of literally hundreds of people during the two public phases of City Skins, Various and Gould feel assured that Marx and Engels and their theories are as powerfully relevant in today’s world as they were in theirs – if in a new light.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Capturing Energy and the Figurative Cosmos Acording To Dustin Yellin

Capturing Energy and the Figurative Cosmos Acording To Dustin Yellin

Countless elements pulling together into one form, directed by will, energy.

Science tells us that we are matter, theologians say that we are spirit. Today we accept that humans are energy. Some innate ordered intelligence allows this energy to direct the laws of attraction/repulsion, commanding quarks and gluons to pull with and against; adding, arranging, discarding elements to the mass of distinct particles and facets that comprise us.

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

At any moment the inventory of our composition is not what it was yesterday, particular from what it will be tomorrow, always in motion, within it a record of our history. Energy is what dancers summon by their will – then command, allow, direct, capture, release – their collections of atoms electric, a magnetic pulling and propelling together as one, as many, with nuance.

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here in February these forms and their energy are frozen in layers of glass, arranged on enormous slides, their components visible without microscope. Dustin Yellin neatly spaces the stacked slices of stilled movement across the cosmos of this great minimalist hall at Lincoln Center and hits them with focused beams of light.

And what do they reveal? A myriad of found objects, clippings, images, textures, mirrors, gestures, memories, imaginings, emotions. The forms and their components blast apart and swirl and swarm and realign. All are in motion, and all are stilled, better seen when you exert your command of motion, your willful direction of energy.

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Cross section. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Detail. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Detail. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Detail. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Detail. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Detail. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Detail. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Detail. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. Detail. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet/Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

New York City Ballet is offering free, open hours for the general public to view this exhibition, fifteen works of a larger collection entitled Psychogeographies, on the following dates: Thursday, February 12 through Sunday, February 22 – Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon; and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For further information go to: nycballet.com

 

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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A Top Exhibition for ’14 on HuffPost: Swoon’s “Submerged Motherlands”

A Top Exhibition for ’14 on HuffPost: Swoon’s “Submerged Motherlands”

Street Artist Swoon’s show at the Brooklyn Museum was named in the recent The 15 Best Art Exhibitions Of 2014 listing on The Huffington Posts Arts & Culture page. We’re excited that our article, the first in the major press to be published about the exhibition, is sighted for the story. Here is the original article,

‘Swoon: Submerged Motherlands,’ A Tree Grows in the Brooklyn Museum

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Ronzo and Fine Feathered Sculpture Friends in London

Feels kind of like it’s been street sculpture week on BSA since we dove deep into UFO 907 and the Showpaper show at BAM, but we also wanted to just show you a bit of the London Street Art sculpture activity that seems to happen in earnest in more integrated fashion. If you are looking for examples, check out CityZenKane, Doctor Cream, Christiaan Nagel, Issac Cordal, and Space Invader.

Ronzo on the lookout in London (photo © Ronzo)

And check out Ronzo, an artist/designer/sculptor who has recently been known for putting a certain little bird in selected locations to kind of keep an eye on things. Sometimes with a multi-colored wash, sometimes in a straight concrete hue, these Birdz look like they could take off if you clap your hands. With gold chain, baseball cap and kicks, these B-boy style birdz also join a line of little characters Ronzo developed over the last decade that include a cockroach, a credit card monster, and a little hooded vandal  called “Ed Von Tag”.

Here are some recent images from his site that show the birdz in situ.

Ronzo in London (photo © Ronzo)

Ronzo in London (photo © Ronzo)

Ronzo in London (photo © Ronzo)

Very Nearly Almost (VNA) put together this inside look into the practice of Ronzo, who casts and prepares his figures entirely from beginning to end in his studio and installs them with a bit of humor.

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UFO Crashes at Brooklyn Academy of Music

UFO 907 & W. Thomas Porter Unveil Giant Wood / Metal Sculpture With 34 Eyes

“I think this is the kind of art work that people can step up to and they won’t say “Why the f*ck am I looking at this? I could do this – my kid could do this! I wanna blow people’s minds. I want people to be awestruck by it,” W. Thomas Porter exclaims in a burst of unhinged bravado that a master metal worker and inventor can claim after 3 consecutive weeks of custom cutting, bending, molding, and welding a crash-landing space ship, a 3-D realization of the UFO 907 graffiti moniker on it’s head.

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the graffiti guy known on the street as UFO 907 as his master woodworking partner, Porter has crawled like a monkey inside, around, and on top of every inch of this metal-skinned vessel with 34 rotating smooth wooden eyes.  Standing inside a Brooklyn studio staring up at this audacious labor intensive sculptural blast-off of inspiration and technical handy-work, you can’t believe that this is the same UFO who jumped roofs and trains for years spraying a rapid flat version of this ubiquitous alien vessel.

907 Crew fans may also experience a mind-melt when hearing first hand the soaring descriptive narrative UFO lets loose about this brand new street piece, “It’s a symphony between wood and metal. Seeing the wood next to the metals – it’s almost like jewelry work, it’s like it’s growing up out of the earth like a flower. It’s totally looking like this flower that is blooming, this metal is blooming out of all of this wood. It’s fun, man.” A tough NYC street graffiti writer who sometimes get’s dragged into the uncomfortable position of being called a Street Artist?  Nah, UFO is just an artist now, and the usually shy guy is so ripped about this project he frankly doesn’t care about the label. It’s about the work.

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Introduced last night at a reception hosted by The Brooklyn Academy of Music, this UFO will house a stash of copies of Showpaper, a free print publication that lists and promotes events and DIY culture all around New York. Commissioned with funding from BAMart: Public, the “Brooklyn Shelf Life Project” is Showpaper’s hand picked selection of Street Art affliated artists collaborating as pairs to create innovative new versions of the traditional street kiosk. Curated by Andrew H Shirley, the eclectic collection of street explorers also includes Adam Void & Gaia, Cassius Fouler & Faust, Leon Reid IV & Noah Sparkes, and Ryan C. Doyle & Swoon.

 

A sketch to the side of this preliminary mockup shows the full scale of the piece by UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A carpenter by trade, UFO 907 has been at it for 16 years but he didn’t try his hand at exploring his own graffiti tag in 3D till a few years ago. “It only made sense – I mean after over a decade drawing that stupid guy on the wall I began to wonder what he looked like in 3 dimensions…now I’m starting to wonder what the dude looks like in 5D!”

Porter says he started his path to metal work as a boy, tearing up old houses and rebuilding them with his father. “I’ve been making sculptures since I was 14, had no idea there was an art world then,” he says. Now that he is newly situated in his own Brooklyn studio, he’ll definitely be making more of his custom bike configurations (see his “F*ck Bike”) among other metal bending discoveries, “I’ve always been into material mashups,” he explains, “I started welding at 16, and metal became a gateway drug to all sorts of new possibilities.”

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While touring through their respective studios, BSA had the opportunity to see the entire process of making the new sculpture for BAM, entitled “The End If the Beginning”. It was also good to talk with UFO 907 and W. Thomas Porter about how they teamed up, who the UFO character symbolizes, and what they’ll think if the sculpture gets vandalized on the street.

Brooklyn Street Art: When people think of UFO 907 on the streets, it’s a quick tag with not much detail. Don’t you think they would be pretty shocked to know how much time you put into a sculptural piece like this?
UFO 907:
I guess so. If there’s one thing I’ve learned all these years in the graffiti game is you never know what your going to get when you uncover the man behind the moniker.

I’ve always felt a kind of separation between my vandalism tendencies and my artistic urges. Sure my tags and retarded throwups can look artistic but it’s just a quick elementary thoughtless expression. I’m doing the macho getting up sh*t, pissing like a dog. But with my studio work I slow down to a f*cking snails pace, considering every detail, knowing each line of the brush/pen, each turn of the jigsaw, each stroke with the sander is injecting so much f*cking feeling and energy and power into the piece. So, if ya didn’t know, now ya know.

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What part of this new piece are you most proud of?
UFO 907: I’m pretty excited to have the opportunity to work to such a large scale. I also always had a desire to fabricate a larger-than-life UFO piece and just love the idea of using metal. And of course I’m totally stoked to have the opportunity to be collaborating on such an intense piece with an artist and craftsmen I hold in high regard, W.Thomas Porter.

Brooklyn Street Art: The first time we saw a sculptural UFO it was with Ad Hoc Projects for a group show in Miami. The piece was called “Williamsburg Guy”. Was that the first time you did something like that?
UFO 907:
No, I have built a few smaller wooden UFO pieces before the “Williamsburg Guy” piece, and over the years I have messed around with some other materials to find the form I’m looking for.

Funny story about the first time we showed “Williamsburg Guy”;

The night we finished the piece I slapped together a crate and Doyle and myself threw the piece underneath the Chinatown bus, and took it down to Richmond Virginia for a group show we were involved in. If you know the size and weight of the piece that’s a pretty impressive feat. But it was free shipping! Go Chinatown Bus!

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © UFO)

UFO and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Since this is a vessel of sorts, and you have said your UFO tag is almost a self portrait, do you imagine yourself inside this sculpture looking out windows and swinging your 34 eyes in all directions looking at people?
UFO 907:
Not necessarily but I love that idea! At this point it seems less like being inside the sculpture – but more so I continue to see the UFO as an embodiment of my being. I have always seen the UFO as my self portrait, yes, but not in the sense of a photograph or painting of myself. It’s more like a window to my spirit energy and soul. The form, energy and idea behind UFO has continuously been evolving, morphing, and growing over the years. If it wasn’t it would be dead, right?

So, yes, I’m guessing at some point you might just find me sitting inside the mothership staring at ya’ll, plotting my next move. Ha ha HA!

Brooklyn Street Art: When you are making such labor-intensive carefully considered work and putting it out into the street, do you ever worry about it being vandalized?
UFO 907: Naw… that’s what happens to sh*t on the streets! I kind of secretly have a fantasy about a car running up the sidewalk and crashing into the piece. That would be pretty cool, as long as I get a nice photo of the piece pinned between the car and a brick wall!

Brooklyn Street Art: What has working with Thomas brought to your process?
UFO 907: I have been a fan of his work and his great craftsmen ship since I met him. I think I first met him the night me and Doyle were cramming to get “Williamsburg Guy” completed. Dude came through and he quietly handled shit, helping us get the piece done. Aces!

When I first heard that Andrew Shirley was curating this project, I told him I had to be on board and wanted Tom Porter as my partner. Tom has brought amazing metal work, which is not my craft but a material I love all the same, and he is a champ with the kinetics/mechanics helping us both bring our visions to life and adding many levels to the piece. As well Tom Porter is a perfect match with me with his boundless energy, obsessive attention to detail, grand positive visions, eternal positivity directed towards the project at hand. What a dude!!

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. Inside view of the structure. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Yeah, your skills seem really well suited for collaboration.
UFO 907:
Yup we both have brought what we do best to the table and all thing immediately fell into place, leading to a seemingly effortless symphony of materials and ideas.

Brooklyn Street Art: Thomas, when you think of the sense of balance this piece has to have, do you rely on lessons learned from building other projects?
W. Thomas Porter :
We set out on this project without any concept of limitations. We just decided what we wanted to get out of it and said, “F*ck it, it’s on”. I think that confidence comes from having been a builder and a bizarre mind forever. Everything I’ve done leads me to this moment. We have to come correct.

Brooklyn Street Art: Is it difficult to carry a demanding project like this across the finish line? Do you get tired of the detail work?
W. Thomas Porter:
I don’t think it’s easy to get anything actually “finished”. Starting things is easy but getting there can be war. We are up against a tough deadline, a limited budget, working for money, UFO and I both just started new studios…it’s been hectic. As for the details, I’m with the devil. Every detail is an example or the bigger picture; it’s the fabric, and the pattern, the feel and what you see.

Brooklyn Street Art: This is a collaborative piece using the skills of a metal worker and a wood worker. How did you achieve an organic feeling with such rigid and sturdy materials?
W. Thomas Porter:
It’s amazing to work with someone like UFO; Half man, half beast and all gusto. We both came to a similar place by working with our hands while our brains are off in the universe. It’s only a matter of time before that all explodes into space! I always loved wood and metal together, flesh and bone. In this case, I had to make steel feel like skin, and without a single straight line anywhere – it’s a challenge. I was blessed to have a dedicated assistant like Dagga to help plow through the process. Out of extremely limited means we came up with something greater than the sum of its parts.

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © UFO)

 

UFO 907 in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. The sculpture arrived to BAM in parts. Here is one half. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. Inside view of the armature. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The Beginning if the End”, 2012, by UFO 907 and W. Thomas Porter

Materials: Yellow Pine, Walnut, Plywood, Epoxy, Cold Rolled Steel, Hot Rolled Steel, Bearings, Ball Joints, Hardware, Wax
 

Assistants: Dagga Gaines, Kelsey Womack, Jumbo, Diego Guzman, Sadue 907, and Hest One

“Brooklyn Shelf Life” is Presented by SHOWPAPER and curated by Andrew H. Shirley. Newsboxes commissioned by BAM for BAMart: Public.

Go to http://brooklynshelflife.org/ to learn more about this project. Joe Ahearn, Managing Director

Go to BAMart: Public to learn more about this program.

Stay tuned to BSA as tomorrow we’ll feature the rest of the sculptures of “Brooklyn Shelf Life” by Leon Reid IV + Noah Sparkles, Cassius Fouler + Faust, Swoon + Ryan Doyle and Gaia + Adam Void.  Also you can visit the Showpaper Tumblr http://showpaper.tumblr.com/ for more images.

 This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Copenhagen Street Art on Lock Down : Tejn

Danish Street Artist Tejn does some paste-ups periodically but the thing he is most known for is his welding.  Also his “Lock On”, a practice of chaining his welded sculptures to the street with a bicycle lock. In much the same way New York Street Artist REVS has been leaving his welded tags around Brooklyn during the last decade, these Lock On’s and welded fake signs are much less ephemeral than what you may typically associate the term “street art” with.

Tejn (photo © Sandra Hoj)

Photographer and BSA contributor Sandra Hoj reports today of her newest findings on the streets of Copenhagen, where Tejn has been installing new work.

Here Ms. Hoj describes the new works;

“The scrap iron sculpture Lock On’s by Danish street artist Tejn are scattered all over Copenhagen at the moment. Whenever I stop to take a picture of one, someone comes up to me to alert me to another piece. These welded sculptures are made from salvaged iron collected from places like our cultural battlefields Christiania and the empty lot of Jagtvej 69, former location of the Youth House. Tejn welds the iron together and returns it to the streets chained and locked with found bike-locks”

Tejn (photo © Sandra Hoj)

Tejn (photo © Sandra Hoj)

Tejn (photo © Sandra Hoj)

Tejn (photo © Sandra Hoj)

Tejn (photo © Sandra Hoj)

 

To see more great photos and observations on Sandra Hoj’s site please click here

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“Suicidal Tendencies” by NohJColey, Interactive Sculpture With You as Saviour

Street Artist NohJColey continues to stretch his character studies and symbol-heavy storylines and build them into ever more interactive street sculpture. Not content with laborious hand cut and colored wheat-pasted flat pieces, his stuff on the street for almost a year has more dimension and engagement. Naturally, people interact with it and pretty quickly pieces are missing. Maybe it’s curiosity or maybe a Lower East Side messenger needed something to lock his bike to, but here are a couple of images of the piece as it first appeared in Manhattan, where the central form  can be adjusted to simulate the figurative and literal falling that can happen in a life.

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“Suicidal Tendancies”, by NohJ Coley

Like the protagonist in Don DeLillos Falling Man, Coley’s character could be a metaphor for so many in New York who are losing jobs, wages, and a frayed social net that once prevented them from hitting the pavement.  While DeLilos book begins at the Twin Towers during a “time and space of falling ash and near night,” and the vision of office workers jumping out of the buildings, the simulation NohJColey creates here pertains to the plight of  bankers, latinos and those affected by mental illness. With American society as a burning building, this piece is entitled “Suicidal Tendencies” and the passerby can actually participate by preventing one man from jumping to his death, see another jumping in front of a train, and witness the anguished expression of the third at the base who has sadly succeeded in his pursuit.

Below are images taken yesterday of the installation, with parts already missing. While the complete story is not told with what remains, somehow they are still interactive.

brooklyn-street-art-nohjcoley-jaime-rojo-04-11-web-4NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coley spoke to Brooklyn Street Art about the stories behind the three chapter piece:

“I’m currently working on a series of interactive sculptures that are focused on recognizing mental illness.
Suicidal Tendencies, which is the first of the three is of course concentrated on suicide. The main figure is a stock broker who is unable to continue existing after the stock market has crashed. So, with his office windows ajar he jumps out. He is partially in purgatory and partially in what we know as existence.

When interacting with Suicidal Tendencies the main objective is to prevent two of the three subjects from committing the act of suicide. When in front of the main figure the viewer is meant to pull the subject up, averting the subject from committing the act of suicide. The succeeding figure is a Hispanic activist that turns to suicide after becoming exhausted with the notion of Hispanics being treated unjustly in the US. So, after another unsuccessful demonstration he comes to the conclusion that he wants to jump in front of a moving train. The main objective with the activist is to prevent the smaller figure from jumping in front of the moving train. The tertiary figure is a young college student that is too far gone to be redeemed.”

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A local resident approached while we were shooting the installation to remark that the entire piece was there the day before, and he disapproved of whoever had removed part of it because he really liked it.   NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Happy New Year! BSA Highlights of 2010

Year-in-review-2010-header

As we start a new year, we say thank you for the last one.

And Thank You to the artists who shared their 11 Wishes for 2011 with Brooklyn Street Art; Conor Harrington, Eli Cook, Indigo, Gilf, Todd Mazer, Vasco Mucci, Kimberly Brooks, Rusty Rehl, Tip Toe, Samson, and Ludo. You each contributed a very cool gift to the BSA family, and we’re grateful.

We looked over the last year to take in all the great projects we were in and fascinating people we had the pleasure to work with. It was a helluva year, and please take a look at the highlights to get an idea what a rich cultural explosion we are all a part of at this moment.

The new year already has some amazing new opportunities to celebrate Street Art and artists. We are looking forward to meeting you and playing with you and working with you in 2011.

Specter does “Gentrification Series” © Jaime Rojo
NohJ Coley and Gaia © Jaime Rojo
Jef Aerosol’s tribute to Basquiat © Jaime Rojo
***

January

Imminent Disaster © Steven P. Harrington
Fauxreel (photo courtesy the artist)
Chris Stain at Brooklyn Bowl © Jaime Rojo

February

Various & Gould © Jaime Rojo
Anthony Lister on the street © Jaime Rojo
Trusto Corp was lovin it.

March

Martha Cooper, Shepard Fairey © Jaime Rojo
BSA’s Auction for Free Arts NYC
Crotched objects began appearing on the street this year. © Jaime Rojo

April

BSA gets some walls for ROA © Jaime Rojo
Dolk at Brooklynite © Steven P. Harrington
BSA gets Ludo some action “Pretty Malevolence” © Jaime Rojo

May

The Crest Hardware Art Show © Jaime Rojo
NohJ Coley © Jaime Rojo
The Phun Phactory Reboot in Williamsburg © Steven P. Harrington

June

Sarah Palin by Billi Kid
Nick Walker with BSA in Brooklyn © Jaime Rojo
Judith Supine at “Shred” © Jaime Rojo

July

Interview with legend Futura © Jaime Rojo
Os Gemeos and Martha Cooper © Jaime Rojo
Skewville at Electric Windows © Jaime Rojo

August

Specter Spot-Jocks Shepard Fairey © Jaime Rojo
“Bienvenidos” campaign
Faile studio visit © Jaime Rojo

September

BSA participates and sponsors New York’s first “Nuit Blanche” © Jaime Rojo
JC2 © Jaime Rojo
How, Nosm, R. Robots © Jaime Rojo

October

Faile “Bedtime Stories” © Jaime Rojo
Judith Supine © Jaime Rojo
Photo © Roswitha Guillemin courtesy Galerie Itinerrance

November

H. Veng Smith © Jaime Rojo
Sure. Photo courtesy Faust
Kid Zoom © Jaime Rojo

December

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Inner Damonsional Street People

Inner Damonsional Street People

Damon Ginandes Brings Everybody Inside

A smoldering volcano for street art and artist culture in the last couple of years, Red Hook, Brooklyn provides fertile post-industrial soil for an actual growing bohemia. Thanks largely to its’ difficult accessibility by public transportation Red Hook is having an additional millisecond to germinate as a creative utopia before gentrification paves it.

Ginandic Figures in the Window

Ginandic Figures in the Window

Brooklyn-based street artist Damon Ginandes hails from Red Hook and gets up in a big way; You might have seen his giant murals on Degraw Street in the last year –12′ tall and 60′ long (spray paint and latex acrylic); backed by an uncommon sight of figure-adorned windows in an abandoned building, perhaps a prescient preamble to the Electric Windows installation in Beacon NY this spring.

Recently sighted by Juxtapoz as an emerging artist worth noting, Ginandes for the first time brings his work into the air conditioning at the Williamsburg whitebox Artbreak Gallery. This premier solo show using Murals, canvasses, relief, sculpture (wood and wire), latex acrylic — is a solid introduction to his mixed media chops and to a finely drawn world.

Loggerhead

Loggerhead

The style of rendering, the elastic scale, and forlorn expressions are part cubist portraiture, part “Nightmare Before Christmas”. Having worked in film post-production the past few years, Ginandes is now pursuing his original love (and education) and is doing his art full-time.

High Chair

High Chair

As with his street work, “Dimensionals” is viewed best in person – line drawings and washes of figurative schemes that might once have been secreted away in your coffeehouse journal now literally burst out into 3-D.

The inner life of the sketch book comes to action, figures refusing to be constrained by canvas; craning their craniums atop long necks nearly bending into one another. These inanimate animations are multiple characters from the same family (or geneticist lab), gawking wistfully and wanfully at you, or blankly somewhere else; their gender not quickly discerned.

Mixed media relief on wood, 40″ x 92″

Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe the figures and personalities of the characters in your work?

Damon Ginandes: In many ways I’m still getting to know my characters. Recently a friend of mine described them “portraits of souls” which I think is pretty accurate. I also like to think of them of distant relatives of ours, completely other-worldly, yet distinctly human. Our culture tends to define identities in a large part by external facades — our social networks, jobs, appearances, etc. — however, those factors tell little about the real being underneath. I try to strip my characters down to their most raw essence. Through their quiet, mysterious expressions, I seek to capture a subtle range of complex human emotions, which allow for a broad range of interpretations, ambiguous enough so that the viewer is left to uncover his/her own meaning. Their similar appearances serve to create a collective emotional effect, however each individual character conveys a deeply solitary and distinct inner world. Also, caught between the 2d and 3d (dimension), the characters themselves appear to be reacting to their own spatial ambiguity.

Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe the difference between having an indoor gallery show and putting up the giant mural in a public outdoor space?

Damon Ginandes: A gallery is a controlled white space, so you don’t have to worry as much about context… you essentially create your own context. And there’s the converse — the challenge of integrating the public piece into (and hopefully altering) the pre-existing surrounding environment.

There is also the obvious difference that a public piece reaches a much broader range of people than a gallery show does. When painting my mural on Degraw Street, neighborhood kids, truck drivers, construction workers, other artists, locals, you name it, would stop and watch me paint, and provide their own interpretations. That is the best feeling, when people who aren’t ordinarily “art-goers” openly connect with the work — often because they’re the most enthusiastic.

Brooklyn Street Art: What are 3 things we should know about you and your work?

Damon Ginandes:
1. From what people tell me, my personality is quite different than you might expect based on my work.

2. I can’t stand it when people talk about food for long periods of time.

3. Among my biggest influences — Alberto Giacometti, Egon Schiele, Lee Bontecou — my style can also be traced back to my interest in 1990’s NYC graffiti and fascination with the Liquid Television animated shorts of Aeon Flux as an early teenager.

Brooklyn Street Art: What’s coming up for you?

Damon Ginandes: I’m in a group show entitled “Outside In” in London in Oct-Nov with a bunch of street artists from all over the world. I’m working on proposals for murals in NYC and Amsterdam among other places.

“Dimensionals” is showing through September 2nd at Artbreak Gallery

195 Grand Street, 2nd Floor
(betw. Bedford and Driggs Ave.)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 11211
www.artbreakgallery.com

For more on Damon Ginandes work or updates on his whereabouts, see
www.damonginandes.com
His photostream on Flickr is here

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