All posts tagged: Smithe

“Titanes” at Work; New Murals and Social Inclusion in Don Quixote’s Land

“Titanes” at Work; New Murals and Social Inclusion in Don Quixote’s Land


“Every man is the son of his own works” ~ Miguel de Cervantes.


The greatest writer in the Spanish language was inspired by the character of this region and its arid but fertile elevated plateau when creating his greatest work Don Quixote, a true titan of historical literature and one of the world’s most translated books after the Bible.

His central character is a delusional would-be knight who calls himself The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. His absurdist but imaginative self-regard is echoed in the sheer scale of the grand new Titanes (Titan) mural project. Given the camaraderie among artists and organizers here you may say that the heart of Titanes is more likely aligned with the earthy wit of his sidekick Sancho Panza.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Naturally when these characters are intermingled by an imaginative multi-disciplinary artist like Okuda San Miguel you are not surprised to see the image of movie director Pedro Almodovar co-starring along with Quixote; Okuda’s silo is seated in the filmmaker’s town of Calzada de Calatrava and Almodovar’s richly drawn characters have captured a generation of Spaniards happily. As a rainbow splits the storm clouded sky behind him, it’s precisely this painters intuitive alchemy of reality and fiction that may shake a viewers’ conscience while entertaining them, revealing Titanes as an enormous vehicle of communication.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The past and present are seen through my geometric and surrealist filters,” says Okuda, who is a principle architect of this audacious public mural project in La Mancha. In an era of perplexing social, political, and economic upheavals, it is comforting to see modern artists take on the messages of the classics, reinterpreting and re-presenting them.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

15 or so more murals on silos are on the way here from top talents before the year is complete. The societal outreach is ground-breaking in its own way with an uncommon integration and engagement with the neighboring communities.

“It’s an interesting story,” says photographer Martha Cooper, who shares her images with BSA readers today. “Okuda is working with organizations who help people with disabilities like autism and Down Syndrome. The part of the mural at the base of each one of the silos was painted by a number of these participants,” she says. “And they all seemed to be having a great time.”

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Startlingly original and indelibly context-specific, Titanes is a mural/public art project that resides at the intersection of social responsibility and community participation. Organizers say that the goal is not only to bring a roster of well-respected artists here to paint but to be completely inclusive of societal members who aren’t typically thought of as artists.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From now until October, a number of artists from the urban art scene will be transforming silos into art all across this region, including Bicicleta sem Freio, Daniel Muñoz, Demsky J., Equipo Plástico (comprised of Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4814 and Sixe Paredes), Fintan Magee, Hell’O, Smithe, Nychos, Ricardo Cavolo and Spok Brillor. In an unprecedented program of social inclusion through public art, 450 members of the Laborvalía association will also be working alongside the artists on various creative activities.

Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Already the program has proven life-changing in many ways, say participants, as perspectives and relationships are evolving during the initial painting program. “Okuda worked with one boy with autism while painting his mural,” Martha tells us. “He began to speak and interact after starting to paint – much to his parents’ delight. This part of the project gave it more weight than just the usual “artists-painting-walls” event.”

Organizers say that they hope Titanes will be an epic project that will go down in history as one of the world’s biggest events to promote social inclusion. At its core are Okuda’s own multi-faceted art agency called Ink and Movement, the Laborvalía organization, the Provincial Government of Ciudad Real, and a number of other municipalities and civic and tourism-related fields who are supporting the art and its message throughout society.

Laborvalía says in its mission statement that its principal goal is to promote the integration of people with disabilities in society and the workplace.

Titanes looks like it is the perfect project to make a big impression.

Hell’O, Okuda collaborates with Hell’O and a client from Laborvalía organization helps the artists with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Hell’O Our idea was to mix abstract shapes and figurative elements in a colorful environment. We enjoy playing with the balance between different shapes and finding a homogeneous composition. We wanted to give it an optimistic, pop, fresh touch, something that speaks to everyone

Hell’O and Okuda. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hell’O. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bicicleta sem Freio “Os Gigantes de la Mancha” (The Giants of La Mancha) represents the power of creativity and imagination and its indispensable role in the ability of human beings to make sense of the world and others, especially among children and people with disabilities.

Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio and clients from Laborvalía organization help the artist with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio and clients from Laborvalía organization help the artist with the mural. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Bicicleta sem Freio. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Daniel Muñoz & Spok Brillor:

There are a number of concepts behind our intervention. First, it represents 15 years of working together as artists and friends: each medal symbolizes a story from some of the projects we’ve worked on in recent years.

It also reaffirms the building from an architectural standpoint: “decoration” in the sense of an award or honor and not just ornamentation. For us, it’s important to reaffirm the object in itself and not its political history. Finally, there’s an irony in the use of gold and its contrast with bread, a basic product produced by the silo and one that, in reality, was always represented as luminary and powerful in the imaginary of the 20th century.

Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Daniel Munoz & Spok Brillor. (Equipo Plastico on the right) “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Equipo Plástico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes)

“Meseta” (Plateau) is a homage to the countryside, to the intractable space surrounding these silos. The tones and patterns of the surrounding areas, their textures and shades, cover every centimetre of the wall like a blanket, giving the building a round, almost sculpted look. Ignoring the limits of the building and symbolically camouflaging it in its environment accentuates its current invisibility after years of neglect and helps lighten the weight of its history.

Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Equipo Plastico (Eltono, Nuria Mora, Nano4818 and Sixe Paredes). “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Demsky & Smithe

In “Parábolas del Pensamiento” (Parabolas of Thought), we have unified our style, based on the phases of the brain for creation and thinking: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.

Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Demsky & Smithe. “Titanes” Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Windmills at Campo de Criptana. Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. It is at the windmills that Quixote’s famous adventures begin, starting with his attack on the windmills, because he believes that they are ferocious giants. (photo © Martha Cooper)
An artist’s interpretation of Don Quixote & Sancho Panza. Ciudad Real, Spain. April 2019. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Okuda presented Ms. Cooper with a portrait of her.
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BSA Film Friday 04.26.19

BSA Film Friday 04.26.19

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

Now screening :
1. “A Message From the Future” Narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Illustrated by Molly Crabapple
2. Good Guy Boris – Viral Vandals Music Video
3. TITANES: Six Silos. Eight international artists in La Mancha, Spain.
4. The Story of Us and Them – Conor Harrington

BSA Special Feature: “A Message From the Future” Narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Illustrated by Molly Crabapple

What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? – Of course the corporate Democrats like Pelosi and Schumer are as likely to let that happen as Medicare for All – But its fun to imagine with the help of this seven-minute film narrated by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Not to mention that the whole video is illustrated by public/street/studio artist Molly Crabapple – who really takes the stage here.

A project from The Intercept and Naomi Kleinit imagines that somehow the oligarchy is going to let go of its addiction to fossil fuels and the aspirations of the citizens will prevail. Enjoy!


A Message From the Future

Good Guy Boris – Viral Vandals Music Video

Good Guy (bad guy?) Boris is back with his own version of Gypsy trap to entice and thrill you to do a big ass tag. A graffiti renaissance man who continues to plow his own path forward, the hijinx are hilarious and the song isn’t so bad either. Maybe it is a little better than those graffiti vandal road trip movies he was doing, but maybe we just have a short attention span these days.

TITANES: Six Silos. Eight international artists in La Mancha, Spain.

“People who normally lived in a very specific way and nobody had bothered to see whether they had talent or not,” explains Alfonso Gutierrez about the genesis of this project encouraging 450 students from around Spain to participate in a public mural campaign.

An inspirational message, and a welcome sign in this march of humans.

The Story of Us and Them – Conor Harrington

A short film that looks at the creative process on by the sincerely absorbed Irish Street Artist/fine artist Conor Harrington as he talks about his work and promotes his new show ‘The Story of Us and Them’ at Heni Gallery in London.

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“Urban Skills” in Alcoy, Spain brings Nuria Mora, Sebas Velasco, Demsky, Smithe and Dulk

“Urban Skills” in Alcoy, Spain brings Nuria Mora, Sebas Velasco, Demsky, Smithe and Dulk

A multiplicity of patterns and colors and fills and histories on intersecting planes that gore, cleave, hack through art and popular culture – this appears as a harbinger for the generation after Y. Fueled perhaps by the exuberance of youth and the desire to see and consume all things, to be all things simultaneously, the new kids are insisting that some manner of collage in three dimensions will accurately represent the upheaval we are experiencing in many regions. These are the effects of a raging globalism, at least on the surface – and possibly our efforts to rationalize what appears as chaotically irrational.

Fasim (photo © Jordi Arques)

How appropriate that Fasim is incorporating his own version of automatic drawing here on the large scale of the public mural while an invited guest of ‘Urban Skills, Urban Culture Exhibition 2018’ in Alcoy, Spain. His inspirations for this September work came his trip to the Louvre in August, he says, where he poured over Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, their individual histories and motifs swarming his mind.

“This psychological game has always attracted me because it changes all concepts, poses new meanings and I like to alter things,” he says in the group’s press release, “since I was a child I always try to see things from other points of view, even the impossible or delirious that are my favorite. It is an act of poetic rebellion.”

Fasim (photo © Jordi Arques)

As if carefully curated chaos, this first edition ‘urban art’ festival selects only a handful of artists from backgrounds of graffiti and Street Art from as close as Barcelona and as far as Mexico City, each carrying within them a virtual environment and ecosystem of aesthetic histories, each ready to spill.

Importing influences from urban culture with new murals by Nuria Mora, Sebas Velasco, Demsky, Smithe and Dulk spread across the city of 60,000 in del Centro, el Partidor, Santa Rosa, Batoy and la Zona Norte.

Far from the active urban cultures that gave birth to this music and art, these artists articulating the journey, reflecting influences from western art history, hip hop culture, and some of the global Internet vernacular of searching, and appropriating. A participatory project funded by a number of civic organizations, it looks like URBAN SKILLS chose some of the best voices to address this moment and to give a view into the future.

Fasim (photo © Jordi Arques)

Fasim (photo © Juani Ruz)

Fasim (photo © Jordi Arques)

Nuria Mora (photo © Jordi Arques)

Nuria Mora (photo © Jordi Arques)

DULK (photo © Jordi Arques)

Sebas Velasco (photo © Jordi Arques)

Manolo Solbes Arjona poses in front of this portrait of him at the piano in his “cave” by Sabas Velasco. Below he writes a text to accompany the work;

La espiral del consentimiento
roza su límite cuando los ojos trashumantes,
perciben como se alborota su mimesis
en el horizonte de la Osadía.

Mientras escribo
y Vincent se columpia en sus dibujos,
recuerdo una perfección en tu diáspora;
a los colores acariciando la Imagen,
y a los aborígenes del Territorio Serpis
atónitos, al ver aparecer sobre su estar
una sensación que, por azar, inercia
y armonía de los creativos
que invocaron al espejismo,
pudimos ver otra vez, a la belleza bailar
alrededor de una hoguera donde
la Pitecantra Madre aún nos llama.

Demsky . Smithe (photo © Jordi Arques)

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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.

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Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

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Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory

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Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings

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Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right

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4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can

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Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion

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Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

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Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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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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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.24.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.24.14

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Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Angelina Christina, Azores, City Kitty, Colettivo FX, Damon, EaseOne, Fidel Evora, F.S., Gone Postal, HDL Corporation, JR, Kraken, Love is Telepathic, Mark Samsonovich, Mesa, Never, Pixote, Rubin415, Seher, Smithe, Specter, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Wrdsmth, and X-O.

Top Image >> Smithe, Seher and Kraken new mural for Savage Habbit in Union City, New Jersey. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe, Seher and Kraken new mural for Savage Habbit in Union City, New Jersey. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe, Seher and Kraken new mural for Savage Habbit in Union City, New Jersey. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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X-O (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe for Savage Habbit in Union City, New Jersey. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter for the Walk and Talk Art Festival in Azores, Portugal. August 2014. (photo @ Specter)

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Specter and Mesa in Cadiz, Spain. August 2014. (photo @ Specter)

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Fidel Evora for the Walk and Talk Art Festival in Azores, Portugal. August 2014. (photo @ Specter)

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Specter Ad-Takeover (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WRDSMTH clearly knows his audience. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Damon is caught in a lip-lock. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty has the four panel street exhibit for Woodward Project Space. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HDL Corporation in Detroit. August 2014 (photo © HDL Corporation)

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Tatyana Fazlalizadeh clarifying things in case you were not sure. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin415. Detail of both ends of his large new mural in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mark Samsonovich in Jersey City, New Jersey. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Collettivo FX. Portrait of Abidi. Reggio Emilia, Italy. August 2014. (photo © Collettivo FX)

Collettivo FX explains the portrait above:

“In our city of Reggio Emilia in Italy there is a very big factory named Officine Reggiane that is completely abandoned. It was famous in Italy for its metal work production (they made the Orient Express train, the crane used for the Costa Concordia, and then there was the longest occupation of a factory in the history of Italy here).

Now this is a major venue for graffiti and a refuge for homeless people. We began going to the factory more that two years ago and some of the people living there became our friends; in particular a man named Abidi, who we named “the boss of the Officine Reggiane”.

So a few weeks ago Abidi announced to us that he is leaving the factory to go back to Tunisia: he had found a wife! So, we thought about a gift we could give him. We are poor, very poor, we just had the paint, so one night we went in the factory (usually we go during the day) and we painted a big portrait of Abidi in the principal part of the place. It’s a gift for Abidi but also for us and for our memories of the Officine Reggiane.”

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Pixote (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gone Postal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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F.S. We are intrigued by this bubble tag. Was the stencil work done by a different artist? Is this the original piece as first installed by the artist?  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Angelina Christina, EaseOne and Never collaboration for Savage Habbit in Jersey City, New Jersey.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. August 2014. It looks like Spiderman has found a formidable adversary. Last time he saw him battling this monster hanging from wire cables in Williamsburg.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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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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12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

Name Checking Rivera, Following Fairey

A new show of gallery work by Mexican street artists currently running in Manhattan’s Lower East Side questions the assumption that the nationalistic, social and political messages championed by that country’s famed muralism movement retain the impact and relevancy to artists a hundred years after the revolution.

To hear the story told by some, you may think that this is a generation following in the footsteps of the great syndicate of technical workers, painters, and sculptors who were funded by government programs in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s to promote a vast array of social and educational messages to a newly federalized citizenry. However people born in the last decades of that century comprise a much wider spectrum of individualists and self directed visual authors who are redefining narratives on streets in cities and their position as inheritors of that lineage may not have as much relevance to them as you thought.

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“12 Mexican Street Artists” features a few of the names you recognize from that scene and leaves perhaps a couple of them out, but the scope is a sufficient sampling to give you an idea of the current moment of art on the streets. Included in the show are Saner, Bebo, Dhear, Fusca, Meca, Meiz, MilAmores, Minoz, Sego, Seher, Smithe and Undo. Photographer Christophe von Hohenberg, who organized the gallery show, draws your attention with portraits of this loosely connected group and there are a variety of works on paper by these  street artists, graffiti artists, muralists, and public artists who come from a multiplicity of backgrounds and disciplines.

While some in the group refer to themselves as “La Linea” and they may honor the  heritage associated with their countrymen Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueros, these world citizens are equally eager to differentiate themselves from those great muralists of the previous century.  Walking along the collection of mostly small works you’ll see folk influences here, sure, and so are traditional and sociological consideration. But don’t forget the surreal, the pop, the modernist.

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Sego in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Never mind borders – we now are becoming accustomed to the staccato race across a boundary free digital fountain of inspiration. Seen through a Mexican filter, these are the same Internet fueled romances currently exploding on the Street Art scene globally; illustration, graphic design, cartoon, tattoo, skater culture, painting, stencil, the conceptual, even the sculptural.

Suffice to say this show of 12 Mexican muralists is an important inclusion in the story telling as the global street art explosion is re-defining how we look at public aesthetic discourse and public art making. A clear break has been made from the heralded lineage of Mexican muralism and this small show may be the first concentrated collection that demonstrates how far the new kids are wandering.

Speaking to a handful of them last week while they hit up walls in Manhattan and Brooklyn, we learned that these artists are as influenced by Fairey as they are Tamayo.

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Sego’s first trip to New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mexico City’s Sego began transferring his illustrations of animals and insects from his notebook to the street about 10 years ago when hanging with graffiti-writers on the street. A designer who has worked with corporate brands, he says the symbiosis of the natural and the man-made world is something he wants to engender with his creatures whether he is in a moneyed neighborhood or a poor and dangerous one.

If you ask him about his connection to the famed Mexican mural tradition, he honors it and then emphatically distances the work of his generation from it. “I was very inspired by them but not influenced by them. I respect their work and we have to learn from their monumental production but we have to be conscious of the fact that we live now in a different time and we have to really propose new things for today’s realities,” he says.

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The irony is that those murals were often created in governmental buildings that the poor and indigenous people didn’t have access to. So in terms of how strong the connections are between the people and the art when comparing what they did and what we do today, I feel like our connections are much stronger,” he explains as he talks about the Street Art that goes into any neighborhood and usually on its own volition.

One last thing – “Those muralists had the government behind them and the financial support so they could have as many assistants as they needed. The merits of what we do also rests on the fact that it is mainly D.I.Y. and has more of an independent spirit since we have to self-finance our work.”

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mexico Citys’ UNDO, who considers all his work to be an attempt to reverse deleterious political realities, and Tijuana based Bebo, a philosophy and fine art major who discovered modern street art when he was a student at university, both have distinctly different approaches to their work and to how they label it.

Undo: It’s different for everybody. There are some who don’t feel comfortable with the term “muralist”, you know?
Bebo: And some people who don’t feel comfortable with the word “graffiti” or “street art”, but we all do walls. Everybody paints walls and we love it.
Undo: That’s just the terminology.

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BEBO at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Yeah it is, but you know some people do care very much about how their work is described. Particularly because Mexico has this wonderful muralism tradition and it is something you can be very proud to be associated with, so I thought perhaps you would want to say you are muralists, who do not do graffiti.
Undo: It’s not the same for everybody. Some of them started directly as graffiti artists and then they went to murals.
Bebo: It’s the way you grow up. You develop a personality in what you do and how you do it.  If you painted graffiti first, you always say you are a graffiti artist.  They don’t necessarily make the connection with the muralists.

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BEBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As UNDO describes a recent stencil piece that depicts the Mexican Presidents chair with bloody spikes for legs, he criticizes what he sees as a false appearance of democracy and the onerous burdens that are placed upon the everyday citizens. Now he is studying economics and technology and how our lives are being changed by the intersection of the two.

You may think that this is a rebel who is eager to vandalize, but his social conscience tells him just the opposite when it comes to illegal walls. “It is attractive to think about you know, because of the rush of the adrenaline but the idea of tagging – I like that others do that but I don’t feel comfortable to trespass on other people’s walls,” he explains. Right now he’s trying to lighten his themes with a little hope, so he has cut and sprayed a stencilled dove.

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BEBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“One day Acamonchi came to visit us and also Shepard Fairey came to our school and I said, ‘Okay, this is very easy for me’, ” says Bebo about how he first began making stencils and wheatpastes and putting them out on the street.

Bebo: You have to make a language and that is the interesting part so when I put something in the street I can say “Ah, that’s mine”.
Brooklyn Street Art: Right, it has to have your signature… and what is your typical subject matter?
Bebo: Foxes. I do all kinds of foxes. It’s a visual thing. I began to use canines like foxes and wolves in my work because I feel like they are designed perfectly in nature. Their symmetry is perfect, like the triangle that is formed with their eyes and their snout.

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BEBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bebo: When I began researching foxes and wolves I moved beyond the purely graphic concept and I found the foxes to be even more attractive. They have the capacity to be in the here and the now, and it is very impressive. For example if the fox stops to smell a flower, he lingers and inhales it and relishes it. If he lies down to have a nap in the sun he really enjoys sunbathing. They do what they need to do at the time that they need to do it.

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BEBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UNDO says Fairey also influenced him.

Undo: Yeah I definitely have to say that I was inspired by OBEY because I didn’t know how to do it and I saw it and I said, “oh I’m going to try to do it”

Did he also see the well known Fairey speaking at a public forum?

“No I saw him on the web,” he says.

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UNDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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UNDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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UNDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mil Amores at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fusca collab with Kazy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fusca at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Meiz at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dhear, York CHK at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dorian Grey Gallery (photo © Jaime Rojo)

12 Mexican Street Artists is currently on view at the Dorian Grey Gallery. Click HERE for more details.

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Images of the Week: 08.11.13

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Boy did you smell the rotting hot winds blowing hard through Brooklyn this week? Makes you want to wash the ick off doesn’t it? Ballooning above the fetid stench of decaying garbage in dumpsters and drunken late-night urination, a distinctly bloated snorting powdery heat rose from Duane Reade Island and came across the East River, bringing with it a rather Coney Island-style circus of crusty hot air mixed with a whiff of braying pomposity. Luckily, it was a brief blast of the gaseous odor, dissipating quickly back into irrelevance and the now clean cool air has returned. At least as clean as the BK can muster.

As we do every week, here are a selection of new work that has arrived as we celebrate the true spirit of creativity and the community that has always buoyed us, no matter the weather. As usual, we’re happy to be right here with you on the stoop, hopefully staying cool.

This weeks interview with the street features Bisco, Bo130, Buff Monster, Case Ma’Claim, Cash For Your Warhol, El Tono, Galo, Microbo, Nychos, Shepard Fairey, Smithe, and The London Police.

Top image is by Case MaClaim. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cash For Your Warhol in Somerville, MA (photo © CFYW)

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NYCHOS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NYCHOS. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bisco (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster, Galo, The London Police, Microbo, bo130. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster, Galo, The London Police, Microbo, bo130. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey with his crew in DUMBO. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey at work in DUMBO. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Obey Giant (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe and Nychos collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smithe and Nychos collaboration. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Tono at work in DUMBO. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Tono in DUMBO. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Tono in DUMBO. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Brooklyn, NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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