All posts tagged: Somerville

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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Os Gêmeos and “The Giant of Boston”

The twins have left Boston, but not before they opened their first solo museum show in the U.S. and left behind a handful of public installations that have garnered major attention as people once again grapple with the concept of art in the streets. Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo have done large installations in large cities before, but few as visible and central to a city as their 70 x 70 foot mural on the side of a “Big Dig” ventilation building rising above the greenway with the shape of the character’s formed by the semi-circular façade.

Os Gemeos “The Giant of Boston” at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Photographer and BSA contributor Geoff Hargadon says that the project received permission from a number of civic and private organizations before it could go up over ten days in July in this storied city that usually favors conservative historical themes in it’s public works. “Given the short amount of time organizers had to put the pieces together and get all the approvals,” says Hargadon while ticking off names of entities who green-lighted the project, “it was a small miracle it was able to get off the ground.”

Os Gemeos “The Giant of Boston” at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

The internationally known Brazillian Street Artists had time to create a few pieces around town that reference their more graffiti-influenced roots, including one each on the side of a hotel, a pizza place, and a van. Not surprisingly it was the seven storey portrait of a seated barefoot boy rendered in signature Os Gêmeos yellow and wearing shrouded headgear that got the most attention on the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square. Its bright colors and patterned pajama-like garb have a cheerful childlike appeal to some picnickers, while other townies and Internet commenters see something less attractive, even sinister, depicted here where much of the Occupy Boston protests took place in the last year.

By the time “The Giant of Boston” had been discovered by equally yellow media types, the barefoot boy had been transformed into a danger in this birthplace of democracy and a small media-generated dust bowl was kicked up. “Looks like one of the Simpsons dressed like a terrorist,” said a clever commenter on a local TV affiliate’s Facebook page, one of over 200 who offered their considered opinions on the mural’s appearance.

Os Gemeos never miss an opportunity to collaborate on a van or truck when in the USA. This side of the van was with Graffiti Artist Lead. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

As with most knee-jerk assessments, this one could be tempered with a few minutes of Googling the work of the artists, which would reveal that this figure fits quite neatly into the dreamscape tableaux of oddly costumed and funnily proportioned figures whom the Twins have been painting for a few decades. But who knows, each of those little kooky figures could have been bombers and no one realized it until now. Without adding credibility to that line of unthinking, Hargadon remarks about these aerosol bomber brothers, “Maybe Os Gêmeos have inadvertently done us all a favor by helping us understand how some people have come to see the world during the past ten years. In any case, like all noteworthy art, it is not meant to please everybody.” If that’s the case, “The Giant of Boston” is noteworthy.

Of more important note is the solo show by Os Gêmeos that has opened concurrently at The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. Organized by Pedro Alonzo, who also curated the Swoon, Shepard Fairey, and Dr. Lakra shows for the ICA, it’s a somewhat intimate overview of their professional and personal journey as artists, peppered with a few surprises from inside the imagination of these in-the-moment creators who “depict their visions in surreal paintings, sculpture, and installations,” according to the shows official description. Reporting on the makeup of the pieces exhibited, Hargadon says, “Some of them are from the recent show at Prism LA, while others are older works. The VIP opening on Tuesday was packed, and was followed by a Brazilian themed party Friday night – which was sold out.”

Os Gemeos “The Giant of Boston” at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. This side of the van was with Graffiti Artist Rize. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

If you get to Boston to see this show and this large mural, make time in your trip to see the brothers other works in less obvious locations to get a greater appreciation for their history growing up as teens in the mid 80s while pouring over books like “Subway Art” and seeing the hip-hop and graffiti scene from New York spreading around the globe. You’ll find a mural at the Revere Hotel on Stuart Street and a piece they did along with a handful of friends in Union Square in Somerville at Mama Gina’s Pizza. Among the other contributors to that piece were RIZE, Coyo, and Caleb Neelon.

Os Gemeos “The Giant of Boston” at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos “The Giant of Boston” at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. One of The Twins signing a memento for a fan. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos “The Giant of Boston” at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos at the Revere Hotel on Stuart Street, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos with Rize, Coyo and Caleb Neelon at Mama Gina’s Pizza in Union Square, Somerville. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos with Rize, Coyo and Caleb Neelon at Mama Gina’s Pizza in Union Square, Somerville. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos Installation at Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos Installation at Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos Installation at Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art. Detail. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Os Gemeos. General view of the Exhibition at Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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The exhibit at the ICA will be up through Thanksgiving, 2012.  Click here for further information regarding this exhibition.

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“The Giant of Boston” mural at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square  will be up for 18 months.

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Our special thanks to BSA contributor and photographer Geoff Hargadon for capturing these amazing images of the walls going up and for the coverage of the installations inside the museum.

See our interview in August 2010: Futura Talks: Completion of the “Kid” at PS11 with Os Gemeos

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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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Boston Street Art, and Swoon’s “Anthropocene” at ICA

Her name is unpronounceable, so people just call her Mrs. Bennett. One of the last aboriginal people in Australia, she sits atop a rolling line of four-eyed Tibetan demons with human faces who are sucking species into their mouths on this wall installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA). Traditionally these demons would be protective, but “Swoon really sees these as a representation of humanity’s need to devour, and in excess, to destroy“ explains Pedro Alonzo, curator of the show, as he gives guests a tour of “Anthropocene”, the two part installation by the Brooklyn Street Artist. The shows’ name refers to the current era, and according to Wikipedia, “The Anthropocene is a recent and informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.”

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Swoon “Anthropocene Extinction” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Anthropocene Extinction” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Part two of the installation at this modern museum overlooking the Boston waterfront is the mini temple suspended from the ceiling in the entry hall to the galleries, best viewed from the glass central elevator that carries you from floor to floor. With joints hand-tied in a manner Swoon learned from Chinese scaffolding architecture, the 400 pound structure is made of bamboo, copper, and multiples of hand cut paper animals, species endangered or soon to be in this era of human destruction on Earth. “She built the structure in four parts, we assembled it and installed it (over 6 days), and she draped it with these materials, ” said Alonzo.

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Swoon “Anthropocene Extinction” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Anthropocene Extinction” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

During the installation the main hall was reserved for work tables and a temporary print shop, where many assistants spent hours hand cutting the animals and shapes that adorn the works and the parade that swings from the ceiling connecting the two areas. Seahorses, frogs, beetles, and butterfies all create the chain of life in this intuitive biologic story of connective species and collective endangerment. Disappearing before they can become fossils, the animal world is memorialized in this most ephemeral of materials, an exhibition that will similarly be destroyed when the wall is sanded and painted. In this impermanent way, it best mimics the installations Swoon does on the street.

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Swoon “Anthropocene Extinction” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Anthropocene Extinction” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Then out to the streets of Boston we went, hitting a number of spots with the guidance of photographer, artist, and Street Art expert Geoff Hargadon, who began one of the city’s only organic walls for Street Art and graffiti art in 2007. A natural magnet for painters and wheat-pasters, the ever-changing dialogue of “The Wall” on display is periodically wiped clean for a new group installation. The outdoor gallery has provided an outlet for hundreds of local and visiting artists as well as a providing a backdrop to photo shoots, video, and television programs. On the day we were there, a dancer was set to perform her moves under bright lights in the alleyway. Below are images from that days tour.

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Swoon on the streets of Boston (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon on the streets of Boston (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon on The Wall at Central Square in Cambridge (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alphonse (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Darkcloud, Mise. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Obey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Syms (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Wall at Central Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Wall at Central Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brian Butler. The Upperhandart on The Wall at Central Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Darkcloud on The Wall at Central Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mancini and friends on The Wall at Central Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mark Carvalho on The Wall at Central Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mer One on The Wall at Central Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With special thanks to Swoon, Pedro Alonzo, the ICA, and sincere gratitude to Geoff Hargadon.

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