All posts tagged: Stephen P. Harrington

Getting “Woke” with the Word On The Street(s)

Getting “Woke” with the Word On The Street(s)

The powerful use of words and images is playing an important role in directing the events that lead us forward, or backward. It is right for us to be alerted to fake news, although the recent bashing of news sources has more to do with de-legitimizing and seizing power than any sincere interest in truth.

Visual Resistance (photo © Jaime Rojo)

If anyone uses words and images to create fake news it would be PR companies and the related industries who have been creating entire campaigns and planting them in newspapers and in electronic media and Reddit and Facebook comments for years now. Posing as everyday folk or genuinely respectable “think tanks”, they tear down people, sowing fear, confusion, and disinformation. Their persuasive words are often effective.

The Chief Strategist for the President is reportedly telling the press to stop all their words all together , and Mitch McConnell basically just told Elizabeth Warren to sit down and shut up, so powerful are words.

We can divine a lot about a person by listening to the words, as well the ones they leave out. We always say that the street is a reflection of society back to itself and today we share with you these text-based messages that give you an idea of what people are talking about.

Street Art ™ (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“Were you thinking that those were the words—
those upright lines? those curves, angles, dots?

No, those are not the words—the substantial words
are in the ground and sea,

They are in the air—they are in you.”

~The Sayer of Words, Walt Whitman

Political, social, straightforward, evasive, confrontational, poetic, strident, aspirational, inspirational, inclusive, loving, hateful, witty, simple, confusing; The average passerby regards, absorbs or dismisses the sentiment, feeling that their opinion is re-affirmed or neglected. Possibly they consider a perspective that is brand new.

Because of the anonymity and the lack of context, sometimes a well-placed missive appears as a message from the Universe, or from God, or another kindred soul.

As ever, beware the provocateur.

Chor Boogie (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Word To Mother (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vudo Child (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fanakapan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Indecline (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Able (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Amberellaxo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Baron Von Fancy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Trek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Queen Andrea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Morse (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jeff Gress (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blunt. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Megzany (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Steve ESPO Powers (photo © Jaime Rojo)


 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

 

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“Stars and Bricks” Go Up on a Berlin Wall from Various & Gould

“Stars and Bricks” Go Up on a Berlin Wall from Various & Gould

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

― Joseph Fort Newton, Southern Baptist minister from Texas (1876–1950)


And yet, talk again turns to the building of a contiguous wall along the southern border of the US.

Even though the wall is part of an Executive Order from President Trump, some say that in reality it is unlikely to happen because we still have in effect those complicating features of democracy where citizens actually disagree with one another and we are forced to reach a consensus. Not to mention the damage to relations with our 3nd largest trading partner with which goods and services traded totaled an estimated $583.6 billion in 2015.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

It’s complete irony that the current Republican president is demanding a wall to be built when the nearly sainted architect of trickle-down small-government hands-off-the-corporations revolution, Ronald Reagan, is famous for having said to the then Russian president “Mr. Gorbachev: Tear down this wall” nearly 30 years. Likely Gorbachev has different opinions about the current president.

Berliners will tell you that their wall was incredibly damaging to the economies and more importantly, the people and the cultures who lived on both sides of it from 1961 to 1989. In fact the mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller said in a statement Friday, according to a translation by the Washington Post.

“We cannot simply accept that all our historic experiences are being thrown into disarray by the ones we have to thank most for our freedom: the Americans. I call on the U.S. President to not go down this wrong track of isolation and exclusion.”

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Which leads us to this new piece from Berlin based Street Artist duo Various & Gould, who have just wheatpasted a re-designed American flag with the red strips as bricks, partially eating into the stars.

“We made it straight from the guts after reading about Trump’s press conference on Jan. 11th. Among other things he was talking again about building the wall,” V&G tells BSA of the genesis for the new piece made in their studio and taken to the street.

“At first our design was just meant as sort of a visual web comment, but in the days following we decided to make a big poster of it and bring it to the streets,” they say.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Anytime a nations flag is redesigned or reconfigured some may infer it is a sign of disrespect, but V&G say they are just extremely worried. “Needless to say – it’s not in any way anti-American. In the contrary we fear for the America we know and think of our friends in the US! Trump’s Twitter politics will have an impact on the whole world.”

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees entirely and used Twitter to say so. “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” he tweeted. Freelance writer, author, film maker William Parry says in his opinion piece in Al Jazeera “Israel’s separation wall as an example of a valid security measure is based on gross ignorance, at best.”

So there will likely be ongoing disagreement. Certainly the world is watching and reacting.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

V&G have created a downloadable version for you of their new design below. Just click on #StarsAndBricks.


This article was also published on The Huffington Post.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.17.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.17.16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thomas Allen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flood (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vandal Expressionism (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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Lola Jiblazee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

“Homage to the Past and Future”

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

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

-Ever

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Faust. Shantell Martin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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You Go Girl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

“Street Art Tourism” Is Capturing More Attention

Eco-tourism is so popular for vacation travelers right now. You know, treading light and your carbon footprint and all that. Then there is Plastic Surgery Tourism for those whose nose is slightly twisted or who otherwise feel your personal epidermal brand could use a “refresh”. For half the price of back home why not travel to a fashionable cosmetic surgery destination and you won’t have to worry about someone seeing you buying brie at Balducci’s with a bandaged beak.

Liposucation anyone?

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Erica Il Cane (photo © Stephen Kelley)

In the wake of the global growth of interest in art in the streets, one form of tourism that may soon be blowing up could be graffiti excursions, street art sightseeing, or even mural journeying. New York has been a magnet for years for aerosol artists calling us to help them hit up walls while they are on “spraycation”, but this is just the opposite.

You may wish to plan your trip abroad hunting the elusive wheat-pastes, stencils, fill-ins, hoping to capture an exotic local throwie. And why not take a few selfies with your favorite works by Street Artists that you only previously saw on Instagram?

Street Art photographer Stephen Kelley went on his own art safari last month in Lisbon, Portugal with his fiancé and he checked out a lot of the work that has been organized during the past couple of years by the internationally known local VHILS and some of his friends in a project entitled Underdogs.

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Os Gemeos . Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

Underdogs is an international working platform based in Lisbon, Portugal that aims at creating space within the contemporary art scene for artists connected with the new languages of urban visual culture,” say the organizers, and they have curated a program of some large-scale pieces around the city in an intelligently grand and contextual manner that makes them seem like the installations have been there for decades, not a handful of years. Urban or contemporary, it has serious fans.

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Os Gemeos . Blu. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

Today Mr. Kelley shares with BSA some of the shots he got during a relatively short trip to Lisbon, along with some of his experiences and observations.

“In preparing for the trip we used the Underdogs project as one of the references for the map,” he says. “I was able to convince my travelling partner and fiancé to rent an apartment in the Bairro Alto area. This was a good central point for the spots I wanted to hit. We were only in town for 3 days so I had to balance your standard tourist locations with my off-the-beaten-path art spots.  She appreciates the work and is incredibly patient but I can only get away with dragging her into so many back alleys and train tracks.”

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Os Gemeos . Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

“Immediately after leaving the airport the taxi unintentionally drove us by a block-long Os Gemeos, Blu, Sam3, Ericailane, and Lucy Mclauchlan mural.  We told the taxi driver that I was in town to shoot art in the streets and in buildings.  He mentioned I should check out this street where a group of artists painted a series of murals about the local government administration.  I put that on the list,” says Kelley.

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Lucy McLauchlan . M-Chat (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Sam3 (photo © Stephen Kelley)

“We decided to take a taxi to the area where I had located some C215 work.  The taxi driver asked why we were going to that location/area,” says Kelley. “Once we arrived at the location I brought him with us to show him the art.  He was incredibly impressed with the C215 mural I showed him and said he’d bring driving in town for 25 years and had never been on that street or never seen the artwork.”

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C215 (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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C215 (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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C215 (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Skran01 . Tape (photo © Stephen Kelley)

“One evening in town we took a ferry over to Almada with a great view of the 25 de Abril Bridge (the same architect who designed the Golden Gate Bridge),” says Stephen. ” You can walk up the coast toward the bridge and there are two quaint eateries that make for a perfect sunset meal or drink.  The waterfront is covered with graffiti and is a good representation of the art in the area.”

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PISD (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Yesh (photo © Stephen Kelley)

As with any vacation, planning your means of transportation is key – and Kelley and his girl realized Lisbon is not quite as pedestrian friendly as other cities, mainly because of the topography. “One of the first spots we hit was the harbor area for the Pixel Pancho and Vhils collaborations. After that, with intentions to continue to explore, we had our first encounter with the hills of Portugal,” he says. “The taxi driver had reminded us that Portugal is the city of seven hills. He was not kidding, walking the streets of Lisbon is no joke and a workout and a half.  We quickly realized public transit or taxi was the best way to see Lisbon.”

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Vhils and Pixel Pancho masterful collaboration. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Pixel Pancho (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Pixel Pancho. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Pixel Pancho (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Pixel Pancho (photo © Stephen Kelley)

Like most tourists on vacation, the events that make the most impact may be the unplanned surprises, like actually seeing work in progress. Stephen explains, “One day we started to head toward the Belem Tower and a How Nosm mural. On the way we ran into Vhil’s in progress working on a water tower outside the World Photo Press exhibition at the Museu da Electricidade.  I tried to wait for more action shots but he was taking a break and I couldn’t wait.”

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Vhils work in progress. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils work in progress. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Crono collaboration. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Crono. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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How & Nosm (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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How & Nosm. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Gregos (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Copy Art © (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Artist Uknown (photo © Stephen Kelley)

“I also recommend taking a trip up to the castles in Sintra.  It’s a 30-minute train ride from the center of Lisbon.  The castles are breathtaking and shouldn’t be missed.  Sintra was one of the highlights of the entire stay.  The train ride also gave me an opportunity to see all the trackside graffiti that is quite common in Europe.  The highway and train graffiti are very common, which was much different than what I am accustomed to in the US,” says Kelley.

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Dope (photo © Stephen Kelley)

 

 

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

 

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