All posts tagged: Steven P. Harrignton

BSA Film Friday: 07.14.17

BSA Film Friday: 07.14.17

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

Now screening :
1. Various & Gould: City Skins – Marx und Engels.
2. The Brutalism Appreciation Society/Gesellschaft zur Wertschätzung des Brutalismus
3. ESPO at Bien Urbain 2017
4. Faith47 in Johannesburg
5. Creative collaborators AXE in Barcelona for 12 + 1

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BSA Special Feature: Various & Gould: City Skins – Marx und Engels.

Conceptual Street Artists often perform interventions without explanation, satisfied with their own observations of the outcome. For Berlians Various & Gould the process has more often included the participation of the public – a way for more to take ownership and inspire dialogue. Sometimes many dialogues.

You may have seen our piece on their most recent public project called “City Skins”: Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould.  Here is a mini-documentary that shows you the artists, the process, and the thinking behind the process.

The Brutalism Appreciation Society/Gesellschaft zur Wertschätzung des Brutalismus

“21 artists whose works all deal with the post-war architectural style of Brutalism,” says Dr. Inke Arns, curator and director for “The Brutalism Appreciation Society” in the HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein) in Dortmund U. Metal, stone, brick, exposed concrete – all a heavy shell against the rigorous torment of the world. Now steel and glass is slowly pushing out the blunt force of this mountainous movement, so it is a relief to see that architecture historians and, hopefully, city planners, are rallying to preserve these monuments.

2 Notes: Graffiti has had a meaningful dialogue with this evolution. Also, make sure you hang out till the end of this video for full effect.

 

Bien Urbain 2017 – ESPO

Stephen Powers aka ESPO participated in the 7th Bien Urbain festival in Besançon this spring and brought his wordplay and affinity for the language of advertising signage to a wall there.

Faith47 in Johannesburg

The inimitable Faith47 powerhouse has been creating some massive murals of late and while they capture the natural world epically,  these pieces also manage to feel personal, intimate.

Creative collaborators AXE in Barcelona for 12 + 1

Friends since childhood and painting graffiti and murals together since 1999 in Barcelona, Adrià (Smaug) and Oriol (Gúma) together call themselves AXE Colours. Read more from our earlier posting ; AXE Colours – Two Graffiti Friends, Now Creative Partners

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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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Apolo Torres In São Paulo, Brazil for #EducationIsNotACrime

Apolo Torres In São Paulo, Brazil for #EducationIsNotACrime

Education should not be out of reach. Without it people are captives, especially when technology and resources are kept just beyond your grasp. Bluntly stated, keeping entire populations and countries uneducated plays directly into the hands of those who would manipulate them.

Knowledge is power.

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Apolo Torres for #NotACrime in São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Diego Cagnato)

Street Artist Apolo Torres is an important player in Brazilian contemporary muralism and here he brings São Paulo on board with London, New York, Toronto, Sydney and Cape Town for an initiative called #EducationIsNotACrime.

Begun in 2014 by filmmaker and Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari, the campaign continues to expand in defense of a universal right to education.

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Apolo Torres for #NotACrime in São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Diego Cagnato)

In these exclusive photos Torres is seen scaling a tower to depict a girl whose reaching for a cloud of books, not quite clamping her small hand around one. Wrapped around her feet is a serpent, representing those who would prefer to keep her ignorant.

A father of two young girls himself, the topic is close to Torres’ home and heart, which is why he is excited about the conversations he will spark by doing this huge mural, which he tells us took more than 200 liters of paint. “It is essential that it dialogues with the place and the people who walk by and see the work. Public artworks have a huge potential to raise relevant issues to society,” he says in a press release.

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Apolo Torres for #NotACrime in São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Diego Cagnato)

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Apolo Torres for #NotACrime in São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Diego Cagnato)

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Apolo Torres for #NotACrime in São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Diego Cagnato)

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Apolo Torres for #NotACrime in São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Diego Cagnato)

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Apolo Torres for #NotACrime in São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Apolo Torres)

 

Torres’ mural “Education is not a Crime” is produced by Da Terra Productions and was approved by the Urban Landscape Protection Committee (CPPU).

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Labrona and Troy Lovegates Join Season 3 of “Painted Desert Project”

Labrona and Troy Lovegates Join Season 3 of “Painted Desert Project”

We’re in the Arizona desert today where the third season of Street Artist Jetsonorama’s “Painted Desert Project” has been gently and purposefully been rolling out this summer. The wholistic blend of the political, social, and personal in these works completed in the Navajo Nation is a natural alchemy; the idea of separating them is a non-starter for this doctor/artist/organizer/activist otherwise known as Chip Thomas.

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Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona.  (photo © Labrona)

With the project and his own work Chip says he aims to amplify the voices of the people on the reservation. The invited artists roll in at different intervals through the year, giving them time to absorb the life and the environment and to respond to it in a way that is perhaps more integrated than other projects with Street Artists.

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Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. Detail. (photo © Labrona)

“Photogenic country, eh?” says the Canadian Street Artist named Labrona, who shows us today some of the works he left with his buddy Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER, who he doesn’t get to see too much of these days since OTHER moved to California. “It was a great trip and I got to spend time with Other.”

Included artists over the course of this years “Painted Desert Project” are Monica Canilao and Doodles (Nick Mann), LNY, Jaz, Hyuro, and next year Nicolas Lampert of Justseeds is already on board.  Chip and Monica also have completed a collaboration that is also being used as a poster in coordination with Justseeds to promote the “People’s Climate March” in New York next month. See a copy of the poster at the end of this posting.

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Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. Detail. (photo © Labrona)

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Troy Lovegates aka OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)

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Labrona and Chip Thomas The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)

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Labrona and Chip Thomas for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)

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Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)

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A collaborative image created by Jetsonorama and Monica Canilao for JustSeeeds and the promotion of the People’s Climate March in New York September 21.

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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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