Graffiti writer, formally trained artist, graphic designer, muralist, and tattooist, Awer was born in Polignano a mare (IT) but is now Berlin based. His newest outdoor mural returns him to Italy, near The Caves of Castellana that open in south-eastern Murge. Like his liquid dancing surrealism of psychological topographies, the forms in the caves are melting and organic in appearance. Here in the city of Bari, which is part of Grotte di Castellana, Awer says he has flooded the arches of the building of the Viterbo Foundation with his painting, “modifying its architecture and giving new life to the portico.”
He tells us that he is reminded of the historical Castellana floods, which are still ever-present in the memory and psyche of its inhabitants. In his paper “Flood history in the karst environment of Castellana-Grotte,” author Mario Parise says that “The oldest part of the town lies at the bottom of a karst valley, which was hit by many flood events in the last centuries.” Later, he calls to mind the scenes created in this new mural, “Karst areas represent a very distinct type of environment, with marked local and regional differentiation of ecosystems and geotopes that are expressed by their specific morphology, hydrographic and ecological characteristics.”
Awer has described his work online as being “dominated by irregular streams of parallel lines that, as if moved by waves of a sound rhythm, spread brightly like energy trails.” Naturally, or supernaturally, this new mural for @libervia_dipintidistoria perfectly mimics the earth and perhaps the topography of the mind as well.
“The vibrant dance climbs up the building enclosing itself in a vortex that opens a portal to the abyss,” Awer says, “an invitation to the underground worlds that the city of Castellana mysteriously hides in the dark depths of ITS caves a bit like each of us, an invitation to seek out one’s dark side unknown to so many, what could be the best of us.”
Remember last summer when you realized it was already August, and you didn’t go to the beach or for a hike yet? I vow not to let that happen this summer. New York is full of summer fun opportunities; getting outside the city, even for a day is revelatory. If you want to catch street art, step outside in many neighborhoods across the five boroughs. If you want your art viewing experience to be accompanied by live Hip Hop performances and plenty of places to grab a drink amongst the live aerosol painting on the street, just go to the Bushwick Collective’s annual block party, which is happening right now.
Similarly, we shudder to see campaigns to humanize the robot “dogs”, like this puff piece in the New York Post featuring an office visit to normalize them – in fact using one to create a painting.
“The robots march across canvasses with paint-covered paws.
Pilat’s works have become a favorite of Silicon Valley’s tech arrivistes.”
Uh, it’s not a dog, and it will probably be weaponized against you in the future. C’mon Sport! Let’s play catch!
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Skewville, Matt Siren, David Puck, Martin Whatson, Loose, Anso, Rham Bow, Narol, Forever Up, Fuckz, 156 CRU, Ebony, Aims Pukers, Feye, and Sper.
The Bushwick Collective Annual Summer Block Party, now on its 12th edition, has established itself as an official opener of the Summer season in New York City. With its combination of art, music, and food, this is at its root a street art initiative founded and provided by local resident and business owner Joe Ficalora. Joe continues to show his steadfast dedication to the community with a significant, free open event for everybody in the family to enjoy.
Artists from around the world and local artists are invited to create vibrant and large-scale murals that encompass all disciplines, including graffiti in a very big way, on the walls of buildings in Bushwick. Making public space safer for the public to enjoy, many streets are closed off, allowing attendees to roam freely and explore the various murals, including many that are being created by the artists as passersby watch. Live music performances by local performers and DJs add to the festive atmosphere, with food trucks, vendors, and art installations – a true community event for people of all backgrounds.
Here are some of the new murals and installations underway. We’ll bring you a recap of the newly finished pieces soon. Enjoy!
Our weekly focus is on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. Edoardo Tresoldi Studio Visit
2. Homemade Security Patrol Robot by Handy Geng.First-Century. Via Art21
3. Sun Setting Recreated in The Netherlands 3 A: “The sun’s going down like a big bald head.” Courtesy William S. Burroughs
BSA Special Feature: Edoardo Tresoldi Studio Visit
You may have wondered about the mind of the sculptor Edoardo Tresoldi, whose public works have drawn thousands to inspect the wireframe echoes of grand architectural wonders, illuminated to show only their transparent skins. We certainly have.
Homemade Security Patrol Robot by Handy Geng.
Inventors are visionaries; we’ll all agree. They also must be persistent. We admire individuals who can anticipate future needs and create inventions that shape the world, but we adore the ones who face numerous obstacles and setbacks but persevere in their pursuit of their ideas, exhibiting determination, resilience, and a refusal to give up on their inventions. A sense of humor helps.
Sun Setting Recreated in The Netherlands
Ludmila Rodrigues in collaboration with Mike Rijnierse re-create the everyday phenomenon of the sun setting inside the city of Delft in The Netherlands.
“The sun’s going down like a big bald head.” Courtesy William S. Burroughs, Laurie Anderson, and Sharkey’s Night.
Joe Ficalora, the Bushwick Collective founder and curator, invited us to stop by the warehouse where tonight’s Warehouse Party will be held and offered us an exclusive peek at the Subway Art Installation that Artist Danny Cortes, and his team – headed by Mike See and Edward Rivera have been working on. This replica of a subway car has been tagged for this special project by GIZ, SAINT, GHOST, THEAM, IR, CES, SPOT, JAKEE, KED, PGISM, ACNE, BERT, AND LANDO, DANNY CORTES, NEP, NOE, CHEO MSG, AND MIKE SEE among other graffiti writers.
“So, the concept behind Danny’s miniatures fascinates me,” he explains amidst the swirling cloud of sawdust, the cacophony of drills, and the booming voices. “They are incredibly small, which presents a unique opportunity for an exclusive experience, allowing you to truly step ‘inside’ his miniature world.” BSA (Brooklyn Street Art) was fortunate enough to be invited for their own exclusive experience. Here we give you a chance to catch a preview glimpse of the train-in-the-making, set to be unveiled tonight at the grand opening of Ficalora’s annual celebration of street culture, urban art, graffiti, Hip Hop, and sidewalk selfies.
As always, this year’s Bushwick Collective block party sparks numerous collaborations. “The synergies within our circle are remarkable,” Joe affirms. “We rely solely on our resources to create exactly what we need; you know what I mean?”
The level of detail on this train is astonishing. It showcases layers of tags and pieces on the exterior, some acid washed and weathered, while others shimmer with a silver tint. Inside, vibrant tags of New York graffiti heroes from the movement hustle for space, accompanied by door panel pieces, vintage advertising, faded throwies, curved orange seating, and even meticulously crafted 3-D printed straphangers that match the originals in size and shape.
Miniatures of New York scenes are brought to life regularly by Bushwick’s very own Danny Cortes, who faithfully recreates architectural and street-inspired works brimming with nostalgia and imbued with character. In a stroke of curatorial wizardry, Joe Ficalora, the founder of the Bushwick Collective, has decided to commission two enlarged versions of these miniatures, playfully warping perception and conjuring your own memories of New York and its streets.
Over the course of a dozen years, the initiative of bringing hundreds of artists to paint in this Brooklyn neighborhood has undeniably transformed not only the physical landscape but also the scene and spirit of the area. It has become a more welcoming and inclusive environment than one might expect. You will witness fresh combinations, collaborations, and occasional superstar appearances here. However, the essence of the “collective” still remains at the core.
Another one of Joe’s curatorial endeavors for 2023 includes enlarging one of Cortes’ miniature sculptures—an iconic bodega scene—which the artist himself was working on yesterday from a lift. “Zach Curtis from Michigan is also here, and we decided to collaborate once again, this time transforming his miniature model of street life into a mural. The concepts behind the two pieces- the train and the bodega – beautifully align.”
More on this captivating project will be shared here later. Make sure not to miss the grand arrival of the train, scheduled for tonight and set to be showcased throughout the weekend here in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
ITINERARIES OF BODY AND FLESH IN THE PUBLIC MUSEUM SPHERE
Art, technology, and science are often mentioned in the same sentence these days, including occasionally in street art. Indeed elements of all three have always been present in the coded communications of graffiti writers and street artists; a multicolored reflection in the petri dish of society, occasionally examined microscopically. At its very base, Street Art has always used the public sphere as a laboratory for experimenting with new creative ideas, leaving many of us to ponder and pine upon the results.
A new exhibition called “Bio-Rescriptures” finds a Mexican street artist/muralist going literally into the scientific laboratory and combining his expertise in calligraphy to create new works of science and art. Part of the more extensive exhibition “Atentar desde los códigos (Attack from Codes)” at the Interactive Urban Museum of Puebla (MUI) in Puebla, Mexico, Said Dokins, a renowned artist in the street art field known for his murals using ornate calligraphy in large format in public spaces, expounds upon his discoveries in the lab and extends our appreciation of the comingled fields of arts and sciences.
The main intention of the exhibition is to explore the interaction between the human body and microorganisms, blending graffiti and stencils with biotechnology and genetic engineering. Dokins challenges traditional notions of the body as a closed and individualized entity by examining the interconnectedness between the human body, the microbiome, and the environment.
The exhibition showcases various experiments and installations. One involves recording the growth of microorganism samples collected from the daily itineraries of 45 students from the Tecnológico de Monterrey. The participants placed their handprints on agar plates, which were then incubated to visualize the growth of microorganisms. This creates a dynamic microbial “footprint” (handprint) dependent on each person’s geographic space.
Another exhibition aspect involves calligraphic executions using pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria from the human body in culture media. Dokins uses bacteriological ink from these bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, to create Bio-Writings and Bio-Stencils. These abstract calligraphies challenge conventional norms and structures, creating a new dialogue between the written and the living. Microorganisms become a sort of bacteriological ink, forming intertwined and hybrid writing.
In addition, Dokins explores the potential of bacteria in calligraphy through genetic engineering. He uses horizontal gene transfer to exchange genetic information between bacteria, allowing them to emit light when exposed to ultraviolet light. The bio-fluorescent bacteria are then used as a bio-ink to perform calligraphic exercises, resulting in bio-fluorescent writings.
The project involved collaborations with distinguished researchers and professors from Tec de Monterrey Campus Querétaro, including Dr. Aurea Ramírez, Dr. Carmen González, and Dr. Paola Angulo, who contributed their expertise in microbiology, genetic engineering, and molecular biology, respectively. The project was also supported by a photographer, Leonardo Luna, who captured the essence of the project, and visionary artist Roberto Palma, who brought the mapping to life. The auditory experience was orchestrated by sound producer Daniel Arp, creating a wet biology-based sound landscape to enrich the exhibition’s narrative.
The exhibition Atentar desde los códigos is curated by Piedad Martínez and Juan Carlos Montes, which organizers say proposes the need to explore the tensions and conflicts arising from discourses and heritage appropriation exercises concerning sociocultural logics. In this exhibition, artists such as Rocío Cerón, Malitzin Cortéz, Ivan Abreu, and Said Dokins present the outcomes of their artistic residency at the Tec de Monterrey campuses in Puebla and Querétaro.
Bentonville, Arkansas is more known for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Momentary, the Ozark Mountains, hiking/biking, cosmopolitan amenities, luxury homes, millionaires (and a couple of billionaires), – than it is for being a vibrant organic street art scene. Nonetheless, art dealer and curator Charlotte Dutoit and her team at Justkids have been bringing street art names to do public installations here for a decade or so, and the dynamism of the works adds the influence of ‘the street’ to the city while preserving its scrubbed wholesome whitebox sensibility.
Here we have the newest public art installation from Spidertag from Argentina, who BSA showed to readers more than a decade ago when he was creating artworks with string and nails. At the time, he was sharing a studio at an alternative art spot in Madrid called La Tabacalera and creating unpermissioned, uncommissioned, works that wended their way through small streets – one nail to the next. Later he disrupted his own public art practice with experimental, electrified, glowing results that became more permanent than temporary.
His newest captivating creation artfully combines technology, design, and artistic ingenuity, interactivity, and playful energy to the city. Curated by Justkids and made possible through the support of OZ Art NWA, this permanent public art piece, named Interactive Neon Mural 16 (INM#16), shines brightly in the heart of the Downtown square. Encompassing 4,700 square feet, this monumental masterpiece represents Spidertag’s most ambitious project to date, inviting viewers to actively engage with the artwork by manipulating the light and motions with their phones.
It is not usual to see a fusion of art and technology within the realm of muralism, but examples do exist in many cities we’ve traveled. Spidertag continues his of extensive research and experimentation, honing in on cutting-edge components that allow him to construct luminous murals, defy traditional techniques, and surprise viewers. INM#16 is a complex maze composed of 77 harmoniously arranged geometric shapes, including circles, triangles, waves, lines, and rectangles, mounted on aluminum mesh panels. This composition actively engages the audience, enabling them to alter the colors of the shapes through a dedicated app, ensuring a distinctive and dynamic viewing experience with every interaction.
“Creating art that is accessible to everyone is incredibly rewarding for me, which is why INM#16 was designed to generate a unique experience for each viewer,” says Spidertag. According to Justkids, the project spanned over a year from conceptualization to installation, with the team managing technical aspects, logistics, lighting, and electronic elements, to ensure the successful realization of Spidertag’s vision.
“We are thrilled to collaborate once again with Oz Art NWA and enrich Bentonville’s remarkable public art collection,” says Charlotte Dutoit. “He brilliantly merges the spectacular and the playful, and the artwork truly comes alive at sunset!”
SNIK, the artist duo known for their hand-cut stencil art, has announced their latest project, “EXHALE.” The endeavor spans the remote Norwegian island of Utsira and the city of Stavanger, exploring our connection to nature. The island’s small community lives harmoniously with the cycles of growth and decay, inspiring SNIK’s work. Three murals—Pathways, Afterthought, and Exhale—were created on Utsira, depicting the overwhelming presence of nature, and reclaiming serene subjects. The murals aim to blend with the environment, utilizing muted color palettes that respect the island’s peaceful partnership with its inhabitants.
SNIK, based in Stamford, UK, is known for their distinctive style, complex hand-cut stencils, and haunting portraiture. Their intricate work has gained acclaim among collectors for its vivid colors and their attention to detail. Their commitment to traditional stencil methods sets the work apart from digital techniques, even as the art captures dynamic action, featuring everyday subjects and emphasizing the beauty of the ordinary. In addition to the Utsira project, SNIK also created a mural called “Overcome” in Stavanger.
Welcome to Memorial Day Weekend in NYC, when New Yorkers remember those who died in wars, and we have parades, barbecues, smoke reefer on the stoop, ride the Circle Line, go to the Met Museum, hit Ellis Island, stroll through the park, play kickball with your neighbors, see fireworks, ride your bike across the bridge, blast loud music out of car windows, spray paint on walls, bring food to the elderly, and head to the beaches, which are officially open now.
Each year we try new foods too, because there are so many dishes you have heard of but haven’t tried – one venue with live music here in Brooklyn is touting a menu that Smash Burgers, Lobster Rolls, Snow Cones, and Fresh Coconuts. Haven’t tried all of those before, but that does sound like a recipe for summer. It’s Fleet Week so welcome Sailors! Welcome immigrants! Welcome trans folk! Welcome summer. Welcome Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Atheists. Get in here! Celebrate us all ya’ll. This is worth fighting for.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: City Kitty, CRKSHNK, Jet, Eternal Possessions, Manik, Gent, SKAM, BEOR, Natadee, Ivan J. Rogue, Phaser, Goders, Peso Neto, Liz Christy, Danana Tree, Mini Mantis, Peto, Budar, Geps, Riotk, void, Mung, Dats, and Kalypso Manu.
The Museum of Graffiti, the world’s first museum dedicated to graffiti art, will open “All Black Everything,” the first exclusively African American graffiti exhibition. The exhibition aims to highlight and honor the legacy of these artists, especially considering their foundational role in the genesis of the art form and their inspiration for countless artists in both the streets and gallery spaces and their enduring influence even today.
Celebrating the art and contributions of multi-generational graffiti artists from the African diaspora, the museum will mark the occasion with a panel discussion featuring renowned artists such as Richard “Bama” Admiral, a pioneer in the graffiti movement. The exhibition will showcase the work of acclaimed African American artists, including Bama, Blade, Daze, Delta2, Dondi White, Esteme, Ewok, Kool Koor, Noc167, Quik (Lin Felton), Skeme, Sneke, VFR, and Wane One. In addition, vintage sketchbooks and ephemera will provide a glimpse into the early artistry of the influential Web One. The exhibit will feature original graffiti paintings on canvas and works on paper spanning the past 40 years.
Allison Freidin, the co-founder of the Museum of Graffiti, explains the significance of these artists’ work within the context of their surroundings: “In the 1970s, the Bronx was burning due to economic turmoil and crime. It is no wonder that the imaginations of the African American artists living in these neighborhoods propelled them beyond their surroundings into a world of fantasy and hope. This is what you will see in the paintings by Kool Koor, Bama, and Delta2.”
Alan Ket, the curator and co-founder of the Museum of Graffiti, emphasizes the cultural impact of graffiti within the larger hip hop movement: “Many people around the world are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop by placing an exclusive emphasis on the music. However, hip hop is a movement with great cultural contributors across many creative disciplines, including graffiti. From Bama in the North Bronx, who participated in the first graffiti exhibition in 1973, to Harlem’s cultural icon Skeme, to Wane One, who has been traveling the world for the past 30 years teaching his unique lettering style, their genius deserves recognition now more than ever.”
Join the Museum of Graffiti on June 16 at 7pm for the release party for their very first book, The Wide World of Graffiti, with over 400 pages of essays, never-before-seen photos, interviews, and more! The author and Museum co-Founder will be signing copies all evening long.
Click HERE for more details about the exhibition and the book launch.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. Gonzalo Borondo, “Settimo Giorno”
2. Graciela Iturbide in”Investigation” – Art in the Twenty-First-Century. Via Art21
3. INDECLINE – The United States of Apathy
BSA Special Feature: Gonzalo Borondo, “Settimo Giorno”
Borondo’s latest exhibition, titled “Settimo Giorno” (Seventh Day), is an immersive artistic experience that combines visual, poetic, and auditory elements to delve into the themes of creation, transformation, and the delicate balance between chaos and tranquility.
The artist is taking inspiration from the ancient text of the book of Genesis to explore the first six days of creation artistically. The exhibition is well placed here in the Former Church of San Mattia, which adds a unique atmosphere of reflection, tranquility, and silence to the experience.
Borondo incorporates video as the primary medium of expression; over sixty of them, consisting of manipulated cyanotype photograms, are placed in the church’s six chapels and the altar, visually recounting the creation myth’s six days. These videos, created through a combination of analog development techniques and modern 3D technology, bridge the gap between the past and present, both technically and conceptually, between architecture, dialogue, heritage, and contemporary.
Alongside the visual elements, the exhibition incorporates poetic elements. Ángela Segovia, a renowned Spanish poet and winner of the National Poetry Prize in Spain, provides recorded snippets of text that are whispered by herself, creating an immersive experience for the visitors.
SETTIMO GIORNO at the Ex St. Mattia Church – Gonzalo Borondo
Graciela Iturbide in”Investigation” – Art in the Twenty-First-Century. Via Art21
“For Graciela Iturbide, the camera is a pretext for understanding the world. Her principal concern has been the photographic investigation of Mexico—her own cultural environment—through black-and-white images of landscapes and their inhabitants, abstract compositions, and self-portraits. Whether photographing indigenous communities in her native country, cholos in Los Angeles, Frida Kahlo’s house, or the landscape of the American South, her interest, she says, lies in what her heart feels and what her eyes see.”
INDECLINE – The United States of Apathy
In a stabbingly brutal way, street art/conceptual artist collective INDECLINE juxtaposes the photos of people killed by gun violence with smarmy fatuous unaware patriotic lyrics that rise and fall. Fall mostly. It’s a stunning contrast that brings the story home. It’s also a reductivist critique and somehow targets, if you will, victims and the guilty with similar contempt. You get the point, but a viewer may feel strangely like it misses it too. These victims didn’t ask to become spokespeople, and their families grieve them without fail daily.
Canadian boxcar rider and artist Troy Lovegates (OTHER) has traveled the world on freights and foot from town to city many times in the last three decades, sleeping where he collapses, drawing where he lands. His characters show the wear and tear of life as if they have travelled greatly, if not physically, then perhaps psychologically or emotionally. Their clashing color patterns, piercing planes, and misshapen angles are complemented by stoic, exasperated, exhausted, unnerved, and wistful countenances – each negotiating their way through a world full of challenge. Now known for his illustrations, murals, mixed media, and sculpture work on the street and in the gallery space, there really is no other like OTHER.
This weekend if you are in Taiwan, you can catch some of Troy’s friends in a gallery setting as he travels back to remember the 90s, when he bombed Taipai regularly, even earning him a title, he says, of “one of the first artists to actively participate in graffiti bombing” there. Decades later, he returns to showcase his newest collection of characters – and his personal character – in Kaohsiung City. When you leave the gallery, you may roam the streets, where you’ll still find some of his original tags and monikers.
“Please join us on May 27th, 2023, from 3 pm to 7 pm ( 高雄市鹽埕區大智路35巷1-1號 ) for an unforgettable night of art and celebration. We cannot wait to share this experience with you.”
Nº 1-1, Lane 35, Dazhi Road, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City
For more information on A Journey Of Stories click HERE