All posts tagged: Street Artists

FKDL and His Vintage Glamour Women

New Wall Celebrates Audrey Hepburn for her May 4 birthday in the Brussells district she was born in. Liz Taylor is her special guest.

There are many references to pop culture, movies, fashion, and celebrity that have appeared in Street Art in the last decade or so, thanks to our full immersion in the National Entertainment State. We always say that the street reflects us back to ourselves, and apparently we are fixated on poised prettitude, at least in some cities. From Street Artists like DAIN to Judith Supine to Faile to The Dude Company, Tian, Aiko, TooFly and myriad anonymous stencillists, you are bound to see depictions of glamorous women and in a variety of archetypes popping up on walls and doorways no matter the year.

FKDL “Breakfast at Ixelles”. Brussels, Beligium. (photo © FKDL)

Parisian Street Artist FKDL reliably returns to his wheelhouse of the 1950s and 60s when he looks for images of idealized females.  Even his silhouettes of graceful and lithe dancing figures will remind you of the 2-D animations of opening credits of Hollywood movies from the golden age, the hip early years of television, beatniks in tight turtleneck sweaters reading poems, and swinging chicks on the cover art from long-playing jazz albums.  As a “fill” to his forms, he often pastes in an actual collage of vintage commercial illustrations that he cut from magazines and dress making pattern envelopes.  Clearly his is a romance with an image of female beauty from an earlier time and he reliably visits it again and again in his work on the streets of Europe and New York.

FKDL “Breakfast at Ixelles”. Brussels, Beligium. (photo © FKDL)

So it is no surprise that last week when FKDL was in the Ixelles district in Brussels he found a lone façade wall on an empty lot that faces the street and was compelled to paint a tribute to the cinema icon Audrey Hepburn, born there 84 years ago this Saturday. “Breakfast at Ixelles” refers to the location and her most famous movie, set in New York, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  While doing the wall he decided to also pay tribute to another screen grand dame Elizabeth Taylor. The 30 foot wall uses his distinctive collage style and the paint colors are associated with the flag of Belgium.

FKDL “Breakfast at Ixelles”. Brussels, Beligium. (photo © FKDL)

FKDL “Breakfast at Ixelles”. Brussels, Beligium. (photo © FKDL)

FKDL in New York (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FKDL (detail) in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FKDL next to DAIN in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FKDL in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)




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This posting is also on Huffington Post Arts & Culture.

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Election Update: Street Art and Performance Against SF Prop. L


As years of yelling TV has endeavored to shred mutual respect and corrupt discourse among civil society, New Yorks’ The Reverend Billy has steadfastly taken to our public spaces to practice the art of free speech.  Variously described as activist, artist, performer, or candidate for NY mayor, the Left Reverend and his various musical companions injected humor and levity into the heaviest issues of our day long before Jon Stewart added motion graphics.


Taking his own brand of street theater to a San Francisco street, a city that historically celebrates all manner of public demonstrations of opinion, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping are raising awareness of and opposition to a proposition at the polls next Tuesday, Proposition L.

According to the online San Francisco newspaper, Proposition L would “ban sitting or lying on a public sidewalk between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., with exceptions for disabled persons using wheelchairs, parades and protests, lawful sidewalk businesses, or waiting in a line.” In an interview with the Fog City Journal, the Reverend rebukes this proposition in the name of free speech, “The First Amendment right to be in public space is inviolable. It can’t be compromised for paranoid visions of danger that are painted for us by upper-middle class people, or police, or anybody.”


“He’s Making Sitting a Crime”

In this image by Mikl-Em from Laughing, a Street Art poster has been put in a bus shelter to protest San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom and George Gascón, Chief of the San Francisco Police Department, who are in both in favor of Proposition L.

It is unclear who made this poster, but it is interesting how Street Artists insist on appropriating the public space for speech.  When they do it to impact an election or proposition on a ballot, it illustrates how at least some Street Artists are far more engaged in the civil discourse than we might think.

Image © Mikl-Em

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Artists Transform “Market Estate” before the Bulldozers Hit

Over 75 artists took over an abandoned housing building in north London and transformed the morose shell of once-utopian urban architecture into a living art installation.

Destined for destruction, the former home of hundreds of people received a final sendoff with the amazing contributions of all manner of artists, from conceptual to decorative – of course, street art easily intersects the grand process.
Look closely into the eyes of this creature by Solo One and you'll see two people peering out of the windows. (courtesy Solo One)

Look closely into the eyes of this creature by Solo One and you'll see two people peering out of the windows. (courtesy Solo One)

Last weekend a public viewing was hosted allowing visitors to tour the entire complex and contemplate the lives of the people who lived there, the fairly regular and sometimes expansive failure of architectural schemes, and the more activist role that artists have been playing in the public sphere.
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