All posts tagged: Sweden

Vlady: “Segregation” Street Sign Campaign in Stockholm

Vlady: “Segregation” Street Sign Campaign in Stockholm

“Defeating racism, tribalism, intolerance and all forms of discrimination will liberate us all, victim and perpetrator alike.”

~Ban Ki-moon


The many shades of racism and classism in society are out in the open, but the signs are also easily, conveniently, overlooked. We do so at our peril.

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

“Native Residents ONLY”

A new street signage campaign in Stockholm by Street Artivist Vlady that addresses obvious segregation plays just under the radar of the everyday. That’s also the location of our subterranean feelings, opinions, and motivations – so truly he treads on a minefield in doing so.

“Stay Within the Premises”

By posting these unwritten rules in the official street nomenclature of the state, with its implied weight of authority and its underlying subtle threat of enforcement, Vlady may be poking at Sweden’s self-image as a welcoming society by drawing attention to its institutionalized demarcation of zones that are allocated to some, but not to others.

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

“Underclass Only”

Sweden is a competitive mixed economy that relies on export,” he says, “featuring a generous universal welfare state financed through relatively high income taxes that ensures that income is distributed across the entire society, a model sometimes called the Nordic model,” explains the artist by way of background.

He tells us that, despite what appears to have been the best and most sincere intentions of the society to open the doors of opportunity to immigrants over the previous century, newer shadings of right-wing sentiments in recent year have caused him to examine the attitudes of his neighbors.

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

Invisible yet perceptible borders today divide the capital: while the city center is economically off-limits for the newcomers, the ghettos are perceived as a “no-go zone” for the most of the white Swedish population,” he says. “This situation might not represent a unique case in Europe, nevertheless comes as a shocking fact for any visitor, as it’s taking place in the least expected country, like a bolt out of the blue.”

European and American racism and classism presents a very complicated history to say the least – a typical way that writers describe stories containing completely uncomfortable realities. But who better to draw our attention to social and political situations than an artist who lives amongst us, and who does installations on the street for the populous to encounter? As is the case historically, we are smart to heed such messages – as the artist on the street frequently function as a canary in the coalmine.

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

While so-called developed countries worldwide sometimes like to depict themselves as virtuous when encouraging immigration, economists say that demographics tell an additional aspect of the story. In the case of the US, like many “western democracies”, real GDP is increased by immigration.

“There is broad agreement among researchers and analysts that immigration raises total economic output (Borjas 2013; Congressional Budget Office [CBO] 2013),” says a report published by the Brookings Institution last fall.

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

Vladys says that “This country needed foreigners, but to sound sexier, it declared its motivation was to take ’em onboard for love, not because of necessity. To me it seems like it may be love, but under certain conditions: we love you as long as you stay subordinate. It’s also helping us to lower our blue-collar wages, to fill the positions that we do not wish to fill, to fill those spaces that we have left behind, where we wish no longer to be.” His subtle and revealing signage campaign may prove to be instructive to some, inflaming to others. It may also be misinterpreted.

Aside from his own status as a Street Artist in Stockholm, why does he feel this is an appropriate time for this campaign?

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

“I think that Sweden today is becoming the battleground for the world’s left and right-wing parties, with persons arguing that our immigration practices are an example of a successful story – or a model not to replicate.” He also says that there is a taboo in the country about discussing such things as racism or inequality and people would prefer to limit strong opinions. But he thinks that is potentially dangerous and may lead to sentiments that are more harsh in the long run.

For those who may think he is Sweden-bashing, it appears from here that the critique itself is out of concern and is motivated by a hope for solutions before there is a deepening of divisions.

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

“I would put it this way: Sweden forbids itself to be discriminatory, however discrimination does persist at every level. Sweden is a country where anybody is welcome, but where not everyone can afford to stay. Migrants can still have access to many things relatively easily, but they can find themselves trapped in bureaucracy and without a job or money at all. As no one can stay in the country unless they can support themselves, migrants are forced to leave.”

He says that he hopes the “Segregation” campaign can raise awareness about the topic and push for a more open dialogue, although he acknowledges that it may be a “straightforward and unpolitically-correct project” of road signs. The two areas selected are very specific as well for their audiences; the wealthy-white-western folks in the quarter of Östermalm, where all the luxury shops are, and the populous detached suburbs of Flemingsberg, Rinkeby, Kista, Tensta, Akalla, Tureberg, Helelund – “where the residents can find, at most, a supermarket and a few dodgy shops.”

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

It will be interesting to see if these signs are discovered quickly or slowly, if they provoke discussion, if they are allowed to stay or are removed by neighbors or officials.

“The key point of this action is to raise awareness on this topic,” Vlady says, before giving a litany of questions that he would like passersby to address together: “Can integration come out of segregation? Are we really all equal, or is someone is more equal than others? For how long can we keep the cages closed and hope that no disaster will ever hit the downtown streets? Does anybody see this division, this invisible borderline?”

“I have my own answers to that, but I don’t typically offer answers, I raise issues.”

Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Exclusivity. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)

Additional reading:

What is the link between immigration and crime in Sweden? – BBC Newsnight

Sweden: Truth, lies and manipulated narratives? – BBC Newsnight

(Un)Welcome: Sweden’s rise of the right – CBS news

The Rise Of Sweden’s Far-Left Militants – Vice news

Rinkeby and Tensta song – Guran Guran

Segregation in Stockholm’s school

Rinkeby, Sweden – Mad TV

Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
Vlady. Ghetto. Stockholm. May 2019. (photo © Vlady/Art)
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BSA Images Of The Week 02.25.18 / Stockholm Special

BSA Images Of The Week 02.25.18 / Stockholm Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

For about seven years (2007-14) the city of Stockholm practiced a so-called “zero tolerance” policy against graffiti and Street Art, following the exalted/derided ‘broken windows’ theory (Wilson and Kelling, 1982). As recently as 2011 the touring national theatre company named Riksteartern ran into serious trouble with city leaders when promoting an international Street Art convention called “Art of the Streets” because it violated the spirit of the policy.

The loosening of the strict approach in 2014 coincided with the dawn of Snösätra, a bastion of urban art practice in a rough and industrial part of southern Stockholm. Landowners there gave permission for the painting of pieces, burners, productions, and murals by graffiti writers and Street Artists all along the streets of this sector in the suburb of Rågsved where about 30 businesses cater to construction, recycling, and mechanics. A new annual festival has popped up there with DJs and live painting and various shows and celebrations throughout the summer.

Magic City, the traveling exhibition celebrating 50+ years of a wide swath of urban art practice globally, has been successfully drawing audiences here down in the industrial docks of Stockholm since last year as well, a sign of the evolving perspective on the topic. We’ve had the honor of being in both of these venues inside and outside this week and can tell you that the results in many cases are spectacular.

In addition to exploring the current works in Snösätra with local artist Vegan Flava, we hit some of the larger commissioned murals in the more bohemian streets of Stockholm and helped celebrate Magic City’s HUGE weekend, named after the local graffiti writer who specializes in photorealistic lettering in the style of helium balloons.

Both of our BSA Film Weekend programs Friday and Saturday night were a lot of fun – complete with families and kids and a few scholars and graff historians sprinkled in for flavor. We thank everyone who came up to introduce themselves and even the shy ones whom we saw from a distance.

Our sincere thanks to Vegan Flava, whose work is on the streets and in Magic City, all of the artists, curators Carlo McCormick and Ethel Seno, and director Christoph Scholz with the whole Magic City team.

Here are some of the images from our travels during this quick visit to Stockholm.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1Up, Alkie,Amara Por Dios, Arrow, Biesk, Disk, BrasilSuecia, Frankie Strand, Holem, Hop Louie, Mark Bode, Mnek, Os Gemeos, Peter Birk, RCW, Sweet Toof, Sibylla Nohrborh, Tear, Tonk, Vegan Flava, Vickan Art, Yash, CAS Crew,Cheat,Poker One,Kiss, and Ziggy.

Top Image: Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arrow. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Amara Por Dios. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vegan Flava. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vegan Flava. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vickan Art. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Peter Birk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hop Louie. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ziggy. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sibylla Nohrborg. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Frankie Strand. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BrasilSuecia. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Disk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sweet Toof . Tear . RCW. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Menk . Biesk . Alkie. Tribute to Mark Bode. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Yash. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tonk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tonk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. February, 2018. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Slinkachu Miniaturizes the Scale in Stockholm at “Magic City”

Slinkachu Miniaturizes the Scale in Stockholm at “Magic City”

Every world is a microcosm of another. Yes, we know that is very deep.

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here we are in Stockholm, Sweden peering in at the microcosm of the street art/graffiti/urban art scene that is Magic City and we realize that this huge warehouse out by the docks delivers one refinement of the global scene, followed by another and another.

Walking through this Nordic expression of an wide ranging traveling exhibition, one realizes that it has matured and strengthened since its first iteration in Dresden and later Munich. More about this later, as we will be in town a couple of days for our BSA Film Weekend and we are sure to be touring the wrong side of town shortly with local vandals and/or artists.

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But the small world we struck by this afternoon was the exhibited pieces by a master of “Miniaturesque” since 2006, the creator and photographer Slinkachu. Since his earliest days as a street installation artist his work has made him a phenomenon for focusing on hidden, dare we say magic, worlds inside the larger one that most of us inhabit.

Exhibited in galleries and museums around the world and appearing in books and online and social sites, these images give you an idea of the carefully choreographed petite whimsy that he has become known for.

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

23 & 24 Februari | Street Art: The Art of Invention | Brooklyn Street Art

18-19.30: Film night | Brooklyn Street Art

18-19.30: Film night | Brooklyn Street Art

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Spider Tag Casts His Glowing Web Higher in Helsingborg

Spider Tag Casts His Glowing Web Higher in Helsingborg

When Street Art passes into the realm of public art it takes on the character of permanence that will withstand time. While that may happen with the occasional graffiti burner or mural, more conventional Street Art is illegal and will be crossed over by a rival or eroded by the elements.

Spider Tag. Helsingborg, Sweden. Januray 2018. (photo © Spider Tag)

Spidertag, whose work we began documenting for you years ago when his tools were a hammer, nails, and yarn, has just created his first permanent mural in the city of Helsingborg, Sweden – and he’s more than pleased.

“I’m very happy cause it was a difficult one and a dream come true!” he tells us of the 300 meter long cable on the side of a multi-story building is meant to last for a number of years. The abstract geometry is best seen during nighttime hours, giving it an ethereal quality that occupies an area, rather than simply a wall. Spidertag says that he has his own special cables and this is the largest he’s done.

Spider Tag. Helsingborg, Sweden. Januray 2018. (photo © Spider Tag)

 

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Faith XLVII: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

Faith XLVII: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.

*******

South African graffiti writer-turned-international-Street Artist Faith XVLII continues to evolve her mural and fine art practices as she grapples with global politics and personal emotion. This year her directorial role in a pop-up multi-media and live performance in Berlin with Inka Kendzia and Manthe Ribane exposed viewers to a full immersion of her deeper convictions about hedonism, race, militarism, and the war industry. As we witness the evolution of an artist born in the urban art scene, Faith XVII reminds us to keep expectations hopeful and wide open – especially if society is going to be able to meet our coming challenges. Today she shares with us her observations on the state of things right now and offers insight about how we might a gain greater understanding of it.


FAITH XLVII 

Recent events in world politics have been very disheartening, setting us back on much important work that has been done in the past to secure woman’s rights, workers rights and movement towards a more equal society.

The human condition seems to perpetually damage itself. The more I meditate on it the more I realize how its the simplest and most fundamental wisdoms that are out of sync. Our alienation is a root cause of our dis-ease. I believe rebuilding our connection to nature, to animals, to other cultures and ultimately to the eco-systems on this planet are an essential part of the healing process.

There is a dire need for new perspectives and new sustainable methods of living on the planet.

This installation with Lyall Sprong in Sweden was a part of this search, an ode to the timekeeper, the ancient Lunar force that silently watches over us.

The image is ultimately a call to a greater connection. A wish and intention of sorts, for a deeper understanding of the unseen forces that effect us.

 

Faith XLVII. Astronmia Nova installation in forests of Sweden. 2017. (photo © Cory Ring of Chop’em Down Films)

 

Faith XLVII

 

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BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

Berlin, Kathmandu, Santa Fe, Brooklyn, Sweden, London, New York, the country of Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina. The favorite stories of BSA readers spanned all of these places this year as we documented this global people’s art movement variously described as Street Art/ graffiti/ urban art. We put it out there daily and you react to it – sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – starting conversations and creating connections.

The topics of these 15 favorite stories run the gamut as well; From Banksy and Brexit, Marxism and Urvanity to a bodega completely made of felt, your voracious appetite was wide ranging. From a well crafted graffiti writing exhibition at a white suburban Pennsylvania college where the tuition is 50K to an attempt to bring reassuring cultural heritage art to the streets of Kathmandu where the museum was destroyed by an earthquake – the extremes and ironies only peaked your interest.

You loved seeing and hearing Martha Cooper getting her first solo exhibition in New York and the mania that queued thousands to see the transformation of a 5 floor bank in Berlin by graffiti writers, Street Artists, installation artists and performers. You care about the earth and its people, like the story of ICY an SOT in the country of Georgia making human sculptures of trash as a critique of globalized waste, and the story of Chip Thomas using his Street Art to draw attention to a traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming”.

And in 2017 the resonance of ‘Resistance is Female’ catapulted our story of the illegal campaign of phone booth takeovers to the top 15, showing that a uniquely impactful high-jacking of the advertising streetscape is always going to win fans.

No matter where we went in 2017, BSA readers were always invited to go along with us and discover people and art on the street and in the gallery or the museum whether it was in Scotland, Hong Kong, Berlin, Sweden, Mexico or Tahiti. We captured what we could and interpreted it – and you told us what you liked by re-Tweeting and re-Gramming and re-Facebooking.

From 365 postings over the last year, here are the 15 you liked the most.


No. 15

Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

Various & Gould. Berlin, June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Why do you glorify and duplicate these two criminals?! They shouldn’t have a monument at all. Next you’re doing Hitler?”

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: Marx & Engels. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 14

“MADRID ME MATA”: Another Look at “Urvanity”

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

MADRID ME MATA…in a good sense,”

says Fernando Alcalá Losa, the avid Barcelona based photographer of street culture. He doesn’t literally mean that the Spanish capital is deadly, but rather speaks of his devotion to Madrids’ energy, its possibility, its history, its people, and to its art. The torrid affairs of the heart are invariably complicated, as is the evolution of graffiti and Street Art from their outlaw illegal roots to their flirtations and trysts with other forms and venues; murals, in-studio practice, gallery representation, institutional recognition, or commercial viability.

We are pleased that Mr. Alcalá Losa comes to talk to BSA readers today and takes us to Madrid for the new art fair called “Urvanity” to see what he discovers with you, courtesy his words and his lovers’ view behind the camera.

Madrid Me Mata…in a good sense. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 13

Lucy Sparrow Opens an All-Felt Bodega in NYC : “8 ‘Till Late”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s 8 ‘Till Late, artist Lucy Sparrows first all-felt store in New York, and it’s literally just under the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing district. She’s made 9,000 items over roughly 9 months out of this soft fabric-like craft material – and at first impression it sincerely looks like everything you would have found in a New York bodega in the 1990s aside from the hard liquor, which is actually illegal to sell outside a liquor store in NYC, but relax, its all heartfelt.

“We sell quite a lot of self-help books as well,” chimes in Clare Croome, a cashier.

“Yes! Self-help books! Have you seen them?” says Brooks “They’ve got nothing in them on the pages, they’re just blank.”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 12

“All Big Letters” Opens, Curated by RJ Rushmore

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

All Big Letters. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 11

Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.

“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.

Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.

Anonymouse. Minuature Vignettes. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 1o

Bunnies, Birds, Sexuality and VINZ Feel Free’s “Innocence” in Brooklyn

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence” The Marcy Project. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. November 4th. 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Birds are associated with freedom, fish remind him of mindless consumerism, and frogs convey authority. He reserves reptiles for soulless soldiers of capital and authoritarian types. And the sudden preponderance of rabbits? Why sexuality and innocence of course.

“Innocence” is the name of the exhibition here curated by BSA and DK Johnston, and Vinz Feel Free has been preparing these works for many months. A project that has included his study of innocence, the show is meant to demarcate such shadings of the concept as to appear only subtly different from one another. To wit:

1. The quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
2. Freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness.

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence”.  Continue reading HERE

 


No. 09

Julien De Casabianca, Angry Gods, and Hacking Disaster in Kathmandu

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

If you are not going into the museum to see art, Julien De Casabianca is happy to bring it out to the street for you. Additionally, if the museum has been closed by an earthquake, he’ll make sure the art gets a public viewing nonetheless.

In Kathmandu recently Street Artist Julien de Casabianca continued his Outings Project by bringing a centuries-old painting outside to the side of the Artudio building in Swoyambhu on Chhauni Hospital Road with the help of Matt Rockwell of the humanitarian hackers group called DisasterHack.

He tells us that the obstacles to getting this piece up seemed insurmountable at times due to the broken social and infrastructural systems in Nepal that still plague people even today, nearly two years since the catastrophic earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 and injured 22,000 more.

Julien De Casabianca/Outings Projects in Kathmandu. Continue reading HERE


No. 08

Rocking “THE HAUS” : A 5-Floor Berlin Bank is Transformed by Artists

Kaleido. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Normally we paint advertising – hand-painted advertising, mostly with cans. So we work all over Germany, with a lot of crews, “ says Kimo, a bearded, bald energetic and sharp witted guy who is lighting up a cigarette in this tattered, beige ex-conference room.  That explanation doesn’t prepare you for what you will see in the rooms upstairs.

The floors are piled with unopened paint buckets and brushes and cans and the walls in this organizing office are covered with scotch-taped project timelines, to-do lists, and floor plans of the old bank. Each former office space is plainly labled with names of German Street Artists or graffiti  crews, some you recognize, others you don’t. More recent Street Art names are next to classic Graff heads, installation  artists mix freely with Optic Artists, photographers, sculptors, even a live moss installation.

Case Maclaim is right next door to Turbokultur with Stohead out in the hall on floor 1.  El Bocho and Emess are in small rooms to either side of 1UP on the 3rd. Herakut in a corner room numbered 506 is right next to Nick Platt and Paul Punk in 505.

Rocking The Haus. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 07

Working the Cornfields on a Santa Fe Facade with Jetsonorama

Chip Thomas. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © John Donalds)

18 year old Hawthorne Hill has learned the traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming” from his mom, according to Jetsonorama, and he places seeds in shallow holes, while his sister Metzli creates rows of wind blocks using nearby brush.

The photos are taken on Second Mesa on the Hopi nation, but the artist brings them here to Santa Fe as part of a project he’s doing with Biocultura Santa Fe.

A project originally conceived of as part of Earth Day, with a focus on where our food comes from and traditional farming methods, its good to think of who works to bring food to your table.

Working The Cornfields. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 06

“A Real Turning Point” : Sculptures on the Art Mile at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

Seth Globepainter. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”

In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.

For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.

Urban Nation Berlin. Art Mile. Continue reading HERE


No. 05

“Resistance is Female” Takes Over Phone Booths in New York

Gigi Chen for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The decentralized Resistance, as it turns out, is a majority of Americans.

And leading the charge are women and girls.

So it makes perfect sense that a new grassroots takeover of telephone booth advertising in New York is a campaign called, “Resistance is Female”. Organizers and artists say that the ad takeover project is putting out a message that corporate controlled media seems to be quelling: keep fighting, keep speaking up, persevere.

The artists have put up a couple of dozen or so new art pieces in places where typecast women typically sell shampoo or fashions: a high-jacking of the advertising streetscape which the French and the Situationists would have called détournement in earlier decades.

Resistance Is Female. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 04

Street Artist OLEK and Volunteers Create NINA SIMONE Tribute in Raleigh, NC

Olek. Nina Simone “Here Comes The Sun” Love Across The USA. Raleigh, North Carolina. October 2017. (photo © courtesy Olek)

Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Nina Simone; Three of the women whom Street Artist Olek would like us to remember from U.S. history, and who have been recently featured in public crochet portraits. Her most recent portrait done with help from the community brings art made by the public to the public in a country-wide project called “Love Across the USA”.

Sparked a year ago leading up to the US national election where a woman was on the ballot, Olek says that despite the negativity that followed, “it inspired me to create a project that would celebrate the accomplishments of women, many of whom had been forgotten throughout U.S. history.”

Today we go to Raleigh, NC to see the most recent banner of Nina Simone crocheted by Olek and a small army of volunteers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Simone, the American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement.

Olek. Here Comes The Sun. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 03

Icy & Sot and a Man of Trash in Tbilisi, Georgia

Icy & Sot.  “Human reflection on nature”. Tbilisi, Georgia. May 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

15 centuries old, Tbilisi may not last as long as this garbage man sculpture by Street Artists Icy & Sot.

“It took us only 10 minutes to collect all this trash because there was so much of it – including American brands – in the river by this village,” says Icy as he tells us about the trip he and his brother Sot made last month. A gorgeous and historically diverse city of 1.5 million people, Tbilisi reflects art, architecture, trade and culture that have given the Georgian capital a reputation as a crossroads for Europe and Asia.

During their stay with the Art Villa Garikula, a self organized community contemporary art center begun Tbilisi born painter and educator, Karaman Kutateladze in 2000, Icy and Sot did two pieces and an ad takeover that reflect the global problems posed by a consumer culture sold by corporations with little concern for its impact long term.

Icy & Sot. Human reflections on nature. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 02

“Martha Cooper” Solo Exhibition Reveals Many Unseen “Action Shots”

Martha Cooper signing the print of Futura 2000 whole car “Break”,  Steven Kasher Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An intrepid photographer who has launched a million dreams (and perhaps a few thousand careers) in graffiti and Street Art with her photography that captured crucial and seminal aspects of our culture that others overlooked.

That is just one way of seeing this brand new collection of images by Martha Cooper that is spread across one wall featuring artists at work, sometimes intimately. Here is where you see 102 individual shots of artists at work, a stunning testament to the range of art-making techniques that are practiced in the public realm, as well as a testament to the passion and curiosity of the woman behind the lens.

For Ms. Cooper’s first solo photography show in New York, Steven Kasher Gallery is featuring 30 new editions of her legendary street art photographs, the ones that have burned themselves into the collective memory of New York and of our streets in the 1970s and 1980s. While her photographs in the 1984 seminal “Subway Art” and her early Hip Hop street shots may be what she is most known for by artists and collectors and fans in cities around the world to which she travels, the new exhibit also contains more than a foreshadowing into the vast collection of important images she has not shown to us.

Martha Cooper Solo Show. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 01

Banksy Hits Brexit With New Piece, MaisMenos & BLU Used EU Flag Earlier

Banksy. Dover, England. Photo @banksy Instagram

The appearance of a new mural by Banksy in Dover, England caught the attention of many followers on his Instagram account and the mass media folks quickly reported on the new piece that comments on the current state of the EU.

10 months since the Brexit vote, the anonymous artist has created a thoughtful piece marking the crack in the European Union, depicting a white male worker on a ladder chipping away one of the stars on the EU flag, a fissure produced by the action reaching upwards and outwards toward the others.

Banksy Brexit. Continue reading HERE

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BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2017 – A “Social” Survey

BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2017 – A “Social” Survey

How do you measure the success of a street piece? Foot traffic? How long it runs before being dissed?

The Internet revolutionized our lives and our definition of community and along with that we extend the experience of art on the street to the conversations and sharing that takes place in the digital “social” realm. BSA lives in both spheres daily, capturing stuff on the street and then telling its story to a global audience online. The truth is, we never really know what people will like.

Actually we do know some things will always be a hit as time moves forward – pop culture references. Banksy and Shepard and D*Face and their generation could always count on Sid Vicious, Marilyn, Mickey, Her Majesty QE2 and the ironic turn of pop parlance to drive a humorous, campy, sarcastic point home. Today we can count on 90s rapper Biggie Smalls and Star Wars Storm Troopers in any iteration to send the image volleying through our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter referrals, comments, feeds. In fact, both Biggie and the Trooper made it into the top 15 mural collection this year and last year – made by different artists.

In fact, these 15 images are not all murals but they resonate with larger numbers than others we published this year; a visual conversation that includes legal, illegal, small, anonymous, massive, deliberately confounding, tossed off scrawling, handmade and mass produced stickers, tags, poetry, diatribes, culture jamming, ad takeovers, sculpture, installations. Every week we aim to present a varied selection of expressions currently represented on the street, and then it is your turn to respond.

During 2017 BSA readers responded to images via our website, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbr, and Facebook pages. In a thoroughly unscientific survey that calculates “likes” and “clicks” and “re-Tweets” and “impressions”, we tallied up which murals (or images) got the most interest from you. Care to interpret the results?


15 – Lonac.

Here is his multi-story mural of an artist friend painting a wall for “No Limit” Borås. Borås, Sweden. September, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


14 – Add Fuel.

His mural of traditional Scottish tile patterning in Nuart Aberdeen captivated many readers. Aberdeen, Scotland. April, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


13 – Daniel Buchsbaum.

Converting this water heater in a room of the Antique Toy Museum. Mexico City. November, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


12 – Axe Colours.

For the second year in a row, but in different cities by different artists, the 1990s Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls appears on the top 15 list. This time he is in Barcelona, Spain. November, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


11 – Miss Van.

Ever more surreal, this is an instant classic by Miss Van is in Barcelona, Spain. November, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


10- Dave The Chimp.

The simplicity of Dave The Chimps’ characters can be a bit deceiving, considering how he manages to put them everywhere in so many situations. This one taps into our societal fears and the realization that our public (and private) moves are being recorded and scrutinized all the time, ready or not. Berlin, Germany. February, 2017.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


9 – ATM Street Art.

Dude, the bird-admiring contingent online took this one and flew with it. It’s a Red-faced Warbler for Audubon Birds of Broadway. Manhattan, NYC. January, 2017.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


8 – Suits.

A prize-winning use of existing conditions in furtherance of his message, Suits used this damaged wall very effectively. It helped to have Manhattan as a backdrop. Brooklyn, NYC. June, 2017  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


7 – BK Foxx.

Directly borrowed from a scene with Robert Dinero in the movie Taxi Driver, Street Artist BK Foxx uses the background to reference the never-ending scenes of violence that are in the news in the US. Brooklyn, NYC. November, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


6 – Tatiana Fazlalizadeh.

This garden of the mind grows in Manhattan at public school PS92. Manhattan, NYC. January, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


5 – The Outings Project.

Created during Nuart Aberdeen by Julien de Casabianca of the Outings Project, this reproduction of a painting was perfectly placed in a part of the city once known for the selling of people as slaves. An uncomfortable bit of beauty maximizes the possibilities with perfect placement. Aberdeen, Scotland. April, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


4 – 1UP Crew…and other vandals.

An iconic and isolated Brooklyn rooftop scene in the winter is made forbidding and welcoming by the snow storm and picnic tables.  Brooklyn, NYC. February, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


3 – Pyramid Oracle.

Ascending the subway stairs to see the grand wizened man with a third eye, this black and white image was somehow inspirational to many of our fans. Manhattan, NYC. April 2017.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


2 – Raf Urban.

A mid-sized wheat-pasted stencil piece claims the number 2 spot with the former President and First Lady, along with the message “Diversity is Hope.” Brooklyn, NYC. April, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


1 – Jerkface.

Guy Fawkes is a folk hero for the Occupy generation, here surrounded by the encroaching anonymous armature of the police state, represented by Storm Troopers. You can read many messages into this and like most good art, you’d would be right. Manhattan, NYC. March, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SpiderTag Traces Electric Geometry on the Swedish Waterfront

SpiderTag Traces Electric Geometry on the Swedish Waterfront

The Argentinian Street Artist named Spidertag has freed his work from the wall these days and prefers to trace geometry in the air.

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 5. (photo © Spidertag)

Using a relatively new glowing fluorescent chording that emulates his previous yarn compositions Spidertag spent a week in Helsingborg, Sweden experimenting and creating one new artwork every day.

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 7. (photo © Spidertag)

The installations on the ground, on walls, on ship docks and piers, and levitating in the air were not always simple to achieve, he tells us, and he required the help of three assistants and a car lift.

“I´m super glad of the result, the effort and the levels that I pushed myself to during this amazing week,” he says, of the multiple configurations that lit the night during Artweek, curated by Peter Erikson for Kulturhotellet. Every day at nightfall his temporary, installations suddenly lit up hidden places, many in concert with the beautiful views of Helsingborg.

The images here show the works in situ, some from multiple angles, without photo manipulation. As his electrified tags and geo-webs continue to evolve, one can imagine more complex pieces developing into the future while Spidertag tests the limits of the medium and his imagination.

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 1. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 2. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 3. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 4. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 4. Detail. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 5. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 5. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 6. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 6. (photo © Spidertag)

Spidertag. Artweek. Helsingborg, Sweden. Day 6. (photo © Spidertag)

 

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Hot Tea: An Undulating Fluorescent Apparition Takes You To Church

Hot Tea: An Undulating Fluorescent Apparition Takes You To Church

A fluorescent underwater sea creature is flobbing it’s tentacles in the ripply and unusual directions of the currents and cross currents, full of life and full of crazy ideas. This particular one is hanging over your head actually, but the breezes make it look like its under water.

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The levitating and waving installation in the sky must be confusing for Borås citizens who see the sugar hot pink, the blood red, the radioactive lemon and electric lime blob in the sky, especially because its in the church yard.

It doesn’t really seem like a piece of Street Art to those who are accustomed to thinking that festivals like “No Limit” are for murals only. But the director of this Swedish art gathering doesn’t worry much about restrictions like that – he knows that public art today has as many variations as it does practitioners.

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I can stare at the HOTTEA installation forever,” says Shai Dahan, a Street Artist who has invited a healthy range of artists who work in the public sphere in the 3 editions of “No Limit”.

In fact, it is mesmerizing and time may collapse upon itself while you stare up at this ever-changing sky-sculpture from green grass of the yard, or from the pews inside Caroli Church while allowing your attention to drift out the window. It may appear as a vision, a sign, a holy spirit embodied in this cubic form just outside the glass. Hopefully the Vicar hasn’t found it too distracting for parishioners to listen to his Sunday sermon.

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. Video via BrooklynStreetArt.com

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Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

A new mouse on the street is bringing the world to you one little shop at a time.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.

“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.

Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When finding these new installations on the street in Boras recently during the “No Limit” festival, adults clamored to get close and examine each detail. For children the draw was more like a compulsion.

One inquisitive girl named Grace appeared to want to get inside the pieces, to live there full time. Unfortunately even a tiny person is too big for these miniature apparitions of a world that can loom so large in your imagination.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The artists say they consider themselves novices, but this level of execution and attention to detail suggests that their skills are far more accomplished then they are letting on. During our recent trip to Sweden we had the opportunity to see their work and ask a few questions to see if this mysterious collective(?) could bring a tiny lantern to shed some light on a few matters.

An illustration from Ilon Wikland for an Astrid Lindgren story. ©Ilon Wikland

Brooklyn Street Art: What is the conceptual idea behind these very detailed small worlds you create?
Anonymouse: The idea to construct mice-sized sceneries emerged in March of 2016, inspired by the stories of Astrid Lindgren, and the movies of Walt Disney and Don Bluth.We believe that at some point most children like to imagine that there is a world parallel to ours wherein small animals live quite like we do but using things that we have lost.And based on the response we’ve received it would seem like quite a few people feel the same way.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Would you call yourselves street artists?
Anonymouse: Not really no, we see ourselves as enthusiastic amateurs. Since we’d like our work to speak for itself and not focus on us, we’ve chosen to stay anonymous, and as such it’s also quite hard to become part of a street art community.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you have a background in working in the public sphere previously? (graffiti, Street Art, public art, etc?)
Anonymouse: Nah, or well, a few of us have been part of some small projects, but not anything of notice.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Who do you think is your most enthusiastic audience – children or adults?
Anonymouse: Ha ha, good question. We think kids and adults see different things in the sets – children see the “magic” and accept the shops for what they invite.

Adults, if they like it, like the craftsmanship.

We encourage people build their own miniature sets and to place them all over their own cities. If we can do it, so can you!

Brooklyn Street Art: What a unique addition your work has been to “No Limit” this year.
Anonymouse: We’d just like to thank all the other artists doing absolutely amazing work in Borås. And to Shai Dahan, for the whole initiative.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.10.17 “No Limit” Borås Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.10.17 “No Limit” Borås Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to Sunday! This week we have a special edition of BSA Images of the Week; Dedicated to “No Limit” in Boras 2017.

Begun on the initiative of Street Artist Shai Dahan, the No Limit festival in Borås Sweden is a nice respite in a quiet, somewhat conservative town of pleasant people where all the shops close by six and the streets are empty by ten. With the initiative and vision of Dahan, three editions of “No Limit” have brought a varied roster of more than 30 Street Artists and muralists and installation artists into the downtown area and thrilled the tour groups and looky-loos who follow the trail discovering new artworks.

Playing toward the center and knowingly delighting the audience, the full collection also boasts a few great eclectic names and actual forward-looking leaders on the Street Art/ Contemporary Art continuum. Thanks to Dahan’s sharp eye and knowledge of who to bring, it is a well-rounded collection that compliments the city and yet represents the independent-thinking iconoclastic nature of today’s art on the streets.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Anonymouse, Bordalo II, Christina Angelina, Fintan Magee, Gemma O’Brien, Hot Tea, JM Rizzi, Lakwena, Lonac, Nespoon, and Telmo & Miel.

Top image:  Bordalo II. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II.Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo Miel. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Telmo Miel. Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo Miel. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JM Rizzi. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JM Rizzi. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lonac. Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lonac. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NeSpoon at work on her wall. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NeSpoon. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. Detail. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flying Into the Weekend : HotTea, Bordalo II, TelmoMiel, Nespoon for No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 6

Flying Into the Weekend : HotTea, Bordalo II, TelmoMiel, Nespoon for No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 6

HotTea is being offered in the Caroli Church yard right now, floating above parishioners heads.

Hot Tea. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unveiled as the sun was seting in the Swedish sky, the separate bundles of rayon strips freed one-by-one beneath their gridded wire superstructure, this hovering mass of radiance is enlivened by the slightest breezes rippling through the glowing neon soft cloud, not quite a rectangle, not at all expected.

Hot Tea. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is a tenet of illegal Street Art and legal public art is that it has the power to reactivate public space, sometimes challenging it, sometimes transgressing it. In the case of HotTea his installations reveal space that you were perhaps not seeing, the way Aakash Nihalani reveals geometric patterns and relationships with masking tape and Brad Downey subversively cuts chunks out of it, rearranges it, reallocates it.

Hot Tea. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here on the property of a religious and historical institution, one is tempted to say he captures the spirit of its higher aspirations and holds it aloft as a reminder. He also just completed this summer an enormous record-breaking installation in the Mall of America, a holy temple of commerce and consumerism, so we may have mistakenly imbued this project with something mystical because we were transported from the slippery bricked streets of Boras upon its discovery.

Either way, Boras tour groups applaud. We keep seeing it wherever we go – the appreciation of the new works literally makes people burst into applause, as they did when Hot Tea was on his lift yesterday, as they did for TelmoMiel as they were in their separate baskets 3 stories above in the drizzle, and from 200 meters away on the other side of the street looking up a hill watching Bordalo II as he installed his white wolf, half dripping white, half Technicolor consumer items. As they did when Jim Rizzi turned around almost on cue to face a dozen seniors who were staring at him across the river while he was painting. For those street artists and graffiti artists who have been hunted down by the Vandal Squad or its equivalent over the years, this outpouring of appreciation for your work feels and sounds surreal, perhaps leading you to be philosophical, or bitterererer-er.

TelmoMiel. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Those are the original drawings for the cartoon that we used to watch,” says Dutchman Miel as he takes a break down on the pavement to look up at the animated scene looming above and his art partner Telmo in a cherry picker gazing into the mouth of a fox. The guys are creating a sophisticated tableau incorporating the 2-D cartoon stills of a famous children’s animation and overlaying incredibly realistic 3-D versions of the same.

A still from the animated series of Nils Holgersson

“We used to watch it when we were little – it’s a very old Swedish book and it has been animated by the Dutch and I think the Japanese and it is one of my favorite shows,” he says as we learn about Nils Holgersson and the likelihood that most Swedes will be instantly familiar with this small boy riding on the back of a goose who flies him around the world.

“We like combining the realism with the flat stuff right now,” Miel says of this digital shattering, a hi-jacked visual collage.

TelmoMiel. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: And you have these atmospheric washes…the realism, almost surrealism.
Miel: Those are cut-outs because it’s like a two layer thing. We erase one layer and we always end up having strokes and bits – which makes it kind of more abstract, and we like that aspect so we just leave it. By abstractifying realism, we create surrealism.

A similar split between real and surreal exists in the sculptural installation of Bordalo II on the side of the Boras tourist center. Collaged together refuse from the never-ending garbage/recycling stream we are creating, the Lisbon artist has an uncanny ability to evoke the likeness of an animal that is often familiar to a locality. Here the street audience is also witnessing the transition of an artist’s style, displayed mid-evolution.

Bordalo II. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Whereas Bordalo II’s well-known and celebrated sculptures until this summer had always been finished with paint to complete their transformation, the artist has grown tired of the technique and is moving toward a body of work that uses only the colors present in the recycled items – a much more demanding and challenging technique for the artist, and a visual shift from his typically realized works.

We talk about the new direction as we’re looking at the piece nearly finished on the wall and he contrasts his relationship with the “old” right side of the animal with the “new” left side technique.

“It’s different at least,” he says. “I was getting bored of the old way on the right side – it’s always the same.”

Bordalo II. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And the multi-color eye-popping left? “This is the side that excites me. It’s fun because you can recognize a lot of the items and there is a lot of detail with all of the colors. You’re not playing with tones. You’re playing with colors and you have to give the idea of the shape of the outlines all with just the choice of different colors. I’m not using much black or white – for example the only place where there is black is in the eye. It’s important to use black only in the few places where you really need it then you can just play with the colors and make perspective.”

NeSpoon. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Just across a footbridge into the city’s old commercial district you round a bricked corner and find Nespoon riding up and down a two story wall beside a tavern. The organically decorative lace pattern pops out from the surface, slightly undulating like the long leafed aquatic plants in the Viskan river only 15 meters from her paintbrush.

NeSpoon. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I draw the lace by hand, scan it, print it on large paper and hand cut all the pieces before I stencil them.” It’s a laborious process admittedly, but one that allows a feeling of full authorship and an organic relationship with the materials and final product. The Polish artist is making great progress and now is filling the background with a rusted red root timbre, just picking up the autumnal highlights in leaves on trees nearby.

As this Swedish town nearly marches ever closer to fall, the electricity of “No Limits” is bringing one last surge of summer and a real appreciation of the work of Street Artists as well.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. Installation # 2. No Limit/Borås 2017. The Malmö based secretive installation artist put this hand crafted miniature gas station overnight. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. Installation # 2. No Limit/Borås 2017. The Malmö based secretive installation artist put this hand crafted miniature gas station overnight. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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