All posts tagged: Sweden

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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Surprise Anonymouse Guest, Sunlight at No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 5

Surprise Anonymouse Guest, Sunlight at No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 5

 

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


A small surprise guest appeared in Boras Thursday overnight and was sort of discovered by people on their way to work in the neighborhood. And when we say small, consider that a thimble is playing the role of a lampshade in one of these set scenes.

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

The miniature movement has been important in the last 10 years particularly in Street Art, with ever small pieces popping up – a bit of escapist fun for kids and those adults who also would like to disappear themselves for a moment into a tiny fantasy world. The Swedish installation artists Anonymouse have appeared on the streets of Malmö with a logo that smacks of Disney, Ronald McDonald and that Occupy mask of Guy Fawkes. But this is just a little mouse world for you to live in, provided you can get on your belly and stare closely.

Aside from that new bit, we found the artists happier with the weather, spirits lifted, and walls going up! Here are some of the images we caught on tour through the city which really has embraced the influx of international artists in a way that few do.

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

“It’s great how many business owners have been supportive to us over the years,” says artist and “No Limit” organizer Shai Dahan. We’re standing with structural engineer and commercial real estate property manager Erik Williamson in front of the new wall by TelmoMiel that features a goose and a fox from a well known Swedish fable by Nils Holgerssons.

Williamson has donated buildings and gallery space over the last three editions of the festival, virtually goosing the interest of the rest of the city. Now Shai receives calls from local businesses asking for artists to paint their walls almost daily.

NeSpoon for the Thinkspace/No Limit Borås 2017 “There Are No Limits” art show. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We love it!” says Mr. Williamson, “I’m a bird watcher, so this one is fun for me. It’s good for the city and the town. I think this year there will be many more people.” Does he think that these new works around town are like graffiti and does he have negative connotations about them? “I do not think of graffiti, I think it more of art. I think it does us good to walk around the city and to see street art and sculptures and it is good for the people in the city, I think.”

Abstract artist JM Rizzi is feeling good about his progress as the sun is coming out and his long wall is finally filling with color thanks to late days and helps from local volunteers. It’s appropriate that his work is here by the river, as he speaks of fluidity when describing the gestural abstract style that he has become known for.

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

Influenced as a student in college nearly two decades ago by artists like Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline, Rizzi says he’s heartened by the idea that his early graffiti influences are now matured and embedded with his love of writing, and the simplicity of the line.

“The person who really turned the light on for me was Franz Klein – his drawing, his black ink, his gestures, his letterforms,” says Rizzi. In fact, he says the essence of a JM Rizzi piece is always “about the linework.” He also speaks of music. Tracing the wall with his finger in the air he talks about the rhythm of the piece and says he can hear a soundtrack of percussion and horns; the yellow is a horn, the grey is a bass.

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

Ultimately, he says, “It’s about the dialogue of art, and what I am adding to that dialogue.”

As we speak we see well-known local tour guide Bjorn Linder is bringing a group of mature adults up the banks of the river across from Rizzi’s new wall. When it comes to putting your art out to be seen by the public, that’s where the dialogue continues.

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

Hot Tea. 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)

Lakwena. 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)

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Artists at Work, Soggy but Intrepid Update for No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 4

Artists at Work, Soggy but Intrepid Update for No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 4

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


The Australian letterist Gemma O’Brien may be the only artist who is dry right now at No Limit Boras; she’s painting a wall inside The Swedish School of Textiles – adding her illustrative painting to a publicly accessible area of the esteemed institution of learning. Ken and Alisha from Thinkspace are also out of the rain because they are installing the pop-up gallery show opening Thursday night in the city center.

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

BSA has had the pleasure of co-curating with Thinkspace in the past and once again they  are bringing a stunning cross section of current Street Art, graffiti, dark pop, pop surrealist, tattoo, illustration, all helpful to put the No Limit mural installations in a larger context. The art movement, perhaps because of its global nature and the many tributaries that contribute to it, is still having a hard time deciding on the rubric these works fall under: Urban Contemporary? New Contemporary? Definitely Thinkspace is giving a good taste of what is happening as it evolves. Wednesday afternoon a few of the artists who are on walls in town were and in the gallery show were also in the space – including Nespoon and Bordalo II, both whom just landed.

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

Actually had a great opportunity to see Bordalo II jumping into the dumpster to peruse the recycled garbage he’ll be working with over the next few days here to create a sculpture on the side of a wall. Contrary to the process he has to do elsewhere, this time he gave the Boras team a full list of desired garbage items for them to find and collect for him. Thanks to the pretty sophisticated recycling system that Sweden has and the fact that you frankly don’t see much garbage strewn across this city at all, this was the assured way that the Lisbon based artist could get the raw materials needed to create his signature installation.

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

The London Police have been milling around a bit aimlessly it would seem, appearing only under cover of night, tempting peers and unsuspecting bar patrons into pool games, episodes of hilarity and assorted blueprints for late night debauchery. Since the town doesn’t typically stay up late for, well, anything, this has posed a particular challenge for Chas and Chinny to wrangle participants, but we have faith in them. Not officially part of the No Limit festival this year, we hear that the Police have some public tricks up their sleeves over the next couple of days, so keep your eyes peeled.

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

Hot Tea and his assistant Fabrizio arrived here without there luggage yesterday afternoon (as many have) and despite the jet lag, the rainy skies, and their 2 day-old clothes, they are both teetering atop a cherry picker on the Caroli Church grounds.

Here Hot Tea is hanging a system of wires between the flag poles for what will be a remarkable installation by the Minneapolis born former graff-writer now yarn magician.

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

The Caroli Church, by the way, is the oldest building in the city and it has withstood all four enormous fires that nearly destroyed the city in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and its bell tower is visible from many vantage points around the city, its hourly chimes audible out your window. Perched high above one important tomb high in the sky and presumably closer to God these guys are laboriously hanging a system of wires that are hard to decipher at the moment.

A certain salty-tongued Mexican photographer we know remarks that the wires and flagpoles may be closer to heaven but also closer to lightning bolts and if this storm picks up they may be fried. Heresy! On these Holy ground they will be safe. But if the Vicar knew much about Hot Tea, he may be doubtful about this as well.

Hot Tea at work on his installation. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Polish Street Artist Nespoon has just arrived as well and she tells us about a recent urban exploring trip she made to Chernobyl (!) and she has begun scoping out her wall location here in Borås.

The Dutch duo TelmoMiel have begun to sketch out across a large wall in aerosol a story that appears to include a fox and a goose, JM Rizzi is showing a lot of progress with color blocks across his lengthy expanse by the river, Christina Angelina is now claiming a corner of hers by the traffic overpass.

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

The Croatian realist Lonac is applying a tattoo to the leg of his graffiti-writer while a local guy periodically does a sort of excited interpretive dance on the street near the cherry picker, and the Australian Fintan Magee has won the speed competition by completing his powerful image of a Swedish woman hoisted above branches looking skyward overlooking the Borås central park. Lakwena did some late night screen projecting to put crisp fonts into their composition, which is unveiling it self in blocks of vibrant angular hues.

Think that’s it for now. You have been apprised of the current Borås public art situation. More to come!

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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Borås Kids Smash the “Open Wall”: Children’s Workshop at “No Limit” : Dispatch 3

Borås Kids Smash the “Open Wall”: Children’s Workshop at “No Limit” : Dispatch 3

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


“They just float around you know, they do their own thing,” says Swedish graffiti writer Appear37 about these junior aerosol artists who are taking his workshop here on a muddy grey day. “Some have sprayed on each other and stuff, I need to check on them regularly. They also like to spray on the ground. So kids are crazy.”

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’re in a small wooded park by the railroad tracks here in Borås, standing in front of the first official legal wall that is sponsored by the city. Getting this large outside canvas for organic artistic expression took years of discussion that was often lively and even rancorous, according to a number of locals. A collection of 7 or 8 young people are here to get familiar with the spray can and to see if they can translate their hand drawn designs into paint on a wall.

That’s precisely what their teacher Appear37, otherwise known as Adam Algotsson, is helping them do. The folding table near the wall is full of boxes of cans, and an acoustic speaker is playing the Spanish language pop hit “Despacito” on a loop. Adam tells us that the kids wanted to hear their favorite song over and over again so he obliged their preference so they could get into their groove. After the fifth time hearing the song he says the repetition is beginning to drive him a little loco and the professor is ready to switch to his own funky playlist on his phone.

BSA: It looks like the kids like to experiment.
Adam: That’s why we do this – so they can get the feeling. It’s part of the “No Limit” project and we want to show the youngsters that we have a legal wall now so they can start and become a real artist.

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The “Open Wall”, as it is referred to here, has literally been up and ready for the public for only three days, he says, and already many artists of a variety of ages have been putting their skills and ideas to the test. Appear37 has a serious burner here and another well known Swedish graff writer LEON (W.U.F.C) has one of his fantastical characters on it as well.

As he keeps a close eye on the students progress he talks about his own history without much guidance on his art skills. “I started like this, on the streets of course. I found some walls in Gothenburg. When I got older I talked to the local officials here in Borås about getting a legal wall for everyone but it took 10 years, 11 years! But now we’ve got a really huge one and we will get even more because they like it now. So I am glad for it and I live very close so I can just go and paint on it.”

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We pause for a moment as a girl with long blond hair and an adult sized buttoned shirt over her regular clothes carries a can over to Appear37 to ask him a question. After some instructions and encouraging tones in Swedish, she tentatively does a couple small bursts of paint on an eyeball.

“She wanted to know how to do highlights,” he says. “It’s good if they can try. She understands – you can see it in her work. It won’t get good the first time – you need to try to change how far you hold the can from the wall and it is so difficult.”

A frog is ready to leap from the sketch to the Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It takes a lot of years just to do one clean line. For me it took like four years to do a good line. Now I do a really good one. It’s my full-time job so I have to do it well.” We talk about the change of roles for him from rebel to artist to teacher. Now he is the one who is setting the example, and his face lights up as he talks about all the students he has been working with. “Yes I have a lot of workshops. It is so fun – when they listen!”

He says that he is self taught, and he spent much time alone as a teenager – painting, and more painting. “I have been alone a lot, thinking. I have grown as a person because of that I think. It has been a lot of hours in my studio and in my room doing canvases.” A life-long Borås resident, his graffiti work is well known among peers in the Swedish graffiti game and he has developed an appreciable following for his gallery work on canvas as well.

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But right now, Appear37 is looking for the new talents that are emerging before his eyes in this two-hour class.

“Some of them want to leave pretty soon after they first try to use the can. But then some of them don’t want to stop. Those are the ones that I want to catch the ones who really love it.

We look at the sketches of the students now placed on the ground in front of the wall. The students  prepared them earlier with a school teacher at a picnic table nearby before attempting to create them here on the wall. One of them, a line drawing of a character, catches his eye.

“She has her own style already. You can feel it in her sketches.”



Check out the works of the professor at his brand new gallery show:

Adam Algotsson alias Appear37 this weekend as part of the “No Limit” festival in Borås at Galleri Villastaden, opening Friday night. Complete info below:

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Galleri Villastaden
Övre Kvarngatan 44
50453 Borås
Telefon: 0706-329758

info@gallerivillastaden.se

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Lakwena, JM Rizzi in Process at No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 2

Lakwena, JM Rizzi in Process at No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 2

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


Swedes love to talk about Swedish weather, especially when explaining the famous winters and the grey days that are causing muralists to try and paint in between the rain drops in Borås right now. Aside from Gemma, who is painting inside the Swedish School of Textiles on the university campus, everyone else is painting outside, which means a cloudy, cool, and rainy day presents a particular set of challenges. But this group evolved from the modern graffiti/Street Art scene, so unless there is a police officer involved, the rain won’t stop the party.

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

The sun-drenched Dallas based abstract contemporary painter JM Rizzi may be a bit more in shock because he has just been scoping out the enormously long wall he will be painting along with a local assistant from the high school named George, who used to do a little graffiti of his own before he moved here from Croatia a couple of years ago.

Rizzi says he’s excited to do the largest wall he’s ever done and he is taking this rain day as an opportunity to sketch the outlines of his composition while George runs across to the other side of the river to look at his progress and text any feedback.

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

Meanwhile Lakwena, the vibrantly graphic textologist from Hackney, London has her heart set on improvising her wall and is channeling the messages she has been receiving from in inner world to decide what aesthetic direction her wall just off the main street of Allégatan.

She tells us she’ll be free-styling this time around, allowing the spirit to move her and taking inspiration from the lyrics of her assistant and talented musician sister Abimaro, with whom she’s been talking a lot about the importance of process in creativity.

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

“She and I share a similar vision about our work. So we had this long talk about our process for work – so I’ve kind of gone back to what I used to do, which very much, ‘The Soul is in the Process.’ You know, it’s not just in the planning,” she says.

The two of them are studiously laying out a color palette in trays on the sidewalk and carefully marking out dimensions and patterns across the buffed wall in the chilly drizzle, keeping an upbeat attitude despite a downbeat aqua rhythm that eventually turns to full-on rain.

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

An artist who loves the letter-style on public signage, Lakwena says she’s getting inspired by some of the text treatments she’s been seeing on the street here, and she knows she’ll be incorporating some of that inspiration in her text as well. “I don’t have any ‘declarations’ about what its going to be,” she says before revealing that the wall will be inspired by lyrics from a song called “Fever” by her sister.

“It’s inspired by one of her lyrics actually, ‘When I’m free’ is one of them, ” she tells us. “That’s kind of what started it. I mean the lyrics are probably going to be in there because I always have lettering about something that I feel – it’s almost like an anchor for me, which I love.” As one of the outstanding women who rocked Wynwood with Jeffrey Dietch in Miami a few years ago and just recently with JustKids and Charlotte Dutoit in Arkansa for The Unexpected project, you know this wall is going to make Borås jump.

Once the rain clears, that is.

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

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

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Fintan Magee, Lonac in Process at No Limit/Borås: Dispatch 1

Fintan Magee, Lonac in Process at No Limit/Borås: Dispatch 1

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


“No Limit” 2017 is just getting underway here in Borås. Fintan Magee is the first out of the gate with a large wall overlooking the Viskan river which winds it’s way through this southwestern town in Sweden. Artists have been arriving in Goteborg from around the world and getting a ride 40 minute ride to Boras by car with a friendly volunteer who offers to transport these honored international visitors.

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

We immediately hit the clean streets with some serious jetlag and without luggage (it will follow later no doubt) to see the walls with artist and organizer Shai Dahan, who started the “No Limit” mural arts festival in 2014 to bring his friends in the Street Art world to this friendly and welcoming city known more for its textile industry than its graffiti scene.

First we headed to a demonstration of Afghani immigrants who were gathered in the main square here to give speeches and display handmade signs protesting a proposal to send these relatively new emigres back to Afghanistan because some in the government contend that the country is safe enough for them to return.

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

A couple of the guys standing in the assembly told us that most Afghani’s would disagree with that assessment and felt that returning to their original country would be dangerous to them. We took some photos of the signs and made our way to see Fintan’s work-in-progress wall of a local Swedish woman set atop winter branches, elevated into the sky. He had already stopped painting for the day so we set out to find Lonac.

The artist Lonac, from Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia that is more than 10 times the size of Borås, was just finishing up his work for the day on a huge portrait of a guy whom we didn’t recognize, so we talked to him about it. A fine artist whose realism sometimes slides into surrealism, the sharp-witted aerosol musician tells us that his new painting is a tribute to the graffiti writers whose work gave birth to much of the modern Street Art scene, including this guy in this new painting.

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

“He is a graffiti writer from Zagreb. Sometimes we also paint together,” Lonac says, “So for this wall I chose to paint him because mostly I paint people who I know. I like to use them for stories I want to tell, whether it is pictures or paintings or murals it makes sense for me to paint someone that I know. I started doing it about three years ago. It is a big challenge to paint somebody who is real, not from your head, because eventually that person will see it. So I work more and more to make the painting realistic, to create the personality of the person who I want to paint.”

BSA: You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself by doing that – painting a contemporary.
Lonac: Yes, but no, no, I like it. This way I feel that the wall doesn’t only have to do with me. It has to do with somebody else. That’s what I’m trying to do.

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

BSA: So when you think of him, what do you think of?
Lonac: He is one of the main guys in the graffiti scene in Zagreb. When I started painting I wasn’t so close to those guys and now since I have been painting more and more I am becoming more understanding of this other part of our culture. Until now I mostly only did paintings. So its mostly about honoring other people who are also doing some type of art and acknowledging that they are also painting, even though I am not close to that kind of painting.

BSA: What would you tell people here in Boras about graffiti that they do not know?
Lonac: I don’t know if they know a lot about graffiti here because there is not much bombing or tags. I would say that there are a lot of people doing many types of graffiti and there are some who take from the history of graffiti and are making it into some type of art. So I would say before judging it they have to know something about it to understand it.

Afghanistan emigres protesting in Borås, Sweden, September 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Afghanistan emigres protesting in Borås, Sweden, September 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown knows the way to someone’s heart. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Spider Tag Uses Electricity to Trace a New Direction In The Dark

Spider Tag Uses Electricity to Trace a New Direction In The Dark

It’s good to see artists stretch themselves creatively, going outside of their comfort zone, hopefully, and discovering new techniques and approaches to their art.

“You cannot stay at the same level as when you first practiced your truth, life won’t let you.”

~ Kamal Ravikant, Live Your Truth

Spanish Street Artist Spider Tag has appeared here on BSA for many years constructing his outside constellations in abandoned buildings and community gardens and elsewhere with nails and yarn. If you didn’t see the geometric shapes there on intersecting planes before, he was willing to demarcate their dimensions with bright red lines for your benefit.

Spider Tag. Malmo, Sweden. March 2017. (photo © Spider Tag)

Recently in a new modern neighborhood of Malmö, Sweden called Västra Hamnen, Spidertag decided to use a curiously amenable neon cable material to try out a new public installation. He says the total exhibition lasted about 30 minutes, until the battery died, but it was a successful experiment he is eager to expand upon. “I used nails, a hammer and 50 metres of neon cable,” he says, “I thought it was a perfect spot with the buildings in the horizon.”

Spider Tag. Malmo, Sweden. March 2017. (photo © Spider Tag)

We asked Spider Tag about this new direction and about his practice as an artist working in public space and he reveals that it is not always easy to make a change with your art:

BSA: What inspired you to take this new direction into the darkness?
Spidertag: From 2008 to 2015 I was using yarn and exploring different directions, from geometric, abstract or minimalism in the urban environment and in countryside, taking video documentation and short film. I felt that I had to change the yarn. Even though many people told me that it was a mistake for me to change my art practice because people recognize me for a certain style or practice, I didn´t care. For more than a year I jumped into a bad period in which I didn´t find a solution. It was a scary moment, because I thought that I was losing my sense of direction.

I tried with metal and other materials, but didn’t like the result. And as in a superhero´s classic comic book, by luck or by mistake, I discovered the neon cable. Eureka! Since that moment, I’ve been exploring the use of the light with other materials -hammer, nails and paint- that I´ve used since the beginning of my career. The cool thing for me is that this new material has the same flexible use, but it’s more unique. It is also new and modern in the Street Arts movement.

I had experimented with black lights and yarn back in 2012 in the Alps and in Madrid. So, this is a continuation but with a new power.

Spider Tag. Malmo, Sweden. March 2017. (photo © Spider Tag)

BSA: Do you discover shapes and geometric relationships as you are creating the piece, or do you have the composition diagrammed out in your head before you begin?
Spider Tag: I work with the space. That´s the key in street art, especially when you do illegal work or without permission, because you choose the place. In my case I choose it because the surface, the material, inspire me. I work with sketches and also improvise, but it’s the personal background, the ideas that you look forward to realize and the open eyes to found the perfect place that I follow as a patron…”

Spider Tag. Malmo, Sweden. March 2017. (photo © Spider Tag)

BSA: Sometimes when we see your work, we realize that you are outlining shapes that already exist but we couldn’t see them before.
Spidertag: I walk the streets scanning the surfaces with my mind. There are straight lines everywhere, abandoned spots that are perfect for what I want to do. And when you find these, half of your work is done…

BSA: Have you an interest in creating text or perhaps figures or recognizable icons?
Spider Tag:
Yes, but it’s not my field…

BSA: What do you like the most about creating your art in public space?
Spidertag: I enjoy the exploring the moment, walking or being on the bike or skating. And now, also the magical moment when I press the button and the darkness changes with the lights…

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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.07.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.07.16

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Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring ABOVE, City Kitty, Corn79, Crisp, D7606, Damien Mitchell, Dee Dee, EC13, Gregos, Hiss, Homo Riot, Imamaker, Invader, Mark Jenkins, MOMO, Olek, OneArt, Savior El Mundo, Stik, Wing, and Zimad.

Our top image: Stik for The L.I.S.A. Project. July 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek new installation in Avesta, Sweden. August 2016. (photo © OLEK)

We first called her the Christo of Street Art a number of years ago, and this latest project seems to finally confirm it. Olek created a two part installation for the Verket Museum in Avesta – in short it is about destruction and rebuilding. Above is the latest picture of the house she mounted the installation within – wrapped in meters and meters of pink crochet.

“Our pink house is about the journey, not just about the artwork itself.  It’s about us coming together as a community.  It’s about helping each other.  In the small Swedish community of Avesta we proved that we are stronger together, that we can make anything happen together.  People from all walks of life came together to make this project possible.  Someone donated the house, another one fixed the electricity and Red Heart Yarns donated the materials.  The of course, most importantly, many women joined us in the effort to make my dream a reality.

After I exploded the house I wanted to create a positive ending for them as a symbol of a brighter future for all people, especially the ones who have been displaced against their own wills.  Women have the ability to recreate themselves.  No matter how low life might bring us, we can get back on our feet and start anew.

We can show everybody that women can build houses, women can make homes. “

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Gregos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mark Jenkins in Montreal. July 2016. (photo © Andre Pace)

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Mark Jenkins in Montreal. July 2016. (photo © Andre Pace)

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MOMO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tavar Zawacki AKA ABOVE (Invader on top) for The L.I.S.A. Project in Manhattan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Corn79 in Mantova, Italy for Without Frontiers. July 2016. (photo © Corny79)

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OneArt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HISS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HISS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zimad in collaboration with Damien Mitchell. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wing (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty in collaboration with D7606. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Homo Riot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Savior El Mundo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EC13 in Granda, Spain. August 2016. (photo © EC13)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Imamaker (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crisp (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Speaking of the Constitution. Wall Street. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.28.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.28.16

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This simple lollipop paste-up reminds us this week that it may appear to be sweet, but sometimes it is poison. Guess that truism should be obvious to you kids, but it doesn’t hurt to remind each other.

Here’s our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring ECB, Escif, JPS, Kai, London Kaye, Lunge Box, Mogul, Nick Walker, Omen, Tref.no, The J0n, and Shai Dahan.

Our top image: A questionable lollipop on the street. Lunge Box. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lunge Box. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TREF in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The J0n in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JPS in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The J0n in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ECB in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Omen in Rochester, NY for Wall Therapy Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kai (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shai Dahan in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nick Walker in Stavanger, Norway for Nuart Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Escif in Stavanger, Norway for Nuart Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mogul in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A belatedly found piece by Londo Kaye. There’s is never too late for love though… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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BSA Top Stories As Picked by You from BSA and HuffPost in 2015

BSA Top Stories As Picked by You from BSA and HuffPost in 2015

You picked them!

Last week you saw the Top Murals and the Top Videos. Today here are our Top Stories of 2015.

BSA readers told us by your direct comments and online sharing – that you love our coverage of Street Art festivals: 8 of the top 15 postings in ’15 were about them.

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The rest of the most popular stories can be described as being about powerful personalities and consequential work on the street that is not simply visually impactful but is backed by a story that runs deeper.

Following are your top 15 postings from the year on BSA and our articles on The Huffington Post along with an excerpt from the original posting.

 


NO. 15

 A Mexican Mural ‘Manifesto,’ Blackened Flags And Censorship (March 04 2015)

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Erica il Cane (photo © Fifty24Mex)

“Striking and massive murals by international street artists have been populating the walls of Mexico City for the last five years thanks to the emergence of a global Street Art scene, a rise in mural festivals, and the country’s tradition of institutional support for murals that further a socio-political mission. There hasn’t been much of the latter lately, however, and it is doubtful that a new politically charged mural campaign underway in certain central neighborhoods is likely to receive tax dollars for the paint and ladders.

Without sighting a specific ill to address, the new mural initiative named “Manifesto” is challenging a select group of local and international street artists to express their opinions on weighty and topical matters through murals, “using art as a social tool to propose, reflect and inform.” Among possible topics that might be addressed, the manifesto for “Manifesto” says, are increasing poverty, glorified materialism, the exhausting of natural resources, a fraying social web, and a dysfunctional justice system.”

More…


NO. 14

Malik and ‘Note’ Bring 17 Street Artists To A Swiss Prison (November 04, 2015)

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(photo © Malik)

“Initiated by Aarau-based graffiti/street/fine artist Malik in May of 2012, the project eventually corralled 17 street artists, all but one from Switzerland, to enter the confines of the new high security Lenzburg Prison to paint murals on exterior walls, courtyards, hallways, and common areas.

‘I was looking for a new challenge and a new and exciting project where I could show my art,’ says Malik and while the 18 month project originated with his vision of getting a nice wall for himself, quickly the project grew far beyond his expectations to become an educational, sociological meditation on the penal system, the appropriate role of art within it, and our collective humanity.”

 More…

 


NO. 13

The Coney Art Walls: First Three Completed and Summer Begins  (May 27, 2015)

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Kave (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Instead of being hunted down for catching a tag or bubble-lettered throw-up, a couple dozen graffiti/street art painters are invited to hit up Coney Island this summer — and since we’ve just marked the unofficial first weekend of summer in New York — we’re bringing you the first three freshly completed pieces.

Part of “Coney Art Walls”, the muralists began taking the train out to this seaside paved paradise that is re-inventing itself once again, this time courtesy of art curator Jeffrey Deitch.”

More…


NO. 12

50 Years From Selma, Jetsonorama and Equality in Brooklyn  (June 27, 2015)

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Jetsonorama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“From Selma to Ferguson, Birmingham to Charleston, Jimmie Lee Jackson to Michael Brown, Street Artist Jetsonorama is crossing the country from Arizona to New York and a half-century of America’s struggle with our legacy of racism and injustice.

As marches have continued across the country in cities like Ferguson, Oakland, Baltimore, New York, Dallas and Cleveland in the past year addressing issues such as police brutality and racism, the south is taking down confederate flags on state houses and the US is mourning another mass shooting.

Now as Americans everywhere are pulling out and waving the stars and stripes to celebrate freedom, this new powerful installation on a Brooklyn wall reminds us of what New York poet Emma Lazarus said, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free.’ ”

More…


NO. 11

Gender, Caste, And Crochet: OLEK Transforms A Shelter In Delhi  (March 25, 2015)

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Olek (photo © Street Art India)

” ‘It felt like I gave a birth to an oversize baby without any pain killers. I had to pull the black magic to make it happen. Physically and emotionally drained. Was it worth it? Absolutely YES,’ she types onto her Facebook page to let friends and fans know that she has finished the seven-day marathon of crocheting and directing a full team of volunteers and St+Art Delhi organizers. Triumphant, she stands atop the woman’s shelter, a one story structure of corrugated metal and concrete 40-feet long and 8-feet high, with a fist in the air, a symbol of celebration as well as a show of solidarity with the sisterhood of those who helped her make it and those will seek refuge here when other options have been exhausted.”

 More…

 


NO. 10

A Tidal Wave of Lodz Reborn: ‘Lodz Murals’ Distinguishes a Polish City (October 28, 2015)

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Alexis Diaz (photo © Maciej Stempij)

“Now I don’t want to create any new festival, any new brand — just want to keep the name as simple as possible,” he says of Lodz Murals, an ongoing program that functions year round rather than focusing specifically on a short-term festival. With all responsibilities for organizing, promoting, and working with city and private business under one roof, Michał says that his vision is to create the same sort of iconic image of Lodz with murals as Paris with the Eiffel Tower.

“I would like that people on the global scale would think of Lodz as a city with exceptional public art,” he says grandly while acknowledging that public art shines in many other cities as well. “When you are thinking about public art, one of the first places that you will see in your mind’s eye is Lodz. Of course, comparing the mural project to the one of the most important “pearls” of modern architecture is pure overstatement, but I would like to create this type of mechanism, this type of association.”

 More…


NO. 9

WALL\THERAPY 2015: Surrealism and the Fantastic (July 29, 2015)

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Never Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.”

More…


NO. 8

NUART 2015 Roundup: A Laboratory on the Street (September 12, 2015)

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Ella & Pitr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“As we mark the halfway point of this decade and see the institutional discussions of Street Art taking form while academics try to place it in the canon of art-making and decide upon the nature of its impact, they do it with the knowledge that gallery shows, museum exhibitions, high-profile auctions, individual collecting, lifestyle marketers, and public festivals of many configurations and aspirations are already embracing its relevance. No one can possibly gauge this story in all of its complexity but some will capture its spirit. Being on the street helps.

One way to get a pulse on the present is to attend shows like Nuart and witness the diverse stratagems that artists are using to engage their audiences and judge if they are successful at realizing their intentions. With a deliberately mixed bag of thinkers, feelers, documentors, aesthetes, and pranksters culled together for your edification, this show stokes the discussions.”

More…


NO. 7

Coney Art Walls: 30 Reasons to Go to Coney Island This Summer  (June 24, 2015)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The gates are open to the new public/private art project called “Coney Art Walls,” and today, you can have a look at all 30 or so of the new pieces by a respectable range of artists spanning four decades and a helluva lot of New York street culture history. We’ve been lucky to see a lot of the action as it happened over the last five weeks and the range is impressive. These are not casual, incidental choices of players lacking serious resumes or street/gallery cred, but the average observer or unknowing critic may not recognize it.”

More…


NO. 6

Barcelona: “Open Walls” Mural Festival and Conference 2015 (November 11, 2015)

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RocBlackBlock (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

“Barcelona was known as a city at the epicenter of a bustling lively organic street art scene in the mid 2000s. Today that has greatly been cracked down upon by authorities, but the Spanish city now boasts a mural festival called Open Walls, which celebrated its third edition last month with public works spanning a great number of influences and styles. Of course there is still plenty of autonomous, non-comissioned street art to be seen as well.”

 More…


NO. 5

Basquiat’s Rarely Seen Notebooks Open At The Brooklyn Museum (April 01, 2015)

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Basquiat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In ‘Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,’ now running at the Brooklyn Museum until August 23, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

 More…


NO. 4

Borås ‘No Limit’ 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities (September 17, 2015)

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Pichi & Avo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This is No Limit, the second installation of murals done primarily by street artists in Borås, a pristine and pleasant city about 45 minutes east of Gothenberg. With the leadership of artist Shai Dahan and organizers Stina Hallhagen and Anders Khil the local tourism office works year round to promote this festival and the quality of the pieces are top notch due to the careful choices of international big names and up-and-comers.

In addition to this diversity, the scale is varied with massive walls like those by the Chilean Inti and Poland’s Robert Proch, and more personal-sized installations in surprise locations around town by American illustration artist David Zinn and New Jersey’s sculptural stencilist Joe Iurato.”

More…


NO. 3

Street Art Sancocho: ArteSano Project Brings Dominican Flavor  (January 08, 2015)

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Mario Ramirez (photo © Tots Films)

It could be the name influencing our perception, but in one way or another it looks like these artists are chosen for their down-to-earth hand hewn approach. Sometimes decorative, sometimes storytelling, there are familiar themes and motifs that play well to their local audience as well as the virtual gawker.

Even with two dozen artists, it isn’t bloated: no logos or product tie-ins or DJs or high flying scissor lifts scaling massive multi-story walls with abstract surrealism, hyper photo-realism or dark pop human/animal/robot hybrids here – yet. Well, we take that back on the surrealism score; Pixel Pancho is here with a brood of chickens bobbing their industrial mesh necks atop fired tile bodices, hunting and pecking their way toward the beach, and Miami artist duo 2alas & Hox created a portrait of a boy with a partial mask overlay that calls to mind cyborgs (and Sten & Lex). But here in the loungey bare-foot tropical DR coastal area, even Pixel Pancho mutes the hues toward sun-bleached pastels, more easily complimenting their surroundings.”

 More…


NO. 2

Renaissance Masters, Keith Haring and Ninja Turtles in Brooklyn Streets (July 15, 2015)

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Owen Dippie. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

And so it made sense last week when Dippie skillfully merged imagery spanning five centuries, two continents, and two distinctly different art movements. Call it a measured miracle, a ratherish revelation that Dippie completed a deftly realized mashup of Raphael and Keith Haring, with the Madonna del Granduca holding Haring’s icon-symbol that is variously referred to as ‘Radiant Baby,’ ‘Radiant Child,’ and ‘Radiant Christ.’ ”

More…

 


NO. 1

YZ and Her ‘Amazone’ Warrior Women On Senegalese Walls (January 14, 2015)

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YZ (photo © YZ Yseult)

“French Street Artist YZ Yseult has begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th Century West African country of Dahomey, who are more commonly referred to as Amazons. A startling narrative of female power not often heard today for some, but as YZ is researching her own history as a descendent from slaves, her portraits reflect a personal impetus to tell these stories with a new force. She has named this series of strong warriors on the street ‘Amazone’.”

More…

 

 

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Off the Path: Street Art & Graff in An Old Military Compound in Sweden

Off the Path: Street Art & Graff in An Old Military Compound in Sweden

Street Art festivals are popping up like mushrooms across the globe, bringing murals, not street art, to cities primarily as a means of injecting life and culture into a community or business district. When we travel to see these walls we also like to check out the local organic spots off the beaten path where real street art and graffiti can run wild.

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Shai Dahan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You go exploring partly out of respect for the roots of this rapidly evolving art practice – It was the graffiti writers, Situationists, radical hippie students, culture jammers, political anarchists and all manner of freewill installationists who brought us to this moment where cities are almost pleading for murals.

You also hike into tunnels, abandoned lots, underpasses, and neglected former industrial sectors because that is where you know the scene will be alive with experimentation, the spark of discovery, and a splash of old-school in-your-face rebellion without censorship.

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Shai Dahan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For teens and 20-somethings of a certain disposition there’s nothing like grabbing some cans on a sunny Saturday and slaughtering a burned out bus with paint. Even better if its in the middle of a decommissioned military training site used by testosterone raging paintballers with guns full of color ducking behind concrete facades in camouflage fatigues. Amid the clouds of aerosol and bonfire smoke you find these paintings in the ruins, the remaining signs of an un-wasted youth.

According to locals people all the way from Stockholm and Gothenburg travel to paint at this 18,500 square meter former training facility for the Swedish armed forces. It’s built to mimic a real city to practice urban warfare training with rudimentary buildings, marked streets, and below ground tunnels to crawl though. No one remembers when it was first built but it was closed in 1989, left for hikers, berry pickers, and x-urban explorers to discover.

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Shai Dahan . DAWG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The traces of bonfires most likely are from paint ballers having a barbecue during their games,” says one of our guides named Anders, “or possibly they’re for heating their hands during winter games.” Either way the aerosol tags, characters, paintings, and occasional wheatpastes are still popping up and fresh ones ride alongside some now decades old.

So nevermind the prickers and the poison ivy and take a hike off the path and see some free-range artworks in their naturally unnatural environs – directly to you from Sweden.

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Simple (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio . MSCR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio . MSCR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SMUH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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S Camilla E Bostrom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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S Camilla E Bostrom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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S Camilla E Bostrom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAWG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NESH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JARN (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GWC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HANS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HAS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GOBS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GES (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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PEBS . DAWG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mogul . Hoplouie (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mogul . Hoplouie . Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AGUA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Borås “No Limit” 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities

Borås “No Limit” 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities

The Spanish Street Art duo Pichiavo brought the antiquities and modern day graffiti together last week on a soaring multi-story wall in Borås, Sweden. Ironically both are under attack at any given time these days – one by terrorists eager to erase and loot symbols of unholy civilization and the other by the municipal buffing of unsanctioned aerosol tags. In one mural the Valencia-based duo are encompassing many battles and, as it rises amidst a building complex that was once a textile mill here by the Viskan River, the duality of the piece is awash with color and movement like so many fabric dyes being dumped into a stream.

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Pichiavo. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For Pichi and Avo, who merge their names as one on artworks, the creation process of their murals includes first laying down a blanket of aerosol tags and then precisely rendering the figures of Greek and Roman mythology and sculpture over top as a semi-transparent screen. In this case the fierce Greek goddess Latona guards her son Apollo and his sister Artemis, commanding the bricked space and raising questions.

As a passerby looks at this mashing of imagery one may be reminded of the fiery and perplexing tensions that exist in discussions in academic and public-policy circles about the worthiness of graffiti, street art, and urban art alongside traditionally more revered art forms and styles. Another audience will see the battles between the various practices on the streets themselves, of which Pichiavo are well acquainted. Witness the faded “Toy” bubble branded on the infants hip – a term used to disparaged new unskilled graffiti writers.

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Pichiavo. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pichiavo tell us that the supportive relationship depicted extends between the mother and her children and that the figures are deliberately chosen to portray their own experiences. “Our aim was to represent graffiti and Street Art and the overall movement through Leto’s figure. Here her children are the writers, or artists. According to Greek mythology Apollo and his sister Artemis were the most important protectors of Leto, defending her from attackers of all kinds. This allegory can be applied in the Street Art world, where many people try to take advantage of something that it is growing and we, the writers ourselves, need to defend and protect that which we care about.”

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Pichi & Avo showing off their work at No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This is No Limit, the second installation of murals done primarily by Street Artists in Borås, a pristine and pleasant city about 45 minutes east of Gothenberg. With the leadership of artist Shai Dahan and organizers Stina Hallhagen and Anders Khil the local tourism office works year round to promote this festival and the quality of the pieces are top notch due to the careful choices of international big names and up-and-comers.

In addition to this diversity, the scale is varied with massive walls like those by the Chilean Inti and Poland’s Robert Proch, and more personal-sized installations in surprise locations around town by American illustration artist David Zinn and New Jersey’s sculptural stencillist Joe Iurato.

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Pichiavo. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With maps, food trucks, tours, and near daily coverage from local media, including the largest outlet “Borås Tidning”, whose façade was painted this year by Los Angeles native Tristan Eaton, this city of about 65,000 turns out small crowds to watch the progress from the sidewalk and interact with the artists.

“The people here are enthusiastic about the artists and their works and really engage with the art,” says Dahan, who serves as director of the “No Limit” festival and who also organized a pop-up gallery show of work by international and local artists in the heart of the city.

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David Zinn. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Across the street from the university is a “first” for a mural by the Chinese-born artist DALeast, who has not previously worked in the industrial cerulean hue that dyes the fibre-like threads weaving an enormous flying bird’s wingspan across a graduated modern façade. Dahan tells us that it is meant to be seen from the ground level for students and faculty at The Swedish School of Textiles.

“When he arrived in town he sat with his black book right here,” he says, motioning to the contiguous wooden seating platform running along steps leading up to the august bird. “He sketched the entire mural from this vantage point, and this is the best perspective to see it from.”

Next year the city is planning a sculpture festival and the murals will return in 2017. In the mean time, have a look at new work from Curiot, DalEast, David Zinn, Dulk, Inti, Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Robert Proch, and Tristan Eaton.

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Robert Proch. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Curiot. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dulk. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dulk. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dal East. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dal East. Detail from a photo taken above ground. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

See our previous updates:

“No Limit” in Borås, Update 1 : Temporary, Anamorphic David Zinn

“No Limit” in Borås, Update 2: Joe Iurato Climbing the Streets

“No Limit” in Borås: Update 3: Shots of Murals in Process

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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