Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. Happy Purim! Streets in Brooklyn were wild with Hasidic Jews in funny costumes the last couple of days, accompanied by loud music and seemingly drunk men weaving through the streets.
“The efforts of underpaid artists and arts professionals have always powered NYC, but in an ongoing crisis, NYC is turning its back on them,” Nuyorican Poets Cafe Executive Director Daniel Gallant told the Daily News this week, referencing job losses that have affected 2/3rds of New York’s creative community. We are in crisis. And national leaders have been quibbling over a $1,400 check – which is only the third check for poor and middle-class people in a 1 year period. One month’s rent can be that much.
Meanwhile on the street we have been seeing a boon of new creative displays by artists – with a broad sweep of themes and techniques.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Allie Kelley, Aya Brown, Billy Barnacles, Bobo, Elianel Clinton, Fells, George Ferrandi, George Collagi, Gianni Lee, Icebox, Megan Gabrielle Harris, Merch, Plan9, Sara Lynne-Leo, Sasha Lynn, Shoki San, and Swoon.
In collaboration with SaveArtSpace.Org Swoon and Giani Lee curated a series of billboards in NYC and In Los Angeles asking the artists involved to focus on the themes of climate change, racial justice and the places where those concerns intersect. Below we share with you some of the billboards we found in NYC.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. It’s been snowing and snowing and snowing this month in New York – providing perfect framing for graffiti and street art.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adrian Wilson, Beer, Claudia Ravaschiere, Dasu, Dos Wallnuts, Eron, Goog, Guild234, Hellbent, Magda Love, Michael Moss, No Sleep, Note, Par, Seo, Serve, Swoon, The Postman Art, and Treeze.
It’s a pity that the pandemic has kept so many people away from seeing great exhibitions in museums and galleries, among other things. At the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, street artist Swoon’s “Seven Contemplations” ran its course without nearly as many visitors as you would expect.
So we decided to show you the exhibition in a mini-tour. Who else could be your host today but the artist herself, Swoon.
I feel incredibly grateful to have gotten to continue creating large scale immersive experiences for people in a year when so many things were impossible, but when spaces of solace and wonder and creation are needed more than ever.
This exhibition contained a hidden layer, in the form of a series of meditation and contemplation prompts. Small seats were placed within the exhibition, and fixed-gaze meditation instructions given, alongside a set of contemplations for visitors who wanted to settle deeper than usual into the experience of the artwork.” – Swoon
Contemplation – The miracle, grace, forgiveness, that which is given without reason, that which arises spontaneously:
New life is given to us freely with each breath we take. Our cuts heal, our hearts pump blood without being ever asked, and every spring new flowers push up from under the snow. Are there ways that we can appreciate, or even mirror this spontaneously giving aspect of life? Think of a time when you became able to understand someone you had been angry with and so found yourself able to forgive them, or they you. Think of a bit of luck that changed your life, or a gift you were given whose generosity still surprises you. Sit and feel into the tinge of the miraculous that hangs around something as simple as a single breath or as wondrous as a second chance.
Contemplation – Medea, Fear and Suffering:
Sometimes terrifying events can scare us out of our skin. We become dislocated from ourselves and may seem to float outside of our bodies, or feel cut off from our lives. Suffering can make us reach for destructive behaviors or substances in an attempt to release ourselves from pain and anxiety. Can we use small instances of discomfort or anxiety to help ourselves learn to face big emotions when they arise? For just a few moments, recall something small in your day to day life that usually makes you uncomfortable or a bit anxious. How do these feelings show up in your body? Do you feel them in your chest or hands? Or in the quality of focus you are able to give to things that need your attention? Practice staying with an uncomfortable emotion, observing it, and allowing it to pass on its own. When we can sit with and experience the things that scare us, or the things we would like to escape from, we gain a great deal of strength and power. We become more able to chose how we want to react to the world around us.
Contemplation – Thalassa, Primordial self:
Who were you before you were born? Who were you before the earth was born? Sometimes our personal selves get stuck. The mind’s tendency is to fasten onto things it perceives as problems, or threats to self, and to ruminate there. Is it possible to step outside of our individual ‘I’ for a moment and give our consciousness more room to breathe? Sometimes a seemingly nonsensical question can shift our focus and connect us to a more spacious awareness. If you were to arise right now from the primordial sea, what form might you take?
Team: Curator Aaron Ott. Special thanks to Zack Boehler, Eric Jones, Kristine Virsis, Caroline Caldwell, Frances Segismundo, Andrea Tults, Marshall LaCount, Greg Henderson, Ryan McDaniel, Karl Mattson, Zach Prichard, Eileen Saracino, Carolyn Padwa and, the rest of the incredible Albright Knox installation team. All photos by Tod Seelie.
To learn more about Swoon’s “Seven Contemplations” click HERE
“When I first read Jessi’s zine I cried the kind of tears you cry when you feel seen and known in a loving way,” says New York street artist Swoon, who has made her own recovery from childhood trauma quietly and gently public in the last few years. An internal process of discovery that is central to her art practice, you may also discern related stories in the pieces she makes for the street.
Swoon is speaking of the second zine in a series we began this past Saturday – a zine that you can download for free. This one is about working with trauma that we or others in our lives have experienced. “It’s a beautiful book which speaks so simply and clearly to the condition of trauma, and to the footholds we can get in our everyday lives which will help us on our journey towards wholeness,” says Swoon.
She considers therapist and artist Jessi Rado to be one of those brave visionaries who is not afraid to “go there” and who uses their skills and their art to help people to heal. Using her workshops with The Million Person Project and Philly Mural Arts, Jessi has developed this very accessible booklet that may be helpful to you or somebody you care about. Working with the The Heliotrope Foundation and Swoon, we are proud to share it with you.
“Trauma and the question of how to heal from it has become a central part of my practice as an artist,” says Swoon. “What I have found over the years is that trauma is real, it’s not “just in our heads” and it can be healed from. There are many brave therapists at the frontlines of this field who are finding new ways to work through the nervous system and the mindful self to unravel the debilitating stress which holds people in destructive patterns of coping.”
A free zine today for you
from Jessi Rado, an artist and therapist interested in helping those of us who
have suffered trauma or one kind or another. It’s accepted knowledge among
those who work with those struggling with substance abuse that it often is a direct
result of trauma – a fundamental insight that may help us all re-set our thinking
Ms. Rado’s new zine is the
product of a program she collaborated in with street artist Swoon with the Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice
Program in Philadelphia
a few years ago. At this time when so many in our communities are already
dealing with the wreckage of addiction and what it does to families, the stress
of COVID-19 and economic insecurity only compound the fears and in many cases,
That’s why BSA is so happy
to offer something constructive that can help!
The new zine is born from the
program that Swoon participated in with Rado and storytellers Heather Box and
Julian Mocine-McQueen; It “hosted a series of trauma-informed art therapy
courses, followed by a month of storytelling workshops, designed to develop an
understanding of the conditions and context of trauma that lead to and
perpetuate lifelong addiction.”
Take a look at some of the simple and simply profound artworks and texts here, and download the PDF at the end of the posting. One day at a time, friends.
artist Swoon’s Heliotrope Foundation continues to add artists to its lustrous roster
of prints and projects with a new program of pieces for you and your kids to
with a few artists to make this activity book in response to all the need for
home schooling and anyone else who likes to color,” she tells us.
collection is called Compass: “a unique and beautiful handbook, a collection of
creative activities and an inspirational journal. The aim of the project
is to generate work for artists while sharing the joy and necessity of art to
heal, grow and play.”
COMPASS is a free PDF activity book available for distribution to those at home, those with children, and those looking for something to be motivated by. If you would like to distribute Compass in your local area, please contact us: email@example.com
Artists Shine Light on Trump, GOP Atrocities in Emotionally-Charged New Billboard, Street Art Campaign
The billboards are going up in Detroit, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Phoenix, Arizona – all so-called “battleground” states for this years presidential election. Using their talent as street artists to draw attention in public, this group of billboards is grabbing the attention of passersby with aesthetics as well as content.
In a campaign funded by Collective
Super PAC, the SuperPAC affiliate of The Collective PAC, a number of street
artists as well as artists from other genres and practices are lending their
individual skills to remind potential voters what has already been done – with a
warning that four more years would march us straight off a cliff, in their
Artists Shepard Fairey, Nekisha
Durrett, Nate Lewis, Rafael Lopez, Robert Russell, Rob Sheridan, and Swoon each
take on their variation of the messages on topics like police brutality,
racism, hate speech, immigration and the Coronavirus pandemic. Some are simply dedicated
to controversial statements made by Trump and others on his team.
“Our message is simple:
Remember what they did and vote them out,” says organizer Robin Bell, whose
known for his projections on the façade of the Trump Hotel.
For Shepard Fairey, it was
the irony that this spring and early summer Trump was trying to solve our
problems with police brutality with, uh, police brutality.
“My art piece is a reminder
that while the American public was protesting in the streets, in record
numbers, against racism and police brutality, Donald Trump was encouraging
police brutality against the protesters, reinforcing the very same problems
within law enforcement and the criminal justice systems the protesters were
demanding to be reformed,” says Fairey. “This image implies that the police are
supposed to be peacekeepers, not warriors, and that Donald Trump is on the
wrong side of social justice and the wrong side of history!”
The images are stark, sometimes
shocking, but then so are the times they are documenting – and street art is
often holding a mirror up to society. “Life imitates art, and the images we see
have a direct impact on our democracy,” says Quentin James, Founder and
President of The Collective.
As the economy continues to
deflate and the Greater Depression is waiting to be triggered by a crash, not
only will we see more street art, we’ll depend on it as tea leaves to read about
ourselves and hopefully remember what we all did (and didn’t), so we can learn
Judy Chicago, Jane Fonda and Swoon are teaming up for a Global Open Call to #CreateArtForEarth, and the hashtag is picking up speed quickly.
“There are so many ways that art will be part of how we survive this climate crisis and the current pandemic, from helping us work through paralyzing fears so that we can act constructively, to keeping our hearts and minds inspired by what matters, and even using the creative process to tackle tangible solutions. I’m such a believer that the first step to action is an act of imagination.”
Working side by side with Greenpeace USA, National Museum of Women in the Arts and $FireDrillFridays invite you to join the launch of #CreateArtforEarth – a global initiative to encourage art that addresses the climate crisis and hopes to inspires action.
Plastic arts, songs, performance, poems, – all are encouraged. Just follow the hash tag to see where you can participate. #CreateArtforEarth
“Over the last few decades, we have witnessed the melting of the Arctic ice; the warming of the oceans; massive wildfires; dramatic changes in weather patterns; the extinction of hundreds of living creatures; and now, the coronavirus which is upending human behavior all over the planet, causing the disruption of economic systems at a level never seen before and death for many thousands of people. The most pressing issue for us today are the conditions out of which these dire occurrences have happened, which artists can help illuminate if they start addressing what matters in understandable modes.” – Judy Chicago
Innovative artist in the public sphere, Daniel Weissbach aka DTAGNO aka COST88 has charted new territory many times with his hand made experimentation that makes graffiti and street art search themselves for new definitions.
Creating new tools and techniques for applying the traditional aerosol spray to the wall, he inspired many imitators and redefines the artists’ relationship to art in public space. Rooted in graffiti culture but scaling a number of disciplines, he has trail-blazed his own idiosyncratic routes and aesthetics full of humor, discovery, and contradiction for more than two decades at work, and in the process he’s created new paths for us to explore.
Beginning next week with a special showcase of works by admiring peers in the graffiti/ Street Art/ Urban Art/ public art Berlin family, a large number of works will be auctioned to benefit the 44-year old artist as he lives with a medical diagnosis that is a great challenge. Since 2016 he has faced the challenge bravely and will need to have greater care as time moves forward, so the community is reaching out to help.
Following on the heels of a successful campaign on GoFundme last month, this multi-stage online auction of works donated by many local and international artists will assist him and his family during this time, so that he can spend it “in his familiar surroundings, at home, with his 8-year-old daughter and with us,” says artist Christian Hundertmark in his GoFundme essay.
“Get Well Daniel” is the charity auction initiative begun by Steffen Köhler, Markus Mai and Matthias Wermke with the support of many others.
BSA invites you to join with the family of admirers, companions, and friends and to participate at the opening exhibition this Friday, February 21 in Berlin to see many of the works donated Friday night and all day Saturday. If you cannot attend the exhibition please look online beginning Sunday night February 23 at 8 pm for the first group of 30 items.
The benefit auction, which gives 100% of the proceeds to Mr. Weissbach, will continue throughout the month of March and will be updated with new works March 2, 9, and 16, with the final group being unveiled March 23rd.
“Get Well Daniel” Exhibition
21.02.2020, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. // 22.02.2020 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
@ Salon am Moritzplatz (Oranienstrasse 58, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg)
Participating artists include: Adams & E.B. Itso, Adrian Nabi, AKIM, AMIGO, André Simonow, Angabe noch zu klären, Anna Herms, Antwan Horfee, ARIS ONER, BARTO, Beerbird Press, Bernhard Uhlig, BIO, Brad Downey, BUNY, CHEERIO, Christian Falsnaes, Christian Schellenberger, Clemens Behr, Coco Bergholm, Conny Maier, CREAM – 247/MAD, CYOP & KAF, Dan Murphy, DEJOE, DELTA (Boris Tellegen), DEON, DES78, Dmitry Ilko, DRIK, DTAGNO & TRYONE & Jürgen Große, Dumar Novy, EGS, Emmett Edelstein, Enzo Ricordo & Mr.Z, Eric Winkler, ERUPTION (JB. Institute), ESHER, EXOT, Fabian Treiber, Felix Amerbacher, FISTER, Flatliners & Tuff City Kids, GATE, Gambette, Graffitimuseum (Joachim Spurloser, Stefan Wartenberg), HuskMitNavn, ICOS, IDEE, IMOS, Jakob Traxlmayr, Jan Kaláb, Jeremias Böttcher, Jeroen Erosie, Jeroen Jongeleen / influenza, JOLIE, Julien Fargetton, Kaos (VIM), Katdog Wartenberg, Kevin Kemter, Kiddo Oh, KingOfVoid / NICK, Konsens Berlin, KROK, LOFKER, Louise Drubigny, LOVER, LuluGazel, Markus Mai & Markus Butkereit, Matthias Wermke, Max Schaffer, Max Stocklosa, Mischa Leinkauf, MISERABLES, Mister Adam & Gijs Weijer, MONKEY, MOSES & TAPS™, Norman Behrendt, OLABO & AKAY, Olivier Stak / O.K-T, Pablo Tomek, Paul du Bois-Reymond, Paul Simon Krüger, Philip Emde, Philipp Clasen, Philipp König, Possible Books, RACHE, REACT, REVOK, REW KREUZBERG, ROY1st, ROZER, Ruohan Wang, SEEK, SOME SOScrew, SPAIR, Stefan Haehnel, Stefan Marx, Stefan Strumbel, Steve Paul Steven Paul, Streetfiles, SWOON, The WA, Thomas Bratzke, Thomas Korn, Tony Savas, VELI & AMOS, Velo Tramp, Vincent Grunwald, Wilhelm Klotzek & Konrad Mühe, 1UP Crew and φαντομας!
For further press information, please contact Katia Hermann // firstname.lastname@example.org
The three-dimensional figures cavort with the thickened and filigreed waves of memory and emotion. They emerge from the wall, flicker across the screen, mesmerizing.
The hand-drawn lines and patterned shadings are familiar to fans of street art over the last two decades, but this goddess seems so real, so haunted. Swoons’ Cicada installations at Deitch Gallery on 76 Grand Street are in movement, fluttering in your periphery, stories from her past melting into motifs and fragments of her memories, and quite possibly yours.
Cicada is a life cycle, and it glimmers in the darkness as you turn. In this collection of drawings, installations, and film you finally reach the pain, the trauma, the escapist desire for divinity to save us. Swoon introduces the fluttering mystic figures into her new stop motion film, again your memories are triggered, but it’s hers that are on display – while they continue to hide before us.
Even though she’s not here with you, it feels like Swoon’s never been so close and so theatrical, even when she sailed the Switchback Seas with this same journeyman Deitch. Her own odyssey continues to be rebirthed in so many surprising ways; often at the center of the stage, and still behind the wings.
Swoon “Cicada” exhibition ran at Deitch Gallery in New York from Nov 14, 2019 – February 1, 2020.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. How Art Saved Swoon’s Life 2. The Masters: Futura 2000
BSA Special Feature: How Art Saved Swoon’s Life / The C Files with Maria Brito
In 2011 we had a show in Los Angeles called “Street Art Saved My Life”. It sounded like some humorous hyperbole but in reality, it was a sentiment we had heard many times in graffiti as well – including from tough-guy and tough-girl types who have told us with tears in their eyes that graffiti saved their lives. So the transformative power of art is not merely anecdotal at this juncture, and we patiently await the fields of science embracing it as well.
Witnessing the evolution of Street Artist/fine artist Swoon has been moving, and she’s generously opened the trip to you over the last decade. Because of this bravery, her painful growth and their accompanying revelations have enabled others to examine their own path. Certainly, you can relate to her when she says she realized, “There was damage. It was psychological and emotional… and it could be healed.”
“The thing about art-making for me is that it’s kind of like
this pole that is in the center of your world and that the wind is blowing and
your feet are off the ground and you feel like you are getting sucked away, but
there is one thing that you can hold on to.”
Dude, whatever it takes for any of us to be healed, let it
The Masters: Futura 2000
Essentially a tour through Futura’s creative and personal life, here you can see the fluid linearity of the creative spirit as it’s channeled through art, music, fashion, branding, the street and merchandising. We’re just thankful he shares the ride and gives us insights and observations along the way with his disarming humor and canny pronouncements.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Swoon: Cicada at Deitch 2. Biancoshock: GRAFFITRICKS 3. Bien Urbain Festival 2019 Re-Cap by Kristina and Nazar from MZM Projects 4. ARTinfect 4 – The Pfaff Project Part 2
BSA Special Feature: Swoon: Cicada at Deitch
Long time supporter of Street Artist Swoon in her work on the street and in the studio, gallery director Jeffery Deitch has again given a platform to the enlightened wanderings and otherworldly investigations of the artist with a new exhibition in Manhattan. Directed by Frederic King, the character/s of the artists now have dimension, and movement, and a curious way of revealing and concealing. Once again the undercurrents in Swoon’s work are formidable, the presentation ornately manifested.
Biancoshock is back with a new collection of handmade tools that enable hoodlums to write graffiti, or some variation of it in a multitude of ways. In a continuous stance of provocation, the Italian conceptualist redefines the street game by creating one ingenious invention after another. For him, “This is a simple demonstration that creativity can easily fight every kind of institutional control and prohibitive policies.”
Bien Urbain Festival 2019 Re-Cap by Kristina and Nazar from MZM Projects
The 9th edition of Bien Urbain is just completed and MZM Projects presents a tonal treatment to the uniquely contextual festival. You don’t know who the stars are, because in the case of Bien Urbain it truly is a more inclusive conversation – to use an overused word – about the role of art and intervention in the urban environment.
ARTinfect 4 – The Pfaff Project Part 2
The graffiti writer’s lexicon continues to evolve and spread into areas that early writers would have considered verboten. Today graffiti artists often do the same stuff as Street Artists but the labels aren’t important as long as you know how to command the can.
Here in Kaiserlautern, a city in southwest Germany, the artist Carl Kenz has curated the new edition of ARTinfect with a sensibility toward space that recognizes the individual artist – and is a little uncommon in the ‘graffiti jam’ event world. Here you see that each artist is afforded ample industrial framing to develop their work – unimpeded by a too-close neighbor. These abandoned factories are often splendid staging spaces, and it is good to see this international selection of artists granted a good place to create harmony with the decay.