All posts tagged: Tahiti

Jellyfish and Sharks and Octopi, Oh My! Tahiti’s ONO’U, Part Deux

Jellyfish and Sharks and Octopi, Oh My! Tahiti’s ONO’U, Part Deux

Our intrepid Ms. Cooper had to island-hop to snap photos of the rest of these colorful murals in Tahiti for the ONO’U Festival. Raiatea is the name of the island and Martha was told that it was known for being a sacred island where human sacrifices once took place.

“It is also the place from where voyages set out to explore surrounding islands. Two murals are based on that idea,” she say, then adds “mercifully no one painted a human sacrifice.”

Perhaps it’s is an aversion to those tales that produced only blatantly pleasant murals that feature cute sea faring creatures and the occasional errant Jaguar. Jaguars, for the record, do not favor these islands but appear to be a favorite of the French Street Artist Marko 93. There are, however Tiger Sharks swimming around sometimes, and jellyfish.

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Kalaouf at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Kalaouf. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Niko & Inkie at work on their murals. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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NIKO at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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NIKO & INKIE. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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SETH at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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SETH. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Seth’s Raiatea mural is of a female mermaid-octopus holding a ship. “Her tentacles represent the other islands,” says Martha.

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Marko at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Marko and friends. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Paris based Marko 93 was one of the most social and generous of the artists, says Martha.

“His jaguars are colorful crowd-pleasers,” she says. “Marko had a very good rapport with the locals and cheerfully signed dozens of T-shirts for kids who took a graffiti workshop.”

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Marko with fans. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Marko with a young fan. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Marko enjoying the locals, and vise versa. ONO’U Festival 2016. Raiatea, Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 


 

A version of this article appears on The Huffington Post

 

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See Part 1 of this series here:

 

 

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ONO’U Festival 2016 as Captured by Martha Cooper in Tahiti

ONO’U Festival 2016 as Captured by Martha Cooper in Tahiti

Lucky Us! Our senior reporter on the ground in Tahiti for this years’ ONO’U Festival is the quick-witted eagle-eyed Martha Cooper, who shares with BSA readers her fresh shots of the action in paradise.

Personable and outgoing, Cooper covers a lot of ground quickly, introducing herself and asking questions and snapping pictures. Of course people often know her before she knows them, especially in the Street Art/ Graffiti game – but frankly she just wants to see artists work and learn about their process.  So get working!

We’re thankful that Martha is taking the time to share with us all her images and some details of the surrounding action, which we elaborate on here for you.

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Phat1 AKA Charles at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Charles is painting an Omamao bird endemic of Tahiti,” says Martha, “and it is listed as a critically endangered species.” Why do you hear this same story in whatever part of the world you are in today? More importantly, are you doing anything about it?

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Phat1 AKA Charles at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Phat1 AKA Charles with help from Lady Diva AKA Jeanine Williams. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

After the mural was finished, Martha says there was a blessing of the mural. Above you can see the minister in the photo above performing the blessing.

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Bordalo’s sketch for his installation. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bordalo shows us the original sketch for his new piece made with recycled trash.

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Bordalo II at work. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bordalo II. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bordalo II. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate at work on his mural. Martha tells us that his muse for the mural was a woman whom both he and Martha had photographed in the market.  ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate & Askew. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Seth at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Returning mural champion Seth made good use of “an odd shaped wall, turning it into the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship which led a flotilla of yachts protesting again French nuclear testing in French Polynesia,” Martha tells us. According to Wikipedia, “Fernando Pereira was a freelance Dutch photographer, of Portuguese origin, who drowned when French intelligence detonated a bomb and sank the Rainbow Warrior, owned by the environmental organization Greenpeace on 10 July 1985.”

Martha notes that Pereira also was a photographer and he was trying to save his equipment at the time that the ship went down.  “The mural shows Polynesian girl in her fragile canoe pulling alongside the ship.”

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Seth at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Seth. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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NIKO at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“This guy says he can paint any animal he’s seen out of his head—very impressive!” says Ms. Cooper about NIKO, whose mural shows animals arriving in Tahiti from around the world from the harbor close to where the wall was. “The USA is represented by an alligator with a Miami Dolphins hat on,” she says.

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Okuda taking a break. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Okuda at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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MAST at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Mast sketch for his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

MAST was channeling Brooklyn hard in Tahiti, with this shout out to the honeys back home, the subway at Franklin Avenue, and he reconfigured the train lines to reflect the letters of his crew – The Great Escape (TGE).

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Mast. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Cranio. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The anomorphic master Leon Keer is pictured here with his wife assisting. Martha says that these figures are “Painting of robots arriving from the harbor.” As usual, Mr. Keers work rather blows your mind when it is completed and you are standing in just the right location.

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Inkie at work on his wall. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Kalouf at work on his wall. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Kalouf left with Marko on the right. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Peeta. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Hoxxoh. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Jobs & Abuzz. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Tribal Pursuit” is the name of this wall by Tahitians Jobs and Abuzz, named so after the board game called Trivial Pursuit. “The black lines are the Maquesa’s cross,” Martha says, and “the designs are the contradictions of old and modern traditions from Polynesia such as  the ‘head breaker’ a traditional weapon and tiki, the sea animal because they are surrounded by water.” The skull, of course, “represents the atomic tests.”

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Charles and Askew partake on  traditional dance with a local troupe of female dancers. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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BSA Film Friday: 06.10.16

BSA Film Friday: 06.10.16

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. The Restoration of Blu / Street Art Banksy & Co
2. Fintan Magee in Puerto Rico for Santurce Es Ley by Tost Films
3. HK Walls 2016
4. ONO’U 2015 by Selina Miles
5. DAN WITZ: “BREATHING ROOM” Kickstarter

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BSA Special Feature: The Restoration of Blu for “Street Art Banksy & Co”

Part II of a behind the scenes look by Good Guy Boris at the controversial show in Bologna that features art works by BLU and others that were originally not intended to appear in a museum, like most things in museums.

Here we learn about less sexy topics like copyright law and one lawyers interpretation of the realistic expectations of artists when painting illegally and legally as it applies to copyright in Italy and France. We also receive a quick education about traditional and modern techniques for the restoration of works for archival purposes, which is why people will be looking at these things long after you and we are gone.

 

Fintan Magee in Puerto Rico for Santurce Es Ley by Tost Films

You may recall our article on this piece in February with Mr. Magee:

Fintan Magee, Puerto Rico, and Rising Sea Levels

 

HK Walls 2016

A quick wrap of Hong Kong Walls 2016, which included a rather diverse group of artists including Above, Alana Tsui, Caratoes, Clogtwo, Colasa, DILK, Dmojo, Egg Fiasco, Essahqinoirs, Exld, Faust, Gas, Gan, Gr1, Keflione, Kenji Chai, KristopherH, Mooncasket, Mysterious Al, Okudart, Paola Delfin, Parent’s Parents, Peeta, Phron, Roids, Ryck, Satr, Sars, Senk, Stern Rockwell, Suiko, Vhils, Volre, Whyyy, and Zids.

 

ONO’U 2015 by Selina Miles

A round up of last years’ ONO’U festival that combines murals by Street Artists and graffiti writers – and injects an element of competition judged by people with credible familiarity and knowledge. More importantly, the artists are well cared for, there is a sense of cultural exchange, and the public is left with artworks that are significant or meaningful to them. ONO’U has the stage at the moment when it comes to public/commercial festivals in the Street Art realm.

 

DAN WITZ: “BREATHING ROOM”

“After the terror attacks in Europe this past year, it became necessary to abandon the dark imagery of my past work and take a new approach,” says veteran Street Artist Dan Witz as he describes the dozen or so pieces he plans to install in London this summer. Please consider supporting his Kickstarter!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335802971/breathing-room-a-street-art-project-by-dan-witz

 

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Street Art and Murals Get a Tahitian Post Office Stamp of Approval

Street Art and Murals Get a Tahitian Post Office Stamp of Approval

A new postal stamp in French Polynesia highlights a mural at the “ONO’U” festival in Tahiti, a first for the multi-island country as well as the French Street Artist SETH and his local Tahitian collaborator, HTJ.

Introduced in New York last week at the decennial World Stamp Show, an eight-day stamp extravaganza visited by a quarter million people, the new 140 CFP stamp depicts his mural at the 2015 “ONO’U” festival, as shot by photographer Martha Cooper.

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French Street Artist SETH mural for ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival in Tahiti, French Polynesia in 2015 was selected by the country’s Postal Service for their new Philatelic Stamp issued in time to represent French Polynesia at the World Stamp Show in New York City this year. SETH was assited on this mural by HTJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The 6-story painting depicts a sleeping French Polynesian girl wrapped in a traditional pareo dress that also morphs into the traditional bed covering called a tifaifai. “To design the patterns he collaborated with a local artist, HTJ, “ says ONO’U co-founder Sarah Roopinia,“and Seth conceptualized the girl sleeping, protected under the traditional patterns. It’s like a guardian protecting her with her culture and also she’s also representing dreaming about the future of French Polynesia.”

The white cut-out forms on the intense rouge background have propelled the design to stardom among ONO’U’s social media followers and when the postal service approached organizers to make a commemorative stamp of the 2-year old mural festival in downtown Papeete, Roopinia and her co-founder Jean Ozonder jumped at the chance. “what we liked with this production was having the opportunity to broaden the impact of street art and to have more people be aware of it,” she says. “To us the idea of a postal stamp was an original initiative and a way to bring this art into an area where you would not expect to find it.”

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Looking at the patterns in the bedspread you may also see more than the folklore forms of typical plant leaves and the Tiaré flower that many wear tucked behind an ear in archetypical portraits however. You also may recognize a symbol for radiation near the girls back and the form of a an atomic mushroom cloud near her bended knees, both referencing the approximately 175 nuclear tests that France did on the island of Moruroa from roughly 1966 to 1996, tests which The Gaurdian now says ‘showered vast area(s) of Polynesia with radioactivity‘.

By inclusion of these symbols with more traditional symbols in the new piece one is reminded of the inclusion of historical disasters traditionally in folk art ranging from pottery to quilting. Since we began making art we have been storytelling about natural disasters, man-made disasters, wars, political upheavals, societal shifts, milestone events and religious practices.

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HTJ assists SETH with the mural’s background motif. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As Street Art influenced murals have gained a wider audience across the world and certain works and artists are highly celebrated, there have been other issues of official stamps in recent years including works from Invader, Shepard Fairey, C215, Rero, Vhils, Ludo, and Mis Tic. The presidents of France and Singapore released a dual “Street Art” stamp a year ago and a recent Polish stamp depicts a 4 story wall by Polish painter Natalia Rak in Białystok, Poland of a young girl in traditional Polish dress who is watering a tree.

The “ONO’U” festival is now readying for its third edition and Ms. Roopinia was in New York with Mr. Ozonder to check out the current Street Art scene, the Coney Art Walls, the Governors Ball concerts and to share their new stamp with the thousands of people trekking by at the stamp exhibition. Roopinia tells us that the hugely successful festival draws top names for exhibition and competition from both the Street Art and graffiti world, but initially the mayor of Papeete, landlords, and the local businesses were rather hesitant, as were Street Artists who had not considered going to a place where there was not a large graffiti or Street Art scene to speak of.

 

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The challenge that we had was convincing the best street artists in the world to come to a ‘lost paradise’ to paint gigantic walls right in the center of the city. For a whole year we were working on finding walls, convincing the owners. Basically for the first six months no one was willing to give us their walls because they thought that it was all going to be horrible – so convincing the population was difficult,” she says.

“I could feel that some of the politicians were not very happy that we were going to do this in the beginning because they didn’t understand exactly that a small team could do such great things with artists,” she says, but the response of locals and businesses was overwhelmingly good, and word of the festival spread among artists, not least because most of their costs are covered and, by the way, they are painting in Tahiti after all.

 

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The second year the volume was really incredible,” says Jean of the interest that was piqued and the good reviews that went out among artists. “So many guys wanted to be invited to be a guest or to make a wall and we said ‘We can’t invite everybody because there is a budget.’

And quite a substantial budget it is. The partners say they have to raise over €300,000 a year and “80% of the festival is funded by private partners and sponsors,” including brand names like Nissan, Perrier, and Montana paints. The remaining 20% is funded by the city and the Ministry of Tourism.

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The festival is always about two things,” says Roopinia, “There are “the main walls” which are by larger names like Seth or Kobra that are right in the center of the city you can walk from one wall to the other, making a very beautiful art  promenade or city walk. At the same time that this is happening there’s a contest that invites mostly graffiti artists – in the rules it’s only aerosol and there are no stencils – we really try to keep it strictly graffiti.”

Considering they already have a stamp and cruises are now dropping off visitors to walk through the streets and discover murals, it looks like ONO’U is putting Tahiti on the map for international street mural fans. “There is a general enthusiasm,” says Roopinia of people not just in Tahiti but across many of the 118 islands of French Polynesia. “So the festival is taking place on Tahiti and in Pepeete (the capital) where most people live but the impact is also through the TV, the Internet, and on the social media. But also in the outer islands they were flying to come in to see the walls and talk to the artists during the festival. Everybody is out walking in the streets talking with the artists, taking pictures.”

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HTJ assists SETH with the mural’s background motif. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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SETH . HTJ. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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SETH and HTJ’s mural for ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival in Tahiti, French Polynesia and the Philatelic Stamp on a post marked envelope. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The full sheet of stamps. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Click HERE to learn more about ONO’U Tahiti Festival. Graffiti and Street Art. Tahiti, French Polynesia.

Our very special thanks to photographer Martha Cooper for sharing her photos with BSA readers.

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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