All posts tagged: Tavar Zawacki

BSA Film Friday: 01.25.19

BSA Film Friday: 01.25.19

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

Now screening :
1. 10 Year Challenge : Doug Gillen Takes It
2. Tavar Zawacki: Mixing Colors In A Parking Garage in Wynwood.
3. NUART 2018 / RE-CAP: Space is The Place

BSA Special Feature: Doug Gillen of FWTV takes the 10 Year Challenge:

Inspired by a meme (what else could be more 2019) Doug Gillen decides to to an inexact comparison of where selected Street Artists have changed and remained the same since 10 years ago. The big ones apparently are staying ahead by going bigger and perhaps developing entire marketing divisions, possibly in danger of being bloated. Elsewhere we see true evolution.

Tavar Zawacki: Mixing Colors In A Parking Garage in Wynwood. Video by Chop ’em Down Films.

Perhaps in a continued effort to bare it all, Tavar Zawacki (formerly Above) takes off his shirt in Miami and tells us about the importance of color to him.

NUART 2018 / RE-CAP: Space is The Place

“You can view it in a museum and it still feels like Street Art, but is the place of the museum the same as the space of the street,” Professor Alison Young from the University of Melbourne poses the question on the docks of Stavanger, Norway. In face, says Nuart, space is the place that determines the ultimate impact an artistic intervention can have.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.06.19 – Selections From Wynwood Walls Miami

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.06.19 – Selections From Wynwood Walls Miami

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Tomokazu Matsuyama and Deih killed it this year in Wynwood, no doubt and curator Alan Ket slayed with the solo show by Vhils at the primary gallery on the compound. Art Basel brings the crowds to Miami traditionally but there is no doubt that the magnet of Wynwood’s kid-friendly murals and Street Art as selfie backgrounds wins the day. Everywhere you look you see the families, influencers-in-training, tour guides and gobsmacked gaggles of teens creating pedestrian traffic jams inside Wynwood Walls. These artists and this art may have risen from an outsider marginalised and criminalised culture of illegal vandalism but these crowds are simply enjoying the art and each other.

That foot traffic inside replicates the car and heavy truck traffic jams throughout the neighborhood as new multi-story construction continues apace and the gentrification cycle rapidly courses through the real estate / street culture corpus. Right now this romance between development and art-in-the-streets is still in the heavy petting stage, and there is a lot of star gazing. How long can this tryst continue, you ask? It’s impossible to say what benchmark to measure, but watch for the moment when the sales of mezcal slushies and Moscow Mules are eclipsed by Acai bowls and kale smoothies.

So here’s our first weekly interview with the street, this time directly from Miami, featuring AShop Crew, Audrey Kawasaki, Bordallo II, Deih, Joe Iurato, JonOne, Martin Watson, Tavar Zawacki, Tomokazu Matsuyama, and Vhils.

AShop Crew. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

AShop Crew. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Whatson. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vhils. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vhils. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Wynwood Walls Miami 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Audrey Kawasaki. Wynwood Walls Miami 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Joe Iurato. Wynwood Walls Miami 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Joe Iurato. Wynwood Walls Miami 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Deih. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Deih. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tavar Zawacki. Wynwood Walls Miami 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JonOne. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tomokazu Matsuyama. Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tomokazu Matsuyama . Wynwood Walls Miami 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. December 2018 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2017

BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2017

Documenting the Street Art scene has always been important to BSA and we know it is important to many of our readers as well. This year BSA brought you a number of reviews of Street Art related books that we have run across during the year. It’s not an exhaustive list but now that it is Christmas / Hannukah / Kwaanza / Solstice / New Year time we thought you would like our brief roundup of some of the best books of 2017. Enjoy!


“Street Art World”, Alison Young.

From BSA:

Alison Young Examines and Presents the “Street Art World”

Contested space is a term accurately describing the Street Artists’ relationship with the world outside your door; a place where the aesthetics are up for grabs, autonomously determined, willfully exploited.

Drawing upon twenty years of empirical observation, scholarly study, and interviews with artists and experts throughout a constellation of cities where this art-making has flourished, “Street Art World” by Alison Young examines this contested space from every angle to present a balanced assessment for understanding our moment.

A professor of criminology at University of Melbourne, Young delivers her fourth volume on the topic of Street Art with a confidence and unique perspective that few can claim thanks to extensive travel and periodic, repeated and ongoing tracking of an evolving family of practice.

Alison Young Street Art World was published by Reaktion Books Ltd. London, UK. 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Shoe Is My Middle Name”, Niels Shoe Meulman

From BSA:

“Shoe” is His Middle Name: New Book by Niels Shoe Meulman

Carlo McCormick writes in his essay, “We honor Shoe as the great cross-pollinator who came to New York City as a kid to meet the graffiti master Dondi and brought Wild Style back to Europe, but his strength remains just how far he can still can carry this immoderate load.” Based on his path and his evolution, we’ll consider this beautiful monster to be in a mid-career retrospective and some of his most masterful work is yet to come.

Niels Shoe Meulman “Shoe Is My Middle Name” was published by Lebowski Publishers / Overamstel. Amsterdam, 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Time Traveller Artist Man”, Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN

From BSA:

RUN: “Time Traveller Artist Man” Tells All With His Hands

The founder of analytical psychology would have looked at the hands of RUN and perhaps understood more about his lifelong psychological process than the average intellect, and yet seeing RUN’s carefully formed people on the street captivates your imagination as well.

These are the dreams he creates with his expressive hands, conscious or unconscious features that over time have developed into archetypes to be combined, adorned, alone, and recombined. Not surprisingly, his people often have a grasp, a hold, a flair for the five fingered gesture as well.

RUN Time Traveller Artist Man is published by Unicorn Publishing Group. London, UK. 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Street Art”, Ed Bartlett

From BSA:

“Street Art” by Ed Bartlett: A Quick Primer for the World Traveler

Since the early 70s Lonely Planet publishing has made guidebooks for travelers of the world, enabling people to gain a greater understanding and to appreciate localities, cultures, and histories. Ed Bartlett now adds to this vast compendium of understanding a concise and varied survey of Street Art from his vantage point as an avid bicyclist, traveler, and expert on Street Art.

Ed Bartlett’s “Street Art” Was published by Lonely Planet Publishers. UK, April 2017.  Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Happily Ever After”, Jeremy Fish

From BSA:

Jeremy Fish and “Happily Ever After”

It’s unusual to see his work in New York (or in this case New Jersey) since after leaving Upstate New York nearly two decades ago this fine artist/commercial illustrator has been dancing in the arms of San Francisco. You think we’re being poetic about his West Coast cred, but he literally illustrated 100 drawings in SF City Hall over 100 days, was awarded with his own “Jeremy Fish” day by the city, might have the record for the most shows at Upper Playground Gallery, and has even collaborated with a cannabis company to create a branded oil and vape pen.

Jeremy Fish “Happily Ever After: The Artwork of Jeremy Fish”. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“The Art Of Writing Your Name”, Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark

From BSA:

“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.

The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Saturday Mornings”, Jerkface

From BSA:

Jerkface: “Saturday Mornings” Deconstructed, Reconstructed, Repeated

A direct link to his childhood and the televised cartoons of Saturday morning, where the majority of cartoons were relegated to appear in the 1970s and 1980s, Street Artist Jerkface recreates and multiplies his associations of happy times full of adventure, mysteries easily solved, crimes categorically punished.

His new book “Saturday Morning” collects the recognizable works of other artists and removes the emotional expressions found in facial features, recombining their other characteristics and playing with their associated resonance.

Jerface “Saturday Morning”. Published by Over The Influence. December 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Street Art In Sicilia”, Mauro Filippi, Marco Mondino & Luisa Tuttolomondo

From BSA:

“Street Art In Sicilia” Tours You Through 31 Cities and 200 Artists

A serious undertaking that documents 31 urban centers that vary widely in distinctive personality, more than two hundred artists are captured and carefully, succinctly described for a wide audience of tourists, Street Art fans, students, even academics. With three authors who collectively have studied architecture, semiotics, sociology and photography, you get a mapping that reveals not only physical location but a describes a cultural one as well.

Street Art in Sicilia – Guida ai luoghi e alle opere
Mauro Filippi, Marco Mondino, Luisa Tuttolomondo
Dario Flaccovio Editore, 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Metamorphosis”, Tavar Zawacki

From BSA:

Tavar Zawacki: Being Fearless and “Metamorphosis” with Urban Spree

“The whole thing is a metaphor,” he says at one point when describing a particular piece, but you realize that the statement applies to the show as well. A metaphor for the evolutions that an artist must go through to keep alive; a recreation, a metamorphosis, however bold or subtle, that can push him or her into a new direction.

He sits on a window sill and pulls back the sleeve of his t-shirt to reveal a tattooed sleeve that moves from densely inked pattern to bare skin. The finespun graduated marking is repeated on the books’ cover, designed by Kelly Jewell.
“I’m really interested in gradients as well because it’s a slow transition – when you can see the tattoo and the cover of the book; it’s like with each circle, if you look at it compared to the neighboring one, you won’t see a big difference. But over time and with effort you can keep going forward, day by day.”

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Published by Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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Tavar Zawacki: Being Fearless and “Metamorphosis” with Urban Spree

Tavar Zawacki: Being Fearless and “Metamorphosis” with Urban Spree

Globally entire societies are undergoing metamorphoses at a quickening pace today – for a variety of reasons depending on who you talk to; The failures of capitalism and neoliberalism, the rapid development of technology, dwindling natural resources, a widening wealth gap, greater communications – all amidst a cross-cultural consciousness that is revealing truths at an unprecedented rate – even while disinformation does its best to cloud the view.

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Whatever form these metamorphoses eventually will take is open to all manner of expert conjecture and prophetic analysis but one thing everyone agrees on is that metamorphosis can include a painful, revelatory, liberating process.

Amidst this continuous sea change Street Artist/ visual artist Tavar Zawacki has chosen to embrace his personal and professional metamorphosis. He’s even published his second monograph and had an exhibition with the name.

“Metamorphosis”

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For years you have seen the upward pointing arrow; on stickers, canvasses, screen prints, even mobiles hanging. That is why the name “ABOVE” was appropriate. But for the artist, it became a limitation stylistically and the anonymity of remaining hidden in the shadows behind a street tag increasingly felt uncomfortable, not true to the artist he was becoming. Initially, the tag, or street surname that many graffiti and Street Artists adopt, was perhaps a good way to evade the police, or to simply obscure his identity to others who might be overly critical of his work.

Two decades later, he’s ready to liberate himself and tell you his real name: Tavar Zawacki.

“It’s been 20 years that I’ve been really insecure about myself and my work and I was looking for outward approval and I was really insecure about leaning forward with what I really wanted to do,” he says of the personal journey. “I needed to change my mindset to have the confidence to know that if I am painting these the best I can – that’s all that really matters.”

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the new show with museum-size canvasses at Urban Spree, who also published the new168 page hardcover, you can see examples of his earlier work and the new directions that he is experimenting in. “There’s four different bodies of work,” he says as he walks around the perimeter with you.

On one wall you find the classic ABOVE canvasses: many optimistic pastel hues and tints overlapping in the geometrics of the ever-present arrow. Another features pieces of zoomed-in portions of geometric shapes that highlights negative and positive space, some recalling the op-art of the 1960s and 1970s. “These pieces focus on the areas of geometry that I really like the most,” he says.

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Newer works begin to bend and curve the patterned plane, adding dimension and shadow, recalling the crack-and-peel stickers he used for so many years to brand himself as ABOVE prolifically across possibly 100 cities. A centerpiece canvas combines all of these movements, peeling off selected graphic elements and forming new shapes in the air with a sophisticated palette and subtle shading – perhaps the most seamless move into contemporary.

“And with shadow it’s about bending it – it was about having a new shape and I can manipulate this to make it look totally different,” he says. “That is something I feel like personally I am going through as well – I am transitioning to another stage of my life.”

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The whole thing is a metaphor,” he says at one point when describing a particular piece, but you realize that the statement applies to the show as well. A metaphor for the evolutions that an artist must go through to keep alive; a recreation, a metamorphosis, however bold or subtle, that can push him or her into a new direction.

He sits on a window sill and pulls back the sleeve of his t-shirt to reveal a tattooed sleeve that moves from densely inked pattern to bare skin. The finespun graduated marking is repeated on the books’ cover, designed by Kelly Jewell.
“I’m really interested in gradients as well because it’s a slow transition – when you can see the tattoo and the cover of the book; it’s like with each circle, if you look at it compared to the neighboring one, you won’t see a big difference. But over time and with effort you can keep going forward, day by day.”

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We talk about the new color dimensions, the zoomed in geometry, the intensity of the new color palette and he says that the change is about “being fearless.”

And perhaps, you think, that is what it takes to face change and embrace a metamorphosis. Being fearless.

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Metamorphosis” the book, published by Urban Spree Books is available for purchase at the Urban Spree Gallery book store.

Published by Urban Spree Books in September 2017, First Edition

Book Design by Kelly Jewell, Texts & Design by Tavar Zawacki

168 pages, Hardcover, 24 x 32 cm (9,5″ x 12,5″)

Silver Foil Cover

www.tavarzawacki.com

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Tavar Zawacki Unveils in Sacramento with First Mural

Tavar Zawacki Unveils in Sacramento with First Mural

Depth, volume, shadows, movement; Perhaps some new stuff for the graphic and geometrically-inclined Street Artist Tavar Zawacki in Sacramento, California.

Actually, this new wall may be an indicator of the freedom the artist is experiencing now that he has dropped his street nom de guerre of 20+ years, ABOVE and replacing it with his given name: Tavar Zawacki.

Tavar Zawacki. Wide Open Walls 2017. Sacramento, California. (photo © Tavar Zawacki)

The artist says this mural painted for Wide Open Walls is the first under his new old new name and he’s proud of his decision to unveil his face and claim his name – something he did with a heartfelt confessional on Instagram, where he published an account relating his thoughts and the genesis of his journey to his friends and followers.

 

After a period of soul searching and introspection we are glad to see that things are looking up for Tavar.  Many will be looking forward to see how this great re-invention manifests in his new street work and everywhere else!


Tavar Zawacki. If you wish to read in full the rest of his testimonial click HERE

Tavar Zawacki. Wide Open Walls 2017. Sacramento, California. (photo © Tavar Zawacki)

Tavar Zawacki. Wide Open Walls 2017. Sacramento, California. (photo © Tavar Zawacki)

 

Tavar Zawacki. Wide Open Walls 2017. Sacramento, California. (photo © Tavar Zawacki)

 

Tavar Zawacki solo show “Metamorphosis” opens on September 7th at Urban Spree Gallery in Berlin. Click HERE for more details.

 

For more information and to learn the rest of the artists who participated on this year’s edition of Wide Open Walls click HERE

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“ABOVE” in New York City

“ABOVE” in New York City

In dense cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo and New York there is so much activity that takes place above you, yet we primarily grant relevancy to what happens at street level from our pedestrian perspective.

Perhaps those machinations and love affairs and backroom deals and elegant dances and mergers of all sort on higher floors are what continue to fascinate Tavar Zawacki to direct our attention ABOVE our heads. Perhaps he is simply reminding us that there is a sky.

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Tavar ABOVE Zawacki at The Quin Hotel. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As an artist in residence this summer with the Quin hotel, the California born artist is currently visiting from Berlin but, as happens to many, is falling in love with New York.

His current show is a collection of highly glossed icons placing his nom de street front and center. These abstracted kaleidoscope-induced neon versions of his tag may bring to mind street signage and the blinking store window vernacular of nighttime commercial districts in many cities.

We’ve been seeing him around town and caught him painting last week in Little Italy with the Lisa Project and you will undoubtedly be seeing of ABOVE’s work in New York in the future. You know where to look for it, right?

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Tavar ABOVE Zawacki at The Quin Hotel. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tavar ABOVE Zawacki at The Quin Hotel. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tavar ABOVE Zawacki at The Quin Hotel. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tavar ABOVE Zawacki at The Quin Hotel. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tavar ABOVE Zawacki at The Quin Hotel. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tavar ABOVE Zawacki in Little Italy for his mural in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Tavar Zawacki AKA Above solo exhibition at The Quin Hotel in Manhattan is currently on view and it is free to the public. Click HERE for more information.

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