All posts tagged: Telmo & Miel

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.16.20

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.16.20

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Welcome to BSA Images of the Week!

Here’s our weekly interview with the street featuring Add Fuel, Almost Over Keep Smiling, BR163, Crash, Degrupo, Disordered, Early Riser, finDAC, Fours, Jason Naylor, Leleus, JL, Maya Hayuk, Obey, Sara Lynne Leo, Surface of Beauty, Telmo & Miel.

Sara Lynne-Leo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sara Lynne-Leo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jeleus OBEY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Degrupo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Early Riser (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Crash x BR163 for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
FinDac. Wynwood, Miami. December, 2019 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Surface of Beauty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Telmo Miel in Wynwood Miami combined their portraiture with abstraction. Detail A. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Telmo Miel in Wynwood Miami combined their portraiture with abstraction. Detail B. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Maya Hayuk work in progress. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Add Fuel (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fours (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Almost Over Keep Smiling (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JL (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Disordered (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Brooklyn. February 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Film Friday 02.14.20

BSA Film Friday 02.14.20

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

Now screening :
1. “Who is TAKI183?”, Jim Prigoff and Cedric Godin
2. ESPO: A Love Letter For You
3. Exquisite Waste Of Time – Telmo Miel

BSA Special Feature: “Who is TAKI183?”

Graffiti writers were going hard in New York City in the mid-late 1960s but it wasn’t until the elite cultural avatar The New York Times did a story on the prolific TAKI183 in July of 1971 that many felt that the graffiti scene was somehow validated. From that point forward, the writer’s reputation as being all-city and unofficial representative of taggers everywhere was gold plated among his peers, and competition to get up all-city was suddenly on fire.

Writer, photographer, author, lecturer and storied nonagenarian Jim Prigoff, who published Spraycan Art with Henry Chalfant in 1987, has just produced a new video with Cedric Godin that more closely examines this tagger/standard-bearer and lets the camera roll on stories from him and others inside his family’s car repair shop.

“A lot of the earlier graffiti was scratched or done with paint brushes. There weren’t really spray cans. I think because markers were available and you could do it quick,” says Taki.

“I discovered the first graffiti in NY as Taki 183. I was stunned. This determined my life direction,” says French Street Artist Blek le Rat. 

“But in New York, it was the media capital of the world,” says Philadelphia graffiti king Cornbread, who was writing in the 1960s as well. “When they had done something, it was magnified. To be honest with you, New York overshadowed me.”

The storytelling leads to stylized writing and people like Stay High 149 and the dawn of more formalized or experimental gallery spaces like Fashion Moda in the Bronx. But Taki retained his tagger status, and remained a touchpoint for an era. “I never had a relationship with the art world because I was just so removed from it.

So much of this history is lost already, mostly because our art institutions and universities have been ignorant and adamantly so about the importance of graffiti in the language of society and its evolution as the most democratic global art movement ever. Videos like this one by Mr. Prigoff and Cedric Godin act to preserve and archive the images and voices of those at the forefront of a movement that influenced so many other parts of global culture.

WHO is TAKI183 A film by Jim Prigoff and Cedric Godin

ESPO: A Love Letter For You

“To mark the 10th anniversary of A Love Letter For You, ESPO and the film director Joey Garfield held a Q & A in Brooklyn’s Night Hawk Cinema. With this documentary, Mr. Garfield captures the artist’s process while directly asking the residents of this Philadelphia community, which was once ESPO’s own hood, what they wish was painted on the walls. ESPO took the inspiration that he received from the community and went onto painting 50 walls.

Exquisite Waste Of TimeTelmo Miel

Exactly how your dad describes your interest in painting, in music, in social work – an “Exquisite Waste of Time”. Luckily, this video promo for a show by Telmo and Miel will make you drool so much to paint that you won’t care what Dad says.

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Wild Animals Run in the Streets: Wynwood Is A Zoo

Wild Animals Run in the Streets: Wynwood Is A Zoo

Yes, Wynwood was a zoo this year.

Martin Whatson. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maybe its because animals are safe subjects to paint and make it past the neighborhood censors, maybe its because they are handily metaphoric when it comes to communicating a complicated or difficult idea. Maybe it is just because they are cute and everybody on Instagram is going to offer a clever rejoinder on your new painting in Miami, you cool dude/dudette.

Ernesto Maranje. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From unicorns to hippos to lions and alligators, the street is full of them right now around every corner in the Wynwood District and you can still enjoy them until the neighborhood becomes so developed that they kill them all. Well not all of them. One or two will still be creeping up on you in the occasional abandoned lot that has a high tax bill or a hefty remediation of toxic soil that still makes it too pricey for potential investors.

All of that wild conjuring aside, here is a selection of currently running creatures of the gritty urban jungle in this humid and hot southern city for you to marvel at.

Woes. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Telmo & Miel. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Telmo & Miel. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sonny Sundancer. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
SkyOne. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Feik. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bublegum Sr. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Saturno. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Saturno. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ron English. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mr. Dheo. Wynwood, Miami. December 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

This week we have a selection of the UPEART festivals’ two previous editions of murals – which we were lucky to see this week after driving across the country in an old VW Bora. We hit 8 cities and drove along the border with Russia through some of the most picturesque forests and farmlands that you’ll likely see just to collect images of the murals that this Finnish mural festival has produced with close consultation with Fins in these neighborhoods. A logistical challenge to accomplish, we marvel at how this widespread program is achieved – undoubtedly due to the passion of director Jorgos Fanaris and his insatiable curiosity for discovering talents and giving them a platform for expression.

So here is a sample from what we found from UPEART’s two previous iterations before the recently completed UPEART 2018.

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Apolo Torres, Artz, Dulk, Espoo, Fintan Magee, Guido Van Helten, Pat Perry, Smug, Teemu Maenpaa, Tellas, and Telmo & Miel.

Top Image: Millo. UPEA 2017. Jyväskylä, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. UPEA 2017. Joensuu, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. UPEA 2017. Joensuu, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

Guido van Helten. UPEA 2016. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Guido van Helten. UPEA 2016. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pat Perry. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pat Perry. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Teemu Mäenpää. UPEA 2017. Espoo, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dulk. UPEA 2017. Espoo, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Apolo Torres. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Apolo Torres. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artez. UPEA 2017. Espoo, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tellas. UPEA 2016. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Scenes from Eugene: Murals of the 20x21EUG Festival in Oregon

Scenes from Eugene: Murals of the 20x21EUG Festival in Oregon

The city of Eugene in Oregon is preparing for the 2021 IAAF World Athletics Championships and like many cities these days it is transforming itself with murals.

With a goal of 20 new murals by ’21 (20x21EUG), the city began in 2016 to invite a slew of international Street Artists, some locally known ones, and a famous graffiti/Street Art photographer to participate in their ongoing visual festival.

WK Interact. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A lively city that is bustling with the newly blooming marijuana industry and finding an endless array of ways to celebrate it, Eugene has been so welcoming that many artists will report that feeling quite at home painting in this permissively bohemian and chill atmosphere.

With a goal of global diversity a selection artists have included a variety of Street Art names from around the world including Blek le Rat, AIKO, Dan Witz, HUSH, Martha Cooper, WK Interact, Hyuro, Jaz, Alexis Diaz, Telmo Miel, Hua Tunan, Beau Stanton, Matt Small and local talents like Bayne Gardner and Ila Rose. With some luck organizers say they hope this year to also include artists H11235 from Nepal and Shamsia Hassani from Afghanistan.

Today you can see a lot of the painting action thanks to 2018 “20x21EUG” participant and famed photographer Martha Cooper, who had an opportunity to meet the artists this year and catch up on some of the work from previous years. We’re proud to be able to show these new images with BSA readers and we thank Ms. Cooper for sharing them.

WK Interact. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)


We spoke with two important pillars of 20x21EUG, Debbie Williamson-Smith, Director of Communications and Paul Godin, Director of Artist Relations, to get a little background on the festival and to see what makes it unique.

BSA: Can you speak about the genesis of 20x21EUG? Why did you decide to start an Urban Art Festival?
Debbie Williamson-Smith: The concept of a large-scale public art project such came from Isaac Marquez, Cultural Services Director for the City of Eugene, and is rooted in Eugene’s rich history of public art, dating back to the Oregon International Sculpture Symposium in 1974.  Mr. Marquez gathered a committee of arts organizations and community members passionate about the project and street art to bring the concept to fruition.

WK Interact. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Paul Godin: We wanted to invite the very best street artists from around the country and around the globe, to create a living outdoor art gallery in Eugene for the world to see when they came. We have curated a mix of street art legends, rising stars and local heroes, all with very different artistic styles and strong voices. Street art is a global movement, of increasingly high profile, and it was a shared passion that united our committee members.

If you want to take it way back, the origin may well have been a trip to the east end of London ten years ago, on a failed quest in search of a Banksy that led instead to the discovery of the wonders of Brick Lane.

WK Interact. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: How is a project of such quality as this funded?
Debbie Williamson-Smith: Funding for the project comes from the City of Eugene Cultural Services transient room tax revenue, sponsorship with City of Eugene Parking Services and contributions from wall owners and local businesses through donations of goods and services. We have had over 50 businesses support this project since it started and volunteers have donated hundreds of hours of time. It takes a village to make a mural and a full list of partners can be found on our website.

WK Interact. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Is it difficult to get landlords’ permission to paint on their properties in Eugene?
Paul Godin: Heck no. We have found many landlords very open to the idea of putting street art murals on their walls. Civic pride in our project, and the high quality of the work here has made it very easy to sell more wall owners on involvement.  Now they are coming to us. Our biggest problem in Eugene with walls is that we do not have as many big blank walls as larger cities do. Our kingdom for a blank 12 story wall!

Eugenians are generally thrilled by the transformation that 20x21EUG has wrought. Just last week, a city police officer brought a woman to her favorite piece, a group of elderly women were seen admiring Matt Small’s piece and chatting.

WK Interact. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Debbie Williamson-Smith: It is so electric that we have coined the phrase “mural magic”. This project has ignited the civic pride in our community and has already inspired another mural project, Urban Canvas. This initiative of the City of Eugene’s Cultural Services department matches local walls with local artists and three murals have been added to the cultural landscape since it launched in 2018. People are making mural watching a regular activity, taking children to watch artists in action and bringing visitors to see the murals.

WK Interact. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: What are you personal observations regarding the experience as a whole? What would you do different for next year?
Paul Godin: One thing that became clear about our festival this year is that we have created a family, uniting our committee, our volunteers, our artists in a unique and inspiring way. We have bonded through our shared experience, the long nights, the controlled chaos days, the communal dinners, and the stains of primer on all of our clothes.

AIKO. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Debbie Williamson-Smith: This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As an arts advocate, I am so inspired by the changes art is making in my community and this is one of the reasons why public art and street art are so important. It gives immediate access to art for the public. We are also in a time of political upheaval and for some people, including myself, this has been a difficult time for our country. To welcome people to my part of the world is my form of resistance. We can unite each other through art and as anyone who has studied art history knows, the arts have gotten us through some dark times.

AIKO. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

If I could do anything differently, it would be to make certain all the artists travel here at the same time. When we had Dan Witz here last summer, he talked about what he called artist equity, meaning that festivals for him provide an opportunity to work with artists that he has not worked together before and that always influences his decision to attend. One of my highlights from last summer was watching him and Blek le Rat work on separate installations on the same building.

I was almost as giddy as Dan was. Almost.

Martha Cooper standing with windows full of her images at the Rising Moon makers store. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon.

Bayne Gardner. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bayne Gardner. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bayne Gardner. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Matt Small. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Alexis Diaz. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Alexis Diaz. WIP. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Blek Le Rat. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Blek Le Rat. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Blek Le Rat. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Dan Witz. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Dan Witz. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Hyuro. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ila Rose. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Telmo & Miel. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Telmo & Miel. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2017 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Stefan Ways was in Eugene assisting Aiko with her mural this year. He wasn’t in the official line-up of artists but didn’t stop him from getting up. (photo © Martha Cooper)

And of course there are tracks and trains in Eugene, Oregon ready to painted…(photo © Martha Cooper)

There are bargains everywhere in Eugene, Oregon… (photo © Martha Cooper)

As well as consciously aware and decent residents. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)


For more information about 20x21EUG in Eugene, Oregon, please CLICK HERE.


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BSA Film Friday 06.08.18

BSA Film Friday 06.08.18

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1.1st Berlin Mural Fest Wrap Up
2. Pixel Pancho in Papeete. for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. French Polynesia.
3. Christina Angelina in Papeete. for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. French Polynesia.
4. Doug Gillen FWTV – Street Art and Anti-Semitism…discuss..

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: 1st Berlin Mural Fest Wrap Up

Of course Berlin has no shortage of organically grown aerosol artworks around the city so it takes something special like a mural festival started by Die Dixons to make an impact. They have the connection to community and ability to mobilize across walls and art and performance disciplines. After the success of The Haus last year it seemed like anything was possible for the team, and the first time out shows the results in this short aftermovie.

#berlinmuralfest #nackenstarregarantiert #allewändevollzutun #berlinartbang

Props from the organizers to: Akteone, CREN, Jelio Dimitrov Arsek, Erase, case_maclaim, Die Dixons, Dr.Molrok, El Bocho, Elle Street Art, HERAKUT , Icke_art, Innerfields, Insane 51, Isakov, James Bullough, Kera1, Klebebande Berlin, Kobe Eins, Mika Yat Graffiti, Millo, Mr.WOODLAND , MTO (Graffiti / Street-art), MüCke32, Natalia Rak, Notes of Berlin, Nuno Viegas, One Truth Graffiti Street Art, ONUR, WES 21, Size Two, snik, TASSO, TELMO MIEL, Ria Wank, Michael Dyne Mieth, Anne ‘Blondie’ Bengard, Slider.Bandits, Caparso, Bas2, Daniela Uhlig, Ghettostars Crew , Monsta 179, Semor the mad one, Skenar73, Max Roche, Raws, TAPE OVER, Tape That, Tobo

Pixel Pancho in Papeete. for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. French Polynesia.

Here are a couple of quick work-in-progress videos we shot this week on the island of Papeete in French Polynesia while we’re chasing artists with Martha Cooper across 4 islands of Papeete, Raitea, Moorea, and Bora Bora. Here are Pixel Pancho and Christina Angelina.

Christina Angelina in Papeete. for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. French Polynesia.

 

Doug Gillen FWTV – Street Art and Anti-Semitism…discuss…

Is Banksy anti-semitic? The Street Artist has used his work to address social and political causes for almost two decades and this is the first we’ve heard the charge. We’ve seen all sorts of sentiments on the streets – racist, misogynist, homophobic, strains of xenophobia from different angles. But this is Israelis and the Palestinians and an active fight – with a multitude of shadings. Doug Gillen flies directly into the hornets’ nest – all for the love of Street Art.

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The Many Faces of Lisbon on the Street

The Many Faces of Lisbon on the Street

A Scholarly Eye On Artistic Interventions in Public Space


The excitement that pours from city walls in Lisbon is palpable, an animated mix of graffiti, Street Art, murals, sculpture, and the traditional artisan tiles. Like the famous Bacalhau dish of Portuguese cuisine, it all can be mixed together almost a thousand different ways and each surprising recombination can be loved for its unique character.

To appreciate the varied elements playing into the Street Art scene here, you won’t find greater insight than by touring with Pedro Soares-Neves, and he’ll make sure you won’t leave without understanding the forty years that have contributed to the scene up to this point.

Park. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Most visitors are overtaken by the sweeping views, the heart of the old city in the valley, the winding Bairro Alto streets full of colorful illegal artworks, the ancient bricks, traditional azulejos tiled buildings, tiny streets, sloping topography, endless staircases and retro-style cable cars that are climbing impossible inclines – each slaughtered with colorful graffiti tags.

Unidentified artist. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now an international destination for many Street Artists, the growing number of murals here is remarkable, if not outstanding. Soares-Neves can look at the huge variety of expressions on the street and explain why the art is here now and how it fits into a greater context of a historical city that has gradually embraced nearly all expressions of modern art-in-the-streets.

A self-described fan of urban history Pedro is one of the few scholars in the global urban art scene who calls graffiti writers “authors”, quite possibly because he was one himself in his early teens here during the city’s first stage of graffiti proliferation in the early 1990s.

“I am kind of an architectural urban history fanatic,” he says proudly but in a confessional tone. Completing his doctorate in Design and Urbanism this year he is also co-organizer of the Lisbon Street Art & Urban Creativity Conference and the Street Art & Urban Creativity Scientific Journal.


Lister. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A lifelong Lisboan born at the same time the revolution from the dictatorship was born here in the mid 1970s, Soares-Neves tells the story of urban art as a progression of social movement, individual engagement, immigration, urban planning, importation of culture, commercial incursion and coalescing of local artists as a quasi-professional network.

As you ride in his 4-door family SUV-hybrid with kids toys and storybooks scattered across the back seat, you gaze along the historic spice trade waterfront and the Jerónimos monastery and museum row, swerving through the central “filet mignon” of the ornamented city to the outskirts, which he calls “the back-office”.

He gestures at the trains and wooded walls and areas where he once painted graffiti , to some of the current crop of throwups along the highway and to wall murals that have been commissioned by municipal, professional, and commercial interests. As the trip unfolds the story is not quite linear of course, and city history intertwines with personal history.

Telmo & Miel. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As is its personality, art-in-the-streets shape-shifts and redefines itself, creating new alliances, reconfiguring the balance. For example, currently Lisbon city leaders are working with former vandals and art school professionals to create programs of large colorful murals on soaring public housing towers.

The adjacent neighborhood of older single family houses laid out like suburbs features Soare-Neves’ own curated walls done by more conceptual artists who play with ideas about public space as well as aesthetics. The Portuguese +MaisMenos– directly intervenes with stenciled words here, creating quizzical conundrums for passersby and the French experimenter Matthew Tremblin who brings an online poll results via bar charts posing an existential question about Street Art.

Matthew Tremblin. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A truly unique insight into the rather omnibus experience of this urban academic, we actually get to look at two eras of Pedro’s own personal history as an artist are here as well, only blocks away from one another.

This IS a tour!

Pedro Soares-Neves. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One Soares painting is on a low wall encircling a park. Part of a graffiti wall of fame (which he helped organize), it shows his 1990s affinity for character illustration and experimentation with letter styles. His more recent installation is a mixed media paint/land art derivation that converts disused construction materials and a habit-formed footpath leading up a grassy knoll to a numerical wall.

Again, the spirit of experimentation here is what is core to his art practice. Perhaps this is why his personal philosophies toward public space lean toward the organically Situationist act of creation, a practice that can be extended to all of the public and to the moment of inspiration.

Following are many images captured in Lisbon during our tour interspersed with this history of the last few decades courtesy Soares-Neves and our own research.

Corleone. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1980s-90s and Lisbon’s Dawn of Graffiti


Speaking with Pedro about the early graffiti of the 90s you capture a perspective on two important cultural factors that steered its direction.

The first is that through the lense of the liberators of the Carnation Revolution in the 1970s the style of aerosol bubble tags and characters recalled the earlier people-powered community murals and represented “freedom” in their minds, whereas cities elsewhere in Europe would have thought this painting indicated vandalism or a breakdown of the social fabric.

Suker. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Secondly, the fascination with graffiti was spurred by the children of African immigrants from former Portuguese territories of Angola, Mozambique and Capo Verde who moved to Lisbon after wars with them ended during the revolution. Now second generation teen immigrants from two cultures, they were looking for self-identity, according to Soares-Neves.

“They found resonance in this Afro-American and Latin American thing that was going on during the 80s so they connected with it and used it for language.”

Aire. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Quite possibly they were reacting to class and race prejudice and they identified with brothers and sisters in the music videos of American commercial hip hop culture. Seeing the exciting growth and the implied power of graffiti writers, musicians, and bboy movies like “Wild Style” in the 1980s, the expression of graffiti was alluring – a welcome visual art and anti-establishment practice that created identity, community, and newfound respect among a select peer group of cool kids.

“Actually it started with bboying culture in the mid 80s and then in the early 90s it started with a visual language of it,” he says, explaining the progression.

Unidentified Artist…speaking the truth. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Personal Introduction to Graff


His own teenage aestheticism extended to characters, and a fascination for punk or “rough” magazines and the illustration stylings of artists in the classic Chiclete com Banana magazines. “I had this relationship with drawing and cartoons and this kind of stuff – this popular culture sort of thing,” he says.

His talents as an artist were well prized among his peers until he was nearly outshone by a graffiti writer from Capo Verde, a classmate who threatened Pedro’s status as the school artist; a funny story he explains this way:

“At that time in my high school I was ‘The’ guy who was doing the best cartoons and all this kind of stuff,” he says, reflecting on his celebrity. “Suddenly he did a big piece on the wall! So I was the king of the ‘drawing thing’ and this motherf***er came here and did a big and colorful piece!”

Edis1. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: ..and everyone knew about it of course.
Pedro: Yeah of course it was much more visible than what I did. So I started to interact with the guy.

Pedro’s personal history with graffiti began there and never stopped. After starting on walls and greatly enlarging his own illustrations and experimenting with letter styles, he and his peers grew to about 10 or 12 writers and the graffiti scene appeared to blow up from there.

A community of writers from many backgrounds spread across the city practicing one-upsmanship in technical skill and logistical daring, operating singularly, in small groups, or the occasional Wall of Fame project. Because there wasn’t a strict evolutionary lineage of style, many young artists developed their own in the laboratory of the street, not necessarily related to the hip hop culture but adapting from their own culture.

Cola. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2000s and the Turn Toward Street Art


By the late 90s and early 00s he feels that the scene suffered a sort of malaise when purely commercial murals began to take parts of the wall inventory and change the character of some areas. It was a development he deeply disliked for its perversion of a freer art practice yet he appreciated it for the employment it provided to professional artists. The city also borrowed the vernacular of graffiti for public service announcements painted as murals.

The mid 2000s began to reflect the influences of artists like Banksy and a new sort of community comprised of artists from old school graffiti writers and new generation Street Artist began to coalesce in Lisbon he says. Additionally the later 2000s began an increasing flow of international Street Artists and graffiti writers who began avoiding Barcelona after that city started cracking down on their famed urban art scene.

RAM. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“They (artists) started to add a few other languages to try to surpass this previous period and also began dialoguing with the new things that were happening in Street Art,” he says of the witty skewering of pop culture iconography, introduction of fine art illustration styles and the use of newer art-making methods.

“It was starting to really have lots of people doing stencils and paste ups and this kind of stuff all around. It started to influence the younger generation and that put some pressure on the older generations, who started to do that themselves.”

 

Visual Street Performance and the Crono Project


A collective guild comprised of artists from both graffiti and Street Art like HBSR81, Hium, Klit, Mar, Ram, Time and Vhils joined together in the mid 2000s and called themselves Visual Street Performance (VSP). A professional/DIY effort, they began to organize large events and an annual exhibition through 2010 that expanded the vernacular to hybrids of fine art and elements of pop, character illustration, photo realism, surrealist fantasy, found object art, abstract expressionist, more traditional graffiti and graphic design.

Pang. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pedro had been studying abroad in the Czech Republic and Rome for a few years, “And when I came back I noticed a different panorama. There were lots of younger kids with totally different skills and with that approach of making money out of it,” he says with a mixture of admiration and possibly concern at the professionalism entering the equation.

“They managed to invent themselves,” he says, “and also within the exhibitions the kids like Vhils were born from these,” he says as he talks about the commercial aspects of the cultural scene with connections to an aerosol art brand, print makers, and related clothing projects.

Kam Laurene. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A notable commercial and marketing milestone that married Street Art and urban culture with the image of Lisbon itself took place in 2010-11 when the year long Crono project, curated by Soares-Neves, Angelo Milano (of Fame Festival), and local Street Artist Vhils (Alexandre Farto), brought rising stars of the moment to a high profile block-long series of ornate Art Nouveau and shuttered buildings along a heavily traveled strip in the city, Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo.

Os Gemeos . Blu . Sam3 . Erica Il Cane. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Internet’s volleying of fresh images of pieces by the Italian anti-corporate BLU, the hallucinatory dream illustration style of Brazilian graffiti twins Os Gemeos, and the lyrical storytelling of Spanish 2-D SAM3 alerted the Street Art worlds’ knowledge of Lisbon, and the project quickly became a destination for travellers.

Os Gemeos . Blu. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soares-Neves sometimes speaks about the commercial appropriation of the street art vernacular in his academic work and in some ways it appears that the unexpected success of the Crono Project unsettled him as well. The curators had worked with the city to finance the project with an intention of giving opportunities to artists and fostering new aspects of the public art conversation, but according to Soares-Neves the high profile of the project undermined their own anti-establishment sentiments when city leaders recognized that a comparatively modest investment had ballooned into a successful city “branding” campaign.

Os Gemeos. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Possibly this is a cautionary tale that underscores the incremental dangers present when subculture crosses the rubicon into simply “culture”. There is always the fear that the original philosophies encoded in a subculture will be irreparably transformed, candy-coated, cheapened, or worse, excised.

Recently closed London-based Street Art print pioneers “Pictures On Walls” lamented in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way on their website in January when describing the evolution of their 15 year old business this way, “…inevitably disaster struck – and many of our artists became successful. Street Art was welcomed into mainstream culture with a benign shrug and the art we produced became another tradeable commodity.”

Borondo. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The City We See Today


The city seems like it is absorbing all of these changes well, and the variety of faces and styles of public artistic intervention that you see scattered throughout it feel vibrant and necessary. The city continues its 25 year heritage of organic graffiti and entertains international writers and has the occasional Walls of Fame. Elements of unsanctioned Street Art exists as well and neighborhoods are accented by the new generation of muralists with mad skillz.

Then there are those who are a little harder to categorize, like the subtle reworkings of traditional Portugues tiles with modern icons and patterns by Add Fuel and the prized sculptural pieces across the city by the trash-recycling animal naturalist Bordalo II, who just had a massive solo exhibition in November.

Bordalo II. In conjunction with his solo exhibition  ATTERO Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The contemporary urban artist and international Street Art star Vhils is a company at this point: operating a studio in a few cities, here running a gallery, a studio laboratory program for young artists, a street art tour business, and partnering with city art programming initiatives as well as brands. Somehow he still finds time to create artworks in the streets, including a recent portrait collaboration with Shepard Fairey in Lisbon and LA.

Shepard Fairey . VHILS. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

At the end of our tour marathon Pedro Soares-Neves takes us to the Centro de Informação Urbana de Lisboa (Lisbon Urban Information Center) where we climb the stairs through the airy modernist foyer full of scholarly readers to discover a small scale maquette of the entire city that we have just been traversing.

Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fanned out for you before the shiny blue Tagus River, perhaps 15 meters at its full expanse, the topographic features of the city are much less daunting when viewed from this perspective. As Pedro walks around the perimeter of the mini-city and points to neighborhoods, regions, the forest, the airport, the old city and the newly gentrifying areas of Lisboa he recounted stories of expansion, retrenchment, privatization, skullduggery and deliverance.

Thanks to him we appreciate graffiti/ Street Art/ urban art truly in its context of this city, its history, its people and the built environment like never before.

Lisbon. Pedro makes a point. December 2017. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Bordalo II. In conjunction with his solo exhibition  ATTERO Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Borondo. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vhils. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vhils. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey . VHILS. Detail. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lister. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crayon. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Andre Nada. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Unidentified Artist. Amoreiras Wall Of Fame. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Slap. Amoreiras Wall Of Fame. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RariOne. Amoreiras Wall Of Fame. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

±MAISMENOS± Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Corleone. Bairro Padre Cruz. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Utopia. Galeria De Arte Urbana. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tags. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blu. Lisbon. Crono Project. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blu . Sam3 . Erica Il Cane. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erica Il Cane . Lucy McLauchlan . M-Chat. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


With gratitude to Pedro Soares Neves and to Raul Carvalho, General Manager of Underdogs Gallery for taking the time to talk to us, for sharing their knowledge and insights with us and for showing us around Lisbon.

BSA in Lisbon comes to you courtesy BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN).

This is the first of two articles with BSA in Lisbon in collaboration with UN Berlin, it was originally published on the Urban Nation website, and the project is funded in part with the support of Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) in Berlin.

 

 

 

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BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Scotland, Hong Kong, Sweden, French Polynesia, Barcelona, and Mexico City, photographer Jaime Rojo found that Street Art and graffiti are more alive than every before. From aerosol to brush to wheat-paste to sculpture and installations, the individual acts of art on the street can be uniquely powerful – even if you don’t personally know where or who it is coming from. As you look at the faces and expressions it is significant to see a sense of unrest, anger, fear. We also see hope and determination.

Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our weekly interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2017.

Brooklyn Street Art 2017 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

Artists included in the video are: Suitswon, Curiot, Okuda, Astro, Sixe Paredes, Felipe Pantone, Hot Tea, Add Fuel, Hosh, Miss Van, Paola Delfin, Pantonio, Base23, R1, Jaune, Revok, Nick Walker, 1UP Crew, SotenOne, Phat1, Rime MSK, Martin Whatson, Alanis, Smells, UFO907, Kai, Tuts, Rambo, Martha Cooper, Lee Quinoes, Buster, Adam Fujita, Dirty Bandits, American Puppet, Disordered, Watchavato, Shepard Fairey, David Kramer, Yoko Ono, Dave The Chimp, Icy & Sot, Damien Mitchell, Molly Crabapple, Jerkface, Isaac Cordal, SacSix, Raf Urban, ATM Street Art, Stray Ones, Sony Sundancer, ROA, Telmo & Miel, Alexis Diaz, Space Invader, Nasca, BK Foxx, BordaloII, The Yok & Sheryo, Arty & Chikle, Daniel Buchsbaum, RIS Crew, Pichi & Avo, Lonac, Size Two, Cleon Peterson, Miquel Wert, Pyramid Oracle, Axe Colours, Swoon, Outings Project, Various & Gould, Alina Kiliwa, Tatiana Fazalalizadeh, Herakut, Jamal Shabaz, Seth, Vhils, KWets1, FinDac, Vinz Feel Free, Milamores & El Flaco, Alice Pasquini, Os Gemeos, Pixel Pancho, Kano Kid, Gutti Barrios, 3 x 3 x 3, Anonymouse, NeSpoon, Trashbird, M-city, ZoerOne, James Bullowgh, and 2501.

 

Cover image of Suits Won piece with Manhattan in the background, photo by Jaime Rojo.

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Murals Across Finland: UPEA ’17 Sweeps More Cities

Murals Across Finland: UPEA ’17 Sweeps More Cities

From the country with the highest standard of living comes a country-wide mural festival called UPEA for 2017! Only in their second year, they are going big here at home.

Messy Desk. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Markus Hänninen)

Okay, the murals are not in every city of this Scandinavian country, but if lead curator and visionary (and former graffiti writer) Jorgos Fanaris realizes his vision, there will be even more than the 40 or so murals the festival has already put up over the last two years in cities like Helsinki, Riihimäki, Kemi, Kotka, Espoo, Turku, and Hyvinkää.

Yes, some of the current international circuit of mural stars are here. So are a stunning selection of Finnish talents and less recognizeable names, making this a conscientious formulation that respects the culture and highlights the global movement simultaneously.

 

Guido Van Helten. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Erho Aalto)

Like many of today’s mural festivals and far from their illegal Street Art/graffitti roots, many of UPEA 17 are mega-murals; multi-story and sophisticated images borrowing from many strains of art history and popular culture – even conceptual art – as much as anything else.

These and other signs of curatorial/organization maturity are not typically hallmarks of two year old festivals, and we could provide a list of rookie mistakes that have plagued others we’ve covered over the last decade. This is probably because UPEA 17 is the result of many years of on-the-ground organizing experience and street culture knowledge – and multiple false starts and obstacles that blocked organizers in the years leading up to last years inaugural outdoor exhibition. People on the ground will tell you that logistics and costs and bureaucracy and local politics are always factors to pull off a festival well. In our experience, so is time.

 

Teemu Mäenpää. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

We were lucky to have an extensive interview with Jorgos Fanaris about this years successes, the challenges along the way, and his roots in the scene.

Brooklyn Street Art: How is UPEA 2017 different from the first edition?
Jorgos Fanaris: Compared to UPEA16, UPEA17 was of course much bigger. More artists and more projects, but also bigger projects. The first edition was more of testing the concept and feeling around what we could do. The second edition was really about making an impact, letting everyone know about UPEA as an event that creates notable art in public spaces, that we are serious and we are here to stay.

Millo. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (Photo © John Blåfield)

Brooklyn Street Art: You had an incredibly wide variety of artists painting: From large scale realist portraiture, to surrealism to cartoons, landscape etc…is there a specific style that resonates better with the public?
Jorgos Fanaris: The amount of talented artists that have already participated in UPEA in the first two years, is humbling to say the least. We are very privileged and honored to have had them.

If I evaluate the response the artworks have received from the public, I think raising a specific style in a position that it somehow communicates more with the audience wouldn’t be right. For example if we think realistic portraiture and classic style of Guido van Helten, its easy for anyone to understand that this is technically really difficult to execute in this scale. This year in Hämeenlinna we did the 56m high silos, which of course by the sheer size is something that makes people go “Whooaaaa, how can he do that? We must go and see”.

 

Dulk. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

The project gathered and still gathers spectators in huge numbers. During the project there were traffic jams in the area on Sundays. On the other hand in Lahti, the artist named Messy Desks did the crazy cartoon style piece that has million things happening. It created a huge buzz and received a lot of response from people. She was getting gifts from people from the area and was taken out for formal dinners after for appreciation and show of gratitude. Kids are ecstatic about it, knocking on the “doors” and “windows” trying to get someone to open.

At the same time, the second wall we did in Lahti with Roberto Ciredz, a surrealistic piece with total harmony, which by no accident is totally different from Messy Desks wall, was voted as people’s favorite of the two in local newspaper. There are so many things that contribute the overall feedback. I think every style and approach has its place and purpose.

Brooklyn Street Art: Murals become part of a neighborhood, part of the storytelling and lifetime benchmark associations and memories people have – as well as part of the fabric and character of a city. How has the festival been received by the people whose daily lives will be impacted with the presence of the murals?
Jorgos Fanaris: The artworks created a lot of excitement and grassroots movement in their own areas and communities. In Kontula Helsinki, the triple walls by Fintan Magee, Apolo Torres and Pat Perry encouraged the residents to do a “night of arts” event for the unveiling of the artworks. They had food, live music, fire performance and other artistic activities. Over 1500 people attended and possibly the event will continue next year.

 

Eero Lampinen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © Henrik Dagnevall)

In Espoo Matinkylä, where Artez did a great piece, the residents organized an celebration event with huge number of activities, dozens of performances and speakers, about thousand people attending the event. In Kotka, where Smug did the amazing wall right in the city centre, the city made an official unveiling for the wall by closing the street and having a horn orchestra perform. Hundreds of people attended even though it was on a Friday during the work hours.

These are just few examples. We saw a lot of these type of things grow from the artworks we did this year.. We see that street art gets reactions from people who might not be too involved with art in general, like going to the galleries for example. The artworks are a refreshing injection into the community and it’s super exiting for us to see things starting grow from them.

Onur. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © John Blåfield-Valmis)

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you get support from community and city officials for the festival?
Jorgos Fanaris: Yes, we are working with the officials in every city we are in. The support has been great, possibly due to the fact that we have been able to create an event this size with fairly limited organization and funding.

Still the way we execute different projects really varies. Regardless of how much the city is involved, the permits, which are always a big thing in Finland, are handled by their own unit inside the city. In some cases the city assists us in the permit process and it can be very helpful. But also in many cases we handle the whole process completely. From searching locations and handling all the permits and other things all the way to executing the artwork. The range is very wide on different projects. Still, the city is involved and even if we are doing permits and related responsibilities ourselves, it helps that they are officially supporting the project in the background. Everyone has a common goal to make the project happen and in a positive spirit they work towards that goal together.

Onur. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © John Blåfield-Valmis)

Brooklyn Street Art: What drives you to make this festival happen? What is the motivation? The incentive?
Jorgos Fanaris: Upeart is a collective of people from various backgrounds; from graffiti, city development to event organizing and more. I think the motivation varies depending on who you ask. But in general, it’s about interest in the possibilities art has in public spaces. The vision to push for ambitious ideas, pushing limits further and willingness to take chances.

I personally, have a graffiti background from late 80’s to beginning of the new millennium. When I painted myself, I was mainly, especially in the later years, interested in graffiti as a tool in getting reactions from ordinary people by using public space or things that move in that space. At some point, I moved away from actively painting and started working in music projects, doing shows and stuff like that.

During those years, Finland gradually started to dismantle the very strict zero tolerance on graffiti and street art they had imposed in the country for years. Many youth and grassroot organizations worked years relentlessly on it and it started finally to show some results around 2008. At some point, I thought the time would be right to start something like this. Do it seriously and professionally. We actually tried to start an ambitious project like UPEA for few years, but it was difficult. We had of course no money at all and with that also no guarantees about anything.

 

Ricky Lee-Gordon. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Rikupekka Lappalainen)

Then we tried to get a group of people together with the same goal to work on the project. With 3-4 people each contributing a little, combined, it creates an effort big enough to start an interesting thing – on paper at least. It proved to be very difficult. We had actually two tries that failed to make any progress.

We came together with a couple of people, agreed about the goal and how we should work towards it. But when it came down to doing real work for it – nothing much occurred. To me it was really strange. I feel that we wasted a lot of time and energy of course, and it was really frustrating. But eventually, probably after three years or something from the original idea, Upeart started to come together and this time with people who have the drive and are actually willing to work for it. So finally, the organization and the event UPEA was born on the third try.

Brooklyn Street Art: This is a very young festival, only two editions. Did you look at other festivals as an inspiration for UPEA?
Jorgos Fanaris: Yes, of course. You look around other festivals and different things that people do everywhere for ideas. I personally think that there are a lot of new and exciting things happening in several places around the globe. That’s why keeping your eyes open and trying to learn from everything is important. You see things and think, wow that’s so cool, could we do something like that? You add your own ideas in to it and it changes to something else.

Wasp Elder. UPEA Festival  2017. Finland. (photo © Matti Nurmi)

It’s a notable fact that UPEA is so young, like a little baby. We are not there yet and have huge task ahead of us on refining the concept. Already this year we wanted to do several other things besides murals, but we just didn’t have the resources to execute. But its ok, things always need time. The organization needs to grow, the concept needs to be refined and we need to build up our personal networks and several other things. In this process of maturing and finding the way for you, it helps if you see what else is going on around the world.

Brooklyn Street Art: What distinguishes UPEA from other European Street Art Festivals?
Jorgos Fanaris: I guess one obvious thing compared to many others, is that UPEA is a multicity event held all over the country. Finland is a small country, only 5 million people and the biggest city the capitol Helsinki, has only 1 million. When we thought about the concept, we really had to think about what will happen when we do a large number of big artworks and how it progresses when we do this year after year. We thought we would need serious space to execute on the level that we want year after year.

Apolo Torres. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © Anna Vlasoff)

One thing of course also is that we have seriously big projects, especially on the second edition this year.

Considering we had the 56m high silos, triple side by side 8 story buildings, a complete house on all four sides and several single big 6-8 story buildings and so on, the sizes of the projects were huge. However now that we are looking forward at upcoming years, I think UPEA will become more and more original and mature to something very unique. Also one thing is, that several artists have told me, UPEA is one of the best organized events they have participated in. True or not (I think they are nice and say that in every event), I think this a proper note to end an interview!

Telmo & Miel. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Antti Ryynänen)

Telmo & Miel. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Antti Ryynänen)

Rustam Qbic. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Rustam Qbic. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Artez. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Kaukolehto)

Andrea Wan. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Jorma Simonen)

Smug. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tommi Mattila)

Vesod. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Vesod. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Roberto Ciredz. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Markus Hänninen)

Jussi27. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Pat Perry. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Fintan Magee. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Jani Leinonen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Logos or graffiti tags? Jani Leinonen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

 

 

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

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

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1UP Crew. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

What are all these artists, more than 175 of them and almost entirely German, all doing throughout a five-floor bank building in central Berlin on the Kudamm?

You’ll find out in April when the doors open to thousands of graffiti/Street Art/contemporary art fans to tour through THE HAUS, an enthusiastic life-affirming  joyful and pissed-off D.I.Y.-flavored fun-haus of fully realized installations, painting, projections, exhibits, and interventions.

You’ve been to (or at least read about) these last-hurrah urban art installations before – celebrations of artists’ visions that inhabit a building destined to be demolished soon. Possibly because of their ephemeral nature or a lack of serious interest in art-making, often the artworks and their execution are a bit slap-dash and loosely committed.

Not at THE HAUS. You’ll likely be surprised by the conceptual sophistication at times and wowed by technical dexterity, stagecraft, attention to details, and genuinely mind-challenging immersive environments.

Super Bad Boys. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But this is Berlin after all, an urban art capital where graffiti crews are known for getting way up on impossible walls with foolhardy and militarily precise plans – sometimes implemented with rehearsal and execution under cover of night.

The logistical planning of Street Art and graffiti interventions here often centers around devising a slick and ingeniously resourceful roll-out of the aesthetic attack- some times given as much attention as executing the artwork.

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

“We do not curate any of the room concepts,” explains Kimo as he leads you from room to room, sometime removing protective tape over doorways and turning on lights to allow a guest to see inside. “There is no over all concept. It has to be really really nice, but that’s it.”

Okay, there are some challenging themes around violence, graphic sexuality, and the horror of human trafficking. More often they are driven by character, text, and slaughtering with paint and pattern. As with most creative ventures of this size, it is impossible for organizers to know when or if to draw the line on content.

 

Herakut. Process Shot. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

There is also a darkened and completely life-sized realistic portion of a train-yard with a capped train over head, rails below, and cables and ground stones. A companion “white box” installation is said to be somewhere right now inside an underground Berlin train station. It is evident that weeks of preparation went into many of these dioramas and scenes.

“We just called around 50 artists to invite them here to take a look at the building and we told them, ‘If you know guys who have skills like you, just tell them.’ We’re looking for more artists,” Kimo says.

With more than three times that number coming and installing in the HAUS building over the last four months, there are still more artists who are clamoring to get in. “Now we have 100 artists on the waiting list”.

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

The existence of this list would sound like bragadoccio coming from another organizer of an event like this, but when you see the calendars, lists of names, video scheduling, website design schedule, team responsibilities, art materials, contracts, even marketing plans printed and thumb-tacked on the walls of the Orga, you know that these three partners have created a supportive art-making environment with a sense of purpose.

“Bolle and Jörni  have been painting for 25 years,” says Kimo of his two partners. The three are members of their own crew called DIE DIXONS. Kimo says he cannot paint. “I tried but I can’t, I don’t have the patience to paint”. Instead he says he has great organizational abilities and love for the art  subculture and the graffiti/Street Art game.

 

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

Together the DIE DIXONS also own the professional sign-painting company Xi-Design who originated THE HAUS project, and it is their multiple contacts with real estate, construction, lifestyle brands, paint suppliers, and highly-skilled commercial painters that makes this endeavor a POWER HAUS like few you’ll find.

This show is planned to be destroyed in a few months along with the building for a new project with condos and retail, but the quality here in many cases actually rivals art fairs we have seen in the last few years. Based on the buzz it has it safe to say that by the time the doors open in April, it will already have been declared a success.

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

Please note: Under the agreement with the organizers we agreed to publish only details of the pieces, so the surprise is not ruined. Some of these are installations in progress along with completed installations.

Tape That. Process Shot. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tomislav Topic . Thomas Granseuer. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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

Steffen Seeger. Process shot. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Base23. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

Telmo & Miel. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paulo Consentino. Process shot. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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

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

Amanda Arrou-Tea. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

Insane51. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Señor Schnu. Process Shot. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

 

We wish to express our sincere thanks to Kimo, Bolle, Jörni and their team for all the time and assistance provided to us for the production of this article. Thank you to Katrin for helping with the artists IDs, and to Lisa Schmidt for her help with information as well.

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.26.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.26.17

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Always good to get to Berlin to see what waves of text and pattern and outrage and snark and myriad metaphor are more-or-less relentlessly rippling across buildings and empty lots. The rippling effect was swelled by 4 days of rain, which makes windows streak with rivlets and wheat-pastes peel from the top, leaning forward and down and toward their demise, often sticking to themselves, halved and horrid in the process.

Nonetheless we got a lot of work done, seeing artists, urban gallerists, and of course the labyrinthine interior of the ‘secret’ project that is no secret any longer, the five floor Berlin HAUS, a former bank building in a well trafficked part of the city that is swarmed every day and nearly every night with graffiti writers, professional painters, Street Artists, illustrators, and the like – mainly, if not entirely, Germany based artists doing elaborate installations throughout.

Also checked out the new Project M show opening this week at Urban Nation “RADIUS” curated by Boris Niehaus (JUST), Christian Hundertmark (C100 and Art of Rebellion books) & Rudolf David Klöckner (URBANSHIT). The show runs for 6 weeks and again is exclusively German in its roster including names like Case Maclaim, Dave the Chimp, Flying Förtress, Formula 76, Low BrosMadCMoses & TapsNomadPatrick Hartl & C100Rocco and his brothersSatOneSweetunoVarious & GouldZelle AsphaltkulturXOOOOX, and Hatch Sticker Museum.

Across the street in the under-construction UN museum space the scene was a “secret dinner” for 100 thrown by Director Yasha Young to stir up the buzz for the inaugural exhibit in September as well as take stock of the hundreds of artist locally and internationally who have been part of the UN before the doors even open. In attendance were artists, graffiti writers, arts writers, photographers, academics, cultural organizers, supporters, elected officials, a spare ambassador or two, all lined up to hear of few speeches, a video or two about programming – and eat off plates designed by 100 or so artists.

But the real story of course was the stuff we found on the streets – legal and illegal, a bit of dashed text and time intensive murals. Berlin doesn’t stop surprising you, and regardless of rain that completely drenched us, we didn’t care frankly.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: 1Up, Alaniz, Berlin Kidz, BoxiTrixi, C215, Crisp, Damien Mitchell, Dave the Chimp, Don John, Eins92, Fink 22, Gilf!, Icy & Sot, K, Missing Girls, Priznu, Rinth-WLNY, Sozl35, Telmo & Miel, and Various & Gould.

Top image: Telmo & Miel. Detail. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. Detail. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. In collaboration with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dave The Chimp. In collaboration with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dave The Chimp. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alaniz and friends. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sozl35. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Priznu. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#missinggirls. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eins92. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don John. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fink 22. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rinth_WLNY. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BoxiTrixi. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

K. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We liked the composition between this Icy & Sot stencil and the Korn sticker. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crisp. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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