All posts tagged: Tilt

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

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

Niels Shoe Meulman on the cover of The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

“Writing”, as in the graffiti sense of the word, has become quite tastefully adventurous of late, as calligraffiti pushes and pulls it in height, dimension, finesse. Evolved from our first recorded history, the modern stylizing of the letter form is as fascinating and wild as it is domesticated, the mundanity of your particular tag now veritably swimming in many depths and swirling currents, weaving complex melodies, hitting notes previously unheard.

JonOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

This was inevitable, now that you think of it, this organic and ornate practice of making your mark, and the freedom to explore it came from the street. Mark-making indeed. You can call it “The Art of Writing Your Name,” as have the authors/artists Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl.

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.

Poesia The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Graff writers in the mid 90s Munich scene, both had developed their individual styles beyond the classic street vocabulary, now evermore interested in discovering new materials, forms, processes, influences. Just released this summer, this new collection confidently illustrates what until now may have been evident to only a few; the aesthetics of writing have expanded and permutated far beyond their own roots in graffiti, tattoo, traditional calligraphy.

“Every artist brings a different approach with their calligraphy artwork,” says perhaps the most prominent of the genre today, Niels Shoe Meulman, who blazed into the publishing world with his tome “Calligraffiti” in 2010 after bringing his practice to the street and gallery. “We all come from different experiences and have different things to say.”

SheOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Indeed the list here includes the literal interpretations to those so far dissembled as to appear purely abstract, the aerosoled, the inked, the drippy, the purely light, the monstrously brushed acrossed floors and rooftops, the molded and bent and aroused into sculpture. Here the letter form is stretched to its limits, far beyond its relevance as part of codified language, more so the malleable warm putty in the hands of the artist, molded and mounted and even mystifying in the service of energy, kineticism, emotion.

“I start with quite randomly placed fat cap tags on the white surface,” says German author/artist Hartl to describe his particular technique, “then I overpaint it like 80% with slightly transparent paint, tag the wall with markers, overpaint that layer again, then I do stickers and posters, rip parts off again, repeat all these steps again and again until I’m happy with the result.”

Said Dokins The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Without doubt many will find inspiration in these nearly 300 pages, these insightful interviews with artists like Stohead, Usugrow, Saber, Kryptic, Faust, Carlos Mare, L’Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Poesia, Tilt; the forward by Chaz Bojorquez, the singular, at times stunning, photos and supportive texts.

Made for “graffiti fanatics, hand lettering fans, street art junkies, calligraphy lovers, and type enthusiasts”, co-author Christian Hundertmark edited the respected “Art of Rebellion” series and he knows his audience and this slice of his culture. The 36 artists are not the only ones representing this evolution in calligraphy, but they are certainly some of the finest.

Lek & Sowat The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

L’Atlas The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Tilt The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Carlos Mare The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Faust The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.


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.

Artists included are Chaz Bojorquez, JonOne, Niels Shoe Meulman, Poesia, Cryptik, SheOne, Said Dokins, Stohead, Usugrow, Patrick Hartl, Lek & Sowat, L’Atlas, Tanc, Mayonaize, Soklak, Mami, Tilt, Blaqk, Soemone, Jan Koke, Jun Inoue, Vincent Abdie Hafez / Zepha, Carlos Mare, Egs, Simon Silaidis, Faust, Luca Barcellona, Bisco Smith, Creepy Mouse, Defer, eL Seed, Rafael Sliks, Saber, Pokras Lampas.

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“Urvanity” Fair Opens in Madrid, 68 Artists + Galleries + Walls + Panels

“Urvanity” Fair Opens in Madrid, 68 Artists + Galleries + Walls + Panels

You may not realize upon first glance through the series of modular white walled temporary gallery rooms, but this fine art on display all has origins in street practice.

Over the past long weekend Madrid’s Urvanity fair at The Palacio Neptuno showcased a sweeping cross-selection of crisply framed names – many of which are being identified as Street Artists en route to “Contemporary Artists”.

Banksy. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Hung at eye level, carefully spaced, and illuminated under tracked lighting, the studio work of nearly 70 Graffiti/Street/Urban artists went on this weekend in one of the first fairs dedicated entirely to this evermore emerging category.

With fresh works from artists like JonOne, Fin DAC, Pixelpancho, Miss Van, Jef Aérosol, Sixe Art, L Atlas, Stikki Peaches, and Ben Eine, it is a mostly Eurocentric roster of galleries you’ve come to know in the last decade or so from places like Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Zurich, London, among others, and of course Madrid. Under the direction of Sergio Sancho, an advertising professional who has worked with major global brands, the fair calls the works on display New Contemporary Art and the program includes a companion mural campaign in Madrid streets featuring Eine, Jason Woodside, L’Atlas, PREF, MESA and Mohammed Lghacham.

Laurence Vallières. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

While receiving increasing support from serious press, museums, auctions, and festivals over the last decade and a half, it has been a great challenge for both commercial/social and historical/academic scholarship to agree on a moniker for these combined movements and makers – one that fairly encompasses the myriad motivations, styles of expression and intersecting cultures that have evolved from a half century of art on the streets.

Pro 176 . L’Atlas. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

With the inauguration of the Urvanity Mahou Talks Program during the fair, featuring again the artist Ben Eine and cultural curator Cedar Lewisohn, this topic and many more that continue to be raised can be examined and discussed in meaningful ways. At BSA we are finding that our participation in these panels, presentations, and discussions as well as being in the audience has furthered our understanding and appreciation for this natural and growing desire of scholarship.

The Urvanity program of conferences, debates and presentations here collect artists, curators and cultural managers with these purposes in mind and naturally will help collectors and fans contemplate these artists at the fair and better appreciate the bridge between the street and the fine art presented here. A strong first showing, you can expect to see Urvanity back again next year.

An outdoor mural from the Urvanity Instagram page. “We are excited to be able to be painting incredible murals in #Madrid. This one is by @oiterone on Calle de la Cebada!”

Miss Van . Peca. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Tilt . Moses & Taps. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Nano4814. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Vermibus . Jordan Seiler . OX. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Sixe Paredes . Suso33 Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

D*Face . Jason Woodside . Felipe Pantone . Pref . Okuda. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Sergio Sancho and the Urvanity team outside the inaugural exhibition Palacio Neptuno.
Check out their Instagram here.

For more information please visit:

URVANITY
Palacio de Neptuno
Calle de Cervantes, 42. Madrid
From February 23rd 26th, 2017
www.urvanity art.com

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Where Graffiti Art Is The Rose of The Desert : Spraying Outside the Jardin

Where Graffiti Art Is The Rose of The Desert : Spraying Outside the Jardin

When you are a renowned graffiti writer living 25 minutes outside of Marrakech at an artists compound and painting in your studio to prepare for an upcoming exhibition on canvas, sometimes you still are activated by wanderlust to go out and catch a tag. Or something more elaborate.

Ceet . Tilt . Clone. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jardin Rouge has hosted some of best known American and European graffiti writers such as members of Tats Cru, Daze, Ceet, Jace and Tilt as well as Street/Mural Artists like Kashink, Mad C and Hendrick Beikirch (ECB) over the past few years, inviting them to paint and sculpt new works in roomy quiet studios and on the buildings of the property itself.

As you leave the compound and take a long walk or motorcycle ride up the lonely and narrow dusty roads and gaze through ruddy fields past lines of olive trees you’ll discover bubbled and colorful aerosol works on dilapidated structures, half walls, and cratered remnants of buildings that rise just above the rich red soil.

Ceet . Tilt. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Suddenly the visual language of the inner city overflows the margins into agrarian areas, this time by way of a fervent patronage of this painting practice as art form. The distinction happens more often these days with festivals, galleries, museums, brands, collectors, fans inviting urban artists to suburban or ex-urban oasis to create their signature work very far removed from its original context.

Until now most of the fiery debates about graffiti and Street Art moving into the mainstream have focused on whether it belongs in institutions, or needs to be studied in academia, or if it ceases to be graffiti or street art when it is made for the gallery canvas or brought into the gallery directly from the street. Here, it is going anywhere but mainstream.

Clone. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

What do we call graffiti writing or characters from one city when it is introduced to another city, as has happened for decades thanks to the nomadic nature of couch-surfing artists and the adventurous practices of the graffiti tribe. And what happens when it goes for a hike further afield?

What do you call it when artists like Yok & Sheryo are on perpetual spraycation in places like Ethiopia or Mexico or when ROA is spraying his monochromatic animals in fields of Latin America or when New York graffiti icons are providing a backdrop to livestock that are chewing their cud and flipping their tales at flies?

310. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Is the graffiti and Street Art practice intrinsically tied to location or citizenship or local identity? Is is somehow made new by its audience?

There is much concern expressed today about graffiti and Street Artists losing their “street cred” (ibility) or authenticity by painting permissioned murals in their home cities or at festivals they have been invited to.

310. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In many countries and regions there are no norms regarding aerosol art, so none are violated when an artist decides to spray a multicolored bubble tag on an old milk house next to a collapsed dairy barn.

One wonders how to contemplate the work of artists whose culture has often been marginalized when the work itself keeps appearing in unexplored margins.

As usual, the movement of these art forms and their various practices are in flux, continuously on the morph. At the very least the new context draws the work into strong relief, allowing a new way to regard its aesthetics.

310 .  Ceet . Tilt. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reso. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reso. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reso. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo

Reso . Goddog. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reso. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Goddog. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Goddog. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tilt . Poes. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet . Jace. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet . Jace . Bio Tats Crew . 123 Klan . Klor.  Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet . Bio Tats Crew . 123 Klan . Klor. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet . Bio Tats Crew . 123 Klan . Klor. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tats Crew BG183. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ceet . Bio Tats Crew. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reso. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rezo . Rolk.  Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basila . Unidentified artist. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DE. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Jardin Rouge: A Unique Garden for Street Artists to Grow In

Jardin Rouge: A Unique Garden for Street Artists to Grow In

The soil in this garden is a deep rich red hue, as is the lifeblood that pumps through this modern compound with echoes of Egyptian mastaba architecture. Jardin Rouge invites Street Artists, graffiti artists, and urban artists to step around the peacocks that strut around the grounds of this North African oasis and to come inside to paint.

Painting outside is encouraged as well.

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Hendrik Berkeich AKA ECB. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

25 minutes outside of Marrakesh in the middle of a 32 acre olive grove, this is an artist’s residency unlike many, where vandals are invited. They also are encouraged to push themselves creatively and develop their skills, techniques and try new disciplines outside their comfort zones.

Created and funded largely by one visionary collector, a private French businessman of Russian heritage who says he discovered his own love of graffiti using china marker on city walls while he was a homeless teen in the 1960s, the residency stands apart from others in the full spectrum of support and direction it gives.

From French portrait stencilist C215 and German aerosol portraitist ECB to members of New York’s graffiti stars Tats Cru to the Franco-Congolese painter Kouka, the aerosol atmospherics of Benjamin Laading and abstractly juicy tag clouds of Sun7, the commonality of these street practitioners is their willingness to experiment, and their drive to produce quality work. Quietly building a reputation with this invitation-only residency, high quality shows marketed directly to collectors, and a new ambitious museum space with the Montresso Foundation, Jardin Rouge is setting its own standard.

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C215. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When artists come here we ask them to express themselves in their own style. The second thing we ask is to concentrate on the quality of their work and the craft. I don’t like artists who don’t take care of their quality, I don’t respect them,” says Jean-Louis, a white maned lion with firm opinions and an empathetic gaze.

“Also it is about presentation – a lot of artists have no idea how to present their work – but we always talk to the artist about how to make their final presentation, their final work.” When he describes this dynamic, you realize that as an artist, no matter what level of professionalism you enter Jardin Rouge with, it will raise a notch or two by the time you leave.

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Kouka. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking to current and former artists-in-residence, it’s clear that it is a tight ship with an expert crew. All materials, needs, and ideas can be discussed, and there is a focus on professionalism and readiness for development. Sun7 (or Sunset), a dynamic expressionist and graffiti writer who still runs a fatcap and a thick marker across city walls in Paris, London, New York as well as the occasional corporate brand gig, told us on a recent Saturday morning that he had gone into Marrakesh the night before to party with friends until sunrise, but he was determined to get into the studio by 10 am regardless. “These guys give us so much and I want to make sure I’m giving my best back too.”

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Sun7. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jean-Louis purchased the area near the Ouidane village in 2003 and began coaching his first artist in 2007, not realizing that the guidance he was giving to one would grow into the double digits in terms of artists who he now works with. The Montresso foundation is essentially sponsored by its founder and by donations from different partners and art collectors.

“At the beginning of Jardin Rouge this was my hobby. Then artists began hearing about this little by little and asking if they could come for a residency. We began the project slowly and became perhaps more professional and expanded our team,” he says. Collectors were slow to come as well, but eventually that changed thanks to well-attended openings, studio visits, and a marketing push that produces print catalogues and video pieces about the artists.

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The Montresso Foundation on the grounds of Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We started to do something more attractive and more people began to hear about this, and also collectors began to hear about it. We have a lot of collectors and they are not necessarily so interested in street art per se but when they come to a place like this their perception of street art begins to change.”

BSA: We have noticed that it is very important here to encourage artists to test themselves in new mediums that maybe they are not comfortable with but it is perhaps your philosophy to encourage them to do something outside of their normal practice. Can you talk about that because it is not something that we normally see.
Jean-Louis: At the beginning the idea was to meet with some young artists, some street artists and to give them the possibility to make something. I never want to encroach on their technique. You have your talents you have your technique. But slowly I began asking artists to please try to do something that was not in the street, perhaps with canvas or for something else. This was the idea in the beginning – to help some artists to grow.

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TILT. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It is a place to do something different from what you are doing in your own studio,” says TILT, who has had two residencies here, and who is intensely working on two concurrent shows with Jardin Rouge this year. “I think the good thing is that you don’t have the environment, you don’t have the pressure that you have when you are in your own studio, in your own city and surrounded by people you know.”

During an interview we did with him there we found that a familiar story continued to emerge; a supportive environment can actually make artists dream bigger.

“So here you can try and you can fail,” TILT says. “And if you fail its okay – it’s part of the game. It’s a huge space and maybe you don’t have to think about all of the materials because it is also easy to get them here. The structure is so well managed that if you need something, something is going to come to you. So you think totally differently, it is like a “deluxe” studio. Your mind is not stopped because you thought ‘oh I wanted to do that but I can’t’ because the frame is going to cost too much… or I need 6 or 7 people to help me move this car from one room to another. So its like everything is possible and that can really open up your mind.”

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Steven P. Harrington of BrooklynStreetArt.com interviews TILT. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Toulouse, France-born graffiti writer speaks from his own experience since the centerpieces of his new two-location show required cutting an entire car in half, reconstructing and stabilizing it, and mounting the half cars in two locations in two countries.

“When we decided to do the giant piece, the big car, I also wanted to experiment with something, to try to work with a different material, and since I think my work is kind of dirty – dirty graffiti, primitive graffiti – far from what Street Art can represent – I think that my work needs more knowledge about the history of graffiti, about the letters, about the texture, about accumulation. I had never worked with drywall and these other materials – it’s a super difficult medium to work with and so I thought that Jardin Rouge was probably the right place to try to make it work.”

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TILT. Detail. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The “Voyage Aller Retour (Outbound and Return Trip)” show was constructed over many weeks and made at Jardin Rouge studios, with the “Outbound Trip” shown at the Marrakesh Biennale this spring and the “Return Trip” half shown for the Epoxy event at Musée Les Abbatoirs in Toulouse, France in June.

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TILT. Detail. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each half of the car is piled comically high with worldly goods that are tied to the roof, and the entire car with possessions is sprayed with aerosol graffiti tags, throw ups, bubble letters and drippy callouts to peers and their family members. Two directions of migration are represented, with one carrying home-made and natural goods and articles that a family in the country may bring to the city, and the other transporting the electronic entertainment and consumer goods that a metropolitan family car might bring to relatives in the country. It’s a metaphor in degrees that addresses first and third world migration as well and a graffiti-covered touchstone that indirectly speaks to the refugee crises affecting war-torn Syria and much of Europe

Writer and cultural critic Butterfly describes TILT’s “Voyage”; “He is fetishizing an object, the Peugeot 404 car, appreciating it for its properties regardless of its practical, social and cultural interests. Tilt sanctifies the object by vandalizing it; he breaks down the unstable and fluctuating barriers of the work of art.”

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TILT. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had the opportunity to see “Voyage Aller” mounted inside the new spacious and modern museum-quality Montresso Foundation building and TILT’s eye-popping explosion of color held its ground in the massive new modern space. For the team and the foundation partners, this inaugural show with an accompanying outdoor garden and terrace also showcases Jean-Louis’ unique and powerful vision as architect as well.

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TILT. Detail. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alongside the reflecting pools and pens for horses, goats, cows, and other farm animals is a statue of a huge geometrically planed gorilla and painted facades with colorful character-based graffiti scattered across the property and popping in and out of view overhead. From atop one of these red roofs you can observe a wide hazy basin spreading for many kilometers south to the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains an hour and a half’s drive by car.

Manicured lawns, cacti, palm, and olive trees frame wending walkways that lead through the one or two story buildings and into the many indoor spaces and breezeways that connect artists studios, living quarters, guest accommodations, entertaining rooms, an ample dining area, production and professional offices. It all feels like a gallery and changing series of installations, indoors and out. As we walk with Elise Levine, the communications manager, throughout the buildings we see walls hung with canvasses of Jean-Louis’ collection and others of artists who have had residencies here.

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TILT in the middle with Mr. Harrington on the right and a guest on the left standing in the lobby of the Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In these surroundings it is not difficult to imagine how artists can make the transition to contemporary art without losing their personal connection to the street. The sensual Fenx splashes pop beauties with thick tagging, Tarek Benaoum manifests calligraffiti as something ornamental and precise and Kashink’s comic characters make wisecracks in front of you, each with four eyes. With Elise’s personal warmth and knack for storytelling about artists and installations, the Moroccan wood cabinetry, mid century modern furniture, patterned textiles, and specially designed light fixtures all impart a non-restrictive peaceful environment.

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Jo Ber. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had the opportunity to see an eclectic handful of the artists studios, which all come equipped with materials and tools that enable the artists to do their work and not worry about the typical concerns of artists life.

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Kashink. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benjamin Laading leads us into his studio, about the sized of a family one-car garage, but with a full wall of window that allows the sun to flood the space with light. A Norwegian painter who says he still writes graffiti he is working here on capturing the impressive forms known to fat cap sprayers everywhere, the bending of light in waves of a tube-like pointillism. In fact, that’s what he is turning it into.

“I started to think about how I could look at and talk about the tag – the core of graffiti that is the first line, the expressive line on the canvas,” he says as he pulls out his newest studies of this momentary movement of a gestural spray technique.

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Benjamin Laading. Detail. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each canvas captures a momentary movement, but each is actually carefully hand-rendered with refined dabbing over a longer period of time to achieve the exact effect. It is a tribute to the untamed wildness of quick tagging by graffiti artists but he hopes to delivery a galaxy inside the spray.

“They are always pushing me to do experiments,” he says, “I tried to find natural movement that looks like it was drawn very quickly.” The twist is that he recreates them with a brush, painstakingly pointillizing the dust and the energy that swoops across the canvas as a painting. After all, he says, “The spray stroke is made out of an accumulation of dots.” The effect is stark and energetic, atmospheric, and structural.

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Benjamin Laading. Detail. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It’s really a laboratory for a lot of artists to try something new here,” says Estelle Guilié, the artistic director since joining in 2014 and producing the first Jardin Rouge exhibition entitled “Behind the Red Wall” featuring a graffiti-heavy roster including BIO, BG, CEEK, and SY along with stencil artist ECB and warrior painter Kouka.

“We have one artist here who uses canvases for example all the time and I said to him ‘hey man for 20 years you have worked on the same medium and you don’t have your own signature. Maybe if you reflect on your work you can choose another language to express your art. He tested something new here for the first time and he has had a lot of success,” she says with a smile, “and now he can continue with it.”

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C215. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Finally, it strikes one that the entire complex is a diary, a philosophy of making work and the process of discovery. Sometime when Street Art / and Urban Art enters into a place, it dies. Here it feels alive, and many times just as consequential as it can be on the street.

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The Gold Fish pool provides serenity and inspiration. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It would be a great present to us if after 4 or 5 years someone sees one of these works by an artist and they say, ‘This artist was at Jardin Rouge, – or Montresso Foundation – and for this person it will stand for a label of quality,’” says Jean-Louis. With the establishment of the Montresso Foundation exhibition space, plans are afoot to develop larger exhibitions and the expansion of a permanent collection that reflects the movement of urban art into the contemporary art realm – obviously with an eye for what comes next.

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TILT. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

This article is a result of Brooklyn Street Art partnership with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin and was originally published at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

A partial list of Jardin Rouge alumni:

310
Benjamin LAADING
Cédrix CRESPEL
CEET
Denis TEVEKOV
FENX
GODDOG
Hendrik BEIKIRCH
JACE
JO BER
KASHINK
KOUKA
MAD C
Neurone
POES
RESO I Cédric LASCOURS
Roxane Daumas
SY I Vitaly TSARENKOV
Sun7
Tarek BENAOUM
TATS CRU
TILT
Vitaly RUSAKOV

 

 

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Rose Béton Festival in Toulouse, France in Year 2

Rose Béton Festival in Toulouse, France in Year 2

Concrete Rose. Sounds like the name of a jailhouse jezebel with a beauty mark on her cheek and feathers and pearls in her hair. Translate it to French and you get the second edition of Rose Béton, a street art and graffiti festival in the “Pink City” of Toulouse, which has more than its share of pink paint and terra cotta brick.

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Hendrik Beikirch AKA ECB.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © ECB)

Organized around murals, graffiti jams, workshops, talks, and exhibits, Rose Béton had a New York centered theme this year, including an evening entitled “Hello Brooklyn” although the majority of artists painting were not from NYC aside from the ever youthful and sage Futura – so maybe the “Brooklyn” branding was more an inspiration derived from hip-hop music and the love of Jay-Z.

It also had a few large murals, including ones by Ben Eine, ARYZ and this beauty above by ECB, who painted a portrait of a Moroccan man on a building inhabited by many North African immigrants and a stunning view was captured here by the artist of prayer mats spread out next the building – especially significant during this month of Ramadan.

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Hendrik Beikirch AKA ECB.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Two actual New Yorkers Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant were there to exhibit their photographic works in one of oldest places dedicated to photography in the world, the Château d’Eau, an old nineteenth century water tower near to the cours Dillon. Along with their seminal New York graff-centered photographs were the work of a young photographer named Sylvain Largot whose specialty is illegal graff.

Martha tells us that the Toulouse event was all male except for one female from Bogota named Ledania and ironically here work received the most “likes” and attention on Martha’s Instagram account. She had come with a crew of mostly Columbians artists for a program called “Latino Graff” which held a show and soiree at Espace Allegria and Galerie Zunzun.

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ARYZ.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The “Hello Brooklyn” graff jam was held at a spacious former factory called Le 50Cinq, which has been renovated by artists and turned into artists’ spaces, studios, and commercial event rental venue.

A round table was held with Toulouse native TILT, who spoke with Bernard Baudron who founded the Toulouse graffiti shop “South Painters,” and Jordi Rubio Rocabert, who started Montana Colors.

Nearby at Musée Des Abattoirs there was an exhibit of graff and street artists including Delta, Krink, Mist, Futura and Boris Tellegen. As Martha shared with us, Toulouse has a long history of graffiti, and the range and passion of the events at Rose Béton this month again confirm that Toulouse is still at the top of its game.

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ARYZ.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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ARYZ.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ben Eine.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ben Eine.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ben Eine.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ben Eine.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Futura. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Futura. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Futura. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Futura. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Martha Cooper in the center flanked by Sylvain Largot on the left and Henry Chalfant on the right at Galerie Le Chateau D’Eau for their show “EPOXY”. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo courtesy of Martha Cooper)

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Poster for “Open Summer” graff jam was called “Hello Brooklyn”.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bomin82. “Open Summer” graff -jam.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bomin82. “Open Summer” graff -jam.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ledania. “Open Summer” graff -jam.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ever and ECB happy encounter at the “Open Summer” graff -jam.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Remeio. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Krink. Work in progress. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Delta. Work in progress. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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From let to right: Tilt, Jordi Rubio Rocabert and Bernard Baudron. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Thank you to Ms. Cooper and Mr. Beikirch for sharing their photos with us.

To learn more about Rose Béton Festival click HERE

To learn more about Musée Des Abattoirs and their hours of operation, exhibitions etc…click HERE

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BSA Film Friday: 04.29.16

BSA Film Friday: 04.29.16

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

Now screening :

1. Os Gemeos Mural: Hangar Bicocca Building (Milan)
2. Tilt: Voyage – Aller Biennale Marrakech
3. Ugo Rondinone: Seven Magic Mountains
4. Ryan Campbell Profile

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BSA Special Feature: Os Gemeos Mural: Hangar Bicocca Building

Graffiti writers and assorted urban artists have a romantic fixation with the steel monsters that snake through our cities and across the backyards and fields of entire countries. For the urban art culture subways and freights have distinct but overlapping associations with freedom, wanderlust, a daredevil mentality, … and Brazilian brothers Os Gemeos have just created their latest ode to the subway train in Milan – almost as big as any writer’s dream.

Tilt: Voyage – Aller Biennale Marrakech

We had the honor of seeing this sawed in half car with luggage stacked on top in Jardin Rouge with French graffiti artist TILT in February and to hear the stories about how it was made. The first part of a 2 part story about migration, families, city fok, country folk, and the stories we tell – this amazing sculpture stands on its own.

 

Ugo Rondinone: Seven Magic Mountains

An astounding large scale “earth work” by Ugo Rondinone is taking place outside of Las Vegas in the desert. This informational video lays out the scope of the two year installation produced by Art Production Fund, New York and the Nevada Museum of art in Reno. Curiously, the artist himself does not appear in the video.

 

Ryan Campbell Profile

A quick short on Ryan Campbell and his mural Special Project: Line Segments number 40 (2016) . It is shot on location at Royale Projects : Contemporary Art in Los Angeles

 

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Tilt Smashes With Multi-Hued Tags: “Magic & Destroy”

Tilt Smashes With Multi-Hued Tags: “Magic & Destroy”

“When does an ultra-tagged trash can, which some consider simply vandalized, assume the status of a work of art?” asks Stephanie Pioda, the art historian and journalist in the introduction of this 3 year old collection of TILT, “Magic and Destroy”.

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Tilt Magic & Destroy Wallworks. Paris 2013

Indeed the artists posed a variant of the same question last week when we met him at Jardin Rouge in Marrakech, and it bears consideration. Absent the act of vandalism, the bashing of an object with layers of tags is simply an art technique; albeit one loaded with the implications of a street act that violates the established codes of accepted behavior in public space and infringes on property rights.  It is an examination of context, as with all discussions about what graffiti or street art becomes once it enters a gallery or a home.

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Tilt Magic & Destroy Wallworks. Paris 2013

Originally created to accompany his solo show with Paris based Wall Works gallery, the soft-cover catalogue with images by photographer Benjamin Roudet gives a satisfying overview of the diversification in technique and experimentation that has brought this Toulouse native far since first writing his bubble-based tags on the streets in the late 1980s.

From the carved “New York” apple core sculpture to the soft-porn love-interest photo spreads, to the endearing and incomplete blackbook doodling, the Brooklyn whole-roof silver co-tagging with Mist, and the aerosol slaughter of a car sliced in half, TILT continues to explore where his passion for expression can take him.

Based on the new migration themed work we’ve just seen that he is preparing for dual shows in Morroco and France, the ultra-tagged work of TILT is expanding his contemplative examinations beyond the charged duality of vandalism and art.

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Tilt Magic & Destroy Wallworks. Paris 2013

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Tilt Magic & Destroy Wallworks. Paris 2013

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Tilt Magic & Destroy Wallworks. Paris 2013

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Tilt Magic & Destroy Wallworks. Paris 2013

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Tilt Magic & Destroy Wallworks. Paris 2013

 

Tilt Magic & Destroy was published by Wallworks on the ocassion of Tilt’s exhibition Magic & Destroy at Galerie Wallworks. Paris 2013 with images by photographer Benjamin Roudet.

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Technology, Festivals, and Murals: 15 Years on the Street Art Scene

Technology, Festivals, and Murals: 15 Years on the Street Art Scene

It’s good to be asked to write an essay once in a while as it makes us take a step back and more fully examine a topic and appreciate it. On the occasion of Nuart’s 15th anniversary and it’s accompanying print publication last week Martyn Reed asked us to look at the street art / urban art / graffiti scene and to give an analysis about how it has changed in the time that the festival has been running. The essay is a long one, so grab a cup of joe and we hope you enjoy. Included are a number of images in and around Stavanger from Jaime Rojo, not all of them part of the festival, including legal and illegal work.

Technology, Festivals, and Murals as Nuart Turns 15

Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo

Nuart is turning 15 this year and like most brilliant teenagers it is alternately asking you challenging questions, finding you somewhat uncool, or is on your tablet ordering a new skateboard with your credit card. Nuart started with mainly music and is now mainly murals; an internationally well-regarded venue for thoughtfully curated urban art programs and erudite academic examination – with an undercurrent of troublemaking at all times. Today Nuart can be relied upon to initiate new conversations that you weren’t expecting and set a standard for thoughtful analysis of Street Art and its discontents.

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Pøbel (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We are in the thick of it, as it were, this great expansion of a first global grassroots people’s art movement. Give it any title you like, the flood of art in the streets that knocks on BSA’s door daily is unabated. We admit that we often get caught up in the moment and forget to study our forebears, Street Art’s progenitors and contributors – and that we sometimes are unable to appreciate the significance of this incredible time. So we are happy when the Nuart team asked us to take a long view of the last fifteen years and to tell them what we see.

As we mark Nuart’s milestone, we see three important developments on the Street Art scene while it evolves: Technology, Festivals, and Murals.

And just before we discuss these three developments in Street Art we emphasize what has stayed the same; our own sense of wonder and thrill at the creative spirit, however it is expressed; we marvel to see how it can seize someone and flow amidst their innermost, take hold of them, convulse through them, rip them apart and occasionally make them whole.

What has changed is that the practice and acceptance of Street Art, the collecting of the work, it’s move into contemporary art, have each evolved our perceptions of this free-range autonomous descendant of the graffiti practice that took hold of imaginations in the 2000s. At the least it hasn’t stopped gaining converts. At this arbitrary precipice on the timeline we look back and forward to identify three impactful themes that drive what we are seeing today and that will continue to evolve our experience with this shape-shifting public art practice.

 

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Technology

Hands down, a primary genesis for the far flung modern embrace of Street Art/Urban Art/Graffiti/public art lies in the booster rocket that propelled it into nearly everyone’s hands; digital communication and all its sundry technologies. From the early Internet websites and chat rooms accessed from your desktop to digital cameras and photo sharing platforms like Flickr in the early-mid 2000s to ever more sophisticated search technology and its accompanying algorithms, to blogs, micro blogs, and social media platforms, to the first generations of laptops and tablets, iPhones and Android devices; the amazing and democratizing advance of these communicative technologies have allowed more of us to access and share images, videos, experiences and opinion on a scale never before imagined – entirely altering the practice of art in the streets.

Where once there had been insular localized clans of aerosol graffiti writers who followed arcane codes of behavior and physical territoriality known primarily to only them in cities around the world, now new tribes coalesced around hubs of digital image sharing, enabling new shared experiences, sets of rules, and hierarchies of influence – while completely dissolving others.

 

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Tilt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As old guards re-invented a place for themselves or disappeared altogether, a new order was being remixed in front our eyes. There were a lot of strangers in the room – but somehow we got used to it. Rather than making street art pieces for your local peers, artists began making new compositions for somebody’s phone screen in London or Honolulu or Shanghai.

Cut free from soil and social station, now garden variety hoodlums and brilliant aesthetes were commingling with opportuning art collectors, curious gallerists, unctuous opinionators, punctilious photographers and fans… along with product makers, promoters, art-school students, trend watchers, brand managers, lifestyle marketers, criminologists, sociologists, journalists, muckrakers, academics, philosophers, housewives, and makers of public policy. By virtue of climbing onto the Net everyone was caught in it, now experiencing the great leveling forces of early era digital communications that decimated old systems of privilege and gate keeping or demarcations of geography.

Looking forward we are about to be shaken again by technology that makes life even weirder in the Internet of Everything. Drone cams capture art and create art, body cams will surveil our activity and interactions, and augmented reality is merging with GPS location mapping. You may expect new forms of anonymous art bombing done from your basement, guerilla image projecting, electronic sign jamming, and perhaps you’ll be attending virtual reality tours of street art with 30 other people who are also sitting on their couches with Oculus Rifts on. Just watch.

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Swoon and David Choe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Festivals

Thanks to the success of festivals like Nuart, myriad imitators and approximaters have mushroomed in cities everywhere. Conceived of philosophically as a series of stages for the exhibition of artistic chops with the proviso that a cultural dialogue is enriched and moved forward, not all festivals reach those goals.

In fact, we have no reason to expect that there is one set of goals whatsoever and the results are predictably variable; ranging from focused, coherent and resonant contributions to a city to dispersed, unmanageable parades of muddy mediocrity slammed with corporate logos and problematic patronage.

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MCity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Some festivals are truly grassroots and managed by volunteers like Living Walls in Atlanta or MAUI in Fanzara, Spain. Others are privately funded by real estate interests like Miami’s Wynwood Walls or business improvement district initiatives like the L.I.S.A. Project and LoMan Festival in Manhattan, or are the vision of one man who has an interest in Street Artists, like the now-discontinued FAME festival in the small town of Grottaglie, Italy and the 140 artist takeover of a town in Tunisia called Djerbahood that is organized by an art dealer.

In some ways these examples are supplanting the work of public art committees and city planners who historically determined what kind of art would be beneficial to community and a public space. Detractors advance an opinion that festivals and personal initiatives like this are clever ways of circumventing the vox populi or that they are the deliberate/ accidental tools of gentrification.

We’ve written previously about the charges of cultural imperialism that these festivals sometimes bring as well where a presumed gratitude for new works by international painting superstars actually devolves into charges of hubris and disconnection with the local population who will live with the artwork for months and years after the artist catches a plane home.

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Dotmasters (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nonetheless, far from Street Arts transgressive and vandalous roots, the sheer number of Street Art/Urban Art/Mural Art festivals that have popped up – either freestanding or as adjuncts to multi-discipline “arts” festivals – is having the effect of creating a wider dialogue for art in the public sphere.

As artists are invited and hosted and scissor lifts are rented and art-making materials are purchased, one quickly realizes that there are real costs associated with these big shows and the need for funding is equally genuine. Depending on the festival this funding may be private, public, institutional, corporate, or an equation that includes them all.

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Faith47 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you may expect, the encroachment of commercial interests is nearly exhaustive in some of these newer festivals, so eager are the merchants to harvest a scene they had little or no hand in planting. Conceived of as vehicles for corporate messaging, they custom-build responsive websites, interactive Apps, clouds of clever #hashtags, company logos, Instagram handles, branded events and viral lifestyle videos with logos sprinkled throughout the “content”.

You may recognize these to be the leeching from an organic subculture, but in the case of this amorphous and still growing “Street Art Scene” no one yet knows what lasting scars this lifestyle packaging will leave on the Body Artistic, let alone civic life.

 

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stylistically these festivals can be a grab bag as well with curatorial rigor often taking a back seat to availability, accessibility, and the number of interested parties making nominations. While some festivals are clearly leaning toward more traditional graffiti schools, others are a hodgepodge of every discernable style from the past fifty years, sometimes producing an unpleasant sense of nausea or even tears over regrettable missed opportunity.

Clearly the quality is often uneven but, at the danger of sounding flip or callous, it’s nothing that is not easily remedied by a few coats of paint in the months afterward, and you’ll see plenty of that. Most art critics understand that the metrics used for measuring festival art are not meant to be the same as for a gallery or museum show. Perhaps because of the entirely un-curated nature of the organic Street Art scene from which these festivals evolved in some part, where no one asks for permission (and none is actually granted), we are at ease with a sense of happenstance and an uneven or lackluster presentation but are thrilled when concept, composition, and execution are seated firmly in a brilliant context.

 

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TUK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Murals

Finally, murals have become big not just in size but popularity. Every week a street artist is exclaiming that this mural is the biggest they have every made. It is a newfound love, a heady honeymoon, a true resurgence of muralism. Even though you can’t rightly call this legal and sanctioned work true Street Art, many former and current Street Artists are making murals.

Un-civically minded urban art rebels have inferred that Street Art has softened, perhaps capitulated to more mainstream tastes. As Dan Witz recently observed, “Murals are not a schism with Street Art as much as a natural outgrowth from it.” We agree and add that these cheek-by-jowl displays of one mural after another are emulating the graffiti jams that have been taking place for years in large cities both organic and organized.

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JPS . Mizo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From illustration to abstraction to figurative to surreal and even letter-based, this eclectic injection of styles won’t bring to mind what one may typically associate with the homegrown community mural. Aside from the aforementioned festivals that are festooning neighborhoods, the growth in mural-making may be attributable to a trend of appreciation for Do It Yourself ( D.I.Y.) approaches and the ‘makers’ movements, or a desire to add a personal aspect to an urban environment that feels unresponsive and disconnected.

Philadelphia has dedicated 30 years to their Mural Arts Program and relies on a time-tested method of community involvement for finalization of designs and most municipal murals have a certain tameness that pleases so many constituencies that no one particularly cares for them.

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Herakut (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The New Muralism, as we have been calling it, that is popping up is often more autonomous and spirited in nature than community mural initiatives of the past with their ties to the socio-political or to historical figures and events. Here there are few middlemen and fewer debates. Artists and their advocates approach building owners directly, a conversation happens, and a mural goes up.

In the case of upstart community programs like the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, one trusted local person is ambassador to a neighborhood, insuring that community norms about nudity or politics are respected but otherwise acts purely as facilitator and remains hands-off about the content.

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JPS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On that topic, effectively a form of censoring often takes place with murals – another distinguishing characteristic from Street Art. Given the opportunity to fully realize an elaborate composition, normally wild-eyed and ornery aerosol rebels bend their vision to not offend. Sometimes an artist can have more latitude and you may find a mural may clearly advocate a political or social point of view, as in recent murals addressing police brutality, racism, and inequality in many US cities, anti-corruption sentiments in Mexico, and pro-marriage equality in France and Ireland.

This new romance with the mural is undoubtedly helping artists who would like to further explore their abilities in more labor-intensive, time absorbing works without having to look over their shoulder for an approaching officer of the law. It is a given that what they gain in polished presentation they may sacrifice as confrontational, radical, contraventional, even experimental. The resulting images are at times stunning and even revelatory, consistent with the work of highly skilled visionaries, as if a new generation of painters is maturing before our eyes in public space where we are all witness.

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Moving Forward

Despite the rise in festivals and mural programs and the growing volume and sophistication of technology for sharing of the images, Street Art is still found in unexpected places and the decay of neglected spaces. As before and well into the future these self ordained ministers of mayhem will be showing their stuff in the margins, sometimes identified, sometimes anonymous, communicating with the individual who just happens to walk by and witness the work. The works will impart political or social messages, other times a simple declaration that says, “I’m here.”

Whatever its form, we will be looking for it.

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Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Niels Show Meulman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nafir (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Fekner (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blek le Rat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Site of an old piece by BLU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dieche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HUSH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dolk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The remnants of a Phlegm piece from a previous edition of Nuart. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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

Søren Solkær: “Surface” Reveals What’s Below

“At first it seemed like a closed community, but one artist would lead me to the next and before I knew it, I had entered into an amazing new world  a very tight knit community of artists, many of which live like creative nomads.,” says photographer Soren Solkaer in the foreward to his new collection called Surface. A three year project that has led the Dane to 13 cities capturing 140 artists whose practice lies along the graffiti-Street Art continuum is a revelation on many levels  who knew that you could convince so many of these undomesticated ferocious coyotes to pose? Who would have guessed that they would agree to be in staged photographs as well?

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Søren Solkær: Surface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Influenced by the Czech tradition of photography of including staging and symbolism that he studied in the mid 1990s, Solkaer brings in distinctive elements of each artists style or process to inform the orchestrated environments in these images, instantly telling you more about the subject and their work.

It is a very successful method that turns the photographer into biographer and makes the viewer into student and possibly a fan.  Naturally, this world-traveled photographic artist has also developed his own formal techniques and distinctive style so the resulting images are crisp and on-point, the ingenious surroundings and ambiance often lifting the subject into another realm.

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a personal history that includes break-dancing as a teen in a small village in Denmark, Soren tells us that his rediscovery of the modern Street Art scene was reawakened only recently after he had long ago shifted interest away from street culture. After a successful career shooting most of the largest names in rock and popular music, he had the freedom to discover a new project where he could innovate in the space of a still evolving scene. After an introduction to Shepard Fairey and some other street artists and with a few rewarding photo shoots of personalities from this genre of autonomous art making in the public sphere, Solkear says he was hooked.

The New York launch of Surface is tonight at Allouche Gallery in Soho and a number of artists and special guests will be in attendance. When you see Soren, ask him the name of his high school breaking crew.

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Lee Quinones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. The London Police (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Borondo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Tilt (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Don John (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Blek le Rat (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Borondo (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Slinkachu (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Søren Solkær: Surface published by Gingko Press.

Søren Solkær: Surface Opens today at the Allouche Gallery in SOHO. Click HERE for more details.

 

 

 

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

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BSA Film Friday: 02.06.15

BSA Film Friday: 02.06.15

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

Now screening :

1. Tilt at Nuart and his Schizophrenic Bathroom
2. SURFACE by Søren Solkær
2. Tristan Eaton in DTLA
3. Graffiti Session: USE THEM (W)ALL

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BSA Special Feature: Tilt at Nuart

French graffiti artist Tilt walked the sidewalks of Stavanger as a man at ease creating a huge wall grenade comprised of his tags and the American flag. But it was his schizophrenic bathroom installation for the large gallery show that won most acclaim, and here he talks about his own ambivalence about straddling of the street and the fine art worlds, wondering why a dripping tag is repulsive on a garbage dumpster, but frameable in a gallery . “My idea was that I was going to show this dirty graffiti to art people in suits and ties”.

Big ups to from Shinsuke Tatsukawa and Kenichi Yamamura for capturing the thoughtful creative process and narration, delivered while Tilt is on the toilet.

 

Tristan Eaton in DTLA

Tristan Eaton is taking his work to a new level and direction these days – here’s a fresh mural he just did in downtown LA.  Excellent work on the video from a new blog named Street Candy.

SURFACE by Søren Solkær

We met this Danish photographer and his wife last year in Norway and instinctively knew that his book project was going to be a stunner because of his unique approach to portraits of Street Artists. Søren Solkær travelled throughout much of the world for three years in his search of many significant figures in street art and graffiti. The book “SURFACE” is coming soon, and the launches will feature high caliber shows in Sydney, Melbourne, LA, New York, and Copenhagen.

This portraits include over 140 artists who have been photographed with their artwork in urban locations spanning Copenhagen, Stavanger, London, Miami, Paris, Las Vegas, Athens, Sydney, Melbourne, New York, Los Angeles and Berlin.

Graffiti Session: USE THEM (W)ALL

Yes, bottom line is this is an ad for a French art supply company. Aside from that, it is a wall well done and the clever camera work keeps the progression of this wall slammin’.

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The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

Here it is! Our 2014 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.

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Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year: Ask Jaime Rojo, our illustrious editor of photography at BrooklynStreetArt.com , who takes thousands of photographs each year, to respond to a simple question: What was your favorite photo of the year?

For 2014 he has swift response: “The Kara Walker.” Not the art, but the artist posed before her art.

It was an impromptu portrait that he took with his iPhone when the artist unveiled her enormous sculpture at a small gathering of neighborhood locals and former workers of the Domino Sugar Factory, informal enough that Rojo didn’t even have his professional camera with him. Aside from aesthetics for him it was the fact that the artist herself was so approachable and agreed to pose for him briefly, even allowing him to direct her just a bit to get the shot, that made an imprint on his mind and heart.

Of course the sculpture is gone and so is the building that was housing it for that matter – the large-scale public project presented by Creative Time was occupying this space as the last act before its destruction. The artist herself has probably moved on to her next kick-ass project after thousands of people stood in long lines along Kent Avenue in Brooklyn to see her astounding indictment-tribute-bereavement-celebration in a hulking warehouse through May and June.

But the photo remains.

And Rojo feels very lucky to have been able to seize that quintessential New York moment: the artist in silhouette before her own image, her own work, her own outward expression of an inner world. 

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Jaime’s personal favorite of 2014; The site specific Kara Walker in front of her site specific installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in May of this year in Brooklyn. Artist Kara Walker. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

Now, for the Video

And our holiday gift to you for five years running, here is the brand new video of favorite images of graffiti and Street Art by Brooklyn Street Art’s editor of photography, Jaime Rojo.

Of a few thousand these 129 shots fly smoothly by as a visual survey; a cross section of graffiti, street art, and the resurgence of mural art that continues to take hold. As usual, all manner of art-making is on display as you wander your city’s streets. Also as usual, we prefer the autonomous free-range unsolicited, unsanctioned type of Street Art because that’s what got us hooked as artists, and ultimately, it is the only truly uncensored stuff that has a free spirit and can hold a mirror up to us. But you have to hand it to the muralists – whether “permissioned” or outright commissioned, some people are challenging themselves creatively and still taking risks.

Once again these artists gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it. We hope you dig it too.

 

Brooklyn Street Art 2014 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

2Face, Aakash Nihalani, Adam Fujita, Adnate, Amanda Marie, Andreco, Anthony Lister, Arnaud Montagard, Art is Trash, Ben Eine, Bikismo, Blek Le Rat, Bly, Cake, Caratoes, Case Maclaim, Chris Stain, Cleon Peterson, Clet, Clint Mario, Col Wallnuts, Conor Harrington, Cost, Crummy Gummy, Dain, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Damon, Dan Witz, Dasic, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, Eelco Virus, EKG, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Etam Cru, Ewok, Faring Purth, Gilf!, Hama Woods, Hellbent, Hiss, Hitnes, HOTTEA, Icy & Sot, Jana & JS, Jason Coatney, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, JR, Judith Supine, Kaff Eine, Kashink, Krakenkhan, Kuma, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Mais Menos, Mark Samsonovich, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Miss Me, Mover, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nenao, Nick Walker, Olek, Paper Skaters, Patty Smith, Pixel Pancho, Poster Boy, Pyramid Oracle, QRST, Rubin 415, Sampsa, Sean 9 Lugo, Sebs, Sego, Seher One, Sexer, Skewville, SmitheOne, Sober, Sonni, Specter, SpY, Square, Stay Fly, Stik, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swil, Swoon, Texas, Tilt, Tracy168, Trashbird, Vexta, Vinz, Willow, Wolfe Works, Wolftits, X-O, Zed1.

Read more about Kara Walker in our posting “Kara Walker And Her Sugar Sphinx At The Old Domino Factory”.

 

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

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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