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BSA Greatest Hits of 2021

BSA Greatest Hits of 2021

When it comes to street art, murals, graffiti, and related events around the world last year, we were running to keep up.

You may have missed some of the people, thinkers, artists, projects, and community resources that we shared with BSA readers last year. We’re pleased to share with you some of those stories you may overlooked. Here are some of the greatest hits of 2021.

Barcelona Small Scale Street Works Popping Up in the Face of Development

Graffiti and street art are cyclical in many ways – reflective of society, urban planning, politics, current events, demographics… Currently the city of Barcelona is pushing hard on cleansing itself of the wild graffiti and street art that brought it so many tourists 15 years ago.


Capitol Trump Trials Through the Eyes of Political Cartoonists

Okay okay everybody settle down. We’ve got a lot of excited people yelling things and making huge pronouncements about things – most full of hysteria tinged with paranoiac visions. When it all gets to be too much for us, we like to see how cartoonists are capturing the current zeitgeist, and making something funny. It’s a talented group of artists who can condense complexity and extract the humorous essence of a situation. Also, so far our move toward the right, the far-right, and the fascist has not led us to have leaders that outlaw cartoons. Fingers crossed.


Swoon Gives Us All a Tour of “Seven Contemplations” at Albright Knox

It’s a pity that the pandemic has kept so many people away from seeing great exhibitions in museums and galleries, among other things. At the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, street artist Swoon’s “Seven Contemplations” ran its course without nearly as many visitors as you would expect.

So we decided to show you the exhibition in a mini-tour. Who else could be your host today but the artist herself, Swoon.


Street Art Says “Happy Inauguration” to Biden and Harris

The streets have been anticipating the arrival of the new president and vice president for a few months now. Today it took place and the U.S. has a 46th President – Joe Biden and 49th Vice President – Kamala Harris.

Pure poetry.


Chip Thomas: “Pandemic Chronicles” in Phoenix, AZ

Sometimes art in the streets can be like that – a reflection of your intellectual musings and your heart’s leanings. Because he has often taken a path less traveled, photographer / doctor / activist / organizer / producer / teacher Chip Thomas (aka Jetsonorama) seamlessly slips into and out of all of his roles. In this way, he may also appear as poet.


Street Art Recorded Protest and Pandemic in Real Time.

No More Normal is a semi-regular newsletter written by Jeff Stone on his substack. He recently interviewed us on the topic of activist street art and we’d like to share his article here.

In May 2020, Todd Lawrence and Heather Shirey were taking pictures of graffiti focused on the coronavirus in Minneapolis when a police officer killed George Floyd just a few blocks away.

The two cultural historians from the University of St. Thomas had recently started taking pictures of the murals, graffiti, stickers and tags throughout the Twin Cities in an effort to preserve that work during a once-in-a-century pandemic. Their archiving, though, took on a new level of urgency when a police officer murdered Floyd and footage of the killing went viral, sparking anti-racist demonstrations in Minneapolis and throughout the world. 


Said Dokins Says “This is Not the End of the World” in Mexico City

Checking in with Panteón Cultural Center in Mexico City, where we first took you when it was inaugurated in 2017, we find street artist/ fine artist Said Dokins participating in a large exhibition and a new mural for the storied interior. It’s reassuring to see “This is not the end of the world,” the title of the collective show featuring many Mexican artists in this venue that is refined and raw and at least in some ways community based – Not such a typical scene these days.


A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part I

Freedom of expression is foundational in a democracy. Without it, it is not difficult for a culture to descend into authoritarianism, fascism, and dictatorship. By many standards, Spain’s democracy is still young, with a Parliamentary Monarchy since 1978. So it is curious and alarming to hear that this EU country has been silencing free speech in the last few years.


HotTea Faces Critics With Magnets in Minnesota

External critics may never be as brutal as your internal one – but graffiti and street art sometimes reveals a specifically vicious world of criticism that greets artists and writers. Imagine making friends with those critics and validating their position, and then moving on unscathed or even healed.

“Overall, the project is meant to inspire those who may take criticism to heart,” says street artist HOTTEA, and he means it as a form of sweet liberation, not a bitter one.


Ceramic Faile: A New Collection With StudioCromie in Grottaglie, Italy

Angelo Milano, the founder of Studiocromie and FAME Festival, has been courting Brooklyn artist duo Faile for more than a decade, and they finally created a series of ceramics together for his studio art business in Grottaglie under the tutelage and traditional expertise of the centuries-old Ceramiche Nicola Fasano’s workshop.

“Closed (In) for Inventory”: FKDL Makes the Most of His Confinement, 10 Items at a Time

The world is slowly making movements toward the door as if to go outside and begin living again in a manner to which we had been accustomed before COVID made many of us become shut-ins. Parisian street artist FKDL was no exception, afraid for his health. However, he does have a very attractively feathered nest, so he made the best of his time creating.

Women’s Murals Vandalized in Madrid, Newly Created in Barcelona

International Women’s Day is only controversial for those who feel threatened by the idea of equality and freedom.

Perhaps that’s why, according to current statistics, women continue to fight and protest against the gender wage gap in Spain, as well as against violence against women. The national female unemployment rate is 17.4%, compared to 13.8% for men.

BSA Writer’s Bench : “Graffiti Documenting and Divinity” by Jim Prigoff

Graffiti Documenting and Divinity

A writer once shared with me the following observation concerning the early documentation of modern graffiti, if stated in religious terms.

He said:

Henry Chalfant would be God. Martha Cooper would be the Virgin Mary. Jim Prigoff would be Jesus Christ, Jack Stewart the Holy Ghost.

Subway Art would be the Bible. Spraycan Art the New Testament.

I’m no savior, but I’m proud to have saved some incredible and iconic images of this culture while they were painted and to have met so many talented artists.

The Big Tiny World According To Sara Lynne-Leo

Sara Lynn-Leo. Well-placed, well-rendered, witty, insightful, incisive.

These are hallmarks of the miniature pieces of street art that New Yorker Sara Lynn-Leo has been putting up in many neighborhoods in alleyways, doors, dirty corners, magnet walls, street furniture, and lamp posts. Finding these offerings can be difficult. They may be tiny in size and often placed out of eye view.

“Aliens, That’s What They Called Them”- Molly Crabapple on the Streets

“I left all my memories in Syria, so there’s nothing left to take”.

“Husband works in construction. Husband salary depends on luck, waits on side of the street to get picked”.

“Prefer by land, but by sea if there’s no choice”.

“I have no dreams in Europe. I just want my husband to get a proper job, a proper life for my children”.

“I will bring nothing with me”.

“For sure, I’m nervous”.

INDECLINE Creates QAnon Easter Egg Hunts in DC Parks for a Surreal Holiday Prank

The era of fractured attention spans, heightened emotions, and ravaged hierarchical systems for ordering institutions, beliefs, and the truth is ripe for examination and dissection – even if it takes a looking glass to see it.

The anonymous art-activist thinkers at INDECLINE have spawned many interventions in the last decade in public space – intricate and smartly storied at times, obvious and deliberately provocative at others.

BSA Writer’s Bench : “Why Monuments?” by Carlo McCormick

Why Monuments?


Perhaps, caught up in the energy of street art and graffiti, we do not pay quite so much attention as we should to it being something we might otherwise call public art. Consider that public art as a form goes back through centuries of municipal planning and myriad private and public interests that are concerned with how community identity may be constructed and represented. It is shortsighted not to acknowledge how much of public art has long been about monuments.

Monumental Ransom: Curious Case Of “The Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair” in Selma, AL

This Friday, the anonymous artivists said they were set to return their ransomed confederate chair monument, “The Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair.” It was first reported missing from Live Oak Cemetery in Selma last month – an ornately carved stone chair dedicated in 1893 to the Confederate president’s memory and estimated to be worth $500,000.

California’s Augustine Kofie is in a New York “State of Mind” at Hashimoto

It really is primarily about your State of Mind, says LA-based painter Augustine Kofie about his battle with art and quarantine during this last year.

“The pandemic was a stop, an interruption, a loss of control,” he says – and points to the incomplete cycle symbols that appear throughout his new collection of paintings. Normal life, in its circular wending, was interrupted time and again, along with all our typical expectations.

Andreco: “Aula Verde” For Earth Day 2021 in Rome

Together with citizens, environmentalists and researchers, he’s created a work of Land Art here in Rome, and he calls the project Aula Verde.

“The work is alive, and over the years it will take shape and as it grows it will return innumerable benefits to the territory,” Andreco says, “currently it is studied by the researchers who are involved in the project, both for the purification of the water and the redevelopment of the surrounding greenery.”

Shepard Fairey in Dubai: A Mosaic Future and a Solo Show at Opera

Shots today from last month’s Shepard Fairey “Future Mosaic” at Dubai’s Opera Gallery. With works on canvas, paper, wood, and metal, as well as examples of iconic images and repeated motifs from the breadth of his art and design history, Fairey was very much present for his first solo show here. In a grueling schedule of just 9 days he also managed to install two huge murals facing a skate park in a commercial district of the city, the d3 (Dubai Design District).

“White people can’t be trusted with power,” from Dread Scott on the Street in Manhattan

Trust artist Dread Scott to perfect the provocative phrase that can raise the prickly ire of certain street passersby, simply and succinctly. And trust the self-elected censorious social media platforms like Instagram to actually ban it.

Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based Scott says, “White people can’t be trusted with power” in this new public artwork at 42nd near 10th Avenue in Manhattan. It may remind you of a Jenny Holzer “Truism” that she may have wheat-pasted on the street in the past, a pertinent pique that strikes at the heart of the matter, minus the sense of irony. But in the current context of white people’s reluctant awakening, Mr. Scott writes, “When this was originally posted, Instagram banned it as ‘hate speech.’ ”

“KAWS: What Party”. Need a Companion?

Highbrow art institutions have coalesced behind a small recurring collection of well-known graffiti/street artists in recent years, granting them a lot of space and a powerful entrée to blue-check media parties, blue-chip platforms, and blue blood collectors. The bigger (and frequently well-funded) names are often the easiest to explain to an unfamiliar general audience of art viewers and, of course, will appeal to that younger demographic everyone is after. It shouldn’t surprise anyone when even the New York City Ballet spawned a series of collaborations with street artists in the last five years to bolster flagging attendance due to aging and, well, dying fans.

BSA Writer’s Bench : “Street Art and Graffiti: The Role of Copyright” by Enrico Bonadio

Street Art and Graffiti:
The Role of Copyright


Artists are getting robbed. It is time to give them the legal tools they need. With this spirit, a few years ago, I started researching copyright aspects of street art and graffiti.

These artistic movements have been intriguing me for a while. Living for several years in the East London area of Shoreditch, where creativity has exploded and developed after the new millennium’s arrival, has certainly nurtured my curiosity towards these forms of art.

VERMIBUS: A Full “IMMERSION” into his Berlin UBahn NFTs, Complete with Glossary of Blockchain Terms

This project represents an innovative attempt to solve one of the biggest problems when exhibiting street art,” says Berlin-based street artist Vermibus, “- the lack of its original context.”

True, something about our previous curated exhibitions of street art – even our current show of Martha Cooper’s photography work at Urban Nation Museum here – loses the feeling of the street once it enters the museum doors.

“I truly believe this way of experiencing and conserving Street Art will be the inevitable future.”

Vermibus

Concreate Festival 2021 Launches in Finland

Concreate Urban Art Festival, held now for the second time, has clearly taken over Keran Hallit in Espoo, Finland. Keran Hallit is a huge former logistics center currently operating as a space for art, culture, sport, and other free-time activities. During the next few years, the halls will be demolished to make space for a new neighborhood.

Portraiture by Case Maclaim and Helen Bur in Madrid for Urvanity 2021

Frankfurt-based ultra-talent Case Maclaim is with the Urvanity Art Fair this week, and he has created a new mural in Madrid’s old, historical city center. His work is being shown by Brussells Ruby Gallery, along with that of street artists EverSiempre and Wasted Rita. Still, he just wanted to go big with a tribute to children’s imagination.

BSA Writer’s Bench: Igor Ponosov with Poetry, Philosophy, & Manifestos in Russian Streets

Russian Urban Art: Poetry, Philosophy, and Manifestos in the Streets


In the interest of defining specific areas of the study of Russian Urban Art, I’ll highlight here three main periods that I think are important in the development of these forms of urban art: the 1910s–20s, the 1990s, and the current era. From my perspective, each period was usually born during crisis and revolution, went dead after a few years, and then came to life slowly again. It was this circular pattern that I am trying to define in my recent book Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts, but here I want the focus to be more specific.

Urvanity 2021: Highlights. A Selection Of Works From The Galleries

Madrid’s Art Week – who would believe that it could actually happen? And to prove it, we have the 5th Anniversary of Urvanity defiantly strutting from one end of the COAM headquarter to the other. Taking its original inspiration from graffiti, post-graffiti, surrealism, pop, and that broadly applied “Urban Contemporary” tag, Sergio and the Urvanity team have persevered this year again.

Josh Katz is “Mighty Real” in San Francisco with Glamorous Sylvester Portrait

A Superstar of the disco era long before people even heard of telling you their pronouns, this queen crossed over and back and even had bonafide dancefloor hits. How fitting that queer muralist Josh Katz painted this glamorous portrait to lift spirits in this city where day socializing and nightlife has been hamstrung by the pandemic, even shuttering some gold-plated legends in LGBTQ+ club history.

Katz says he is happy to bring Sylvester out into the street-life, a response to “what I see as a lack of LGBTQ representation in street art.” He promises that he’ll continue painting portraits to honor legacies and increase visibility.

My Dog Sighs “Inside”: A Hidden, Staged Exhibition in Portsmouth, UK

According to his descriptions of the artist’s new “Inside” installation in the UK’s only island city of Portsmouth (pronounced PORT-smith), there will be tours in this secret location – ever so because the atmospheric and theatrical work is not officially sanctioned and is staged in an abandoned building.

A Land of Mirrors for Pener: Bartek Świątecki Paints Hometown in Poland

25 years in the game, Pener routinely lets his mind travel to encompass possibilities, then channels them abstractly through a series of echoing geometric forms with aerosol and brush. Here in his hometown of Olsztyn, Poland, he says he imagined the possibilities that young minds inside an elementary school could contemplate.

Winston Tseng: Money Fixes Everything

On a recent sunny May day, we followed street artist Winston Tseng to document his new series of posters installed on three locations in Manhattan. The series is titled “Money Fixes Everything.”

The flat and colorful 2-D illustration style of street artist/graphic artist Winston Tseng doesn’t scream social inequity and cultural insanity the way other graphic styles may. The graphic language is the 2-D, flat, icon-based vernacular familiar to phones and applications, a neutral and familiar reduction to precisely convey the visual elements necessary to infer more is there. Brilliantly pared and exacting in composition, a close look allows the viewer to unpack Tseng’s specific brand of critique – perhaps causing you to crack a smile, or roll your eyes, shake your head.

Leon Keer Triggers Childhood Nostalgia with “Kit de Secours” in Plougasnou, France

Leon Keers is subversive, if that is the way your mind works. His mind-bending plays on real and surreal perspectives may lead you down a path of suspicion, for it appears that he is adept and agile when playing with perspective.

Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement. Installation Shots

You saw our announcement for the new exhibit At the Vanguard: Bristol Opens Exhibition On Evolution of Global Movement of Street Art and now you get a chance to see the actual shoe newly installed. Dense and rich with original artwork, photography, and ephemera, Vanguard is a studious presentation that confidently lays claim to Bristols place in the history of graffiti and street art.

Biancoshock’s Smashed Google “Street View” Car Sculpture in Corsica

For five years conceptual artists Biancoshock and Harmen de Hoop have been giving each other assignments as part of a common project that can range from titillating to amusing to incomprehensible.

As with so many works in public space by either of these two interpreters of societal nomenclature, these works field-test theories of the visual prank as much as they level observations or critiques of human behavior. With each installation, you are welcomed to examine one more of myriad modern idiosyncrasies – now placed in a new context. Your interpretation may vary.

Gola Hundun, Anthropic Space, Natural Space, and His Newest Installation in Milan

Italian land artist/street muralist Gola Hundun has divided his creative projects in the last few years into two distinct but related practices.

The first is to investigate buildings that are being reclaimed by nature and develop site-specific installations that work in harmony with the history of the relationship between architecture and nature. The second, of which we have an example for you today, is a mural installation on active buildings within cities, perhaps invoking a more integrated ecology of symbols and natural systems around it. These two lines of inquiry comprise his project “HABITAT”, a sincere stream of research that lies on the border between anthropic space and natural space

Motorefisico Bring Op, Kinetic, and Tape Art Stencilling to Santa Croce di Magliano

It’s impossible to imagine the contemporary built environment without considering the impact of street art and graffiti has had on not only city dwellers but our city’s designers and architects. While previous generations may have dismissed incorporating painting techniques beyond traditional frescoes or murals, the new generation considers it their birthright to bring modern art movement influences, including Optical Art, Kinetic Art, and straight-up tape art often used on the street.

Monkey Bird: “L’ouvreur de Chemins” Celebrates a Cathedral’s 800th in Spain

It’s not every day that you have an 800th anniversary.

Bringing monumental aesthetics, theologic references, and the language of classical architecture to this massive wall at Calle Fernán González, 52, the French duo MonkeyBird celebrates the Burgos Cathedral in grand style. Louis Boidron and Edouard Egea say they worked painstakingly to prepare their tribute to the original workers and artisans who first built the Gothic and Baroque-styled Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984.

Escif: “The Fences Must Fall”; A Provocative Ljubljana Street Art Festival

We’ve had the privilege to travel to many cities and cultures over the last decade and a half, from Russian to Chinese to North African to Tahitian and Norwegian, to witness the affecting power of street art on cities, communities, and everyday people. Regardless of the street author’s intent, however earnest or carefully considered, we’re often surprised by the variety of interpretations that can arise from a singular work of art or intervention.

MARUM Presents “MEXPANIA” and Miscegenation in Querétaro

Édgar Sánchez and Arcadi Poch may not simply be curators of the new initiative called Mexpania that merges the cultures of Mexico and Spain. They are social scientists, anthropologists, historians, and some may say, alchemists. With the inaugural installations of this auspicious project primarily created inside the entrance and with only 4 national/international artists, you may be curious how these foundational works will influence future curatorial choices for this ever-growing museum dedicated to urban art, or arte urbano.

Elfo’s Neo-Dada Butchering Diagram in Turin

Elfo’s furtive and artful wanderings can veer off into the neo-Dadaist fields at times, sometimes wittily so, and textually. The Italian graffiti writer and street artist uses the simplest of devices to capture attention, a reductive and deliberate strategy born of careful consideration girded by impulses to broadcast his view, to be seen and heard.

Bifido Quotes Keats for ArtAeroRap “Vaccine Edition 2021” in León, Spain

Italian street artist Bifido finishes this rough wall with the sweetest of sentiments here as summer draws ever nearer to its end. Quoting Keats, as romantics are wont to do, Bifido tells us his latest staged photo wheatpaste is transparent in its sentiment, opaque in his specific meaning.

“It is a hug, so it is something that can be shared,” he offers. “For this time I have nothing to say about this piece.”  Enough said.

Edoardo Tresoldi: A Reprise of “Sacral” for Ravenna

“An archetypal image”, Edoardo Tresoldi says, “is capable of creating a dialogue between past and present, using a language comprised of meanings that recur over time.”

M-City is Airborne with Szczecin Wars in Poland

“Szczecin before the Second World War was a German city,” says the street artist named M-City. Now it’s flying as a spaceship in his latest stencil mural here – in Poland.

NemO’s x Nicola Alessandrini Build a Grotesque, Stunning “Nest” in Italy

Ah, the feckless, sebaceous, inward-turned man; Bumbling through the world unaware and uncaring how his actions may impact the lives of others. Little does he know that the fire he starts will burn him as well.

Bifido: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” in Mostar, Bosnia Herzogovina

I am inhabited by a cry.
Nightly it flaps out
Looking, with its hooks, for something to love.

Sylvia Plath

Street poet and street artist Bifido doesn’t mean to be morose, but here in Mostar he can’t help himself as he creates mirrored expressions of a sullen, ill-tempered youth on city streets. Part of the Bosnian /Herzegovinian street art festival named after this city of 113,000 Croats (48.4%), Bosniaks (44.1%), and Serbs (4.1%), the annual meeting of international and local artists produces a broad variety of artworks for the city.

Graffiti, Stencils, and Quickie Weddings: Dispatch From Asheville N.C.

“Are you the minister?”

“I am not that, sir,” he answered, “I’m the vacuumer.” Our short tour ends abruptly as the loud whir of the cleaning machine rises to meet the southern-fried rock classic on the sound system here at Fleetwood’s in Asheville, North Carolina. Ours, and his, is a quick sweep through this small city of 90,000 in the Blue Ridge Mountains known for its progressive ideas, punk squats, Thomas Wolfe, and a harmonious alliance between sanctioned murals, organic street art, and graffiti.

Losing BLU in Ljubljana, Slovenia

The brilliant illustrator of fantasy and firey allegory, BLU, championed the cause of the Rog Factory squat in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2016 with a centrally framed handgun in pink and red. In that heated moment the community of artists and activists had fended off developers, construction thugs, and even some kind of fascists attacking them or trying to chase them from the property.

LADY AIKO Does Her “Martha Cooper Remix” on the Façade of Urban Nation (UN)

We have some special events taking place this month to celebrate one complete year of the career-spanning exhibition “Martha Cooper: TAKING PICTURES”, which we created with the team at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin.

Today graffiti/street artist AIKO talks about her striking new graphic mural for the façade of the museum that highlights and interprets a suite of recognizable elements from Martha’s iconic photographs – a perfect answer to the Martha Remix section of the exhibition inside featuring 70 or so artists “remixing” her photos in their individual styles.

Mantra in Miami to Open “Metamorphōsis” at GGA

Half biologist, half street artist, all gentleman. The French painter Youri Cansell AKA Mantra opens his very first US solo show tonight at Goldman Global Arts (GGA) in Miami. In preparation for “Metamorphōsis,” the artist has been painting non-stop all summer at a temporary studio in Cancun.

“Peoples Discontent” Debuts with Video Greeting from Shepard / Martha Cooper Signed New Print at UN

BSA X UN X MARTHA COOPER X SHEPARD FAIREY

When we asked Shepard Fairey if he would be up for a new remix of a Martha Cooper photo for our exhibition celebrating her career, he quickly said yes. Not only did he create a new original piece of art based on one of her classic “Street Play” images to hang in the gallery of our “Marth Remix” section, but he and his excellent team have also produced a new print – 250 of which sold out in 20 minutes on the Urban Nation website last night.

Whitewashed: Gonzalo Borondo Buffs His Painting Inside an Exhibition in Turin

Borondo buffed his own work. It happens occasionally, not often.

Rarely inside an exhibition.

SpY: “Earth / Tierra” at Plaza de Colón in Madrid

SpY describes his new public art project “Earth,” as “a luminous red sphere caged inside a structure.” You may wonder what this structure made from building-site scaffolding represents, especially when he says “the sphere is caged within it”. Gaseous fumes? Global Oligarchs? Free-trade agreements? K-Pop fans? We asked him:

BSA: Is the earth the color red because it is on fire, in pain, in a state of emergency, or perhaps in love?

SpY: The red earth in a cage has different meanings. 

Faile at GGA with BSA – Miami Art Week Marches On

Get in, get out, no one gets hurt. Our few days in Miami were full of adventure on the street and at parties and receptions for artists. The party rages on tonight and this weekend at the fairs and in the galleries and bars and streets of course, but our last events were interviewing Faile onstage at Wynwood Walls last night, going to the Museum of Graffiti 2nd Anniversary party/opening for FUZI, and, well there was this thing with Shepard Fairey and Major Lazer and a guy proposing marriage to his girl before the crowd…

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.24.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.24.21

Many people in New York and around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief this week when our native son from Queens got on that helicopter with his immigrant wife and
A. left the White House and,
B. flew to Florida.

But for this week anyway, the streets are saying let’s give Biden and Harris and this new administration the congratulations and the honeymoon they deserve. We wish them (and us) the best!

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Anna is a toy, Bastard Bot, CRKSHNK, Elfo, Jason Naylor, Lunge Box, Praxis VGZ, and Queen Andrea.

The meme that won the inauguration based on a photo by photojournalist Brendan Smialowski. Zui NYC brings Bernie out with his mittens. Background by Anna is a toy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
So is the present. Karma Artist in Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive)
Bastard Bot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CRKSHNK (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elfo some where in Italy. (photo © Elfo)
TV Boy in Barcelona inspired by Boticelli (photo © Lluis Olive)
TV Boy in Barcelona inspired by Boticelli (photo © Lluis Olive)
That’s Queen Andrea, not QAnon. Also for the record, this is Brooklyn Street Art, not the Boyscouts of America. Although we are easily confused with them often (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Praxis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lunge Box (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Capitol Trump Trials Through the Eyes of Political Cartoonists

Capitol Trump Trials Through the Eyes of Political Cartoonists

Okay okay everybody settle down. We’ve got a lot of excited people yelling things and making huge pronouncements about things – most full of hysteria tinged with paranoiac visions. When it all gets to be too much for us, we like to see how cartoonists are capturing the current zeitgeist, and making something funny. It’s a talented group of artists who can condense complexity and extract the humorous essence of a situation. Also, so far our move toward the right, the far-right, and the fascist has not led us to have leaders that outlaw cartoons. Fingers crossed.

© Chris Britt Creators
© Joe Heller
© Steven Breen Creators
© Steve Breen Creators / San Diego Union Tribune
© Darrin Bell
© Mike Thompson / USA Today Network
© Walt Wasserman / Tribune Content Agency
© CNN / Jones
© Bill Bramhall / Tribune Content Agency

© Bill Bramhall / Tribune Content Agency

© David Horsey / Tribune Content Agency
© John Darkow / Columbia Missourian
©Scott Stantis / Tribune Content Agency
© Lalo Alcaraz
© Ken Catalino Creators
© Ken Catalino Creators
© Ken Catalino Creators
© Ken Catalino Creators
© Steve Bell / The Guardian
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BIDEN Basks in Barcelona With TV Boy and Rocky V.

BIDEN Basks in Barcelona With TV Boy and Rocky V.

Art in the streets around the world has been signaling the beginning of a new US presidential era, even as Trump continues to deny it.

TV Boy. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Many, though not all, leaders from countries around the world have offered congratulations and words of praise and recognition to Joe Biden as the next president. In some cases artists have taken to the streets to express their support with their art – as in the case here by Barcelona-based TV Boy.

TV Boy. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

The pose recalls the poster for the movie Rocky V, which may be the number of times Biden ran for president before he finally won. We’ll have to confirm with our fact-checkers.

TV Boy. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.08.20

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.08.20

Did you get Covid this year? Lose your job? Get evicted?

Look in the mirror. You may be Donald Trump.

The difference is that you may be poor – but Donald Trump never was, and won’t ever be.

New York’s least favorite son has embarrassed New York, himself, his family, and the entire country on the world stage so many times in the last 4, 10, 25 years that it seems hardly worth mentioning one more time. That he was evicted this week on such a low margin is our shame. That fifty-seven percent of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $500 unexpected expense, 54 million people in America face food insecurity, and 30 million have no healthcare insurance at all, — these are all our national shame.

And this stuff didn’t just start in 2017. Regardless which millionaire is in or has been in the White House or which millionaires are in the presidents cabinet or which millionaire is telling you what the news is on CNBCFOXMSABCBS, your neighbors’ collective standard of living has been going down for decades and even life expectancy is going backward.

Identity politics will not put food in the cupboard or give you healthcare.

We badly need reconciliation with each other. If we keep fighting each other we are more easily divided, and conquered. And the next demagogue will be far more competent. Now with a new president-elect, America has a lot of work as we head into the Greater Depression.

When it comes to street art New York’s streets always tell us what time it is.

Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Baston714, BKFoxx, Buff Monster, Consume Art, Dylan Egon, Go Paint the World, Indecline, NNR, Peachee Blue, Pure Genius, Matt Siren, Tony DePew, and Timothy Goodman.

Timothy Goodman (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Matt Siren and Tony DePew new collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Baston714 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
NNR (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Consume Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BK Foxx (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Indecline – Pure Genius (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Go Paint The World (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Peachee Blue (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dylan Egon (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Harry on the front porch of his home. Manhattan, NYC. November 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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You’re Fired!!!

You’re Fired!!!

New Yorkers are currently literally dancing in the streets, banging on pots and pans out their windows, honking car horns, playing drums, setting off fireworks – since the word spread that the city’s least-favorite son lost the presidential re-election.

From large expressions, to this very small one on a sticker that borrows from Banksy, the voice of street artists regarding the policies and behaviors of this would-be dictator has been nearly unanimous for four years.

Today it became official. “You’re fired!”

Hecksign (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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US Election Day 2020, Trump v. Biden, and Politics on the Street

US Election Day 2020, Trump v. Biden, and Politics on the Street

Street art in the last five years has been lit on fire with politically themed illustrations, installations, slogans, opinions, and insights that implore passersby to take action and to be engaged in the direction that society is leading.

WoreOne Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The once-consolidated TV-print media system has had many challengers in social media and websites, though those now too are being censored, demonetized, and throttled by the corporations and certain state actors who have infiltrated and hampered the free-flow of opinions and political discourse under various “honorable” guises.

Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Because major political machines and the corporate media don’t typically use the streets as a communication platform in US cities, aside from the occasional poster campaign for a candidate, the rather unfiltered collection of views and voices come through.

The inheritor of the historically revered “soapbox”, a physical and metaphorical location in a public square where people put forward their opinions, beliefs, philosophies, and ideologies in an impassioned voice, street art currently thrills, perplexes, informs, and annoys. It reaches the tech-savvy and the greater majority of our neighbors who are not on social media.

Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Given that these opinions could be easily buffed or blighted by any passerby yet are permitted to stay, there is an argument that art on the street is the present Vox Populi, a truer representation of the voice of the people.

In the city that knew him first, Donald Trump is given special scrutiny and particular invective for his actions, inactions, behaviors in the role he has occupied as president of the country since 2016. His official opponent in the race is a career politician, an historically right-wing version of a left-wing party, is somehow positioned as a better alternative for an electorate who is desperate for something, anything better than what they have.

By night’s end (or week end, or year end) we will know who is the winner of today’s election; Trump or Anti-Trump. No matter who prevails, street art will undoubtedly weigh in with its opinion.

Raddington Falls Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raddington Falls, Little Ricky, Diva Dogla. Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mike171, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
HeartsNY, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Robert Fontanelli, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dylan Egon, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Joseph Grazi, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Butterfly Mush, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eye Sticker, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Anna Lustberg, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Individual Activist, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wall Of Lies, Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wall Of Lies. Detail. Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wall Of Lies. Detail. Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wall Of Lies. Detail. Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wall Of Lies. Detail. Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wall Of Lies. Detail. Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wall Of Lies. Detail. Vote2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Juanjo Surace’s View on Trump and The USA: “It’s a Trap!”

Juanjo Surace’s View on Trump and The USA: “It’s a Trap!”

Political cartoons and murals sometimes overlap but rarely as impressively and with such frightening a warning as this new one from Juanjo Surace in Barcelona.

The skill and quality and powerful depiction all come together here from across the Atlantic Ocean, perhaps a clarion summation of how those outside the U.S. now see us and the current occupant of the White House.

Juanjo Surace. Plaza De Las 3 Xemeneies, Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

The artist is professionally a painter, sculptor, and animation professor. He says he is self taught and that his deepest love for his craft is expressed when spray it on the street.

All aerosol. Nine hours.

He says the new piece is entitled, “It’s a Trap!”

Juanjo Surace. Plaza De Las 3 Xemeneies, Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
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INDECLINE Mounts “People’s Prison” Inside Trump Hotel

INDECLINE Mounts “People’s Prison” Inside Trump Hotel

An ingenious pop-up installation of politically charged art and performance arrived at a Trump hotel in Manhattan yesterday and departed just as fast, with the anonymous Street Art troupe INDECLINE declaring the exhibition “The People’s Prison”.

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The clandestine and complex staging inside the belly of the commercial beast was completely legal and very temporary, leaving behind a pristine suite for the next guests to enjoy, but the interim concrete prison was darkly lit and gave off a cool, dank aura.

Open for invited guests for only a short window of time, the full-scale mise en scene gave a sordid and dark view of present and past politics and power, featuring the leader of the free world in a chandeliered prison with McDonald’s fast food wrappers and live rats at his feet.

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The seated central performer stares out between the bars at the vertical red and white bars of American flags hung as canvasses with new paintings by invited artists like Street Artists Ann Lewis aka GILF!, LMNOPI, and Jesse Hazlip, and studio artists like dark pop queen Molly Crabapple and the multi-disciplinary Panik Collective.

While you take in the completely temporary scene, helpful but quiet INDECLINE members in black ski masks shuffle furtively in your periphery, ready to answer questions or preemptively admonish you not to touch anything. In a time of repeated accusations of “fake news”, demagoguery and disinformation, this real-life fabrication of a dire prison reality is jarring when mounted as it is inside another garishly shiny hotel fabrication of reality.

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each painting is a portrait of an outspoken historian, linguist, political scientist, academic, activist, or philosopher of some renown – a group of current and past thinkers and speakers who collectively would blow the roof off a building with their common sense and de/constructively radical ideas.

But these ideas from people like Noam Chompsky, Betty Friedan, Howard Zinn, Erica Garner, and Edward Snowden rarely make it into the White House or are given voice by the infotainment screen media or newspapers. “History is bigger than any given season, and historically, the greatest heroes have stood for something deeper than politics,” say the artists of INDECLINE in a statement.

“Our biggest concerns is that we, as American citizens – but also on an even deeper level, as Global Citizens – not forget that we are all stranded here on this rock together, and that the greatest crime committed by President Trump is his attempt to profit from and exacerbate the kind of divisiveness that safeguards a true and natural democracy, one that attempts to protect all of its members equally, not draw lines that become margins where those least-represented financially can be quietly swept away.”

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you have come to expect from this inventive and risk-taking troupe, the execution and attention to detail here is as impressive as the sentiments are powerful. This time the location of their intervention is integral to the message.

We interviewed INDECLINE to understand more about “The People’s Prison”

BSA: You chose a number of influential thinkers and philosophers to highlight in a place where they probably wouldn’t even be recognized. Have the wheels completely come off the cart?

INDECLINE: Some of these celebrated figures will most certainly be recognizable here in America and abroad. We did specifically choose a handful of lesser known activists and freedom fighter, but that was simply to shine the light on their efforts and educate the masses to their existence and fighting spirit.

 

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: The concept of trespassing is central to Street Art and graffiti practice. In this case you are not illegally trespassing but perhaps culturally or intellectually?

INDECLINE: While the room was booked using the traditional steps, the installation was still completely unauthorized. We’re also pretty sure snuggling rats into the property violated a number of laws.

 

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Some say that Trump the man is a Trojan Horse to get these insidious ideas inside the halls of power. Is this project a trojan horse of a different color?

INDECLINE: We would agree with that wholeheartedly. Trump is certainly a Trojan Horse. However, he has waged a war with millions of creative and fearless soldiers who risk everything to practice radical thinking, provocative protest techniques, poetic dissidence and subterfuge. The war started a longtime ago and INDECLINE believe it will be the people, not the powerful who will stand victorious.


The second half of this two-part exhibition will replicate “The People’s Prison” in a Pasadena art gallery next month with the sales benefiting a range of organizations from the Native American Rights Fund to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Organizers say part two of this coast to coast show will open April 11.

More details after the video at the end of this posting.

 

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE: The making of “The People’s Prison”

 

Website: www.thisisindecline.com


Below is a list of the participating artists in “The People’s Prison” show along with the figures they painted and chosen charity information related to the April 11th art show.

Anna van Schaap – Betty Friedan – The Sasha Center

Ann Lewis – Erica Garner – Young New Yorkers

Anthony Aspero – Edward Snowden – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

AWARE – Noam Chomsky – Help International

Bandit – Rodolfo “Corky Gonzalez” – Children’s Center for Cancer

Danny Green – Hunter S. Thompson – Alexandria House

Gabe Larson – Muhammed Ali  – Southern Poverty Law Center

Jesse Hazelip – Cornel West – Indigenous Environmental Network

LMNOPi – Lyla June Johnston – Red Willow Farm

Molly Crabapple – Angela Davis – New Sanctuary Bond Fund

The Panik Collective – Howard Zinn – Common Cause Education

Randy Janson – Leonard Peltier – Native American Rights Fund

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.30.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.30.16

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We haven’t had such a frightening Halloween in years! – and we know we speak for many readers as well while we all look at the monstrous tabloid TV parade that is scaring the electorate. Boo!

Luckily we found some treats on the street! And a few tricks, but those are for our paid site, wink wink.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Bifido, Buff Monster, City Kitty, Dee Dee, Disto, Droid, Flood, Myth, Nychos, R2, REVS, RODA, Rusk, See True Fame, Sipros, Smells, Smith, Sweet Toof, and Texas.

Our top image: City Kitty is ready for Halloween(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster’s Mister Melty playing Narcissus with great aplomb. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster for Mana Urban Arts Project in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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REVS and friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Roda . Droid . R2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RUSK . DROID (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SMELLS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos for Mana Urban Arts Project in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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See True Fame in Long Island City, Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The more times change, the more they stay exactly the same. Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bifido has a new work in Dugenta, Italy that alludes to the harsh living conditions for some that creates wealth for certain industries. The name of the work borrows from the Beatles song: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” (photo © Bifido)

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Sipros gives a ride to Stan for Mana Urban Arts Projects in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Texas. Disto (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Disto. Gane (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sweet Toof (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flood (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flood (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Hudson River, NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday 10.28.16

BSA Film Friday 10.28.16

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

Now screening :
1. Louis Masai: The Art Of Beeing. New York City
2. “BILLS” from InDecline
3. The All-Seeing Trump in an NYC Park from The Dusty Rebel
4. Erik Vestman & Nils Petter: Up On The Roofs

 

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BSA Special Feature: Louis Masai: The Art Of Beeing. New York City

He’s doing it! The cross country trip/tour of painting murals that draws attention to the entire species that we are killing off. Louis Masai calls it “The Art of Beeing,” and here’s the first city of the tour, NYC.

 

“BILLS” from InDecline

Modern anti-hero artists named InDecline have produced this new rage-filled art film full of action, violence, politics, and even comedy.

The All-Seeing Trump in an NYC Park from The Dusty Rebel

A new video this week features Trump as a fortune teller – until the city evicts him.

Here’s how The Dusty Rebel describes it:

“A mysterious Donald Trump fortune-telling machine has been popping up all over New York City. In Tribeca Park, dozens gathered around to hear the automatic Trump list off his various visions for America’s future. One of the dozens of misfortunes was: ‘Not every woman is a dog – only the fat, disgusting ones. And don’t worry: in the future, when I am president, I’ll do something about it. We are gonna make America SEXY again!’ After the Zoltar-like Trump finished, the machine dispenses a paper fortune, which states things like, ‘The future is not to be feared, unless you are Black, Mexican, or Muslim.’

The Tribeca Park installation lasted a short time before a man, who never identifies himself, demanded the All-Seeing Trump machine be removed. Quickly the press ask him who he is and what authority he has to ask for the machine to be removed. While he never answers, the people with him are from the NYC Park Department. At one point, things getting a bit tense between the press and the Parks Department workers.”

More from The Dusty Rebel

Erik Vestman & Nils Petter: Up On The Roofs

“Sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Swedish duo Erik and Nils want to be higher than the birds, up on the rooftops. It is a simple spark for your imagination, delivering you back to storybooks and children’s stories with a silhouette on the roof against the sky. With the right  inspiration, you can add your own story.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.18.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.18.16

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We debated whether or not to open today’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week on a political note with new Donald Trump related art or with an uplifting image of an almost universally recognized sweet little bird: The Sparrow.

The Sparrow won.

Who hasn’t seen them enjoying a good old dust bath or just happily munching on whatever crumbs fall from the public while eating al fresco. They have natural predators in the city and country and have been featured in songs, poems, books for centuries. More recently Chairman Mao Zedong ordered them to be killed The Kill a Sparrow Campaign in 1958 – where millions of them were killed by citizens, unleashing an environmental disaster of locusts destroying food crops, and people starving.

We prefer to think of these little birds in terms of the gospel hymn “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”

“I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches over me.”

This week two street pieces we discovered feature this finely feathered friend by LMNOPI and Elbow-Toe aka Brian Adam Douglas.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Brian Adam Douglas, Dirty Bandits, Indecline, Joe Caslin, Leon Keer, LMNOPI, MSK, SacSix, Swoon, The Flying Dutchman, Vexta, and WK Interact.

Our top image: LMNOPI.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brian Adams Douglas. Detail. Speaking of sparrows. They make and appearance on this portrait. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brian Adams Douglas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SWOON. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SWOON (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline. Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In New Jersey on a rooftop the passing car traffic is now able to catch a glimpse of a nude statue of Donald Trump. The anonymous artists collective Indecline has done of number of recent installations addressing political topics in the New York area. This one has garnered national coverage in the media. There’s not much that we can say that hasn’t already been addressed elsewhere.

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline. MSK . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leon Keer. Aruba Art Fair. Aruba. (photo © Leon Keer)

Title: ‘Niets aan te geven / Nothing to declare’. The 3D painting depicts the story on the crisis of critical shortages of food and medicine in Venezuela and the effect it has on the nearby island of Aruba. The location were the painting was made is behind the former customs office in San Nicolas. -LK
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VEXTA . Dirty Bandits (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Caslin. Waterford Walls International Street Art Festival (photo © Joe Caslin)

A new mural in Waterford, Ireland by artist Joe Caslin speaks to the topic of mental health and our awareness of it. On the façade of an abandoned hotel that overlooks the city, Caslin created this figure, quiet and troubled, as part of a mural festival there. The wheatpasted drawing by Caslin is entitled ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine’, which translates as ‘we live protected under each other’s shadow’.

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Flying Dutch Man (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Flying Dutch Man (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Jersey City, New Jersey. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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