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60 Artists at a Moscow Street Art Biennale: “Artmossphere 2016”

60 Artists at a Moscow Street Art Biennale: “Artmossphere 2016”

The Moscow Manege Hosts International and Local Street Artists for a Biennale

Moscow presents a Street Artist’s exhibition, but the streets have almost none.

When Street Art and it’s associated cousins move inside the possible outcomes are many. With exhibitions like this you are seeing urban becoming very contemporary.brooklyn-street-art-sozyone-jaime-rojo-09-04-2016-web

Belgian artist SozyOne at Artmossphere Biennale 2016, Moscow. photo © Jaime Rojo

The Artmossphere Biennale jump-starts the debate for many about how to best present the work of Street Artists and organizers here in Moscow chose a broad selection of curators from across a spectrum of private, commercial, academic and civically-inspired perspectives to present a solid range of artists from the graffiti and Street Art world inside a formal hall.

To be clear, unless it is illegal and on the street, it is not graffiti nor Street Art. That is the prevailing opinion about these terms among experts and scholars of various stripes and it is one we’re comfortable with. But then there are the commercial and cultural influences of the art world and the design industries, with their power to reshape and loosen terms from their moorings. Probably because these associated art movements are happening and taking shape before our eyes and not ensconced in centuries of scholarship we can expect that we will continue to witness the morphing our language and terminologies, sometimes changing things in translation.


A working carousel provides wildly waving optics for riders in this room by The London Police at the Artmossphere Biennale 2016, Moscow. photo © Jaime Rojo

Definitions aside, when you think of more organic Street Art scenes which are always re-generating themselves in the run-down abandoned sectors of cities like Sao Paulo, New York, Melbourne, Paris, Mexico City, London, and Berlin, it is interesting to consider that this event takes place nearly on the grounds of the Kremlin under museum like security.

An international capital that ensures cleanly buffed walls within hours of the appearance of any unapproved Street Art or graffiti, Moscow also boasts a growing contingent of art collectors who are young enough to appreciate the cultural currency of this continuously mutating hybrid of graffiti, hip hop, DIY, muralism, and art-school headiness. The night clubs and fashionable kids here are fans of events like hip-hop and graffiti jams, sometimes presented as theater and other times as “learning workshops” and the like.


Madrid-based Paris born artist Remed at the Artmossphere Biennale 2016, Moscow. photo © Jaime Rojo

Plugging into this idea of street and youth culture is not a singular fascination – there is perhaps an association with the rebellious anti-authoritarian nature of unregulated art in the streets that fuels the interest of many. With graffiti and hip-hop culture adoption as a template, newer expressions of Street Art culture are attractive as well with high profile artists with rebel reputations are as familiar in name here as in many cities. New festivals and events sometimes leverage this renegade free-spirit currency for selling tourism and brands and real estate, but here there also appears to be an acute appreciation for its fine art expression – urban contemporary art.


So ardent is the support for Artmossphere here that a combination of public and private endorsements and financial backing have brought it to be showcased in a place associated with high-culture and counter-culture known as the Moscow Manege (Мане́ж). The location somehow fits the rebellious spirit that launched these artists even if its appearance wouldn’t lead you to think that.

The 19th century neo-classical exhibition hall stands grandly adjacent to Red Square and was built as an indoor riding school large enough to house a battalion of 2,000 soldiers during the 1800s. It later became host to many art exhibitions in the 20th century including a famous avant-garde show in 1962 that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev famously derided as displaying ‘degenerate’ art.


Polish painter Sepe says his wall speaks to those who would pull the strings behind the scenes. He finished it within three days at the Artmossphere Biennale 2016, Moscow. photo © Jaime Rojo

One of the artists whose work was criticized, painter and sculptor Ernst Neizvestny, challenged the label defiantly and won accolades afterward during his five decade career that followed, including receiving many awards and his work being collected worldwide by museums. Russian President Vladimir Putin is quoted as calling him “a recognised master and one of the best contemporary sculptors”. In January of this year at the age of 90, Neizvestny’s return to Menage featured an extensive exhibition. He passed away August 9th (The Moscow Times), only weeks before Artmossphere opened.

In some kindred spirit many of these artists at Artmossphere have done actual illegal work on the streets around the world during their respective creative evolutions, and graffiti and Street Art as a practice have both at various times been demonized, derided, dismissed and labeled by critics in terms synonymous with “degenerate”.


“Moscow is mostly very clean,” says Artmossphere co-founder and Creative Director Sabine Chagina, who walks with guests during a sunny afternoon in a busy downtown area just after the opening. “But we do have some good graffiti crews,” she says as we round the corner from the famous Bolshoi Theater and soon pass Givenchy and Chanel and high-end luxury fashion stores. Shortly we see a mural nearby by French artist Nelio, who painted a lateral abstracted geometric, possibly cubist, piece on the side of a building here in 2013 as part of the LGZ Festival.


Barcelona based Miss Van had one of her paintings translated into a woven wool rug with artisans in Siberia. Here is a detail at the Artmossphere Biennale 2016, Moscow. photo © Jaime Rojo.


Miss Van at the Artmossphere Biennale 2016, Moscow. photo © Jaime Rojo

If there was graffiti here in Moscow, it was not on full display very readily in this part of town. In driving tours, rides on the extensive metro train system, and in street hikes across the city a visitor may find that much of the illegal street art and graffiti common to other global capitals is illusive due to a general distaste for it and a dedicated adherence to buffing it out quickly.

For a pedestrian tourist Moscow appears in many ways as fully contemporary and architecturally rich as any international world-class metropolis. One of the cleanest places you’ll visit, the metro is almost museum-like in some instances; the historic districts spotless, public fountains, famed statues of important historical figures. All is efficiently ordered and – a welcome surprise – most public space is free of advertisements interrupting your view and your thoughts.


Chile-born, Berlin-based artist and sculptor Pablo Benzo curated by The Art Union at the Artmossphere Biennale 2016, Moscow. photo © Jaime Rojo

Come to think of it, the sense of commercial-celebrity media saturation that is present in other cities doesn’t appear to permeate the artists psyche here at the Biennale – so there’s not much of the ironic Disney-Marilyn-supermodel-Kardashian-skewering of consumerism and shallowness in this exhibition that you may find in other Urban Art events.

Also, unlike a Street Art-splattered show in London for example that may rudely mock Queen Elizabeth or art in New York streets that present Donald Trump styled as a pile of poo and Hillary Clinton as Heath Ledger’s Joker, we didn’t see over-the-top Putin satires either. So personality politics don’t seem directly addressed in this milieu. According to some residents there was an outcropping of huge festival murals by Street Artists here just a few years ago but more recently they have been painted over with patriotic or other inspiring murals, while others have been claimed for commercial interests.


Brazilian Claudio Ethos at Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo


Starved for some gritty street scenes, it is all the more interesting to see the one live mural painting that we were able to catch – a 6-story red-lined op-art tag by the French graffiti writer L’Atlas. Far from Manege, placed opposite a cineplex in what appears to be a shopping mall situated far from the city’s historical and modern centers, our guide tells us half-jokingly that he is not sure that we are still in Moscow.


L’Atlas on a Moscow wall for Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo

Here L’Atlas says that he has painted his bar-code-like and cryptic nom-de-plume with an assistant on a cherry picker for a few days and he says that no one has stopped to ask him about it, neither to comment or criticize. Actually one man early one morning returning home from a disco did engage him briefly, but it was difficult to tell what he was talking about as he may have had a few drinks.

This lack of public commentary is mainly notable because in other cities the comments from passersby can be so ubiquitous that artists deliberately wear stereo headphones to prevent interruption and to be more productive. Sometimes the headphones are not actually playing music.


The inside installation by L’Atlas for Artmossphere features multiple abstract iterations of his tag in day glo. photo © Jaime Rojo


This Street Art Biennale nonetheless is gaining a higher profile among Urban Art collectors and its associated art dealers and the opening and later auction reaches directly to this audience. Included this year with the primary “Invisible Walls” exhibition are satellite events in association with local RuArts Gallery, Tsekh Belogo at Winzavod, and the Optika Pavilion (No. 64) at VDNKh.

The opening night event itself is wide and welcoming, a mostly youthful and populist affair with celebratory speeches and loosely organized group photos and an open bar. Added together with a press conference, a live DJ, virtual reality headsets, interactive artworks, major private business sponsors, government grants, ministers of culture, gallerists, and quirkily fashionable art fans, this is a polished presentation of a global culture that is filtered through the wide lense of the street.


Wes21 from Switzerland is a graffiti artist blending reality and fantasy in this lunar-like landscape for Artmossphere features multiple abstract iterations of his tag in day glo. photo © Jaime Rojo

Perhaps because the exhibition hall is a cavernous rectangle with exposed beams on the ceiling and many of the constructed white walls that mimic vendor booths, it has the air of an art fair. There are thankfully no salespeople pacing back and forth watching your level of interest. People tend to cluster before installations and talk, laugh, share a story, pose for a selfie.


Similar in theme to the multidisciplinary exhibit about borders and boundaries curated by Raphael Schacter this spring in St. Petersburg at the Street Art Museum, Artmossphere asked artists to think about and address the “invisible walls” in contemporary life and societies.


Domo Collective present “Fair Play III” an enormous world map functioning ping pong table with a triple razor wire fence right down the middle. “We play an unhealthy game in which nobody believed to be responsible.” At Artmossphere 2016 in Moscow. Photo ©Jaime Rojo

The theme seems very appropriately topical as geopolitical, trade-related, social, digital, and actual walls appear to be falling down rapidly today while the foundations of new ones are taking shape. Catalyzed perhaps by the concept and practices of so-called “globalization” – with its easy flow of capital and restricted flow of humans, we are all examining the walls that are shaping our lives.

With 60+ international artists working simultaneously throughout this massive hall, newly built walls are the imperative for displaying art, supporting it, dividing it. These are the visible ones. With so many players and countries represented here, one can only imagine that there are a number of invisible walls present as well.


Domo Collective at Artmossphere 2016 in Moscow. Photo ©Jaime Rojo

The theme has opened countless interpretations in flat and sculptural ways, often expressed in the vernacular of fine art with arguable nods to mid-20th century modernists, folk art, fantasy, representational art, abstract, conceptual, computer/digital art, and good old traditional graffiti tagging. Effectively it appears that when Street Art and graffiti artists pass the precipice into a multi-disciplinary exhibition such as this, one can reframe Urban/Street as important tributaries to contemporary art – but will they re-direct the flow or be subsumed within it?

The work often can be so far removed from street practice that you don’t recognize it as related.


Vitaly Sy created a visualization of “Fear” as the main causes of internal barriers. The pieces are built around a central axis with elements at right angle to one another, and the man’s head on a swivel. Artmossphere 2016 in Moscow. Photo ©Jaime Rojo

Aside from putting work up in contested public space without permission and under cover, an average visitor may not see a common thread. These works run aesthetic to the conceptual, painterly to the sculptural, pure joy and pure politics. But then, that is we began to see in the streets as well when the century turned to the 21st and art students in large numbers in cities like New York and London and Berlin skipped the gatekeepers, taking their art directly to the public.

Perhaps beneath the surface or just above it, there is a certain anarchistic defiance, a critique of social, economic, political issues, a healthy skepticism toward everyone and everything that reeks of hypocritical patriarchal power structures. Perhaps we’re just projecting.


Moscow Manege exterior opening night of Artmossphere 2016 in Moscow. Photo courtesy of and © Artmossphere

Looking over the 60+ list of names, it may be striking to some that very few are people of color, especially in view of the origins of the graffiti scene. Similarly, the percentage of women represented is quite small. We are familiar with this observation about Urban Art in general today, and this show mirrors the European and American scene primarily, with notable exceptions such as Instagrafite’s home-based Brazilian crew of 4 artists. As only one such sampling of a wide and dispersed scene, it is not perhaps fair to judge it by artists race, gender, or background, but while we speak of invisible walls it is worth keeping our eyes on as this “scene” is adopted into galleries, museums, and private collections.

Following are some of the artists on view at Artmossphere:


Certainly Moscow native ASKE is gently mocking our mutated modern practices of communicating with his outsized blocked abstraction of a close couple riveted to their respective electronic devices, even unaware of one another.


Moscow Street Artist ASKE at Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo



“Precariat” by Polish Street Artist NeSpoon at Artmossphere 2016 with Urban Nation photo © Jaime Rojo

Warsaw based NeSpoon creates a sculpture of another couple. Heroically presenting her vision of what she calls the iconic “Graffiti Writer” and “Street Art Girl”, they face the future with art instruments in hand ready to make their respective marks. She says her work is emblematic of a permanent financial insecurity for a generation she calls the “PRECARIAT”.


“Precariat” by Polish Street Artist NeSpoon at Artmossphere 2016 with Urban Nation photo © Jaime Rojo

“ ‘Precariat’ is the name of the new emerging social class,” says curator, organizer, and NeSpoon’s partner Marcin Rutkiewicz when talking about the piece during the press conference. “These are young people living without a predictable future, without good jobs, without social security. It’s a class in the making and probably these people don’t have any consciousness or global unity of interest. But they are the engines of protest for people all over the world – like Occupy Wall Street, Gezi Park in Turkey, or the Arab Spring.”


“Precariat” by Polish Street Artist NeSpoon at Artmossphere 2016 with Urban Nation photo © Jaime Rojo

The artist developed the sculpture specifically for this exhibition and planned it over the course of a year or so. Born of a social movement in Poland by the same name, the sculpture and its sticker campaign on the street represent “a kind of protest against building walls between people who are under the same economical and social situation all over the world,” says Rutkiewicz.



Artist Li-Hill says his piece “Guns, Germs, and Steel” directly relates to the divisions between civilizations due to a completely uneven playing field perpetuated through generations. Inspired by the 1997 trans-disciplinary non-fiction book by Jared Diamond, Li-Hill says the Russian sculptural group called “The Horse Tamers” represents mankind’s “ability to harness power of the natural world and to be able to manipulate it for its advantage.”


“Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Li-Hill at Artmossphere 2016 with Urban Nation photo © Jaime Rojo

“The horse is one of the largest signifiers and is a catalyst for advancement in society because it has been for military use, for agriculture, for transportation,” he says. “It was the most versatile of the animals and the most powerful.” Here he painted a mirror image, balanced over a potential microbial disaster symbol, and he and the team are building a mirrored floor to “give it this kind of infinite emblem status.”


The artist Li-Hill inside his piece at Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo


Afloat in the middle of some of these walled areas M-City from Poland is choosing to be more direct thematically in his three dimensional installation of plywood, plaster, aerosol and bucket paint, and machine blown insulation.

“It is an anti-war piece,” he says, and he speaks about the walls between nations and a losing battle of dominance that ensures everyone will be victim.”


The artist M-City at Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo

“It’s kind of a monster who destroys arms,” he says of this temporary sculpture with a lording figure crushing tanks below.

“He is destroying the tanks but at the same time he is also a destroyer – so it’s a big circle. Nothing is positive that can come out of this. There is always someone bigger.” He says the piece is inspired by the political situations in Europe today and the world at large.


Minneapolis based HOTTEA usually does very colorful yarn installations transforming a huge public space, but for Artmossphere he is taking the conceptual route. The walk-in room based on the Whack-A-Mole game presents holes which a visitor can walk under and rise above.


The artist Hot Tea at Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo

Visitors/participants will experience the physical separation of space, and perhaps contemplate facing one another and interacting or ignoring one another. It is something he says he hopes will draw attention to how many walls we have allowed ourselves to distract from human interactions.




Climb over a wall to slide into Sick Boy’s “The Rewards System”. photo © Jaime Rojo

Englands’ Sick Boy calls his project The Rewards System, where guests are invited to climb a ladder over a brick wall and descend down a slide into a darkened house, setting off a series of sensors that activate a variety of multisensory lights and tantalizing patterns. After landing and being rewarded the visitor is forced to exit on hands and knees through a too-small square door.


A young visitor exits Sick Boy’s “The Rewards System”. photo © Jaime Rojo

“The concept of the show is about invisible walls so I was thinking about there being barriers in your life and I thought about the reward of endorphins one experiences for achieving a task – a small amount of endorphins. So I thought I would build a house that signifies the reward system,” he explains.



Temporary installations : Slab Fence PO-2. Derek Bruno. photo © Jaime Rojo

Atlanta/Seattle based Derek Bruno reached back to the Leonid Brezhnev years and into Moscow’s Gorky Park for his series of site specific installations based on Soviet Cement Fence type PO-2. The iconic fence was re-created in a nearby studio and Bruno shot photographs of his 10-15 minute “interventions” in the park itself, revisiting a field of design called “technical aesthetics.”


A photo on display for his installation from Derek Bruno “MOSCOW PO2 Escalator” for Artmossphere. Photo ©Derek Bruno

In a statement Bruno explains “Since the end of the Soviet Union, the iconic fence has become a persistent and ever present reminder of former delineations of space; while new forms of boundaries shape the digital and sociopolitical landscapes. “


Remi Rough is known for his smartly soaring abstract geometry in painted murals and smaller scale works, and for Moscow he wanted to strip it back to the basics, approaching a white box with one undulating graphic composition.

“My idea was that Moscow’s a bit ‘over the top’,” he says, and he decided to strip back the audacity and go for simplicity, which actually takes courage.


Remi Rough, “Fold”. photo © Jaime Rojo

“I said ‘you know what?’ – I want to do something with the cheapest materials you can possibly get. These two pieces literally cost 3000 rubles ($50). It’s made of felt, it’s like a lambs wool. I think they use it for flooring for construction.” Depending on the angle, the pink blotted material may translate as a swath of otherworldly terrain or a metaphorical bold vision with all the hot air let out.

“I wanted to do something peaceful and calming and use natural materials – something that’s different from what I usually do – but I use the folds in the fabric and the pink color – two things that I usually use a lot.”


Moscow’s Alexey Luka is also challenging himself to stretch creatively by taking his wall collage installations of found wood and converting them into free-standing sculptures.

“For this biennale I tried to make something different so now I am going from the assemblages to 3-D.” The constructed media is warm and ordered, reserved but not without whimsy.


Alexey Luka at Artmossphere Biennale 2016 photo © Jaime Rojo

“My work is made from found wood – I use it with what I found on the street and my shapes and my graphics – so it’s kind of an experiment with three dimensions,” and he confirms that most of this wood is sourced here in Moscow.

We ask him about the number of eyes that peer out from his installation. Perhaps these eyes are those of Muscovites? “They are just like observers,” he says.



Mimmo aka Rub Kandy at Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo

Torino’s Mimmo recreated the Moscow Olympic Village from the 1980 games in miniature presented as on a plainly brutalist platform. The sculpture is austere in detail on the hulking towers save for the tiny graffiti tags, throwies, rollers, extinguisher tags, and the like at the bases and on the roofs.

Curator Christian Omodeo tells us that Mimmo recreated the massive village based on his direct study of the site as it stands today; a housing project that has hundreds of families — and a hip-hop / graffiti scene as well.


Mimmo aka Rub Kandy at Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo

It is striking that the scale reduces the impact of the graffiti – yet when experienced at eye-level it retains a potency. Even so, by recasting the relationship between viewer and mark-making, this graffiti actually seems “cute” because of its relative size to the viewer.


Brad Downey and Alexander Petrelli hi-jacked the opening of the Biennale by circulating within the exhibit as a gallery with artworks for sale. With Downey performing as a street-huckster pushing his own art products, Mr. Patrelli showcased new Downey photo collages and drawings inside his mobile “Overcoat Gallery”


Alexander Petrelli exhibits work by Brad Downey at Artmossphere 2016. photo © Jaime Rojo

A charming Moscow art star / gallerist / performance artist, Mr. Patrelli is also a perennial character at openings and events in the city, by one account having appeared at 460 or so events since 1992 with his flashing overcoat. The artworks also feature Patrelli, completing a self-referential meta cycle that continued to circle the guests at the exhibition.

International artists participating in the Artmossphere Biennale 2016 include: Akacorleone, Alex Senna, Brad Downey, Chu (Doma), Orilo (Doma), Claudio Ethos, Demsky, Christopher Derek Bruno, Filippo Minelli, Finok, Galo, Gola Hundun, Hot Tea, Jaz, Jessie and Katey, Johannes Mundinger, L’Atlas, LiHill, LX One, M-city, TC, Mario Mankey, Martha Cooper, Miss Van, Nespoon, Millo, Pablo Benzo, Pastel, Paulo Ito, Proembrion, Remed, Remi Rough, Rub Kandy, Run, Sepe, Sickboy, Smash 137, Sozyone Gonsales, SpY, The London Police, Trek Matthews, Wes 21.

This article is a result of a 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

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Ganzeer’s Graphic Novel Imagines a “Solar Grid”

Ganzeer’s Graphic Novel Imagines a “Solar Grid”

The Solar Grid is a serialized sci-fi graphic novel in 9 parts by Ganzeer, the Egyptian Street Artist whose work on the streets during the Arab Spring caused him to fear for his safety, escaping to the US and in the process garnering press.

His work as an artist or course continues and this summer he is promoting his illustrated vision of a future based on his observations of the present wholesale consolidation and hoarding of planetary resources and the accompanying interruptions in our fundamental natural systems.


Ganzeer. The Solar Grid. Photo still from the video.

“The concept of the Aswan dam is controlling a central natural resource. I figured if I was to apply it to the whole planet, that resource is obviously the sun. That’s what we see in the future with the two kids. As the sun sets, the solar grid automatically turns on and turns off as soon as the sun rises again,” he tells David Batty in The Guardian, as he describes the story that unfolds in chapters.

The next chapter is released in August, which is also when the list of artists participating in Magic City in Dresden will be released. We can happily tell you the Ganzeer is one of the them.

Learn more about The Solar Grid HERE.


Ganzeer. The Solar Grid. Photo still from the video.


Ganzeer. The Solar Grid. Photo still from the video.

Ganzeer: The Solar Grid. Trailer

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Greetings From Berlin – Soaring Walls from HowNosm, London Police Borondo, Van Der Sluijs, Super A

Greetings From Berlin – Soaring Walls from HowNosm, London Police Borondo, Van Der Sluijs, Super A

Traveling around Berlin this weekend we took a couple of trains and an unexpectedly looooong walk into the neighborhood of Tegel in search of Urban Nation’s huge One Wall installations that we haven’t been able to catch in person. The gentle breezes, smells of leafy trees, and unending barrage of mocking birds was punctuated by the excited fans of German football yelling out car windows and waving flags.


Collin Van Der Sluijs . Super A.  Detail. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here in this semi-suburban breezy summer bliss far from the Kreuzburg artists enclave that Street Art and graffiti fans think of Berlin for, you’ll find Tegel boasts these four towering pieces by How & Nosm, The London Police, Borondo, and a collaboration between Collin Van Der Sluijs and Super A. Singularly, each one impresses. Seeing the quartet of soaring murals all at once; let’s just say it is well worth the trip.

After that, we figured out how to take the double decker public bus back to the U6 train line. Berlin has this public transportation thing nailed.


Collin Van Der Sluijs. Super A. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Borondo. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Borondo.  Detail. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


How & Nosm. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


How & Nosm. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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Young Announces Construction of Urban Nation Museum

Young Announces Construction of Urban Nation Museum

Berlin Begins Building a Haus for Street/Urban Art

Urban Nation “Museum For Urban Contemporary Art” Set to Open Mid 2017

“You can try and tame the wild but what good would it do? Isn’t the wild what makes us into warriors, kings and queens, discoverers and inventors? – The wild is all we need to know to make life worth living but we should never ever try to comprehend or change it…that is what art means to me,” says Yasha Young as she pulls back the curtains on the plans for the construction of the brand new Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this afternoon.


Yasha Young  announcing construction of Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art today in Berlin. (photo ©Nika Kramer)

With a wall full of photographs by the renowned Martha Cooper behind her and before a roomful of press people and artists, the manager and future director of the museum gave this sweeping overview of the philosophical approach that has breathed life into a project that is her brainchild. Along with Markus Terboven from the Gewobag foundation, Thomas Willemeit, Managing Director at architect GRAFT, Tim Renner, the Undersecretary of State for Cultural Affairs, and Hendrick Jellema from the non-profit Berliner Leben, Ms. Young laid out the plans for the dynamically designed interior of this Wilhelminian-era building at Bülowstrasse 7.

The nascent museum and the Urban Nation project has already shown serious signs indicating it’s future significance over the past three years with the famed curated “Project M” series of urban/street/graffiti artists in the main street-level windows – as well as the UN’s partnering with urban/Street Art festivals and community-driven initiatives in Europe, the US, Russia, and Asia.


Markus Terboven (Geobag), Thomas Willemeit (GRAFT architects), Yasha Young (Urban Nation), Tim Renner (Undersecretary of State for Cultural Affairs), and Hendrik Jellema (Berliner Leben) before the site of the future Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo ©Nika Kramer)

In fact the lead-up to today’s announcement, a real art world first, has included three years of on the street programming and in temporary exhibition spaces that has featured 320 large scale and smaller works by 219 artists established, well known and emerging on the global street art and contemporary urban art scene.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-UN-video_-m-cooper-library-Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 2.36.01 PM copy

Screenshot of new Martha Cooper Library at Urban Nation from video below.

In addition to featuring a brand new library named after Martha Cooper and featuring part of her collection of books, magazines, sketchbooks, photography and ephermera, and a winding, floating catwalkway through shifting perspectives that is inspired by Escher’s stairs, and education/lecture spaces, the new museum will feature a high tech façade that will continually change with installations, artists, and themes.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-UN-video_Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 2.34.56 PM copy

Screenshot of architectural rendering for new Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art from video below.

Architects and designers at GRAFT, which has built a reputation for experimentation and design innovation in exhibitions as well as architecture, are said to have continually looked for ways to establish a continuum between the street and the museum. In a recent conversation with Denis Leo Hegic, an architect on the project, we learned that the concrete of the street will quite literally lead into the museum main floor.  Take a look at the video tour of the space here.

More to come on this story as construction begins along with curation of the inaugural exhibit!

New Video Takes You Flying Through Berlin’s new Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art.


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Got the “Missing Berlin Blues” : Urban and Contemporary

Got the “Missing Berlin Blues” : Urban and Contemporary

Exactly a year ago we were in Berlin as invited guest curators by Urban Nation Museum’s Director Yasha Young to curate the 7th Edition of Project M.  Our exhibition, “Persons Of Interest” was aesthetically rich and culturally relevant in the windows and on the facade of the under-renovation UN haus, and the positive feedback we received lasted a number of months. Each artist had dug deep in their research and were inspired to bring a Brooklyn-Berlin historical and contemporary story to the street in a meaningful way.

The indoor exhibition at the museum’s headquarters overflowed onto the streets on opening night as well; with artists, fans, curators, honored cultural muses, and officials from Berlin’s formal arts infrastructure all abuzz with the exchange happening in Kreuzberg.


Blu. Detail. This piece of Blu has been probably been shared thousands of times on line and on social media. It is still a powerful image in photos as well as in person. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As Ms. Young and her teams continue to build the cultural foundation of UN with a dizzying array of programs, initiatives, and artists this year leading to the official opening next spring, we remark on her singular vision as a cornerstone of the museum.

With a finger on the pulse of many movements within the current Urban/Contemporary scene Young has made some bold and sharp choices to get an institution like this underway. With a clear sense of the potential that this global scene has always shown, Young has harnessed goodwill and top talents in the urban arts community and is gradually attracting the eye of more formal institutions. Undoubtedly in many ways UN has already made history.


Blu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So to mark a year since our first show with UN we’re looking at a treasure trove of photos of works on the streets that we didn’t publish at that time. This city is singular in it’s permissiveness to graffiti and street art – a tacit but undeniable appreciation for its eclectic  contribution to contemporary art, the life of the culture. Berlin also somehow understands the intrinsic value of supporting artist communities. A laboratory on the streets, Berlin continues to afford art space to take shape before your eyes.


Berlin Kidz are well known for vertical tagging thanks to rappelling down from the roof. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alo for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alo for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alo for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alo for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kera . Sokar Uno (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kurar for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Os Gemeos (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Findac for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cranio for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cranio for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cranio for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cranio for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


M.City for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Above for Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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MB6 Street Art Update II : Dotmasters, Giacomo Buffarini (RUN), SickBoy

MB6 Street Art Update II : Dotmasters, Giacomo Buffarini (RUN), SickBoy


The 6th Marrakech Biennale brings a number of parallel projects into the Medina this year, including performances and public education programs. MB6 Street Art brings the art to the streets for both serious art fans and everyday members of the public who can appreciate it entirely free.

Over the week in Marrakech we found that the people didn’t necessarily know about the large international art show happening in the historical heritage sites around them, but they certainly had impressions and opinions of these murals being put up by international (and one local) Street Artists.

As an update to the progress of the new murals going up under the direction of the MB6 team, here are some shots on the street with Dotmasters, Giacomo Buffarini (RUN), and SickBoy.


Giacomo Buffarini aka RUN had a number of questions from school kids about his work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Giacomo Buffarini looking through his sketch book to show some original inspirations for his walls here and in Essaouira. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Giacomo Buffarini work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dotmasters departs from his typical work to honor the Marrakech symbol of a rose. In a rare spate of rain the artist and our team went inside for tea but this person braved it with a walking stick. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dotmasters work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sickboy at work – initially the cigarette vendor next to him was not so interested, but eventually Sickboy gave his business a fresh coat of paint as well. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hassan, a great guy who assisted Sickboy and Alexey Luka at work – and us with ladders and sneaky rooftops.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sickboy work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Coverage of MB6 Street Art at the Marrakech Biennale is BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN).

#urbannationberlin #allnationsunderoneroof #unblog #Marrakesh @mb6streetart #mb6streetart #MarrakeshBiennale #painting #mural #streetart #bkstreetart @bkstreetart

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MB6 Street Art Update I – Marrakech Biennale

MB6 Street Art Update I – Marrakech Biennale


The 6th Marrakech Biennale has begun and the parallel project MB6 Street Art is in full effect as well – with an international collection of 10 artists painting murals at street level and on roofs inside the “Red City” or Medina of Marrakech.

One of the core principals of the biennale is to be sensitive to the local context, and organizers for MB6 have taken that guidance to heart in these old and often conservative neighborhoods by curating artists whose work in abstract, geometric, and decorative forms can endure a while under the intense sun. Particular sensitivity has been taken into consideration in this sort of magical fortified city where time seems to have slowed or even stopped in many ways. The approach is appropriate for the theme of this years biennale “Not New Now”.


Lucy Mclauchlan at work on her wall in The Medina. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Many inquisitive passersby in this bustling, chaotic/serene street scene will stand by and observe for long periods of time to discuss the evolving artworks and question others about the significance of a particular feature. Whether you speak Arabic, French, or Tamazight these new murals are providing a lot to talk about and many appear to relish the discussion.

We’ll be bringing you more details later but thought you’d like a few images of walls in progress, today with Birmingham’s Lucy McLauchlan, Moscow’s Alexey Luka, and Marrkesh’s own Kalamour.


Alexey Luka at work on his wall in The Medina. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Additionally we are pleased to announce our new partnership with Urban Nation (UN) in Berlin to discover and bring new Street/Urban Art from around the world to you.

Of course our very first collaboration with UN was the successful and enriching cultural exchange between Brooklyn and Berlin last year for for Project M/7 when we curated a show with 12 Street Artists in Berlin entitle “Persons of Interest”.

The nascent museum is emerging before our eyes with ever deeper ties to the global/local urban art communities and artists.  We’ll be making more announcements regarding our collaborations in the near future.


Kalamour at work on his wall in The Medina. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MB6 Street Art at the Marrakech Biennale is BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN)

#urbannationberlin #allnationsunderoneroof #unblog #Marrakesh @mb6streetart #mb6streetart #MarrakeshBiennale #painting #mural #streetart #bkstreetart @bkstreetart

A special shout out to photographer Ian Cox for showing us how to get around the market and the souks on our first day!  We’d still be stuck in there right now without his help. Follow him @wallkandy on Instagram


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WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

Surreal is the way the world is portrayed across all of our devices today.

It may be the shrinking staff and budgets of newsrooms who are veering ever closer to the sensational or simply the yellow journalism and the PR-planted hyperbole that is rushing to fill the vacuum, but the presentation of our own world is becoming outlandish.

Orwell could have seen this time when war is described as a peace effort, oligarchy is called democracy, and Reality TV is anything but. Combined with rapid technological developments that produce outcomes previously only imagined, we may feel like our grip on the genuine is definitely loosening somewhat.

So fitting it is that a mid-sized US city hosts a mural festival celebrating the surreal and the fantastic in 2015.


Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali, and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.


Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In partnership and as a cultural exchange with Berlin’s Urban Nation (UN) this year, Wall\Therapy 2015 curated this selection of international and local street artists who bring doorways and mirrors for you to step through.

We were glad to be there in person this year and relieved to see that this largely homespun venture continues to be strong and community-minded despite the very hard work that it requires to pull it off. In the face of a rapidly commercializing Street Art festival scene, not only is the grassroots rather refreshing, it is a bit surreal.

Without doubt it is fantastic.


Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jeff Soto . Maxx242. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Classic graffiti style from NYC’s Daze has always contained elements of surreality. In his three walls he sampled even more styles.”So I used a lot of influences – photo-realistic, almost cubist, there is some lettering, window panes as metaphor. I was also thinking about fabric and the way it folds, and it turned into water,” he says. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vexta: I’ve been doing a lot of collage as my source material – birds, abstract plant shapes, and the galaxy painted over.
BSA: She’s like an earth mother, or universal mother
Vexta: She is every woman.



Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund’s mural features his superhero vexed by a stone in his boot. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew’s Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni created a whale inside an ice whale. “We usually work with themes about the balance between humans and nature,” says Togni, “In this situation we wanted to do a piece about the balance between the elements.”  Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“She is sort of a goddess of East meets West,” says Amsterdam’s Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A highly detailed original sketch that is culled from photographs and their own staging of a model in boots, Onur and Wes21 spent many long hours into a few nights to complete their wall.
Onur: It is more of a scene than a classical mural. The wall is perfect for something like this.
BSA: So it is nature taking a bite out of its aggressor
Onur: Yes, kind of. That’s not bad. We have a sign that says beware of beaver crossing. The animals are a metaphor for something else and we are always looking for stuff like this when we are on the streets.



Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jason Wilder Courtesy of WallTherapy)


Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We knew we had a week and we thought ‘what can we accomplish?’” says Rochester local Matt Roberts on a break from his wall with Joe Guy Allard.  “I do monsters all the time and Joe does those robots. It’s a big old fight scene. I mean, who doesn’t want destruction, some mahem? I grew up on Godzilla movies and Ultraman, stuff like that.  Just a lot of B-horror. I’m really into it. The new Godzilla movie is like my Crème Brulee.”


Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Eder Muniz. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE) Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto Courtesy of Wall Therapy)


Our deep gratitude to the Wall\Therapy Family; Ian Wilson and Erich Lehman for their invitation to participate at this edition, and to Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation and this year’s co-curator. To the artists for sharing their talent with us in such a public and generous way. To all of the volunteers including Jason Barber and Maureen Malone for their sincere dedication and attention to detail and to the production team for making certain we all had what we needed and for making our job far easier. To the photographers for sharing their work with us throughout the process. To Jonathan Binstock, Director of the Memorial Art Gallery at The University of Rochester for hosting our BSA Film Friday Live event and to Meg Colombo and Mike Besaw at MAG for helping us with everything we asked for and then more. To the city of Rochester.

Click HERE to learn more about WALL THERAPY


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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!


This article is also published on The Huffington Post


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Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 6

Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 6

These have been a stunning few days here in Rochester with a dedicated crew of volunteers and artists is coming to it’s culmination as murals are finished or in their final stages. Again last night Onur and Wes21 were heading back to their wall right after the big celebratory dinner at The Yards – or as people call it, “The Nest”.

“This structure was designed to create a space for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. It was designed to rest tired minds flying back at the end of the day in the hot sun, on a lift and far from home,” said Yards member Sylvan Hemingway in a speech he gave to the group of 40 or so folks gathered at long tables in the collaborative art space. “The energy in this room is real and I am truly grateful that everyone in this wild family reunion is helping to create a dream-like production.”


Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This small city in Northwestern New York State is warm and very green and lush in this part of the summer, and neighbors assemble on lawnchairs in the shade of leafy trees to watch the artists going up and down in their cherry pickers or ladders – keeping a respectful distance so they don’t interrupt progress, but sometimes its too irresistible not to ask a question or two or take a picture.

As murals are completed the volunteers help to keep the paint and water supplies replenished and to keep an eye on the situation as many of the painters are here in the States for the first time or are simply not familiar with the environment. Aside from the occasional raving opinionator shaking a finger or asking curiously incomprehensible questions, the average observer is amenable.


Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today it is raining and the sky is overcast so there is some sleeping-in late in the morning, but of course if you are still painting, it can be a rather unwelcome occurrence. Let’s see those last horses coming round the final corner to cross the finish line (which officially is Sunday).

Tomorrow we’ll give you a mini-wrap of the week –including our trip into some sketchy underground explorations off the beaten path infused with the sound of water gushing out of pipes and the smell of teen spirit wafting through the dimly tunnels that serve as magnets for restless youth with cans in hand. Have a look at these more sunny scenes from Thursday and Friday in the mean-time.


Eder Muniz hit the ground running in style on Thursday, quickly tracing out the natural/fantastic forms and figures that he later would be adding dimension and character to across a saturated cyan sea wall. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Trading tales and sketches and tags in black books after dinner at The Yards (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Never Crew. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Troy Lovegates aka Other from August ’14 when he stopped by to see the Wall Therapy folks. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Matthew Roberts . Joe Guy Allard. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“People of Rochesterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Sung to the tune of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” by Joe Guy Allard. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vexta acknowledges the people who stop by below with a sign of peace. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Local talent Nate Hodge in the zone as he becomes ever-more abstract and gestural working across his wall. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund with reference material in hand. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund’s superheroic figure putting on his boots, or maybe he is shaking a stone out. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

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Handiedan Sets a Pinup Tone for Wall\Therapy 2015 in Rochester

Handiedan Sets a Pinup Tone for Wall\Therapy 2015 in Rochester


Rochester, New York is the home of the Wall\Therapy festival and BSA is partnering with the team and Urban Nation (UN) to bring you coverage of the grass-roots mural festival for 2015. It will begin in a few weeks but the Amsterdam-based Handiedan got into town early due to being in New York for her show with Jonathan Levine Gallery.


Handiedan in progress. (photo © Jenn Poggi)

Her curvaceous pin-up girls and orientally adorned femme fatales from noir films and rockabilly imaginations intricately layered with patterns and designs from currency – sometimes it is all about getting that paper.

In this case the paper in use is covering the facade of a beautiful brick building dating back to 1890 that was originally a church and later became a machine shop and home to the Rochester Community Players theater group for a half century or so. After a fire a few years back the building has sat vacant for a while.  At least, that is what most people from the area can remember.


Handiedan. Taking in the action from inside the building. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Here Handiedan’s specially treated custom designed paperwork brings added dimension while stunningly emulating the template shape and color palette. In many ways it is bringing the building back to life – perhaps in anticipation of its new use as another playhouse to open at the end of the summer.


Handiedan in progress. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Wall\Therapy 2015 has released its line up of artists curated in collaboration with Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation (UN) Berlin. This years theme of surrealism and the fantastic is off to a rather spectacular start obviously and in addition to bringing you daily updates BSA will be in the house on Friday July 24th for a special live edition of BSA Film Friday at the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester. We are really looking forward to meeting you in person.

Artists included for this years Wall\Therapy include: Andreas Englund, Onur, Wes21, Never Crew, Vexta, Li Hill, Handiedan, Daze, Jeff Soto, Maxx242, Eder Muniz, Brittany Williams, Matthew Roberts and Joe Guy Allard.


Handiedan in progress. (photo © Mark Deff)


Handiedan (photo © Mark Deff)


Handiedan (photo © Mark Deff)


To learn more about Wall Therapy and more details, schedules, program and dates click HERE


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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UN & StolenSpace Create PM/8 “Freedom” in Berlin

UN & StolenSpace Create PM/8 “Freedom” in Berlin

Urban Nation in Berlin has just completed a new series of walls, window displayed artworks, and a gallery show for the eighth edition of Project M (PM/8) in conjunction with StolenSpace Gallery in London.


Snik (photo © Nika Kramer)

The show is called “Freedom” and features a few of the better known names in the Street Art / Urban Art game along with other emerging artists in the Stolen Space stable. In addition to the opportunity to see new work being created live and meeting many of the artists, this version of Project M also included a roundtable discussion hosted by Very Nearly Almost (VNA) editor Roland Henry and featuring a conversation with D*Face, Shepard Fairey, and UN Director Yasha Young.

Project M is taking it to the street, into a gallery/museum-like setting, and into the community with various educational projects like these. We’re looking forward to seeing the nascent Martha Cooper library project as it continues to grow as well as seeing more panels, discussions, scholarly examinations, and interactive community programming in the future as the UN evolves.


Snik (photo © Nika Kramer)

Project M is meant as a lead-up to the opening of Urban Nation, currently slated for 2016, and many of the window works made here will become part of the future institutions permanent collection. The full PM/8 roster continued to shape-shift as additional artists were painting walls as well but we think we have it right when we say it includes Cyrcle, D*Face, Evoca1, Miss Van, Herakut, The London Police, Shepard Fairey, Snik, Word to Mother, Maya Hayuk, Cyrcle, Case M’Claim, Elle, and Lora Zombie, with many of artists in attendance, and one giving tattoos (see below).

Maya Hayuk took on the large task of the UN façade while Shepard and D*Face knocked out a slim set of tall twin walls and Cyrcle knocked out a modern text balanced graphic piece.

Our very special thanks to Nika Kramer, who shares her exclusive photographs of some of the artists and action at PM/8 here with BSA readers.


Snik (photo © Nika Kramer)


The London Police (photo © Nika Kramer)


The London Police (photo © Nika Kramer)


The London Police (photo © Nika Kramer)


Miss Van (photo © Nika Kramer)


Miss Van (photo © Nika Kramer)


Miss Van (photo © Nika Kramer)


Herakut (photo © Nika Kramer)


AkutOne of Herakut (photo © Nika Kramer)


Word To Mother (photo © Nika Kramer)


Word To Mother (photo © Nika Kramer)


Evoka1 (photo © Nika Kramer)


Evoka1 (photo © Nika Kramer)


Cyrcle (photo © Nika Kramer)


D*Face (photo © Nika Kramer)


D*Face (photo © Nika Kramer)


D*Face (photo © Nika Kramer)


Shepard Fairey (photo © Nika Kramer)


Maya Hayuk (photo © Nika Kramer)


Shepard Fairey . D*Face. Urban Nation OneWall Project in conjunction with PM8 “Freedom” (photo © Nika Kramer)


Cyrcle. Urban Nation OneWall Project in conjunction with PM8 “Freedom” (photo © Nika Kramer)


Lora Zombie. Urban Nation “Outbrake” in conjunction with PM8 “Freedom”. (photo © Nika Kramer)


Lora Zombie. Urban Nation “Outbrake” in conjunction with PM8 “Freedom”. (photo © Nika Kramer)


Case M’Claim. Urban Nation “Outbrake” in conjunction with PM8 “Freedom”. (photo © Nika Kramer)


Case M’Claim (photo © Nika Kramer)


ELLE. Urban Nation “Outbrake” in conjunction with PM8 “Freedom”. (photo © Nika Kramer)


ELLE (photo © Nika Kramer)


More detail for Davey. During downtime tattoos were offered by Word To Mother in the back workshop at UN. (photo © Nika Kramer)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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 04.03.15 – SPECIAL “Persons of Interest” Videos Debut

BSA Film Friday 04.03.15 – SPECIAL “Persons of Interest” Videos Debut



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

Now screening :

1. BSA PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” Documentation by Dario Jurilli, Urban Nation, Berlin.

“Pipedream“ feat. Tok Tok by PARASITE SINGLE

2. Urban Nation Berlin and BSA: PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” by Talking Projects


Today we debut two videos on BSA Film Friday that have just been released in support of PERSONS OF INTEREST, our curated program for Urban Nation last month in Berlin. The Project M/7 was all about honoring the practice of cultural exchange between the borough of Brooklyn and the City of Berlin.


Artists from both cities have been collaborating and influencing each other for years and we were honored to work with such a talented and varied group of Brooklyn-based artists who each came at the project from very different perspectives. We follow a philosophy that says “honor the creative spirit in each person” first and great amazing things will follow.


While it is challenging the structures that have codified art through centuries, we deeply regard the art that took root on the streets as democratic and idiosyncratic and as something that is given to all of us. This movement doesn’t necessarily require or benefit from gatekeepers and exclusivity to prove its value to a culture – we see it every day.


And speaking of talent, our hats off to the driving forces behind these two videos which tell different stories about the same program. Our partners at Urban Nation augmented the program with ideas of their own and grew the scope of our original ideas further. We admire the point of view taken by the documentary style video that appears first because it captures the message and the atmosphere we had hoped to engender – one of mutual support and respect. PERSONS OF INTEREST honors the artist and the muse. As artists and directors we know that this kind of thinking actually goes a long way – and art can save lives and hearts and minds – we’ve been lucky to see it.


The second video is styled more as a music video, an atmospheric pastiche that plays on the second meaning associated with the words “Persons of Interest” – one where graffiti and Street Art overlap with the darker aspects of a subculture that is transgressive. Carefully not dipping into cliché territory, the stories woven here give a serious nod to the graffiti/skater/tattoo/BMX cultures – which among many other influencers are in the DNA of, have given birth to today’s art in the streets.  Its a cool concept and it produces a few surprises.



We hope you dig both of these works.

Our sincerest thanks to the videographers, musicians, stylists, performers, technical experts, participants, administrators, artists, marketers, directors, poets, captains and dreamers who make this stuff happen.


“Persons of interest” curated by Jaime Rojo & Steven P. Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art


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