All posts tagged: Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

Books in the MCL: ROA Codex

Books in the MCL: ROA Codex

As founding members of the Martha Cooper Library at the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, Brooklyn Street Art (BSA) proudly showcases a monthly feature from the MCL collection, illuminating the extensive and diverse treasures we’re assembling for both researchers and enthusiasts of graffiti, street art, urban art, and its numerous offshoots. Below, we present one of our latest selections.


Text Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo Photos by Sebastian Kläbsch

ROA Codex,” a comprehensive exploration of the enigmatic Belgian street artist ROA, compiled by Ann Van Hulle with notable contributions from Lucy Lippard and Johan Braeckman and others, offers an unfiltered window into a decade of work that defies conventional artistic boundaries. ROA’s journey, beginning in the industrial landscapes of Belgium, extends to global outdoor canvases, where his art disrupts the mundane, evoking a primal connection to the natural world.

In this monograph, ROA’s artistry is portrayed as large-scale murals and an ongoing dialogue between our baffling constructed human existence and the animal kingdom. His work, often emerging from unexpected urban and rural backdrops, confronts the viewer with the familiar yet unknown. This juxtaposition of animals and architecture, depicted in stark monochrome, resonates with an uncanny sense of the creatures within and around us, often forgotten in our contemporary lifestyles.” Click URBAN NATION BERLIN to continue reading.

“ROA CODEX” Books in the MCL. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)
“ROA CODEX” Books in the MCL. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)
“ROA CODEX” Books in the MCL. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)
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Books In The MCL: Golden Boy as Anthony Cool: by Herbert Kohl and James Hinton

Books In The MCL: Golden Boy as Anthony Cool: by Herbert Kohl and James Hinton

As founding members of the Martha Cooper Library at the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, Brooklyn Street Art (BSA) proudly showcases a monthly feature from the MCL collection, illuminating the extensive and diverse treasures we’re assembling for both researchers and enthusiasts of graffiti, street art, urban art, and its numerous offshoots. Below, we present one of our latest selections.


Text Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo Photos by Sebastian Kläbsch

Herbert Kohl and James Hinton, Golden Boy as Anthony Cool. 1972.

Herbert Kohl and James Hinton’s “Golden Boy as Anthony Cool,” published in 1972, is a seminal work in the study of urban graffiti and street culture. Not only an academic exploration; it’s a journey into the heart of graffiti as a form of personal expression, rebellion, and cultural identity. Kohl’s insightful essays paired with Hinton’s evocative photographs provide a window into the lives of young people in the urban landscapes of New York City and Los Angeles as they simultaneously boil, wane and flourish in the late 60s and early 70s. These vibrant and vibrating communities are chronicled, whether affluent suburbs or struggling neighborhoods, each appears to brim with stories cryptically told through tags and murals on walls and doors.

As a crucial part of street art history, “Golden Boy as Anthony Cool” is an essential resource for anyone interested in the roots of modern graffiti culture. Its compelling blend of vivid imagery and profound analysis not only makes it an invaluable addition to any collector’s library but also a portal to the dynamic world of urban street art. Simple and unassuming, the book is testament to graffiti’s evolution, offering a deeper appreciation for the art form and the voices that shape it.

GO TO MCL AT URBAN NATION MUSEUM BERLIN TO CONTINUE READING.

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The Martha Cooper Scholarship: Call For Applicants

The Martha Cooper Scholarship: Call For Applicants

We’re excited to introduce the inaugural Martha Cooper Scholarship (MCS), celebrating Martha Cooper’s legacy in capturing human cultures through photography. This scholarship presents a unique chance for photographers from Africa or Latin America to engage in an eleven-month artistic journey in Berlin.

As founding members of the Martha Cooper Library, we will select an individual who embodies her spirit, vision, and legacy alongside Martha and a panel of experts in art, academia, and photography and the Urban Nation Museum. This is not just a scholarship in her name; it’s an opportunity to contribute to a global dialogue and to represent the Urban Nation Museum and the Fresh Air program. The Fresh Air theme is “I AM FLUX: The Freedom of Being and the Possibilities of Becoming,” reflecting on human transformation and social issues.

If your artistry and vision resonate with these themes, this could be your path to making an impactful statement in documentary photography. Apply for this transformative opportunity to join us in continuing Martha’s story.

______________________________________________

Martha Cooper at Urban Nation Museum (photo ©Steven P. Harrington)

From the scholarship website and application:

The Martha Cooper Scholarship (MCS) offers a unique opportunity for an individual from Africa or Latin America to dedicate themselves for eleven months to an artistic project through the medium of photography. With the newly announced MCS, the Foundation Berliner Leben acknowledges the importance of documentary photography and purposefully offers a production scholarship for professional photographers who use their photography in an effort to promote a positive impact on the world. The scholarship is based on the annual topic of Fresh A.I.R., the scholarship program of Stiftung Berliner Leben, which addresses social and political developments that affect us in the present, and
highlights the diversity of human experience and perception of the world.

__________

The chosen photographer will be invited to live and work in one of our Fresh A.I.R. residencies in Berlin Schöneberg.

The current call is for the 10th class starting in January 2025 and ending in December 2025.

___________

Thematic Call:
“I AM FLUX: The Freedom of Being and the Possibilities of Becoming”

Art can convey the relevance and complexity of themes of our time in unexpected ways.
Under the title “I AM FLUX: The Freedom of Being and the Possibilities of Becoming,« the 10th class
deals with the inexhaustible capacity for development and transformation of human beings and their
perspectives on themselves.


We encourage artists to critically examine selected socially relevant thematic complexes and apply with projects that contribute to raising awareness about the call’s contents and enriching ongoing discourses.

Within the framework of »I AM FLUX,« three thematic fields of action, namely »HORIZONS OF
BEING,« »WHISPERS OF EXISTENCE,« and »BEYOND LIMITS,« are being introduced. Project ideas
will be supported in which at least one of the three thematic focuses finds expression in the artistic works.


1. “HORIZONS OF BEING”
In the first thematic field of action, “HORIZONS OF BEING,” artists and cultural practitioners are invited
to investigate the multi-layered and dynamic nature of gender identity. Through artistic expressions, the
focus is primarily on embodiments, practices, and self-perceptions of people who do not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth.

Funding will be provided for:
• Projects that address the diversity and manifestation of gender identity and/or the development
and shaping of gender possibilities, realities, perceptions, and representations.
• Projects that identify and critically artistically reflect upon the current heteronormative hierarchical
structure of gender, both in its institutional and everyday routine forms.
• Projects that promote a broader conception of gender.


2. “WHISPERS OF EXISTENCE”
The second thematic field of action, »WHISPERS OF EXISTENCE,« is intended to emphasize the
metaphysical dimension of art. The imagination is intended to be challenged and expanded in diverse ways through artistic expression.

Funding will be provided for:
• Projects that place art as a metaphysical activity at the center, addressing and reflecting upon ontological questions.
• Projects that artistically process a transgression of the experiential reality of the natural self.


3. “BEYOND LIMITS”
The third field of action, »BEYOND LIMITS,« serves as a platform supporting the exploration of various
approaches through which art and creativity, in conjunction with other influences, endeavor to redefine
the boundaries of the human in new ways.
Funding will be provided for:
• Projects that aim to experimentally expand human potential or those centered around (self-)creation
within the imaginative space of natural or technological (further) development.
• Projects that examine ‘Creative Artificial Intelligence’ and the fundamentally changing possibilities of
artistic expression resulting from applying the latest technologies.
• Projects that delve into historical forms of surpassing bodily boundaries and explore the visions, opportunities, consequences, and dangers associated with them.


Application for a scholarship in 2025
Application deadline: Sunday, 21 April 2024
Applications are only accepted via Email: FreshAIR-office@stiftung-berliner-leben.de
For a successful application, please include the following documents:
• Curriculum vitae
• Project outline/description
• Budget plan


You can find further information about Fresh A.I.R. at

https://urban-nation.com/artist-in-residence-scholarships/

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Book Review: Icy & Sot “Let Her Be Free” at MCL in Berlin

Book Review: Icy & Sot “Let Her Be Free” at MCL in Berlin

Let Her Be Free. Martha Cooper Libray at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)

MARTHA COOPER LIBRARY: BOOK RECOMMENDATION⁠

📖 | Title: ICY and SOT. Let Her Be Free
📚 | Media group: Book
🖋 | Authors: ICY (author); SOT (author)
🗓 | Year: 2016
💬 | Language: English

Text: Steven P. Harrington & Jaime Rojo

Let Her Be Free. Martha Cooper Libray at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)

Let Her Be Free” chronicles the journey of Iranian brothers Icy and Sot as street artists and the evolution of their work over the decade from the mid-2000s to the mid-2010s. The book showcases the brothers’ activism through their art and their efforts to bring attention to many important social and political issues, including human rights, women’s political and personal autonomy, environmental justice, migration, gun violence, capitalism, the effects of war, homelessness, police brutality, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, free speech, and child welfare.

Let Her Be Free. Martha Cooper Libray at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)

Growing up in Tabriz, Iran, Icy and Sot participated as teens in a street culture that encompassed skateboarding and a slowly burgeoning street art scene, perhaps feeding their desire for self-expression and personal activism. They began experimenting with different techniques and styles in places like Tehran, where local artists like A1one, Magoi, CK1, and Bigchiz dominated the street art scene, in turn inspiring others. As news of the emerging growth of street art in the West gained cultural currency on the Internet, the brothers were also influenced by international street artists such as Banksy, whom they looked up to as role models.

To learn more about the Martha Cooper Library at Urban Nation Museum Berlin and to continue reading the review, click HERE to go to the Urban Nation website.

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Various & Gould Go Face-to-Face With Community in Berlin-Spandau

Various & Gould Go Face-to-Face With Community in Berlin-Spandau

A great project has just emerged from the collaboration between Urban Nation Museum and the dynamic Berlin-based street art duo Various and Gould. This new addition to the ONE WALL series has been expertly curated by Michelle C. Houston, with valuable production support from YAP. The project bears the name ‘We all belong to this community’ (Wir alle hier gehören zum Wir). At a time when xenophobia has been on the rise in many Western societies, public art has taken on a crucial role in educating and reconnecting people and communities.

Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Workshop at youth center STEIG. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)

What makes this project in the Berlin-Spandau district truly captivating is its engagement with local kids at a youth center through an inspiring art workshop. During this workshop, the artists introduced their mural concept and collaborated with the young participants to create captivating collages and individual portrait photos. The mural is an eclectic collage sketch that beautifully incorporates elements from the participants’ faces, effectively symbolizing a collective identity for the neighborhood.

Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Workshop at youth center STEIG. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)

The artists behind this remarkable piece tell us, ‘Our mural is based on a collage from our ongoing Face Time series, which we initiated back in 2015 to celebrate human diversity and question conventional beauty standards.’ Throughout the mural’s creation, the artists meticulously inscribed numerous first names on the wall, including those of workshop participants and other individuals they encountered in the neighborhood. Remarkably, the project seemed to tap into the live pulse of community sentiment as kids and adults gathered on the sidewalk below, joyfully shouting out their names to be included in the mural. A local legend named Moha even stepped in to lend a helping hand by sending lists of names up to the artists’ phones.

Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Workshop at youth center STEIG. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)

As Various notes, ‘When you paint a mural, it’s an exhilarating journey where every day and hour counts, and you must transform your sketch into a grand-scale masterpiece.’ It’s a process that demands intense concentration, all while under the watchful eyes of local residents. Gould adds, ‘Our playful approach might make it seem effortless, but each step of the way is filled with intensity.’ This is evident in instances such as when they found themselves stuck in a lift – and during the tumultuous, rainy hours when painting was challenging.

In essence, this mural project not only showcases the remarkable creative talents of the artists but also underscores the significance of community and diversity in the face of pressing societal issues like racism and exclusion. Their manner and message both serve as powerful reminders of the need for every member of society to feel valued and included.

Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Workshop at youth center STEIG. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)

Various and Gould would like to express their gratitude and extend a heartfelt shout-out to Luis Limberg for his daily production assistance and offer many thanks to their fellow artist friend, Tavar Zawacki, who joined them for a day on the cherry picker, contributing to the project’s success. Our special thanks to Sebastian Kläbsch, Luis Limberg, and @MOHA for sharing their photographs with BSA readers.


Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © MOHA)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © V&G)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Luis Limberg)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Luis Limberg)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Luis Limberg)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © MOHA)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Luis Limberg)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © V&G)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © V&G)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © V&G)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © V&G)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Luis Limberg)
Various & Gould. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin-Spandau, Germany. (photo © Luis Limberg)

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Confronting Mental Health Challenges at UN Berlin / “Loneliness And Other False Friends”

Confronting Mental Health Challenges at UN Berlin / “Loneliness And Other False Friends”

PROJECT M/19 | LONELINESS AND OTHER FALSE FRIENDS

URBAN NATION has launched an exhibition to address mental health concerns and issues in today’s society. The exhibit was prompted by feedback from museum visitors, who were asked to suggest topics that needed to be discussed. UN reports that the majority of responses focused on mental health, and the exhibit is a response to this concern.

The featured artworks explore emotions and modern life’s stress on mental health. One of the main issues addressed in the exhibit is loneliness. The COVID-19 pandemic only worsened feelings of isolation and disconnectedness; with more people, particularly young people, reporting that they were experiencing anxiety, depression, and self-harm, often compounded by social media.

The exhibition Loneliness and Other False Friends is part of the M series that began a decade ago, now in its 19th edition, or Project M/19. Associated with the main museum’s current exhibition Talking… & Other Banana Skins aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and spark conversations about this critical topic. By showcasing these artworks, visitors are encouraged to reflect on their own experiences and the experiences of others, perhaps spurring meaningful discussions of a deeper quality.

As is often the case with the community-centered vision and voice of UN lead curator Michele Houston, the exhibit is an excellent opportunity to learn about mental health and how it affects individuals and society. Through transference and reflection, the exhibition may catalyze analysis of topics that are often elusive to describe or quantify, in this case providing visitors tools to countenance the emotional toll that modern life can take on people, raising awareness of the importance of mental health.

All images © courtesy of Urban Nation Museum

PROJECT M/19
LONELINESS AND OTHER FALSE FRIENDS
URBAN NATION Project Space
BÜLOWSTR. 97, 10783 BERLIN
EXHIBITION DURATION: 28 APRIL 2023 – 18 AUGUST 2023


ACCOMPANYING THE EXHIBITION
On the occasion of the ceremonial opening of LONELINESS AND OTHER FALSE FRIENDS and in conjunction with Gallery Weekend, URBAN NATION presents a programme beyond the exhibition. 5 Berlin-based artists will create new murals, to join what is collectively called the C-Walls (Community Walls). Each will reflect the exhibition theme on and around Bülowstraße.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:
CARO PEPE, DEVITA, HONEY BEEBS, LAKE AND MATE.

All images © courtesy of Urban Nation Museum

The exhibition serves as a space for public discourse, conversations, and workshops.
Event highlights include a mural design with artist Honey Beebs in collaboration with the Anna Freud School. In addition, there is the art workshop “Talk about it” with artist Fehmi Baumbach and photographer Darius Ramazani in partnership with Freunde fürs Leben e.V. for children in grades 11 to 13.

Inside the exhibition, there is a large seating area where visitors are encouraged to
engage with the works and receive further reading material on mental health topics.

Bülowstrasse 7
10783 Berlin
Germany
info@urban-nation.com

Click HERE for more details, hours of operation, tickets, etc.

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BSA Film Friday: 02.03.23 – Layer Cake VERSUS 3

BSA Film Friday: 02.03.23 – Layer Cake VERSUS 3

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

Now screening:
1. Highlights of Layer Cake Opening “Versus III” at Museum of Graffiti, Miami

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BSA Special Feature: Highlights of Layer Cake Opening “Versus III” at Museum of Graffiti, Miami

“Versus III” opened last night to a lively crowd of graffiti and street art, and contemporary art enthusiasts who roamed the museum freely, taking in the new 10-piece exhibition as well as the permanent installations throughout. The contrast between the very educational, historical exhibition and the days-old one just installed by the Munich-based artist duo called Layer Cake was not as pronounced as you may think due to the conscious attention in the museum’s wall text descriptions that recognized the fluid nature of urban arts evolution throughout the last 5+ decades.

Today we have a collection of video outtakes featuring Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl giving verbal descriptions of their process on specific canvasses, selected outtakes from the panel discussion with the museum director, writer, historian, and graffiti encyclopedia Alan Ket and Urban Nation Museums’ Steven P. Harrington before invited guests and 360-degree views of the incredible actual layer cake just before it was cut and served by the artists.

Our special thanks to Alan Ket and co-founder Allison Freidin as our excellent hosts at the Museum of Graffiti and the whole MOG team who were so professional and helpful to us, including but not limited to Alexi, Caroline, David, Caleb, and Jamie. Thank you to all.

Versus Project 3 – Miami Museum of Graffiti

Layer Cake – The Versus Project 3. Miami, Florida. Opens today for the general public. Click HERE for more details, schedules, tickets, etc.

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Behind the Scenes With “Layer Cake” at Museum of Graffiti, Miami

Behind the Scenes With “Layer Cake” at Museum of Graffiti, Miami

As a 2-man graffiti/street art crew, how do you collaborate on a canvas with Flying Fortress?

Hera?

Various & Gould?

Rocco and His Brothers?

Mad C?

It’s a multi-layered process.

Layer Cake / Bond Truluv. Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

That’s what we found out today when we got a sneak preview of LAYER CAKE at the Museum of Graffiti with Co-founder Alan Ket leading the way. The Munich-based duo landed in Miami last night to attend tonight’s opening in the Wynwood District.

“Versus III” is the latest iteration of this back-and-forth project between Layer Cake and some of the most accomplished and avant-garde names on the European (and American) graffiti/street art scenes. Ket and co-founding partner Allison Freidin and the museum team are hosting the two former graffiti writers Patrick Hartl and Christian “C100” Hundertmark tonight for a special reception in the main gallery. We thought you’d like to see some behind-the-scenes shots of the installation.

Layer Cake / Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Come through tonight for a special talk tonight with Urban Nation’s Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo with the artists about the politics, practices, and possibilities that can pop up when you ship your painted canvas off the someone else and say “do whatever you want to this – and send it back”.

Layer Cake / Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The guys will be showing us photos of the stages of the process and telling the audience how their lives have changed from being graffiti writers to being regarded as contemporary urban artists.

Also, there will be cake. See you there!

Layer Cake / Various & Gould. Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Layer Cake / Various & Gould. Detail. Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Layer Cake / Rocco And His Brothers. Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Layer Cake / Rocco And His Brothers. Detail. Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Layer Cake / MadC. Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Layer Cake / Hera. Detail. Versus Project 3. Museum of Graffiti. Miami, FL. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Layer Cake – The Versus Project 3. Miami, Florida. Opens on O2.03.23 for the general public. Click HERE for more details, schedules, tickets, etc.

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Photos Of BSA #9: Keeping it Small and Contextual

Photos Of BSA #9: Keeping it Small and Contextual

Happy Holidays! We’re celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of the next by thanking BSA readers, friends, and family for all of your support in 2022. We have selected some of our favorite shots by our Editor of Photography, Jaime Rojo, and we’re sharing a new one every day to celebrate all our good times together, our hope for the future, and our love for the street.


In an era where the monster mural can envelop an entire building or set of grain elevators, we are reminded that placement is everything. This year the UK street artist JPS left a number of small pieces in Berlin – just in the right place to catch your eye. This ingenious miniature box truck with a KLOPS tag appears on the riser of some steps in the Schöneberg neighborhood. It is evocative of a child’s imagination, which leads them into all sorts of adventures.


JPS – Klops. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Film Friday 07.22.22

BSA Film Friday 07.22.22

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

Now screening:
1. URBAN NATION 2022 – “Talking… & Other Banana Skins” – on FWTV
2. Flower Punk”- Azuma Makoto
3. JR: Can Art Change the World?

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BSA Special Feature: URBAN NATION 2022 – “Talking… & Other Banana Skins” – on FWTV

In his first official visit back to Urban Nation since its opening in 2017, Fifth Wall host Doug Gillen finds a more democratic collection of artists from various points in the street art/urban art constellation. That impression is understandable due to the heavy presence of commercial interests involved in the selection of bankable street art stars and OGs chosen to represent five decades of graffiti/street art at the opening of a new institution dedicated to the scene. Curators were careful to program several relative unknowns and lesser-recognized artists into that initial grab-bag collection, but we take the point.

It’s refreshing to hear the current show’s curator Michelle Houston speak about her personal and professional philosophy toward street art and our collective relationship to it. A hybrid of the existing UN permanent collection and new works, it comes off as a rather wholistic approach that respects more players and their contribution to what has proven to be a very democratic grassroots art movement on streets around the world.

With decidedly less focus on the ever-more codified, commodified, and blue-chip-ivy-league-endorsed criterion of exclusivity that plagues the ‘art world’, this varied collection may represent a retaining wall against trends we witness that threaten to erect the same sort of structures of exclusivity that unbridled art-in-the-streets set out to destroy. Of course, every modern counterculture eventually gets transformed on its way to accepted culture, and we’re somewhat resigned to that reality. However rather than zapping the life out of the free-wheeling nature of graffiti and street art, Urban Nation may be staking a claim of departure from peers to defend some of those original tenets – in this insistently self-defining scene.

URBAN NATION 2022 – “Talking… & Other Banana Skins” – Exhibition Review | FWTV



“Flower Punk”- Azuma Makoto

And speaking of every modern counterculture that eventually gets transformed on its way to accepted culture, we present the Punk Florist, artist Azuma Makoto, who uses plants in a sculptural manner. It is a practice that he hopes can connect humanity and nature. It may help if you are listening to Dead Kennedys or Black Flag – or perhaps something more industrial, or no-wave. But when he and his team send a ragged bundle of beauty literally into space, all bets are off. It’s a new game.



JR: Can Art Change the World?

In yet another TED talk, JR speaks for himself.

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Lapiz: Drowning Refugees and Child’s Play in the Mediterranean

Lapiz: Drowning Refugees and Child’s Play in the Mediterranean

“Happy kids are playing the game, but something is off, the chairs have been replaced by life vests and the EU is playing the music.”

Street artist LAPIZ says his darkly themed new stencil piece is based on the game ‘musical chairs’ and is pointing directly to the number of refugees who drown in the Mediterranean Sea. So many die so frequently that people in Europe have grown tired from the news, he says. And that’s why he’s depicted this ‘game’ of children playing with life vests.

Lapiz. “Reise nach Lesbos (Dancing Chairs of Lesbos)“. For UNartig Festival on the occasion of the opening of the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin new exhibition, “UN: TALKING and other Banana Skins”. (photo © Lapiz)

“It is supposed to look that way because it became normal that people are drowning in the Mediterranean which is why we do not hear anything about it anymore,” he says.

Part of Urban Nation museum’s UNartig Festival, where artworks are intended to catalyze discussion, the new work is entitled “Reise nach Lesbos” (Dancing Chairs of Lesbos). The reference to Lesbos in this case of course, is to the large number of refugees living there in camps, many of whom would like to move to Europe.

“About 50% of people fleeing via the Mediterranean are underage,” LAPIZ tells us. That fact alone is enough to confirm that this new work is not childs’ play.

Lapiz. “Reise nach Lesbos (Dancing Chairs of Lesbos)“. For UNartig Festival on the occasion of the opening of the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin new exhibition, “UN: TALKING and other Banana Skins”. (photo © Lapiz)
Lapiz. “Reise nach Lesbos (Dancing Chairs of Lesbos)“. For UNartig Festival on the occasion of the opening of the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin new exhibition, “UN: TALKING and other Banana Skins”. (photo © Lapiz)
Lapiz. “Reise nach Lesbos (Dancing Chairs of Lesbos)“. For UNartig Festival on the occasion of the opening of the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin new exhibition, “UN: TALKING and other Banana Skins”. (photo © Lapiz)
Lapiz. “Reise nach Lesbos (Dancing Chairs of Lesbos)“. For UNartig Festival on the occasion of the opening of the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin new exhibition, “UN: TALKING and other Banana Skins”. (photo © Lapiz)

Urban Nation Museum in Berlin’s new exhibition, “UN: TALKING and other Banana Skins” is open to the public. Click HERE for details and schedules.

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Mr. Paradox Rappelling Down a Berlin Building, As Usual

Mr. Paradox Rappelling Down a Berlin Building, As Usual

The original Berlin Kid, if you will, Mr. Paradox is rappelling down the side of a building again, this time in broad daylight instead of surreptitiously in the darkness of night. It’s part of an initiative by Urban Nation museum and he’s happy to bring the stylized vertical letters that have set his work apart from others – something he refers to as ‘spiritual letters’. He’s his own man, independent, fearless, creative and talented.

Mr. Paradox in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“I have always followed my truth-seeker spirit,” he says, “setting my visions higher.”

The saturated red and blue lettering have evolved over time, but his technique has stayed the same for the last decade or so – a style many first compare to Pixaçao. It’s an often dangerous technique of graffiti lettering associated with the aerosol daredevils on the streets of cities like Sao Paulo – but that has also spread to cities like Paris, Berlin and New York.

Mr. Paradox in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“I don’t do Pixaçao,” Mr. Paradox tells BSA. “I do a highly advanced form of lettering that I call spiritual letters. I want to deliver art and beauty to the street – and of course to deliver critical messages  about the system we live in and life in general.”

And what about the distinctive combination of blue and red colors? “They are like fire and water,” he says. “Like good and evil. Also people recognize me because of it.”

Special thanks to photographer Nika Kramer, who captures and shares these exclusive shots with BSA readers of Mr. Paradox’s installation.

Mr. Paradox in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Mr. Paradox’s text (above):

BRAIN WASHED PLANET:
THE ELITE IS THE VIRUS !
THIS IS FOR ALL CRITICAL THINKERS
UNLOCK THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE
ESCAPE THE MAINSTREAM
GOVERNMENT HIDES THE TRUTH
THEY ARE HOLDING BACK TECHNOLOGY

Mr. Paradox in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Mr. Paradox in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Mr. Paradox in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Mr. Paradox in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Mr. Paradox in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
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