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2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

BSA has been here with you for this entire decade – an honor and a privilege. Reviewing the many interventions and events we witnessed and shared with our readers, we realize that this grassroots people’s art movement is reflecting our society in fundamental ways and reaching deep as well as wide. Here in roughly chronological order we recount for you a Top 10 for BSA that have impacted our way of seeing art on the streets.


1.

The “Girl In The Blue Bra” – December 2011

Oppressive regimes worldwide have a few commonalities. One of them is patriarchy. Over the last decade we have seen many female artists rise powerfully to smash it, harnessing their rage and power and taking their voice to the street.

There were countless images that encapsulated the ferocity and the tenacity of the protesters during the Arab Spring uprisings in Cairo, Egypt in December of 2011. One image, in particular, captured the attention of the media and the public. The image is commonly referred to as the “Girl In The Blue Bra”. The image depicts a young woman, whose identity remains anonymous, being beaten and dragged by soldiers as she was taking part in the protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo, against Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Her face is veiled and her jeans are still on but as she was being dragged by the soldiers her abaya came undone exposing her bare torso and revealing her blue bra as a soldier was about to kick her in her abdomen.

A young woman is being dragged and kicked, exposing her bare torso in the act by the military in Tahiri Square. Cairo, Egypt. December 17, 2011. (Stringer/Reuters/Landov)

While the image exposed the abusive practices and of power of the military in Egypt – it also swiftly sparked ferocious reactions around the globe, particularly with women who subsequently staged their own march in Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand the end of military rule.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)

Among the artists who carried the Blue Bra theme to the streets was one artist, Bahia Shehab, whom BSA and its readers helped to get a movie made about Street Artists in the Arab Spring, called Nefertiti’s Daughters, directed by Mark Nicolas. Later we were the first to debut a scene from it at the Nuart Festival in Norway (“#Activism on the Street Now”), and years after that Nuart actually hosted professor Shehab. This is a small world, this Street Art community.

The actions of the young woman, the violent response of the military, and the overwhelming support of the public, in general, sparked a new wave of feminism in Egypt and inspired artists to create and display their artworks on the streets in protest.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)
An unidentified artist in Cairo. (photo from Pinterest)

2.

“Art In The Streets” Opens at LA MOCA – April 2011

Art in the Streets was the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art, curated by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch and Associate Curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose, an exhibition tracing the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it had evolved to. BSA was there to capture and share some of what was happening.

Red Hot and Street: “Art in the Streets” Brings Fire to MOCA

From BSA

“Yes, Banksy is here. The giant ‘Art in the Streets’ show opening this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles gives a patch of real estate to the international man of mystery who has contributed greatly to the worldwide profile of what is soon to be, maybe already is, a mainstream phenomenon known as street art. A smattering of his pranksterism is an absolute must for any show staking claim to the mantle of comprehensive survey and an excellent way to garner attention. But “Streets” gets its momentum by presenting a multi-torch colorful and explosive people’s history that began way before Banksy was born and likely will continue for a while after.

The show is an audacious multi-platform, colorful endeavor; part history lesson and part theme park bringing about 50 years of graffiti and street art history, it’s influences and influencers, under one roof. Then there is the stuff outside. Engaging and educational, “Art in the Streets” makes sure visitors have the opportunity to learn how certain tributaries lead to this one river of swirling urban goo, mapping connections between cultural movements, communities, and relationships within it. When it does this, the museum system effectively differentiates its value apart from a mere gallery show. “

“Art In The Streets” Blade . Os Gemeos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“Art In The Streets” Invader’s invasion of Martha Cooper’s installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3.

Banksy’s NYC Residency – “Better Out Than In” – October 2013

An unprecedented city-wide near daily installation of works in New York established a new high-water mark in the flood of Street Art that took many cities in the 2010s. The British Street Artist played to a media capital in such an effective campaign that even the least interested residents became familiar with the elusive prankster.

Banksy’s Final Trick

From BSA

A Genuine October Surprise for New York Street Art Friends and Foes Alike.

“In a series of communiqués beamed from his website, the global Street Artist Banksy gave graffiti and Street Art followers a near-daily jolt of mystery and mouse clicking that had people looking at every street scene as a possible Banksy by the time it ended. While few can confirm the exact level of involvement the actual artist had in the five boroughs, if any, none will deny that the Banksy brand underwent a major “refresh” this month that again put his name on the lips of those who had begun to forget him and many who had never heard of him.

Thanks to this masterful marketing campaign billed as a month-long ‘residency’ on New York’s streets, many thousands were talking about him daily on the street, on television, radio, social media, in galleries, studios, office cubicles, art parties, and the mayors’ office. By effectively combining the sport of treasure hunting with humor and populism, each new cryptic appearance of something-anything gradually conditioned some grand art doyennes and the plainer mongrels amongst us to drool on command and lift a leg in salute to the curiously still anonymous artist and the team who helped him pull it off.”

BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

4.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Exhibitions with Swoon, Faile, BÄST, Haring, Basquiat, ESPO, JR Expand Knowledge, Appreciation

One cultural institution in New York City and indeed in the United States has been notable throughout the decade for its commitment to organizing exhibitions where graffiti, street art, and the artists whom have shaped it are given recognition for their contribution to the arts. The Brooklyn Museum’s leadership, including former director Arnold L. Lehman, current director Anne Pasternak, and Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives have been channeling resources and focus to the study, promotion, and exhibition of the works of important figures in the contemporary graffiti and Street Art movement. It notable that the museum has in its permanent collection the works of distinguished graffiti and Street Artists dating back to the dawn of the modern scene; something that other important cultural institutions in New York City that are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of modern, contemporary, and American art lack in their collections.

It’s for this reason that we have selected the Brooklyn Museum as one of the top ten graffiti and street art movers of the decade. Predated by 2006’s “Graffiti” exhibition the museum has mounted several important presentations during this decade that have not only been blockbusters but they have contributed to the cultural enrichment of all New Yorkers and the expanded discussion of the relevance of these art forms to established canons. Here are some highlights:

Keith Haring – March 2012

From BSA

Keith Haring 1978-1982 : Early Keith at The Brooklyn Museum

Keith Haring: 1978-1982, a traveling exhibition first shown in Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna and The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, introduces a period of his work not often examined, taking you up to the edge of the seemingly sudden international fame he experienced as artist, activist and public figure through the rest of the 1980s.

… At a time when the small-town boy was developing his visual vocabulary as an artist, Haring was also discovering himself as a man in the world and in a city that he found endlessly fascinating and worthy of exploration. Capturing his spirit of hands-on experimentation, the show is almost entirely comprised of works on paper with one collaborative piece on plywood with his contemporary Jean Michel Basquiat, paper collage, video, and documentary photos.”

Keith Haring. Matrix, 1983. Courtesy of and © Keith Haring Foundation, The Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon – April 2014

From BSA

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum

“Sharon brought me in here and said, ‘What is interesting to you in the building?’ and I really love that because the thing about working on the street is that you are always thinking site-specifically. And so that thinking has to translate into your work in all places. For me, if I make something in a museum I want it to be very site-specific and this is probably one of the most site-specific pieces I’ve ever done,” explains Swoon.

Under the advice and guidance of an engineer, the artist also modified her design process to allow for foundational considerations like truss sections and lift points. “I showed him an initial model and he showed me an engineered system and then I built another model based on the system that he engineered.”

It is probably unusual for a grand museum to be so amenable to the requests of an artist for a site-specific piece that literally inhabits the furthest reaches of space, and Swoon says she recognizes the leeway she received. “You know, they have been really adventurous in letting us create this. We’ve been sort of pushing a lot with the creation of this piece.”

For Matt Atkins, the opportunity to bring an internationally known street artist and neighbor into the museum has been the result of just over two years of planning. ‘It’s been so wonderful working with Swoon to realize her vision for this project. This is the first time we’ve really used the full height of the 72-foot dome, so it’s quite spectacular. I am thrilled to see her boats back in New York and for them to have this new life. The underlying ideas about climate change in the installation also make this project an appropriate tie into the Museum’s focus on activism with our other exhibitions and collections,’ she says.”

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks – April 2015

From BSA

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

“In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile & BÄST – July 2015

From BSA

Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

“FAILE may be a religious experience this summer at the Brooklyn Museum, but only one of the hallowed installations is called Temple. The seedier, more dimly lit venue will surely have the larger number of congregants by far, bless their sacred hearts.

Celebrating the duality and appropriation of words, slogans, and images have been the bailiwick of the duo since they first began hitting Brooklyn streets at the turn of the century with their stencils and wheat-pastes on illegal spots and neglected spaces. In FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, their new attention-commanding/refracting exhibit organized by Sharon Matt Atkins at the Brooklyn Museum, these guys pour it on, compelling you into a complex panoply of possible re-imaginings of meaning that reference pop, pulp, myth, art history, 50s sci-fi, 60s advertising, comics, punk zines, consumer culture and their own pure artistic and branded fiction.”

FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stephen ESPO Powers – November 2015

From BSA

Coney Island Dreaming: Following the Signs to Stephen Powers

Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull) is one of 3 new exhibits inspired by the historic attractions of Brooklyn’s seaside.

“Graffiti artist-turned-sign painter Stephen Powers is dreaming of Coney Island and he is bringing a colorful collection of found and freshly produced signage that evokes a forgotten era to climb the columns of a Brooklyn Museum gallery.

Given the boisterous parade of brands and logos into museums that is happening as part of the institutional funding and programming mix, it’s fun to see the ninth episodic installation of this traveling ICY SIGNS shop here; its simplicity and guile recalling amusing persuasive techniques from the mid-century American advertising lexicon. Simultaneously, for those who have been lucky enough to sicken themselves on cotton candy and The Wonder Wheel, the new show imparts a rather reassuring and seedy nostalgia for Coney Island, complete with an inexplicable hankering for a thick beef hot dog.”

Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR – October 2019

From BSA

“JR: Chronicles” Revels in His Explorations at Brooklyn Museum

“A retrospective at Brooklyn Museum currently showcases the photographic works and public projects envisioned and created by French Street Artist JR. Covering roughly two decades of work, JR: Chronicles dedicates an in-depth examination into his practices and personal philosophies when creating – as evidenced by this collection of his murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas, and archival materials.

Brooklyn Street Art: JR created a new digital collage for this exhibition featuring a thousand or so people individually interviewed and photographed. Can you tell us about what criterion he used for selecting his subjects?
Sharon Matt Atkins: JR’s main focus was on capturing the rich diversity of New York City. As such, he photographed people in all five boroughs of the city, including many neighborhoods that were new to him. While he did invite some guests to participate, most of the people were passersby or business owners and workers of local stores. “

JR. 28 Millimètres, Portrait d’une génération, Braquage (Holdup), Ladj Ly, 2004
JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5

Blu and Street Art – Banksy & Co.

Curated by Christian Omodeo, Luca Cinacabilla, and Sean Corcoran. March 2016

BLU buffing his own works in Bologna took the news cycle, his legion of compatriots armed with rollers and bucket paint. But it was the show that he was reacting to that brought thousands to the museum space to discuss the rightful place of Street Art, graffiti, and the relevance of preserving it for posterity.

From BSA

BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

“The contested Banksy and Co. exhibition contains, among many other works, walls removed from a privately owned abandoned building in Bologna that were painted by BLU. Displaying the walls and his artwork without his consent so angered the painter that he rallied artists and activists to help him snuff out all his remaining murals and paintings in this Northern Italian city last week. (See A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna)

The heavily attended Friday night opening of Street Art – Banksy & Co. at Palazzo Pepoli – Museo della Storia di Bologna was curated by Luca Ciancabilla, Christian Omodeo, and Sean Corcoran and features roughly 250 historical and contemporary works spanning about fifty years and highlighting a number of movements within the so-called Urban Art genre. On balance it appears that 90 percent of the works are studio works, paintings, sculpture, videos, original sketches, and ephermera and were probably collected in a more conventional way and the tagged posters, stickers, metal doors, and wall fragments are viewed in the context of the whole scene.”

About Ponny (photo © @around730)

A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna

From BSA

“Reality TV is usually completely devoid of reality. That isn’t the exact comparison Andreco said on his Facebook page but we thought it was a fitting analogy. Street Art in a museum or gallery can sometimes feel like taxidermy.

Andreco actually said ‘Deciding which wall to paint or not to paint has always been one of our free choices. This operation, to uncork the walls and move them elsewhere, oversteps this freedom.’ Fair enough.

Of course, that is not the primary reason why activists and Street Artists joined in to help BLU paint over the many murals that he completed on Bologna city walls over the last two decades or so. In an English titled press release on the Italian website Wumingfoundation the artist lays out a multi-layered justification for destroying his own murals, many of which have become beloved landmarks around the city and which have helped make him an art star in some circles.”

BLU action in Bologna. (photo © Andreco)

American conceptual, activist and street artist John Fekner, whose art and his art partner Don Leicht were represented in the exhibition Street Art: Bansky & Co weighs in the controversy by saying:

  • The bottom line is: what’s done in public-doesn’t remain in public. There’s no protection for artists who trespass. It’s the chance one takes outdoors.
  • If you create illegal art murals, street rules are always in effect:
  1. You can’t stop a drunk in the middle of the night from pissing on your wall.
  2. You can’t stop a bulldozer from razing your work.
  3. You can’t stop a neighborhood anti-graffiti squad from painting over your work.
  4. You can’t stop a well-dressed thief in a suit, or their hired slug with a chisel from removing your wall work and hauling it off to their laird, garage, museum or art market.

“Under any circumstances, don’t immediately and irrationally react. If your original aspirations were to be an artist- then just do what you were meant to do: be an artist. Don’t double shift and be a night watchman patrolling the streets to try and thwart thieves of your work. Unique temporary outdoor creations engender a public conversation that includes everyone: art lovers and art haters, lowbrow and highbrow, and everyone who interacts with your public work.”

John Fekner (© John Fekner)

6.

Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art Opens in Berlin – September 2017

We had the unique perspective of being two of the foundational curators who made this exhibition happen and made the doors fly open to thousands of visitors, so it only made sense that we covered the opening that brought much promise to the institutional recognition of Street Art, graffiti, and its move into Urban Contemporary.

From BSA

“Inundated!” Scenes from the Opening: UN – Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin

“This week is Art Week in Berlin, and you just stole Art Week,” said a handsome and intensely opinionated German to us as we leaned on the arm rail of the M.C. Escher-inspired walkway before a Carlos Mare139 sculpture and above the capacity crowd on Saturday night at the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN).

Not sure if that was the exact goal, but we get his larger point; the UN has just made a massive entry into a number of societally and culturally influential minds when it comes to the relevancy of Street Art and graffiti to visual culture and art history. This movement into so-called Contemporary began as early as the 1970s and has overcome and weathered cultural and market ebbs and flows – persisted, if you will – yet somehow institutions have been wary of this work and these artists and unable to fully embrace their importance, you decide why.”

Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hot Tea’s installation. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

7.

Five Pointz: A Legal Case For Urban Artists Shifts the Focus – February 2018

From BSA

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

“In a ruling that many graffiti and Street Artists interpret as a validation of their artwork and which may spawn further legal claims by artists in the future, Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block, a United States Federal Judge for the Eastern District of New York, awarded $6.7 million in damages to a group of 21 artists in the high profile case of the former graffiti holy place in Queens called 5 Pointz.

Under the leadership of artist and organizer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, also a plaintiff, the award is in response to a suit that cried foul on the overnight destruction of multiple artworks on building walls without consultation or notification of the artists.

Citing provisions of the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act that grants artists certain “moral” rights, the artists claimed that their artworks on the 5 Pointz compound that was owned by real estate developer Jerry Wykoff were protected and should be afforded certain rights and considerations.

Arts and intellectual property lawyers and judges will now be examining the implications of the ruling and citing it as an example in arguments about art created on walls legally and possibly those created illegally as well. In a city that prides itself as being a birthplace of graffiti and Street Art, many artists and wall owners must ask themselves if there will need to be an additional layer of the agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.”

5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

8.

The New York Times Publishes DONDI’S Obituary – February 2019

In an unprecedented posthumous publication of an obituary, this year The Times acknowledged something that it had so far failed to do; the contribution of graffiti writers to the cultural and art canons deserves serious recognition. By publishing the iconic image of DONDI taken by Martha Cooper that burned “Subway Art” into the mind’s eye of many generations of graffiti writers, the “paper of record” caught up with one the the scene’s leaders and heroes.

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)

The NYT obituary of Dondi begins like this:

Donald Joseph White, considered a legend before “street art” became popular, turned New York City’s subways into rolling canvases of color, humor and social commentary.”

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)


9.

Martha Cooper: A Picture Story Premieres at TriBeCa. A film by Selina Miles. April 2019

From BSA

MARTHA: A Picture Story. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

“First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:

Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.

The electricity was in the air as Director Miles and producer Daniel Joyce along with the just-arrived Australian members of the “Martha” crew looked for their seats in the Village East Cinema. After a brief introduction by Miles, who told the audience that the film had been a great pleasure to make, the curtain went up to reveal the mother of the superstar art twins Os Gemeos on the big screen. She is sitting at her kitchen table in São Paulo remarking how her boys used to draw on everything, including fruit, and how Cooper and Chalfant’s 1984 book “Subway Art” changed their lives forever. With their story as a backbone for the film, the theme of personal transformation is repeated in a hundred large and small ways for the next hour and twenty minutes. “

Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Director Selina Miles with Martha Cooper. Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

10.

Street Art and Activism Takes Larger Share of the Cultural Stage

This decade that is coming to an end has seen its share of natural disasters, human rights violations, atrocities of large scale against humanity, corruption at the highest levels, the reversal of hard-fought policies to protect the planet and keep our air and water clean. We have witnessed with despair the renaissance of hatred based on people’s nationalities, their skin color, their religion, their choice of attire, their level of material affluence and their sexual preferences.

We have seen progress as well. Women around the world have been freer to speak their mind against oppression and abuse of power thanks to social movements that have flourished around the world in big cities and small towns. Our LGBT brothers and sisters have scored numerous legal battles in their favor thanks to enlightened lawmakers and judges who have searched deep inside their intellect to find the right answer to make sure everybody is treated equally. Likewise, our peers whom we need to advance our cause have taken seriously the responsibility at the ballot box to make the correct choice with policies that will bring relief to those who have less than we do.

Art and artists have often reflected back to us the world we live in, it is for this reason that we have chosen Street Art and Activism as an important action in this decade. We have always championed the work of artists who imbued their art with a strong sense of social urgency. It is with their art that they talk to us in the hopes to change one mind, one action, one concept, one attitude towards the goal creating a common good. There are many of them currently active on the streets. This wouldn’t be the appropriate space to list all of them but we would like to give you some highlights:

No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

Barcelona, February 2019.

From BSA:

“This past Sunday, February 17 at La Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas (Three Smokestacks Square) in Barcelona an international group of artists participated in the first ‘No Borders Festival.’

NO BORDERS is a grassroots organization that was created to raise awareness about the refugees, to demand their acceptance, and to raise funds through debates, art, and documentaries.

They say they want to raise the uncomfortable questions – which will undoubtedly lead to uncomfortable answers as well. To paraphrase the text on their website:

‘Do we settle for a society that violates its moral and legal obligations to refugees? A refugee is a person who flees – Flees because he is on the losing side. Because he thinks, feels or prays differently than those who point him with their weapons.’

As usual, artists are bringing these matters to the street for the vox populi to debate.”

Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

Andreco: Reclaiming Air and Water for Delhi, India “Climate 05”

New Delhi, March 2019.

From BSA:

An Art, Science and Climate Action project by Andreco

“And the statement isn’t hyperbole, according to AIR-Ink, the company that made his ink, which is “the first ink made entirely out of air pollution,” they explain on their website.

The unique art-making material is part of the Italian Street Artist / Activist’s most recent installment of his Climate Art Project, which he orchestrated on the streets here in New Delhi for the St+Art Festival this year. Part of a global, multi-city installation and demonstration, ‘Climate 05 – Reclaiming Air and Water’.”

Andreco. Climate Art Project. In collaboration with St+ART India Foundation. Delhi, India. March 2019. (photo Akshat Nauriyal)

“Post-Posters” Puncture Public Discourse in Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, May 2019.

From BSA:

” ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Ass Ads,’ says a new stencil-style printed poster by New York’s epic, if sometimes cryptic, street commentator of four decades, John Fekner. Anyway, who will argue with that?

Post-posters is a cooperative proposition about public billposting,” says French conceptual street anarchist Matthew Tremblin about his new project with hit-and-run situationist street posterer Antonio Gallego. Together they reclaim space with individually produced posters and they invite artists from around the world to do the same.

Over a two month period the creative place-makers are facilitating an international crew of artists to post posters on the occasion of the double exhibition by Banlieue-Banlieue group* (°1982, Poissy) taking place in Strasbourg, at both AEDAEN and the Syndicat Potentiel. “

John Fekner . Carole Douillard. Post-Posters Project. Strasbourg, France. April 2019. (photo courtesy of Syndicat Potentiel)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: When the Lion Roars Back, a small overview

Brooklyn, NY. July 2019.

From BSA:

“By putting these images of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ folks on the street with their blunt-force sentiments addressed to would-be harassers, she not only stands with them, but Tatyana has also used her work and vision to give them the courage to stand proud, assert their voice and to take public space.

After all, it belongs to the public.

“Women are not outside for your entertainment”, a startling truth for some guys that pointedly highlights abusive behavior toward women on the streets of Brooklyn and many cities around the world. Brooklyn Street Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh has been targeting daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people with her campaigns of art on the streets – and in the gallery.

Addressing themes of social justice, racism, LGBTQ+ rights, and sexist street harassment, her beautifully drawn campaigns on wheat-pasted posters and painted murals across the globe have brought attention to issues sorely in need of addressing during hostile rhetoric from some men in the highest offices.”

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jetsonorama Tells “Stories From Ground Zero”

Church Rock, New Mexico. August 2019.

From BSA:

“This spill and these events did not happen in San Diego or Palm Beach. The story doesn’t affect wealthy white families and cannot be used to sell shampoo or real estate. That’s probably why we don’t see it in the press and never on the talking-head news. Street Artist Jetsonorama is not only a photographer who has been wheat-pasting his stunning images of people and nature on desert buildings for over a decade, he is also a doctor on the Navajo reservation, a human-rights activist, and an erudite scholar of American history as it pertains to the poisoning of this land and these people. Today we’re pleased to bring you this long-form examination from Jetsonorama’s perspective on a complicated and tragic US story of environmental poisoning and blight that affects generations of native peoples, miners, military personnel, and everyday people – and has no end in sight.

Most alarming is the news the current White House administration is endeavoring to mine uranium here again.

‘Private companies hired thousands of Navajo men to work the uranium mines and disregarded recommendations to protect miners and mill workers. In 1950 the U.S. Public Health Service began a human testing experiment on Navajo miners without their informed consent during the federal government’s study of the long-term health effects from radiation poisoning.  This study followed the same violation of human rights protocol as the US Public Health Service study on the long-term effects of syphilis on humans by experimenting on non-consenting African American men in what is known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment from 1932 – 1972.’ ~ Jetsonorama”

JC with her younger sister, Gracie (who is a NBCS participant).  (photo © Jetsonorama)

BSA Special Feature: “REWILD” from Escif

Sumatra, Indonesia. September 2019.

From BSA:

“As part of our core commitment as a non-commercial platform that has helped hundreds of artists over the last decade+, BSA significantly helped Escif to raise money for his Indiegogo fundraiser in Spring 2017 when we promoted his “Breath-Time” horticultural project heavily as he planted trees to reforest Mount Olivella in Southern Italy.

Today BSA debuts REWILD, a new tree-related project by the Spanish Street Artists – just as the Global Climate March is spreading to cities around the world, including New York.

The concept of the short film is simple: can’t we just push the “Rewind” button?

‘The narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the world’s most versatile commodities. Beyond the industrialisation of the land, we end at the beginning, a thriving ecosystem alive with wildlife. The concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees, expanding the boundaries of one of the most biodiverse places on earth.’  

Finally, a stunning custom soundtrack by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah captures and carries this into another world, which is possible.

Shout out to the folks behind the project Splash and Burn: a cultural initiative curated by Ernest Zacharevic and coordinated by Charlotte Pyatt run in association with the Sumatran Orangutan Society and the Orangutan Information Centre.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.23.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.23.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Biggie Smalls and Alfred Hitchcock open Autumn Equinox for BSA this week and we can’t help but think of that movie “The Birds” by the English film director where nature turns against man. Kiwi Street Artist Owen Dippie painted the mural in Brooklyn at the end of the summer and the mashup of references between the Brooklyn rapper and the dark cinematic thrillmaster in black and white may frighten you if you imagine those birds balanced at the end of their cigars began to peck their eyes out.

Friday night marked a new milestone for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin there was a preview of the newly completed and opened artists’ residencies put on display. We were treated to the creative environments of 11 of the residencies with the first group of artists in attendance including NeSpoon, Herakut, Li-Hill, Snik, Ludo, Mia Florentine Weiss, Quintessenz, Sellfable, Dot Dot Dot, Louis Masai, Wes 21 and Onur. The museum will open its doors again for the museum’s second exhibition titled “The Power of Art as a Social Architect”  this Thursday.  Check it out if you are in Berlin.

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UPCrew, Adele Renault, AKUT, Berlin Kidz, BustArt, Dina Saadi, Exit Art, L.E.T., M-City, Mehsos, Owen Dippie, Snik, and Vegan Flava.

Top Image: Owen Dippie (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adele Renault in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adele Renault in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adele Renault in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adele Renault in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tyson’s Corner. Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BustArt at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

L.E.T. Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

L.E.T. Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SNIK. WIP and detail shot for the new facade at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SNIK. WIP and detail shot for the new facade at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vegan Flava. Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew and Berlin Kidz in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MEHSOS at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dina Saadi at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

EXIT. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pizza Activism. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akut. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. September 2018. Urban Spree, Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Trash Talk: Bordalo II in His Hometown

Trash Talk: Bordalo II in His Hometown

Just as we started 2018 we had the fortune to spend one week in the enchanting city of Lisbon, Portugal as ambassadors for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art (UN). Lisbon is home to some great Street Art and graffiti and some striking figures on the international scene like Vhils and Bordalo II and we spent some hair raising and fun rides with the latter in his small car as he flew around corners and trash flew around in the back seat.

Of course there was trash in the back seat! Bordalo II has created a spectacular practice of creating street works from it that shock passersby with his ingenuity – while raising our collective consciousness about our responsibility to the earth.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So we thought you may like to see a collection of them together today. While combing the narrow, winding and steep streets of Lisbon we made many artistic discoveries, large and small, of the prolific and magnificent urban art expressions throughout the port town.

A number of deliciously trashy sculptures of Bordallo II had just appeared all over the city in the previous months to highlight his solo exhibition that took place in November. Others have been installed on the streets for a while and one in particular was specifically made the eve of Christmas…not so much as a celebration but as a commentary on the inordinate waste that follows, once the food is eaten, the libations had and the presents opened.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now BSA is heading to Tahiti to participate on the 5th anniversary of ONO’U Tahiti and we’ll have the pleasure of spending a few days with Bordalo II  again! Stay tuned to see what trouble he and Pixel can get into.

We published two in-depth Lisbon accounts from that visit trip HERE and HERE.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Nevercrew Reifies on “One Wall” in Berlin

Nevercrew Reifies on “One Wall” in Berlin

Nevercrew is unifying in Berlin with their new “One Wall” project with Urban Nation. The immense marine mammals depicted are not typical in their upright position in this reflective scene. Are they flying? Art they floating?

The artists tell us that they decided on the configuration based on the building walls themselves and are surprised by the opposite yet complementary pose the new mural creates.

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Ironically by turning the subjects 90 degrees the scene is more disturbing: you may become more aware of the powerful forces of man and nature that are upending these magnificient beasts and appreciate their fragility.

“It is about common responsibilities and aims despite distances and differences: towards a lost balance between humankind and nature and with human nature itself,” Christian and Pablo say in a statement for this powerful painted piece of unity called “Reification” that suddenly makes it all real.

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

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Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2017

Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2017

Every Friday we invite you to stop by and take a look at new videos that have been submitted or recommended or that we tripped over walking by the railroad tracks. This year we showed you about 250 of them.

We call it BSA Film Friday and it travels with us to cities around the world now when we do it LIVE with you and other audience members in theaters and lecture halls and museums. The beauty of the video/film form is you can get a full story quickly, and you are often surprised by how transformative it can be. You can also see how many people are affected by urban and street culture through these films – we see people’s eyes light up when they realize that they too can create in public space, that the world is not simply a product but is a piece of art that many of their peers are now jumping in to co-create.

As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, and achingly beautifully normal. From looking at the Separation Wall and Banksy to a travelling crew of graffiti writers on farms in Polish pig country to the amazing dance troupe who interpreted the 5 floors of art installations in a downtown Berlin former bank, you have before you a massive buffet of a visual feast.

The final desert is hand-held phone video caught in the moment last month in Mexico City. We didn’t know Keith Haring was coming down the tracks to surprise us, and we didn’t know that this unpolished jewel would garner thousands of viewers and commenters – effectively placing this little piece of video at number 1 for its popularity. Maybe the fact that it is so raw is what people relate to – along with an ongoing adulation for Haring.

We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.


No. 15
Faith XLVII / Aqua Regalia Hong Kong

From BSA Film Friday 05.19.17

“Distant universes delicately tangled,” says the near-whispering narration as you are gazing upon scenes from Hong Kong – those interstitial moments that carry you between the more remarkable ones. Faith XLVII gives us a quiet look at these inside a the dencse cacophony called “Aqua Regalia”, looking at the parts of a culture that a visitor is sensitive to because they are not taken for granted. With this ability to see, one takes a quick course of a city, a society. Invariably you end up with more questions.

“We speak of death and birth in terms of celebration and mourning.” Faith XLVII is in search of more universal truths, the timeless ones, since we understand them so poorly. Herein are glimpses, romantic and unvarnished.

“This is one of the first videos I’ve co-directed, alongside filmmaker Dane Dodds,” Faith tells us. “Its a project that is close to my heart.”

No. 14
Gonzalo Borondo / Cenere

From BSA Film Friday 08.11.17

Borondo keeps it open for you. He provides the stage, the staging area, the proscenium, the altar, the emanating light, the associations and memories you have with your belief system, or lack of one. During his artist residency with Pubblica, curated by Carlo Vignapiano and Elena Nicolini in May, the Street Artist (among other things) creates a journey as much as a destination in this intimate chapel. The video by Gerdi Petanaj captures this and perhaps a little more.

 

No. 13
The Haus / Lunatix Dance

From BSA Film Friday 04.07.17

From the moment it opened on April 1st, the Haus was a hit! BSA was very lucky to be there in February for a full tour while still in development in Berlin, nearly dancing ourselves through all five floors of this former bank with full scale installations in places that once held offices, conference rooms, employee coffee lounges.

By inviting Creative Director/dancer Serdar Bogatin and the film crew “Shuto Crew” into the space with members of the Lunatix Dance Production troupe, these spaces and art environments come completely alive, invoking stories and dramas – clearly making the spaces into elaborate set-design pieces.

 

No. 12
Ella & Pitr / Frappés PinPins

From BSA Film Friday 05.05.17

The French duo Ella + Pitr here revel in the simplicity of the gestural act of a full-body full-bucket splash of black paint.

Carnal, visceral, overlaid with psychographical information, the motion of splashing inky pigment across a white quadrilateral is an act of defiance and a release of the inner chaos – instantly recognizable as chaos elsewhere in the world.

The uncontrollable quality, especially when purveyed within an atmosphere of prim control, provokes amplified emotions in some. Fear, liberation, rage, release. Which ones will you experience?

 

No. 11
Indecline/ Rail Beast

From BSA Film Friday 10.20.17

“This reminds why I hate vandals! All this does is create more unnecessary work for the guys at the paint shop,” says a commenter on the Vimeo page where INDECLINE has posted this locomotive takeover.

You see kids, this is why we can’t have nice things. I just mopped this floor and you come running in here with your muddy boots! For Pete’s sake.

Truthfully, this decidedly unpolitical piece is a surprise coming from INDECLINE. Guess they were taking the day off from railing against hypocrisy and injustice with this animated train that recalls Saturday morning cartoons like Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner.

 

No. 10
Olek / In the Blink of an Eye

From BSA Film Friday 01.13.17

“It is one thing to read about the events in those parts of the world, but it is something totally different to actually look in the eyes of the women who lost everything while running from the war,” says artist Olek about how her world view changed when crocheting the project featured this week.

While gathering and producing materials for her installation with Verket Museum in Avesta, Sweden, the Brooklyn based Street Artist was holding informal crochet workshops with volunteers who would be producing the decorative yarn skin that covered every single item inside and outside of the house with their handmade crochet stitches.

Some invited guests were refugees who had escaped war in Syria and Ukraine and the artist and local folks shared stories and crocheted, sewed, and prepared the art materials together over the course of a number of days. It was during these exchanges of personal stories that, “a conversation started that has changed me forever,” she says – and she immediately needed to reflect it in her project with the museum.

 

No. 09
Sebastian Purfürst – Soniconoclasm / Broken Motor

From BSA Film Friday 06.02.17

In Berlin recently we met a photographer/media artist/musician who showed us a music video he just made of regular people whom you might meet on the city streets at night. This spring he asked more than 25 of them to recite phrases and “cut-up of army radio slang phrases” and by splicing them together with his band mate’s recitation of the lyrics synched to their lips, the rawness and rage and disconnected connectedness of people whom you can meet on the street rang true. “

This unvarnished quality bypasses the styled self-awareness of a lot of commercial media, and the anger actually comes across as fear. Perhaps you’ll think its too dark in demeanor – but then suddenly the melding together of the faces into one common entity makes it magic, even transcendent – revealing a simple sameness of everyone.

“This suspenseful individuality of the people is almost completely dissolved in the chorus,” says Sebastian Purfürst of his video with bandmate Markus F.C.Buhl.

Together they are called SONICONOCLASM.

 

No. 08
Pixel Pancho/ UN – Berlin

From BSA Film Friday 09.22.17

Pixel’s original installation was nixed by the city at the last moment but that didn’t prevent the Italian Street Artist from rallying to find another solution!

This new installation in the back courtyard was conceived of, designed, and constructed over a period of 4 days last week and became the secret surprise behind the museum for those who wandered there. Using landscaping techniques and botanical knowledge that come naturally from his farm in Italy, the artist create a mise en scène of epic impact with his robotic folk-futurist sculptures. Night time lighting took it to another world, but you can see the details better here in this short video Jaime Rojo shot on site.

 

No. 07
FifthWall TV / Occupied in Bethlehem – A visit to BANKSY’s “Walled Off Hotel”

From BSA Film Friday 06.16.17

“It’s almost become a playground for people to come to,” says your host Doug Gille as he looks at the section of the Separation Wall that the Banksy “Walled Off” Hotel is installed upon. “I think it is so crucial for people not to just come to see the wall or to paint on the wall,” he says.

“50 years under military control makes it the longest occupation in history,” is a quote that Gillen brandishes across the screen from the United Nations. The fact that Banksy is using his art star power to keep this on the front burner says a lot about the man.

“I think a lot of these people feel like we are forgetting about them and we have to remind them that we’re not,” says Gillen as he soul searches next to the Dead Sea.

 

No. 06
Various & Gould / City Skins – Marx und Engels

From BSA Film Friday 07.14.17

Conceptual Street Artists often perform interventions without explanation, satisfied with their own observations of the outcome. For Berlians Various & Gould the process has more often included the participation of the public – a way for more to take ownership and inspire dialogue. Sometimes many dialogues.

You may have seen our piece on their most recent public project called “City Skins”: Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould.  Here is a mini-documentary that shows you the artists, the process, and the thinking behind the process.

 

No. 05
Rurales

From BSA Film Friday 01.27.17

Now to the Polish pig farms! Another Street Art/Mural road trip movie, this time across Poland with JAYPOP, Seikon, Krik KONG and filmmaker Cuba Goździewicz. See the discoveries, the relationships, the reactions to the work from a warm and considered human perspective.

The beauty of randomness and the randomness of beauty. These guys are fully engaged with their surroundings, the opportunity, the myriad people they befriend or portend to make allies. It’s an uncharted trip where permissions are sought and often refused, but they never stop painting somehow.

 

No. 04
Swoon/ Fearless

From BSA Film Friday 10.13.17

Using existing and new footage of Street Artist Swoon and selected interviews with people in her orbit, director Fredric King presents and hour long documentary that looks over two decades of art making. The stories told and the insights that Calendonia Curry aka Swoon presents while en route to her next adventure illustrate the fluidity with which she pursues the creative spirit, whether on the street, on a vessel down a river, or installing in a museum. An integrated explorer, Swoon brings you into the fold to go on this journey that always feels like its just begun.

No. 03
Fin DAC/ Rooftop in San Francisco

From BSA Film Friday 08.25.17

On an expansive rooftop in rainy/sunny/rainy San Francisco, Street Artist Fin Dac brings to life ‘Shukumei’, an ebullient and mysterious muse. The film is largely a stop motion record of the work set to music, but did you notice how much dexterity and effort goes into this precision play when you are working at this angle, basically painting the floor? The remarkable integration of the glowing skylight orb, dramatically revealed, imparts the figure a mystical dimension as well.

Video editing by Tonic Media, Soundtrack by Mombassa/Lovechild, and shout out to Ian and Danielle at Rocha Art and Missy Marisa, model.

 

No. 02
Niels Shoe Meulman In Magic City / The Art Of The Street

From BSA Film Friday 12.01.17

Niels Shoe Meulman spent some nights in a Munich jail thirty years ago for mucking about on the walls. This year he was paid to do it in Munich for Magic City, the travelling morphing exhibition (now in Stockholm) where Street Art is celebrated along with all its tributaries – including a film program and a number of photographs by your friends here at BSA.

Born, raised and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Shoe shares here his new improvisational piece and some of his reflections on his process and his evolution from being in advertising as an art/creative director and reclaiming his soul as a graffiti/Street Art/fine artist. As ever, Martha is in the frame, putting him in the frame.

No. 01
Keith Haring- Rough Cut / Mexico City Metro

This rough cut lil’ video reached more than 300K individuals and had 100K views with thousands of shares on FB and on Instagram with dozens of comments and high engagement was easily propelled to the #1 spot.

From BSA Film Friday 12.01.17

It all took us by surprise last week in Mexico City when suddenly a whole train covered on both sides with Keith Haring’s work approached while we were waiting at the platform to catch the Linea 2 of the Metro. He made his name in part by illegally doing drawings like these in NYC subways and here now they are crushing a whole train. The name of the project is “Ser Humano. Ser Urbano” or “Being Human. Being Urban” and it aims to promote human values and human rights. The pattern you see is from “Sin Titulo (Tokyo Fabric Design)” – now stretched across these whole cars, if you will.

The train itself is inexplicably having brake troubles, so we get some jerky spur-of-the-moment footage but all week on Instagram and Facebook we’ve received tons of comments from people reacting to this little bit of Keith video by Jaime Rojo on BSA.

 

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Le Rat Has Arrived, Police Remove Cars from “Art Mile”, 2 Days to “Unstoppable” in Berlin : BSA Dispatch 3

Le Rat Has Arrived, Police Remove Cars from “Art Mile”, 2 Days to “Unstoppable” in Berlin : BSA Dispatch 3

Blek Le Rat arrived at the Urban Nation office today with his wife Sybille after a long car ride from Paris, ready for a coffee and possibly to take a look at the wall he’ll be painting here to celebrate “UNSTOPPABLE”, the inaugural exhibition of the UN museum this weekend. The wind taunted BustArt as he attempted to lay his irreverent stencil of Mother Mary coddling Pluto Jr. and the sliced cutout cardboard bent and bowed beyond an average person’s patience while his buddy Stephan helped hold it down for spraying.

Isaac Cordal. Detail of a larger outdoor installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Under the elevated train a legion of police and traffic cops removed 80 or so cars so the team could begin building stages, cages, platforms, lighting, electricity – for a slew of fresh outdoor pieces which will be installed Thursday and Friday for the weekend outside component.

Who is going to be on display as part of the Art Mile? Try Pixel Pancho, Franco JAZ Fasoli, Bordalo II, Mimi S., HowNosm, Zezao, Isaac Cordal, Olek, Seth Globepainter, Blek Le Rat, Hottea, Dot Dot Dot, Borondo, Herakut, Deih XLF, Faith 47, David De La Mano, Nespoon, Tank Patrol, Lister, Cranio, Sandra Chevrier, Aaron Woes M, Yok & Sheryo, Haroshi, Don John, Ben Frost, Various & Gould, Icy & Sot, Mademoiselle Maurice, the Juxtapoz newsstand, Mark Bode, Shepard Fairey, 1 Up, James Bullough, and 2501. It’s a real cross section of styles, influences, and voice that will be engaging guests this weekend.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Berlin police actually use a truss and truck that picks up the offending car, puts it on a flatbed. Then, believe or not, they look for an empty parking spot in the neighborhood an place the car into the new place – also signs are posted to let you know where your car was re-located to.

In New York City if you are unfortunate enough to park your car in the wrong place it is simply towed away to a massive car yard somewhere, banging into things occasionally on the way and flying through potholes – and then held for a King’s ransom. Then you have to simply guess if it was towed or stolen.  No word on what the London Police do in regards to cars parked illegally.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Florian couldn’t wait to take a peek. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Hot Tea)

Up on a lift for painting today also were Mademoiselle Maurice, David De La Mano, and James Bullough, and the company plastering the corner façade of the museum with pink letters. When the winds got to strong everybody was forced to bring the lifts down for an hour. Intrepid and lucky photographers like Jaime Rojo and Nika Kramer still managed to go up in the buckets to get some good shots in.

Hot Tea is spraying a big installation space with a rainbow of colors – on the walls and floors completely. People who are peeking through the plastic sheeting that protects the windows are wondering what this world of color is going to be.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meanwhile the onslaught of arrivals continues, including hopefully we’ll see Martha Cooper and Carlo McCormick. Martha of course will be here to celebrate the beginning of the Martha Cooper Library within the museum and Carlo will be here to see the didactics and texts he wrote for the exhibition and catalogue –as well as speaking at the Unlock Book Fair. This publishing fair for graffiti, street art and related practices is a must see for those who relish the independent thinking minds who publish on paper in this scene. Other great speakers featured will be Pedro Soares, Jens Besser, Susan Phillips, Thomas Chambers, and Javier Abarca.

Okay that’s your update for today. See you on the streets tomorrow.

Ron English. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE at work for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bustart fights with the wind. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bustart. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tankpetrol at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice detail and process shot of her installation for Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice detail and process shot of her installation for Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Elle + Klone. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. Dispatch 5

Elle + Klone. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. Dispatch 5

This is the third year for Northern Norway’s UPN Festival and this year it’s on an Island called Røst and includes a collection of artists eager to do site-specific and environmental works – one evolutionary development in the mural festivals that blossom throughout the world right now. This week BSA is proud to bring you images and interviews along with Urban Nation this year at UpNorth, where the seagulls never stop calling and the sun never goes down this time of year.


We wind up the week on the island of Røst with almost a mystical sense, perhaps because of the inspirational messages we continued to see within the statements of this year’s artists. Today we see the metaphorical storytelling of Elle at war on the seas and the striking installation by Klone Yourself (or Klone) called “The Songs of the Vikings”
______________

A surrealist illustrator experimenting with different styles and mediums on Street Art pieces and murals in cities, Klone’s works on walls often feature simplified and distorted forms, figures, and creatures occupying a space that is seemingly suspended in air. An uprooted Ukrainian immigrant now from Tel Aviv, the mid-30s artist is looking at existential matters today in the way you do when you have had to adjust to a radically new environment.

Klone. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

One examines fundamentals and pillars of a culture, its history, norms and language – and then struggles to find a place within it. For his installation in Norway, the artist studied the location and the history of the region, combined that study with his own history, and constructed “Viking” swords for a site specific piece that takes on many shadings of significance.

“The texts on the swords are coming from various sources: Viking poetry and songs, contemporary references like music and literature we grow up on, and personal remarks and thoughts on life and daily struggles,” says Klone about his striking installation by the sea. “In a way this is a series of protective runes, planted in the ground, like after a big battle, some of the text disappearing, some still exposed. Some of the truth is always gone, and it’s all relative.

Klone. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: Can you talk about this striking and meaningful installation you did by the sea for UpNorth?
Klone: My main goal for the UpNorth festival was to complete my installation that was planned specifically for it. The installation consists of wooden swords, cut out by me from found wood (mostly wood that was used for building houses on the island), with text written on the swords.

Later those swords got stuck into a hill structure on the island. This installation has and can have so many meanings, to both me and the random viewer, so I’ll explain some of my intention – and anyone else can take it somewhere else, as people already did while I was installing my piece and directly after it was completed.

The sword is a symbol of power through thousands of years. A wooden sword is a toy, meant to play with. In a way it is to prepare us for one day holding a real sword, real power, or at least real representation of it, no matter how prepared or not we are.

On a personal note – my name is Igor, and this is the name my mother gave me when I was born and later explained to me that she gave me a Viking name so I could grow to be a strong man. In a way I hope I did become kind of a Viking. A free man, at least as much as I’d like to think so, somewhat a pirate, and always on the move with deep respect for history and traditions as well as a love for innovation. For me this was a kind of a closure, to bring this installation to a place that felt like it’s meant to be.

Klone. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: How would you describe the environment working in Røst?
Klone Yourself: The Røst environment is insane. It feels like another planet over there and with the 24/7 daylight, its easy to feel so.

I think it’s amazing to experience a place so old and yet so wholesome and not destroyed by modern civilizations. Yes they have machines, Internet and restaurants, but it seems like the people just want to live their lives and are not really bothered by what’s happening around them.

BSA: How are you challenging yourself as an artist right now?
Klone Yourself: I’m challenging myself as an artist on a daily basis. My practice is always on a few levels of perception, depending on the time and the place of course. As I work in drawing, painting, installation, video and mural painting, the limits are far to be seen, and there’s so much to try and learn yet.

The most appropriate personal title for the piece is – “Song of the Viking” , as a tribute to songs written by Vikings to their gods, and as a tribute to this land now and then.

Klone. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)


The American experimentalist Elle tries anything once – including fire extinguishers, rollers, aerosol, wheatpastes, silkscreens and bus stop takeovers – legal and illegal. Her illustrative style often centers around a fantastical avatar, a heroic and sensual woman who is exploring new psychological landscapes.

Here in Røst the heroine of a shipwreck casts a wide eye at you as she climbs through a tumultuous and harrowing sea storm. The metaphors are many and so is the range of Elles ever-increasing skills.

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

ELLE. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Our thanks to our partner Urban Nation (UN) and to photographer Tor Ståle Moen for his talents.


See our Up North roundup piece on The Huffington Post

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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.28.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.28.17

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Trump thought he could lift his poll numbers or legitimacy or at least his personal wealth by taking a world tour this week where he sold $100 billion in arms to Saudia Arabia, scored $100 million for his daughters brand new women’s fund, appeared to curtsy to the king, stuffed an electoral map in the Western Wall, volunteered that Israel did not give him intelligence that he gave to Russians in the Oval Office, depressed the Pope, irked his wife, shoved the leader of Montenegro to get to the head of the line, was ambush handshook by the new president of France, told the Germans they were very very bad…. can he please stop now? This drip, drip, drip of rotten embarrassing news is driving everyone crazy. Please please don’t start a war. Now his son-in-law is being invited for some interviews with the FBI?

Meanwhile, New York is getting clobbered by rain and new Street Art and murals and is electrified with the excitement of the beginning of summer. Coney Island, Bushwick, Little Italy are hot for new stuff going up again, David Choe is at the Houston Wall this week, the Bushwick Collective Block Party is June 3, and Ad Hoc’s Welling Court begins June 10.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Alice Pasquini, Baron Von Fancy, Blanco, City Kitty, Crash, Drsc0, Erosie, Jim Drain, Jorit Agoch, kaNO, Martin Whatson, Nick Walker, Pear, Rocket 01, Serge Lowrider, and Tod Seelie.

Top image: Kano. Detail. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kano for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain for Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Jorit Agoch portrait of Brazilian twins and artists Os Gemeos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Serge Lowrider for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporar Art. PM/12 “What In The World” Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Serge Lowrider for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporar Art. PM/12 “What In The World” Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nick Walker (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rocket 01 for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art “One Wall Project” in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blanco (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blanco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these:
a) Anything can happen to anyone.
and
b) It is best to be prepared.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Among other things. Baron Von Fancy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Collaboration between CRASH and Nick Walker. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erosie for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporar Art. PM/12 “What In The World” Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Moloch is the Biblical name relating to a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice. The name of this deity is also sometimes spelled Molech, Milcom, or Malcam.” We wonder whose children Moloch would sacrifice in this premonition from an unidentified artist on the streets of NYC. Yours? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alice Pasquini in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Whatson for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pear. Or, in this case, Richie’s pear next to Fabco’s shoes. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tod Seelie for Art in Ad Places. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Drsc0 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Coney Island, NY. May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Evan Pricco Curates “What In The World” at Urban Nation in Berlin

Evan Pricco Curates “What In The World” at Urban Nation in Berlin

“The graffiti and Street Art movements – they have all these tentacles and they can be non-linear.”


A new exhibition in Berlin’s neighborhood of Schöneberg epitomizes one of the central schisms that has vibrated through Street Art and graffiti for years: the question of where to draw boundaries between these two scenes. Each may have been born in the margins of society but are now evermore commingled. Debates aside, everyone agrees that once in the gallery space, street become fine art after all.

Erosie on the left with Grotesk’s Juxtapoz News Stand on the right. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco based art magazine Juxtapoz and curator of this “What in the World” show at Urban Nation’s project space, Evan Pricco is well aware of the landmines that can explode when one is negotiating the terminologies and practices of sundry sub-cultural art manifestations that have bubbled to the surface in the last decades and which now often melt with one another inextricably.

“The graffiti and Street Art movements – they have all these tentacles and they can be non-linear,” Evan says as we walk down a subterranean parking ramp to see a low, long outdoor mural by Sweden’s EKTA; an abstract series of roughly square patches that closely emulate the sewn panels he has suspended from the ceiling inside the gallery.

Speaking of the tentacles, he continues, “It can be starting points to end points – it can be end points to starting points. There are all of these different cultures that grew out of that 1970s-80s set of counter-culture art movements.”

Hyuro. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think the people that I really wanted in this show are kind of on the periphery of that. They clearly dip their toe into those movements, are clearly influenced by them. Their practice doesn’t necessarily fit in with what is going on in Street Art and graffiti but also its informed by it.”

To introduce a new crop of artists to Urban Nation that haven’t been shown here yet, Pricco choses some of Europes street/mural/conceptual artists who emphasize color and mood, an expansionist approach that he welcomes at the magazine as well. Not surprisingly, the range reflects some of the same interests you’ll find flipping through the influential art publication; old school graffiti, commercial illustration, comic book history, abstract fine art, political art, some lowbrow, some conceptual. There is even Grotesk’s newsstand, the actual one that he designed and constructed with Juxtapoz that sat in Times Square in October 2015.

Erosie on the left with Grotesk’s Juxtapoz News Stand on the right. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Primarily from Europe and raised in the hothouse of the 1990s epic graffiti scenes that enthralled youth in many EU big cities, this group of 7 artists each has moved their practice forward – which may lose them some street cred and gather new audiences.

Included are Berlin’s Daan Botlek, Sweden’s EKTA, Ermsy from France, Erosie from the Netherlands, Hyuro from Spain, Serge Lowrider from Switzerland and Zio Ziegler from the US. If you speak to any of them, you may find the commonality is the freedom they actively give themselves to pursue an autonomous artistic route not easily categorized.

Erosie at work on his piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lowrider is clearly in love with the letter-form, as is the graffiti tradition, but he steers sharply toward the calligraphic practices of crisp sign-painting and inverting the pleasantly banal messaging of advertising from an earlier era. Perhaps the tight line work overlaps with tattoo and skater culture, two creative brethren frequently in the mix in graffiti and Street Art scenes.

Hyuro uses a figurative symbolism heavy with metaphor and a color palette that is too understated for the flashy graphics that many associate with today’s mural festivals, yet she’s built a dedicated following among Street Art fans who admire her poke-you-in-the-eye activist streak. Daan Botleks’ figures wander and cavort amidst an abstractedly shaped world calling to mind the shading of early graffiti and the volumizing pointillism of Seurat after some wine.

 

Daan Botlek at work on his piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Painter Jeroen Erosie emphatically will tell you that he was in love with graffiti when he first did it on the streets as a teenager – and for many years afterwards. But he says he ultimately bristled at a scene that had once symbolized freedom to him but had become too rigid and even oppressive in its rules about how aesthetics should be practiced by people – if they were to earn respect within the clan.

At Saturday nights opening along Bülowstrasse with the front doors open to the busy street and with the sound of the elevated train swooshing by overhead, Erosie explained with a gleeful certainty his process of deconstruction that led him to this point. “I removed one of the pillars of graffiti from my work and I liked the result, the change. So I started to remove more pillars, one by one,” he says, describing the evolution that transformed his letter forms and colors into these simplified and bold bi-color icons that may call to mind Matisse’s cut outs more than graffiti bubble-tags, but you’ll easily draw the correlation if you try.

Daan Botlek. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Project M series of exhibitions over the past three years with Urban Nation, of which this is the 12th, have featured curators and artists from many backgrounds, disciplines, and geographies as well. The myriad styles shown have included sculpture, stencil, wheat paste, collage, calligraphy, illustration, screen-printing, decoupage, aerosol, oil painting, and even acrylic brush. It has been a carefully guided selection of graffiti/Street Art/urban art/fine art across the 12 shows; all presented respectfully cheek to jowl, side by side – happily for some, uncomfortably for others.

The ultimate success of the Project M series, initiated by UN Artistic Director Yasha Young, is evident in just how far open it has flung the doors of expectation to the museum itself. When the house opens in four months it will be a reflection to some extent 140 or so artists who pushed open those doors with variety of styles emblematic of this moment – converging into something called Urban Contemporary.

Daan Botlek and Ekta. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“What in the World” indeed: this show is in perfect alignment with the others in its wanton plumbing of the genres.

“I was trying to find people that are not part of the regular circuit – and I don’t mean that in a negative way but I mean there is kind of a regular circuit of muralism and Street Art right now – but I was looking for people who are really sort of on that periphery,” Pricco says. “Also because they are coming from these different parts of Europe, which to me sort of represents Juxtpoz’ reach, and they all kind of know each other but they’ve never really met – they all kind of bounce off of each other.”

Ekta. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: This grouping sounds anathema to the loyalty that is often demanded by these scenes – particularly the various graffiti scenes in cities around the world. You are describing an artistic practice that has a sort of casual relationship to that scene.

Evan Pricco: Right. And I think all of these artists have these graffiti histories but they weren’t completely satisfied with that kind of moniker or label. So it is slightly expanding out now. And then there’s something about them that makes me think of crafts, especially with Serge who is more of a sign-painter. I felt that all of these people approached their work in a way that felt very craft-oriented to me, and I really appreciated that. That’s kind of what I wanted to show too.

Ekta. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Each of these artists appears to have a certain familiarity with the art world that is outside a more strict definition of street culture – graffiti and Street Art and their tributaries. Would you say that you could see a certain development of personal style in this collection of primarily European artists that might be due to exposure to formal art history or other cultural influences?

Evan Pricco: Good question, and that could be the case for a few of the artists in the show, but I think the characteristics of each artist in the show is more of a result of the world getting smaller and influences and boundaries just blurring. You can see it Ermsy’s pop-culture mash-ups, or Erosie’s exploration of lettering and color; it’s not really about one place anymore but a larger dialogue of how far the work reaches now than ever before.

Erosie and I were having this conversation this morning about this, this idea of access and influences being so widespread. And that is exactly what I wanted to do. “What In the World” is sort of a nod to not really having to have boundaries, or a proper definition, but a feeling that something is happening. Its not Street Art, its not graffiti, but its this new wave that is looking out, looking in, and finding new avenues to share and make work.

Ermsie. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: From comic books to politics to activism to abstract to sign painting, this show spans the Hi-Low terrain that Juxtapoz often seeks to embrace in many ways.  Is it difficult to find common threads or narratives when countenancing such variety?

Evan Pricco: We have been so fortunate with the magazine that we have been able to expand the content in the last few years, and the threads are starting to connect solely based on the idea that the creative life is what you make of it. There may not be a direct connection between Serge Lowrider and Mark Ryden, but there is a connection in the idea of craftsmanship and skill and how one goes about applying that skill in the art world. That is always wanted I wanted to help bring to Juxtapoz – this idea that variety in the art world is healthy and finds its own connections just in the fact that it exists and is being made.

Ermsie at work on his indoor piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Many of these names are not household names, though some have ardent fans within more narrow channels of influence. What role does a curator play by introducing these artworks/artists to a new audience and what connections would you like a viewer to make?

Evan Pricco: First and foremost, these are some of my absolute favorite artists making work right now. I do have the advantage of traveling a lot and meeting different people and seeing their process, but I really wanted to bring together a group that I hadn’t personally met but admired and communicated with from afar.

Ermsie. Detail. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I was thinking about this when I walked by Hyuro’s wall this morning. Her work is incredibly strong, and it has this really fascinating way of being a story and narrative from wall to wall while remaining fresh and really site-specific. Her work here just blew me away; its so subtle, has this really unique almost anonymous quality to it, but has a ton of thought and heart in it.

Really it would be great if the audience sees this and finds her other work, and starts seeing this really beautiful story emerging, these powerful political, social and economic commentaries. So really, I want that. I want this to be a gateway of looking at work and artists and then jumping into their really fantastically complex careers.

Serge Lowrider at work on his indoor piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Urban Nation has invited curators from around the world and Berlin during these 12 “Project M” shows, each with a take on what “art in the streets” is, how it has evolved, and how it is affecting contemporary art. What makes this show stand out?
Evan Pricco: I really do think what makes it stand out is that it represents all the things Juxtapoz stands for; Opening up an audience to something new and different. I think there is an aesthetic that the Project M shows have had, which I like, but I didn’t want to repeat what everyone had done before.

This is most definitely a Juxtapoz show; I mean our damned Newsstand that Grotesk designed is right in the middle of the space. But that is like this “representation” of the print mag, and all the walls around it are the avenues the magazine can take you; sign painting, textiles, graffiti, abstraction, conceptual art, murals, comics, politics. … So maybe in that way, the fact that the magazine is 23 years old and has covered such a big history of Lowbrow, Graffiti and other forms of art, this is a nice encapsulation of the next wave and generation.

Serge Lowrider at work on his indoor piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Serge Lowrider at work on his indoor piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zio Ziegler. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Evan Pricco. Curator of What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“What In the World: The Juxtapoz Edition” presented by Urban Nation will be on display through June, 2017. 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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1UP Crew Hits Front of Urban Nation in Berlin

1UP Crew Hits Front of Urban Nation in Berlin

There are two things we never expect to see in our lives here on the streets when looking for new Street Art and graffiti. One is a live unicorn walking down the street twirling a hula hoop on its horn and farting glitter. The other is the 1UP crew hitting up a wall wild style in broad daylight, wearing those mystical Tron-Kabuki masks – on the front wall of the nascent Urban Nation Museum (UN).

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the double barrelled aerosol assault was happening we could hear the sound of heads exploding when the news of this ubiquitous graffiti crew hitting up this location would hit various constituencies. We could also hear the sound of the guys yelling over the Bülowstraße street traffic to each other through their masks – asking for one to throw a particular can or to question whether to do a specific fill or line. “We don’t usually work during the day,” said one of them to us as he gazed up at the blue fire glow that frames the 1UP name. “With so many people around with cameras these days, we can’t take many chances.”

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In this historically graffiti-loving city you have to work really hard for people to notice your work, and crews like 1UP and Berlin Kidz are revered for their aerosol prowess – and the chances they take. Not sure what the German term would be but in English the word “crushed” may have a picture of 1UP next to it in the dictionary. Equally impressive is their ability to stay completely anonymous – and with more members than the annual Menudo reunion BBQ.

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Compound the occasion with celebrated graffiti and Street Art photographer Martha Cooper pacing back and forth on the pavement and capturing every angle of the action. She’s crouching low and climbing higher for the right show while normal every day dudes like Shepard Fairey walk up to the small group of assembled observers to see what the matter is.

Shepard and his crew have just finished a large building side mural a block from here, as well as an expansive piece inside the museum space, where he’s DJing tonight. He seems to like the 1UP work and he also mentions how he digs Berlin Kidz and their style of rappelling down walls – and then talk turns to Brazillian pichação writers.

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When a red-faced teenaged girl approaches one of the masked markers, he takes a minute to answer her inquiries, can in hand, ready to hit the wall but happy to respond to her multiple follow-up questions. Then he darts back up the ladder to spray a few small white starbursts while she aims her smartphone up at the action and he starts to looks for a red can to spray Martha’s name. Seeing Martha’s name up there seems appropriate, considering the first Martha Cooper Library will open here in four months.

So that’s it, nothing special happened today here in Berlin, only that 1UP knocked out a large piece on the outside of UN. Nothing more to see here.

Keep your eyes open for unicorns.

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporay Art. PM/12 – We Broke Night.  Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2016 – A “Social” Survey

BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2016 – A “Social” Survey

brooklyn-street-art-bsa-hot-list-top-15-murals-2016-december-740

Murals have captured so much of the popular imagination about what the Street Art scene is today and although they may be part of the definition, murals remain only a part of the entire scene; a visual conversation that includes legal, illegal, small, anonymous, massive, deliberately confounding, low-energy scrawl, stickers, tags, poetry, diatribes, culture jamming, ad takeovers, sculpture, installations. Every week we aim to present a varied selection of expressions currently represented on the street, and then it is your turn to respond.

During 2016 BSA readers responded to images via our website, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbr, and Facebook pages. In a thoroughly unscientific survey that calculates “likes” and “clicks” and “re-Tweets” and “impressions”, we tallied up which murals (or images) got the most interest from you all. Care to read into the results?

The top 3 really sum it all up for 2016 and shouldn’t surprise us, but they still do; Militarism, Mis-information, and the Man of the Year.

If you ever doubted how much art on the street reflects the psyche of a society back to itself, no need to wonder anymore. If only we could read these tea-leaves and tell the future…


No 15.
David Choe’s Portrait Of Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls / Art Basel 2016.

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David Choe. Detail. Wynwood Walls / Art Basel 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Originally appearing here:

 


No 14
Plotbot Ken’s car installation on the Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin.

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Plotbot Ken’s post-apocolyptic installation on a car at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

 


No 13
Faust and Shantell Martin in Manhattan, NY.

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Handstyle and all New York, baby. Faust. Shantell Martin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 12
Swoon in Brooklyn, NY.

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One of Swoon’s new additions to the street in 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 11
ASTRO in East Harlem.

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ASTRO in East Harlem for #NotACrime campaign in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 10 
Nychos in Manhattan, NY.

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More than his multiple murals published here this year, this sculpture on 23rd Street in Manhattan in the spring captured the imagination and gave his work an added dimension. Nychos. “Dissection of Sigmund Freud”. Vienna Therapy. Manhattan, NY. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 9 
MadC in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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Mad C. MB6 Street Art. Marrakesh Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 8
Maya Hayuk in Brooklyn, NY.

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Maya Hayuk. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 7
Invader in Jersey City, NJ.

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Space Invader in Jersey City for Mana Urban Arts Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 6
Collin Van Der Sluijs. Super A in Berlin.

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

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 5
Kurar in Berlin

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Kurar for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. NOTE: This piece was created late in 2015 but we got to it early in 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 4
Biggie Smalls in Brooklyn, NY.

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Rocko & Zimer. NOTE: This piece was created late in 2015 but we got to it early in 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 3
Otto “Osch” Schade in Brooklyn, NY.

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OSCH for JMZ Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 2
Klops in Brooklyn, NY.

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Klops for The Bushwick Collective illuminates the concentration of 90% of the media in the hands of 6 companies. In 1983 there were 50. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 1
Ron English in Brooklyn, NY.

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Ron English brings Donald Trump as Humpty Dumpty on a wall – in collaboration with The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

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BSA Images of the Week 11.13.16

BSA Images of the Week 11.13.16

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BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

After absentee voting last week in NYC it was a quick trip to Germany this week to see new stuff in Berlin and Dresden and to find that it’s autumn there too, and getting cold. Of course it was zero sleep election night because of the time differnce it was 6 am Wednesday before the Electoral College pushed Trump into the win zone.

Can’t even.

It’s getting harder and harder to explain things to people when we travel, let’s just say that much.

It was crisply chilly, rainy, and windy and the shop keepers were putting up Christmas trees in the windows, but the streets of Berlin were in bloom with new Street Art. Here is a very abbreviated autumn bouquet picked fresh from Berlin for your splendid review.

It’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring A Squid Called Sebastion, Adele Renault, Bailon, Dainel Nehaus, Nafir, and Snik.

Our top image: Adele Renault for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. 11.16. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bailon and Ricardo AKN for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. 11.16. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nafir for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. 11.16. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Squid Called Sebastian for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. 11.16. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Snik Arts for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. 11.16. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Okay this lady has lazer beams coming out of her eyes. Seriously. Lister in Berlin for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daniel Neuhaus. Berlin. 11.16. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Berlin. November. 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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