The sheer number of organic and community walls in Berlin means that you are exposed to a great variety of styles and opinions and perspectives through art daily on the street. There is a sense of pride about this as well – and we’re pleased to see free speech here while privately held social platforms are growing tumors of censorship. Long live the contradictory opinions that challenge our minds and our assumptions.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: 1UP, Dave the Chimp, Lacuna, Anne Bengard, Murad Subay, Caro Pepe, Sam Crew, Dafne Tree, Little Ms. Fierce, Emily Strange, Anne Baerlin, Kiexmiezn030, Cippolini187, Artmos 4, Juliana Zamoit, Paris, Urteil, and Mate X.
Happy NYC Marathon! The trees all over the city appear to be at peak every year around this event – just check the aerial shot of the finish line as the runners cross it in Central Park today. Also, set your clocks back one hour today, or you’ll arrive late for work tomorrow. If you have a job, that is.
News this week that the prolific and cryptic text writer RAMBO has passed away. We extend our condolences to his friends and family. His passing follows quickly the death of the octogenarian Irish-New York street artist Robert Janz, whose street collages and text installations served as witnesses to ecological and social issues he felt strongly about, as well as were a commentary on the human condition in all its mysteries. Our condolences to all those who were touched by the work and the spirit of Mr. Janz.
Our interview with the street today includes Adrian Wilson, ERRE, Fernsehturn Berlin, Jim Avignon, Layer Cake, Miss Glueniverse, Peter Missing, Praxis, Ron Miller, Sara Lynne-Leo, Joanna Wietecka, Styro, and Toxicomano.
The moment you think you understand the street is the moment you begin to lose touch. Behavior on social media is also about as reliable as your Uncle Oscar after he’s had a few too many frosted rum balls and rosy red holiday cocktails. First, he’s twirling Aunt Marge to the Beatles on the living room rug, next thing he’s headbanging with your cousin Teddy to Bon Jovi on the back porch – and later you regrettably see him getting his freak on with a Missy Elliott classic as he waits his turn at the pool table in the basement.
So we rely on the numbers to tell us what is popular with our readers, and not surprisingly, you like everything! Little tiny stickers, massive murals, 3-D sculptural elements, even Lizzo running for president. These are the top ten pieces that got retweeted, shared on Instagram, commented about on Facebook and read about on the site. It’s not scientific, and it’s skewed through the lens of BSA’s POV, but these hottest pieces are still an indicator of the sentiments and tastes of fans on social; sophisticated, insightful, critical, dark mooded, conscious and funny AF. You’re just our type!
November was “Native American Heritage Month” in the US and has been since 1990 and ironically the growing right-wing extremism of the intervening decades appears to have further erased our collective knowledge of native peoples – so it’s the perfect time to find this new campaign of local natives on the streets of New York by Street Artist LMNOPI.
9. Abe Lincoln Jr. & Maia Lorian. A Presidential Parody
The public takeover of ‘street furniture’ and advertising kiosks continues as artists demand back the mindspace and public space that is sold or given to corporate advertisers or propagandizers. This duo brings complementary skills to the old phone booths with their own brand of political satire.
8. Okuda & Bordalo II Collaboration in Madrid.
This Frankenstein duet on the streets of Madrid caught our eye this spring and you liked it too. By Spain’s Okuda and Portugal’s Bordalo II. Madrid, March 2019.
7. Oak Oak in Bayonne, France.
A small stencil in Bayonne, France from Oak Oak resonates in its cheerful satire of pompous crass man-boys with bombs.
6 Lula Goce for NRNY Artsy Murals /Street Art For Mankind
The Swan and the falcon depicted on the mural are actual residents of New Rochelle. They came and liked what they saw and decided to stay and raise their families there. A fitting real story as New Rochelle is a town where immigrants are welcomed and are an important part of the community.
5. I Heart Graffiti “Lizzo for President”
A campaign for singer/songwriter/ rapper Lizzo capitalized on the stars meteoric rise in 2019 to the top of many charts. Considering the number of Democratic challengers on the debate stages this summer and fall, it seemed plausible that she was actually running. If she promised Americans to help the poor and working-class yet assured her corporate donors to screw them once in office, she could get elected too.
4. Judith Supine’s Luxury Cowboy/girl Ad Take Over
The brilliant collage surrealist Judith Supine was back with a new lasso this year, skillfully misleading audiences on the street with his free associations equating luxury fashion brands and 20th-century cancer product advertising. It’s a match made in Hell!. Welcome!
3 Nafir at Urban Spree in Berlin
Iranian Street Arist Nafir left this Instagram alienation indictment hanging in a hidden spot at Berlin’s Urban Spree playground this year, and for some reason, it struck a chord with many.
Do you want to talk about it? We’re not joking about suicide.
2. “Outings Project” for Urban Nation Museum in Berlin
It began as a way of bringing fine art pieces from inside the museum to the Street, and “The Outings Project” has brought hundreds of artworks out into the daylight this way for a decade or so, thanks to French artist Julien de Casabianca. These particular dark angels have been cast out of heaven and are just about to hit the ground across the street from Urban Nation Museum, Berlin.
1. Sara Lynne-Leo struck a chord with her pain commentary on the streets of NYC
A relative newcomer to the streets in New York, Sara Lynne-Leo keeps her small scale pieces well-placed, if your eyes are open. A comedian and social observer, her character’s pains and insecurities are played out in magnified emotional tableaus that quickly capture the severity and make light of it at the same time. This one must have really captured the zeitgeist of a troubled time across modern societies, where one pretends a wound is made bearable with an optimistic sunny perspective, even if the situation may be life-threatening.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Berlin, and this time featuring Stohead, Christian Bohmer, CTO, David De La Mano, Equipe Fatale, Emmanuel Jarus, Francisco Bosoletti, Fatal, Feser, Herakut, HRVB, Weird Crew, Marina Zumi, Marycula, Mimi the Clown, Nafir, Peus, Señor Schnu, sp.38 and Stefan Ways.
The organic nature of art in the streets characterizes the experience in many parts of the city of Berlin – the true roots of D.I.Y. still very much in full effect.
The 1700 square meter artistic space named Urban Spree typifies the unrelenting energy that Berliners invest in the scene, thanks to this compound dedicated to urban culture and subcultures. The multichannel event space in the Friedrichshain district features artist residencies, DIY workshops, exhibitions, concerts, and beer. It’s also slaughtered from top to bottom with aerosol, bucket paint, wheat-pastes, and stickers.
This is a shot of adrenaline that you’ll experience from one large wall at Urban Spree that is completely covered with the cacophony of the moment, an “organic wall” or “magnet wall” boasting hundreds of voices and views all at once; soon to be covered, and recovered with the visual Vox Populi.
Many images this week are from our short visit to Querétaro, Mexico this week – where, among other things, we saw first hand many of the murals mounted by the festival Nueve Arte Urbano over the past few years. Each festival around the world is unique to its local culture – with the possible exception of the highly commercial ones that are self-styling as a franchise of cool McArt dipped in tangy “Street” flavored sauce. We had a good survey of this mural/street art/graffiti scene in the context of Mexico’s historic mural masters, and a true sense of how counterculture can be embraced by so-called “mainstream” culture for the betterment of both.
short, the DNA of this festival is not about self-promotion but engaging
community in meaningful dialogue, respecting tradition of indigenous culture,
and embracing the modern day rebels who have brought art to the streets in
myriad ways. Combined with an unprecedented 101 photo exhibition of graffiti,
Street Art, and urban culture mounted on the streets that was too meta for our
brains, we saw people walking the walk, not just talking the talk. We only wish
we had more time, and a drone!
Additionally this week we have a few more favorite shots from a quick trip to Berlin last week. Berlin is basically Brooklyn’s sister city and it was also in the full throes of Spring, with long lines at the all-night dance clubs way after the sun came up. This weekend it looks like Brooklyn is warming up too – almost beer garden time!
Until then, let’s head over to Bamonte’s for a vodka martini with the fine men and women of what’s left of Italian American Williamsburg here in Brooklyn. This is an institution that’s 119 years old lined with framed photos of famous Italian Americans and celebrities who ate there like Telly Savalas and that guy from the Sopranos!
No music, only the clinking of glasses and animated storytelling and some people who may have been dining here when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn – all eating lobster tails, shrimp cocktail, clams oreganata, iceberg lettuce salads, pastas, meat balls, fish, sautéed porkchops, scalloped potatoes, green beans, chicken parmesan, and blueberry pie or tiramisu. Okay it’s not five star, you big hotshot, but it’s at least as good as your Aunt Rosa’s kitchen, amiright? Bamontes not good enough for you now, you big Broccolini?
And the portions, my god, you won’t need to eat again
until Good Friday.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring 007, 1UP Crew, Calladitos, City Kitty, Clown Soldier, CS SZYMAN, Deih XLF, drsc0, Ger-Man, La Madriguera Grafica, Mantra, Nespoon, Paola Delfin, Santiago Savi, Victor Lopez, and Voxx Romana.
Happy Autumn New York! To our readers south of the Equator, the spring birds must be singing by now, right? Meanwhile in dirty old New York there is a lot of new stuff – including two new walls going up by OsGemeos and UK artist Lakwena’s turn at the Houston/Bowery Wall.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Anagard, Anthony Lister, Banksy, Brad Downey, D7606, Kai, Licuado, Martin Whatson, Mr. DiMaggio, Nafir, Nespoon, OsGemeos, Peter Phobia, Ron English, Silvio Alino, Voxx, and Zezao.
This hippie/punk/skater/poets/artists haven of graffiti, street, urban and postmodern all splayed across a complex of buildings that are seemingly abandoned but teaming with life, food, music, and free thought. Also, a sense of community.
There are opportunities for rock climbing, biergartening, dancing, tattoo shops, outdoor mix sessions, a furniture restoration shop, a mini- beach, the famed outstanding art gallery with a solid array of graffiti and urban art books, and if you know where the switch is, you can blow 6 foot torches of fire into the night sky from atop a tiki bar.
On the day we were there recently there was even a wedding party in one of the secreted outdoor spaces with two spinning turntables, a basement bar, a bonfire, and, naturally, cake.
Also, naturally, you can go and paint, wheatpaste, slap stickers, spray a stencil, or in the case of Bordalo II, collect together enough local garbage to create a sculptural installation of a long-billed aviary friend.
Scenes like these are always transitory so visit Berlin-Friedrichshain and Urban Spree before the moment passes.