All posts tagged: Various & Gould

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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BSA Film Friday: 07.14.17

BSA Film Friday: 07.14.17

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

Now screening :
1. Various & Gould: City Skins – Marx und Engels.
2. The Brutalism Appreciation Society/Gesellschaft zur Wertschätzung des Brutalismus
3. ESPO at Bien Urbain 2017
4. Faith47 in Johannesburg
5. Creative collaborators AXE in Barcelona for 12 + 1

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BSA Special Feature: Various & Gould: City Skins – Marx und Engels.

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.

The Brutalism Appreciation Society/Gesellschaft zur Wertschätzung des Brutalismus

“21 artists whose works all deal with the post-war architectural style of Brutalism,” says Dr. Inke Arns, curator and director for “The Brutalism Appreciation Society” in the HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein) in Dortmund U. Metal, stone, brick, exposed concrete – all a heavy shell against the rigorous torment of the world. Now steel and glass is slowly pushing out the blunt force of this mountainous movement, so it is a relief to see that architecture historians and, hopefully, city planners, are rallying to preserve these monuments.

2 Notes: Graffiti has had a meaningful dialogue with this evolution. Also, make sure you hang out till the end of this video for full effect.

 

Bien Urbain 2017 – ESPO

Stephen Powers aka ESPO participated in the 7th Bien Urbain festival in Besançon this spring and brought his wordplay and affinity for the language of advertising signage to a wall there.

Faith47 in Johannesburg

The inimitable Faith47 powerhouse has been creating some massive murals of late and while they capture the natural world epically,  these pieces also manage to feel personal, intimate.

Creative collaborators AXE in Barcelona for 12 + 1

Friends since childhood and painting graffiti and murals together since 1999 in Barcelona, Adrià (Smaug) and Oriol (Gúma) together call themselves AXE Colours. Read more from our earlier posting ; AXE Colours – Two Graffiti Friends, Now Creative Partners

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Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

“Why do you glorify and duplicate these two criminals?! They shouldn’t have a monument at all. Next you’re doing Hitler?”

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various and Gould try to paraphrase some of the comments they received from passersby in a park near the town-hall in centrally located Berlin-Mitte while working on their latest project with a statue of the creators of Marxist theory. Some imagined they were glorifying, others alleged defamation.

“It’s a shame how you treat Marx and Engels!”

Truthfully, this new project in public space that literally copies a monument and then transfers it to another location didn’t have much to do with the capitalist system that creates/allows very rich and very poor people, but it certainly adds stories to the overall experience of Various and Gould.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

And while these inquisitive Street Artists/Public Artists conceptual project was meant to have an interactive element, they say they didn’t really expect the constant demand of observers to engage in conversation – even to explain and sometimes defend their project, while they constructed it.

“We had a focus on communication. We got into talks and discussions with passers-by, residents and tourists, while taking the paper casts. Discussions about monuments, art, cultural politics and so on,” says Various of the roughly month-long project that spanned April and May.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

They began working in one high-visibility park with the larger-than-life bronze images of the ancestors of the scientific communism Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and ended with the figures at another park in the peripheral district of Hellersdorf three weeks later with papier mâché “skins” of them in colorful street advertisement posters.

“Most of the people coming by were very surprised, some in positive ways, some in negative,” says Gould. “Some people cheered, some people shouted at us – the later in fact for very different reasons.”

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. Original monument by sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt (photo © Boris Niehaus)

We often refer to Street Art and graffiti in terms of being “urban interventions”, active installations of artwork into the public sphere where usually no one was requesting its sudden, unannounced presence. Additionally these interventions are necessarily anonymous and done quickly when people are not around.

Various and Gould are studied and thoughtful in their preparations for their interventions and this project takes on additional significance due to the fact that they are interacting directly with another artists public art – a sort of cross generational unsolicited “collaboration” with sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt, who inaugurated his piece in 1986 and who passed away in 2001.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Calling their project “City Skins” they did a sort of test run with public sculpture in 2015 without permission. This time they have permission from the Berlin Monuments Office, with certain caveats that seemed perfectly reasonable, like using materials and methods that did no damage to the original sculpture.

“The paper enclosed the monument without sticking to the bronze itself,” says Various, “and it was opened and removed without residues, like the skin of a fruit.” – which explains the project’s name “City Skins”.

After the duo took the paper cast back to a spacious workshop at an arboretum called “Baumschule Köpenick” they reassembled the figures and covered them with ornamentative guilloche – large abstractions of patterns lifted from currency – a subtle nod to the capitalist system and the figures represented.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

One may also draw a corrollary significance to the choice of paper as their art-making material.

“Now it is in the nature of the bronze that it is heavy, stiff and immovable. Congealed to shape. The question might arise whether bronze is the appropriate medium for honoring a genius,” says Jan Kage, an author, musician, moderator and curator from the art space “Schau Fenster” in a rough translation from German.

“The artist duo has chosen a completely different material. A much more transient one than bronze, a more flexible one, and above all one that Marx and Engels had also chosen to carry their ideas into the world: paper.”

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Frederic Leitzke)

On the day of the unveiling in a park with the new colorful skinned Marx and Engels, the verdant knoll atop which it sat was a challenge to climb for the some of the 100 or so visitors who came for a Sunday reception. The incline down toward the train station also proved an ideal place for kids to roll down and get dizzy – when they weren’t racing around the new temporary sculpture and trying to catch each other.

By now the duo have been compared to the French public artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who stay in the minds of a generation of Berlinians for their 1995 wrapping of the Reichstag, a vastly larger public art endeavor with a different set of goals. They say that they are also influenced by the artist duo “p.t.t.red” (paint the town red) and their subversive intervention in New York in 1996 where they turned the Statue of Liberty red by manipulating the spot lights so the monument was illuminated in red light at night.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Frederic Leitzke)

In fact Various and Gould did their first sculptural public interventions over a decade ago in New York. “In 2006 we were both part of a one-night pop-up group show in NYC  called “Stitch Project” on 9th Street,with Solovei, Albert Zuger, Tod Seelie and many more,” says Gould. They describe an antique cash register which Various delicately cast. Somehow themes lead back to money and our relationship to it.

“Monuments are projection screens of collective memory and witnesses of a time period,” they say in their conceptual description of the project. “They reflect history, zeitgeist and models of a social system. After political upheavals, they are frequently overthrown, toppled or buried. This is testament to them being supercharged with symbolic meaning.”

Given the responses of literally hundreds of people during the two public phases of City Skins, Various and Gould feel assured that Marx and Engels and their theories are as powerfully relevant in today’s world as they were in theirs – if in a new light.

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Various & Gould Studio)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. “City Skins – Marx and Engels” Berlin, May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.26.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.26.17

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Always good to get to Berlin to see what waves of text and pattern and outrage and snark and myriad metaphor are more-or-less relentlessly rippling across buildings and empty lots. The rippling effect was swelled by 4 days of rain, which makes windows streak with rivlets and wheat-pastes peel from the top, leaning forward and down and toward their demise, often sticking to themselves, halved and horrid in the process.

Nonetheless we got a lot of work done, seeing artists, urban gallerists, and of course the labyrinthine interior of the ‘secret’ project that is no secret any longer, the five floor Berlin HAUS, a former bank building in a well trafficked part of the city that is swarmed every day and nearly every night with graffiti writers, professional painters, Street Artists, illustrators, and the like – mainly, if not entirely, Germany based artists doing elaborate installations throughout.

Also checked out the new Project M show opening this week at Urban Nation “RADIUS” curated by Boris Niehaus (JUST), Christian Hundertmark (C100 and Art of Rebellion books) & Rudolf David Klöckner (URBANSHIT). The show runs for 6 weeks and again is exclusively German in its roster including names like Case Maclaim, Dave the Chimp, Flying Förtress, Formula 76, Low BrosMadCMoses & TapsNomadPatrick Hartl & C100Rocco and his brothersSatOneSweetunoVarious & GouldZelle AsphaltkulturXOOOOX, and Hatch Sticker Museum.

Across the street in the under-construction UN museum space the scene was a “secret dinner” for 100 thrown by Director Yasha Young to stir up the buzz for the inaugural exhibit in September as well as take stock of the hundreds of artist locally and internationally who have been part of the UN before the doors even open. In attendance were artists, graffiti writers, arts writers, photographers, academics, cultural organizers, supporters, elected officials, a spare ambassador or two, all lined up to hear of few speeches, a video or two about programming – and eat off plates designed by 100 or so artists.

But the real story of course was the stuff we found on the streets – legal and illegal, a bit of dashed text and time intensive murals. Berlin doesn’t stop surprising you, and regardless of rain that completely drenched us, we didn’t care frankly.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: 1Up, Alaniz, Berlin Kidz, BoxiTrixi, C215, Crisp, Damien Mitchell, Dave the Chimp, Don John, Eins92, Fink 22, Gilf!, Icy & Sot, K, Missing Girls, Priznu, Rinth-WLNY, Sozl35, Telmo & Miel, and Various & Gould.

Top image: Telmo & Miel. Detail. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. Detail. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. In collaboration with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dave The Chimp. In collaboration with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dave The Chimp. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alaniz and friends. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sozl35. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Priznu. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#missinggirls. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eins92. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don John. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fink 22. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rinth_WLNY. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BoxiTrixi. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

K. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We liked the composition between this Icy & Sot stencil and the Korn sticker. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crisp. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Stars and Bricks” Go Up on a Berlin Wall from Various & Gould

“Stars and Bricks” Go Up on a Berlin Wall from Various & Gould

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

― Joseph Fort Newton, Southern Baptist minister from Texas (1876–1950)


And yet, talk again turns to the building of a contiguous wall along the southern border of the US.

Even though the wall is part of an Executive Order from President Trump, some say that in reality it is unlikely to happen because we still have in effect those complicating features of democracy where citizens actually disagree with one another and we are forced to reach a consensus. Not to mention the damage to relations with our 3nd largest trading partner with which goods and services traded totaled an estimated $583.6 billion in 2015.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

It’s complete irony that the current Republican president is demanding a wall to be built when the nearly sainted architect of trickle-down small-government hands-off-the-corporations revolution, Ronald Reagan, is famous for having said to the then Russian president “Mr. Gorbachev: Tear down this wall” nearly 30 years. Likely Gorbachev has different opinions about the current president.

Berliners will tell you that their wall was incredibly damaging to the economies and more importantly, the people and the cultures who lived on both sides of it from 1961 to 1989. In fact the mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller said in a statement Friday, according to a translation by the Washington Post.

“We cannot simply accept that all our historic experiences are being thrown into disarray by the ones we have to thank most for our freedom: the Americans. I call on the U.S. President to not go down this wrong track of isolation and exclusion.”

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Which leads us to this new piece from Berlin based Street Artist duo Various & Gould, who have just wheatpasted a re-designed American flag with the red strips as bricks, partially eating into the stars.

“We made it straight from the guts after reading about Trump’s press conference on Jan. 11th. Among other things he was talking again about building the wall,” V&G tells BSA of the genesis for the new piece made in their studio and taken to the street.

“At first our design was just meant as sort of a visual web comment, but in the days following we decided to make a big poster of it and bring it to the streets,” they say.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Anytime a nations flag is redesigned or reconfigured some may infer it is a sign of disrespect, but V&G say they are just extremely worried. “Needless to say – it’s not in any way anti-American. In the contrary we fear for the America we know and think of our friends in the US! Trump’s Twitter politics will have an impact on the whole world.”

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees entirely and used Twitter to say so. “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” he tweeted. Freelance writer, author, film maker William Parry says in his opinion piece in Al Jazeera “Israel’s separation wall as an example of a valid security measure is based on gross ignorance, at best.”

So there will likely be ongoing disagreement. Certainly the world is watching and reacting.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

V&G have created a downloadable version for you of their new design below. Just click on #StarsAndBricks.


This article was also published on The Huffington Post.

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Pine Tree Balls : A Public Art Recipe from Various & Gould

Pine Tree Balls : A Public Art Recipe from Various & Gould

Overstuffed yourself with crackers and holiday cheeseballs? Why not try making some of these to burn off those extra calories?

3 Kings Day is in the bag and Christmas is a fading memory and we still see those pagan trees tossed to the curb and rolling around in the winter winds, waiting to be picked up by the garbage truck, or lit on fire by adventurous teens. These drying Douglass Firs and Blue Spruce corpses occupy public space and are hard to ignore, so Berlin artists Various and Gould decided to treat them as the raw plentiful art materials that they obviously are.

Various & Gould. Berlin. January 2017 (photo © Various & Gould)

V&G decided to cleverly glom together big balls of the pointed pines – giant bon-bons of conifer, portly tumble-bushes of pine-scented orbs that function as stump-studded city air deodorizers. Passersby who discovered the green globes were filled with charm and a sense of wonder – or at least curiosity.

Various & Gould. Berlin. January 2017 (photo © Various & Gould)

“Every year, when the New Year starts and everybody tosses out their Christmas tree into the streets, which they’ve been loving, decorating and spending their money on just 2 weeks ago, we think, ‘What a waste of good and free art material!’ ” says Gould about their impetus for the new sculptural installations.

Taking inspiration from the kinds of harmless public space invasion that may remind you of Brad Downey or Fra. Biancoshock, Various & Gould are creating a dialog by simply rearranging existing elements to create something new to ponder. As you can see from our lead photo up top, Various is also exploring the experiential quality of a full-head immersion.

Various & Gould. Berlin. January 2017 (photo © Various & Gould)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 07.31.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.31.16

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BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

This week we bring you fresh stuff from Berlin where the final Project M/10 was debuted with a collection of artists curated by Instagrafite and we had an opportunity to ride the streets looking for interesting art, to avoid getting swept away by a sudden massive flood, and to visit Urban Spree for some great prints and paintings, and even to hang out in a boxing club for days with a cluster of curators.

Our special thanks to Yasha Young and the entire UN Team for their UNflagging support as we collectively are bringing a new institution that recognizes a wide swath of history and influences forward. More to come…

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring A Squid Called Sebastian, Anarkia, Axel Void, Hop Louie, JAZ, Marshal Arts, Mindaugas Bonanu, Nafir, Olek, Panmela Castro, RoboSexi, Roxi, Speto, Uriginal, and Various & Gould.

Our top image: Panmela Castro AKA Anarkia. Detail. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Panmela Castro AKA Anarkia. Detail. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Panmela Castro AKA Anarkia. Detail. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Panmela Castro AKA Anarkia. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek in collaboration with Robosexi. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

New interventional pieces of objects in clear resin from the Polish duo Robosexi in collaboration with Polish/Brooklyner artist OLEK placed IN the streets of Berlin this week. An anagram of their first names Roxi and Sebo, the duo say their “Time Capsules” are an effort to freeze the truth about this time and people today. They say that they also do performances and video art in addition to these installations, but this week they are in town with OLEK for PM/10 at Urban Nation.

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Olek in collaboration with Robosexi. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek in collaboration with Robosexi. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek in collaboration with Robosexi. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek in collaboration with Robosexi. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A selfie gun from Hamburg based stencillist Marshal Arts. Berlin, Germany. One source tells us the title is “How to Take a Great Selfie.” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uriginal in conjunction with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nafir is having some rather explosive ideas lately. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Squid Called Sebastian in conjunction with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Squid Called Sebastian in conjunction with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Squid Called Sebastian in conjunction with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An unidentified artist’s painting of these two amorous lovers appears under the train tracks that lead across Oberbaum Bridge (German: Oberbaumbrücke), a double-deck bridge crossing Berlin’s River Spree. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Axel Void. Detail. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A new sculpture by Franco JAZ Fasoli commands the center exhibition space at Project M/10, which opened last evening in Berlin. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Curated by Instagrafite.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Beards and man buns are the default fashion accessory for men who would like to give an air of hipness at this moment. Arguably however, they are probably considered mainstream. Hop Louie. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Speto. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Roxi. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Project M/10. Curated by Instagrafite. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-sreet-art-jaime-rojo-berlin-07-31-16-webAlleged ties between US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimer Putin made it to the street via Lithuanian artist Mindaugas Bonanu and this week on the cover of Frankfurter Allgemeine. Although the German newspaper doesn’t credit the creator of this image (which happens a LOT with street art), we can tell you that the significance of the image is directly tied to Berlin Wall art history. As writer and art critic Carlo McCormick notes in a recent PAPER magazine portfolio of Trump-related art, this piece refers to ” a famous fraternal kiss in 1979 between Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev and his East German counterpart Erich Honecker that gained fame as a painting by Dmitri Vrubel on the Berlin Wall.”

Untitled. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould: “Permanently Improvised” Temporarily in San Jose

Various & Gould: “Permanently Improvised” Temporarily in San Jose

It’s not a surprise that Various & Gould are mixing and matching bodies and faces in their new show – they’ve been doing it for years on the street.

With heads and limbs and torsos prepared in advance, the German couple are just as surprised as you sometimes to see what bionic fluorescent steampunk-inflected portraits and figures are going to emerge on a street wall overhead or around a corner. The aptly named “Permanently Improvised” show at Anno Domini in San Jose is actually compiled in part from friends and family this time out and since October they have been creating and assembling the pieces.

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Various & Gould. Process shot. (photo © Various & Gould)

More humorous than hermetic, less dreamlike than Dada, but just as atmospheric as Asimov, these futuristic looking androids are as historical as they are futurist. Gould tells us that it was an unusual 1440 masterpiece by Fra Angelico, the Italian early Renaissance artist, that was quite an inspiration for he and Various while working on the show.

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Various & Gould. Process shot. (photo © Various & Gould)

“While most parts of the picture do match with your expectations of the early Renaissance, the center part feels like a picture in the picture with very surreal details,” he says of the image he first bought as a postcard during a trip to Florence at the turn of this century. “There are loose hands and a disembodied head next to Jesus! It conveys the impression of a modern piece of art or a comic panel, being absolutely reduced to the most important elements of the story. Actually this also feels very much like a collage to us! Cut-out body parts, simultaneity of various actions and so on …”

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Fra Angelico “Cristo Deriso” C. 1440 – 1441. (photo Wikimedia Commons)

Surreally answering that Angelico call, their piece called “Brutalist Vision” (below) is just one response the duo has crafted during these winter months in their Berlin studio that merges methods of painting, serigraphy and collage. Perhaps because the faces are familiar to the authors, the distance between fantasy and reality is shortened this time in Various & Gould’s panoply of possibilities. But with V& G the poetry is always present, and closeness and farness are simply a matter of stretching and retracting their ever-pliant elastic imaginations.

As a viewer, you’ve been here before. And never before in your entire life.

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Various & Gould. Process shot of “Brutalist Vision”. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould. Process shot of “Brutalist Vision”. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould. Process shot of “Brutalist Vision”. (photo © Various & Gould)


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Various & Gould. Process shot. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould. Process shot. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould. Process shot. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould. Process shot of “Sabotage”. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould. The hot-off-the-press limited screen-print edition “Sabotage” (2016).(photo © Various & Gould)

 

Various & Gould Permanently Improvised exhibition will open tomorrow at Anno Domini Gallery in San Jose, CA. Click HERE for more details.

 

 

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BSA “Images of the Year” for 2015 : New Video

BSA “Images of the Year” for 2015 : New Video

Was 2015 the “Year of the Mural”?

A lot of people thought so, and the rise of commercial festivals and commissioned public/private mural programs probably brought more artists to more walls than in recent history. Judging from the In Box, 2016 is going to break more records. Enormous, polished, fully realized and presented, murals can hold a special role in a community and transform a neighborhood, even a city.

But they are not the “organic” Street Art that draws us into the dark in-between places in a city, or at its margins.

We keep our eyes open for the small, one-off, idiosyncratic, uncommissioned, weirdo work as well, as it can carry clues about the culture and reveal a sage or silly solo voice.  It also just reinforces the feeling that the street is still home to an autonomous free-for-all of ideas and opinions and wandering passions. For us it is still fascinating to seek out and discover the one-of-a-kind small wheatpastes, stencils, sculptures, ad takeovers, collages, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.

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The main image above is from a vinyl subway advertisement that was high-jacked and we published it in February of this year on our Images of the Week posting. It’s small, personal, and very effective as you can see someone suspiciously similar to Batman is jumping out of the mouth of someone looking awfully similar to Hedwig of “Angry Inch” fame.

Of the 10,000 or so images photographer Jaime Rojo took in 2015, here are a selection 140+ of the best images from his travels through streets looking for unpermissioned and sanctioned art.

Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo

 

Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

365xlos43, Amanda Marie, Andreas Englund, Augustine Kofie, Bisser, Boijeot, Renauld, Bordaloli, Brittany, BunnyM, Case Maclaim, Casg, Cash4, CDRE, Clet, Cost, Curve, Dain, Dal East, Dan Budnik, Dan Witz, David Walker, DeeDee, Dennis McNett, Don Rimx, Ricardo Cabret, LNY, Alex Seel, Mata Ruda, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, ECB, El Mac, El Sol25, Ella & Pitr, Eric Simmons, Enest Zacharevic, Martha Cooper, Martin Whatson, Ever, Faile, Faith47, Findac, Futura, Gaia, Gilf!, Hanksy, Hellbent, Hot Tea, How & Nosm, Icy and Sot, Inti, Invader, Isaac Cordal, James Bullough, Janet Dickson, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, John Fekner, Le Diamantaire, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Low Brow, Marina Capdevilla, Miss Van, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nafir, Nemos, Never Crew, Nick Walker, Nina Pandolofo, Old Broads, Oldy, Ollio, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Paper Skaters, Pet Bird, Kashink, Smells, Cash4, PichiAvo, Pixel Pancho, QRST, ROA, Ron English, Rubin415, Saner, Sean 9 Lugo, Shai Dahan, Shepard Fairey, Sheryo & The Yok, Sinned, Sipros, Skewville, Slikor, Smells, Sweet Toof, Snowden, Edward Snowden, Andrew Tider, Jeff Greenspan, Specter, Stray Ones, Sweet Toof, Swil, Willow, Swoon, The Outings Project, Toney De Pew, Tristan Eaton, Various & Gould, Vermibus, Wane, Wk Interact

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Film Friday: 07.31.15

BSA Film Friday: 07.31.15

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

Now screening :

1. eL Seed in London
2. Amo-Te Lisboa: An Ignominious Street Art Movie (Trailer) 2015
3. Wall Therapy 2015: A Teaser
4. Face Time: Various & Gould in Berlin
5. Lurky Wolfpack: The Lurkers

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BSA Special Feature: eL Seed in London

In town for the Shubbak Festival, London’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture, Parisian/Tunisian artist eL Seed creates a wall using his distinctive blending of Arabic and graffiti lettering.

Here an added dimension to his practice is revealed as you listen to a political blogger and patron describe the context of a rise in graffiti in the Middle East in the last few years. Similarly you can gain a quick appreciation for the art and the history of the Arabic calligraphic script and how eL Seed adapts it to convey a deliberate textural message as a highly ornamental mandela on a busy London street.

The site is the Village Underground and the video’s producer Mr. Cedar Lewisohn.

 

Amo-Te Lisboa: An Ignominious Street Art Movie (Trailer) 2015

“This Street Art thing is a mountain of soft-boiled shit,” says Txakurra, the wizard-like dragon seer who admonishes the boys from Cane Morto for wasting their painting talents on mere mural making. To make amends he sends them on a mission to Lisboa where they promise to do illegal works of art and possibly, to regain their endangered souls. Let’s see a show of hands for people who can’t wait to see this movie!

 

Wall Therapy 2015: A Teaser

Wall Therapy is wrapped for this session, but the videos will keep coming all through August, so keep your eyes on this space. You can also see more of the images in our piece this week for BSA and The Huffington Post

 

Face Time: Various & Gould in Berlin

You read our posting when it first went up (“Face Time” with Various & Gould in Berlin) – now you can see the video!

 

Lurky Wolfpack: The Lurkers

The troublemaking Lurkers are back with their street meat interludes, rhyming sessions at the home made studio, and drop dead gorgeous lady friends looking at you as if they wished you would drop dead.

“Sarajevo based Grime collective Lurky Wolfpack bring to you their hotly anticipated street banger ‘Eastern Block Anthem’.”

 

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Various & Gould Tell a #PublicTale as Scavenger Hunt in Berlin

Various & Gould Tell a #PublicTale as Scavenger Hunt in Berlin

A new elaborate and inventive public art / scavenger hunt installation in Berlin brings you back inside the combined imaginations of Various & Gould, where you must trust them as they lead you along a colorfully quirky and storied path to find their next installment to continue the story. If art is truly a projection of your internal dialogue, Various & Gould must never sleep, or rather, they possible live in a dream-like state.

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

To follow this installation you merely need to stumble upon it on the street and follow the map with directions to the next location. Along the way you are given excerpts from a friendly and riddling tale written to accompany the illustrated collage scenes, which in themselves are each an installation. It helps if you have a sense of adventure, an inquisitive mind, and an afternoon to stroll. It probably also helps if you read and comprehend German, although V&G have thoughtfully translated this story by artist Polina Soloveichik into English.

Gould tells us that it was quite an undertaking to conceive of and create this #PublicTale in studio, and then they had to stick it all up. “It took us seven hours and loads of glue. We were totally exhausted, but happy, when we finished.” They have already been contacted by people who have completed the full hunt, and “So far the pieces and text posters are intact,” he says.

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

The outdoor exhibition is part of a project that V&G completed for BackJumps, a Berlin-based graffiti zine-turned-arts movement that is celebrating 21 years. As part of their new show BackJumps is hosting international and local artists and presenting a series of events this spring/summer that include workshops, lectures, and guided walks, among other activities. Various & Gould had conceived of this project as a public art component of the show and even though they had chosen their ideal locations for the collage illustrations……they confess that they had not actually secured permissions.

“We had chosen the specific spots beforehand and when we went wheat-pasting during day it happened; we encountered people at the locations!” says Various, explaining that they suddenly had doubts about being able to finish. Luckily, they were charming enough to persuade the owners to let them put up their corresponding chapter.

“Three times we had to ask spontaneously to see if it was okay to paste on the respective house/wall/gate, and – to our total surprise – all three times we were given the permission!!” It was a happy ending. Also, says Gould, it was an unusual experience for the duo, “Asking for permission is rather new to us.”

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

One more thing as a point of clarification, and hopefully without spoiling the story or confusing you, dear reader: an actual halted construction project is one of the sites of the art installation and its status as an unfinished project runs parallel to the project in the storyline. Also, the joke told within the story is never revealed, but we have learned that it is actually sprayed upon the wall of that same stalled project. It doesn’t really sound like a “joke” in English; it reads more as a pithy proverb. The text is high upon the side of a building is right next to the famous squat “Köpi”. You can see it also here and here.

Various and Gould have translated it for us.

„Die Grenze verläuft nicht zwischen den Völkern sondern zwischen oben und unten“

or “The border doesn’t run between the nations but between the top and the bottom (or the rich and the poor).

Enjoy this extensive documentation of #PublicTale and check out the hashtag on Instagram.

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Boris Niehaus)

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Various & Gould: Public Tale in collaboration with Polina Soloveichik. Berlin, 2015. (photo © Various & Gould)

 

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Sunday Morning Wheat Pasting with Various & Gould

Sunday Morning Wheat Pasting with Various & Gould

The best cure for jet lag is to jump on a bicycle and weave through the streets trolling Street Artists while they work. At least, that was the theory two hours after we landed early on a Sunday morning in Berlin, and Various and Gould agreed to lead the tour!

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With eyes a bit bleary and balance rather suspect, our intrepid photographer happily trailed the friendly duo who took him to see THE WALL as well as many other more scrappy, hidden, dodgy walls to shoot images of. They even watched in bemusement as he got assistance from a random passerby to hoist him atop an electrical box to get his shot. Dude always gets his shot.

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Naturally they brought wheat paste in their backpacks, and a few newly painted pieces to smack up. For those of you familiar with the mix-n-match limbs, torsos, and heads that V&G have used previously, you can see that the innovative experimenters have evolved their collage style to something new. It’s exactly the same, but completely different.

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You’ll also notice that all these pieces are going up in broad daylight – Berlin is very chill about street art, no joke. Judging by the zillions of people who you see posing for pictures with the art all over the city, they seem to like it.

Our very special thanks to Various and Gould for their hospitality.

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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