All posts tagged: Vermibus

Vermibus: Variations of “ADAMANT”

Vermibus: Variations of “ADAMANT”

Stylish de-constructor/reconstructor Vermibus continues to refine his practice of image mutilation, sometimes superseding dreams and a couple of nightmares.

Vermibus. Variations of “Adamant” (photo © Vermibus)

It’s a discomforting experimental approach that began in earnest with the backlit bus stop ads for fashion and cosmetic brands; an aesthetic war against those who would presume to determine what beauty is by peddling their wares and worldview in public space. Somehow it turned gorgeous.

Vermibus. Variations of “Adamant” (photo © Vermibus)

This week he releases a limited edition of “Adamant” an analogue print on baryt matt paper, signed and numbered. The experiment continues, and the results are glimpsed through a veil, speckled by city soot.

Vermibus. Variations of “Adamant” (photo © Vermibus)
Vermibus. Variations of “Adamant” (photo © Vermibus)
Vermibus. Variations of “Adamant” (photo © Vermibus)
Vermibus. Variations of “Adamant” (photo © Vermibus)
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BSA Film Friday: 04.03.20 / Dispatch From Isolation #12 : Vermibus

BSA Film Friday: 04.03.20 / Dispatch From Isolation #12 : Vermibus

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

Now screening :
1. Vermibus Makes a Small Book of His Own Studies

BSA Special Feature: Vermibus Makes a Small Book of His Own Studies

If you are stuck inside and are looking for new projects, this may be a perfect excuse to create a collection of your works into a book, or a collage, a photo album, or a slide show.

There are endless ways to show off your work digitally using programs or as a simple video – and guess what? Lots of people are stuck at home looking at their screens so they may well have an extra moment to see your work too.

For example take a look at Berlin-based Street Artist Vermibus, whose ad takeovers we have written about and presented in talks endlessly for a decade around the world. This little project is just as personal and impressive in this format as any of his large-format subvertizing work.

“It is a simple video but very intimate,” Vermibus tells us, “where I show the beginning of my work process and how this one work evolved in the first months of tests.”

Vermibus “Studies”

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Selections from the URBAN NATION Biennale “ROBOTS AND RELICS: UN-MANNED”

Selections from the URBAN NATION Biennale “ROBOTS AND RELICS: UN-MANNED”

“What if…”

What If… UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

That’s how curator Yasha Young began the UN Biennale in Berlin this month. A fantasy-infused ramble through a future jungle teeming with dark pop goth and an animated gorilla, the multi-featured installation by the outgoing Creative Director was meant to pose questions about a possible future, or many possible futures on an Earth deeply scarred, reclaiming itself from man/womankind’s folly.

Millenium FX Ltd. Gorilla Albert. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Spread along a 100-meter path and teeming with small surprise exhibits popping from the savage magic of two-day overgrowth, the installation appeared to take inspiration, at least in part, from the wildly successful Berlin exhibition two years ago called, “The Haus”, by a trio called Die Dixons. That one featured 175 artists creating immersive, site-specific futurist/fantasy installations on the five floors of a former bank – inviting dance troops and performances and thousands who cued for hours around the block.

INTI with Millenium FX Ltd. Gorilla Albert. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

One of artists at UN’s “ROBOTS AND RELICS: UN-MANNED”, Herakut, was also in the Haus exhibition and here under the roaring U-Bahn on Bülowstraße produces one of the best synthesis of technology and fantasy. Their sculptural painted theatrical character of Mother Nature is straight from a childs’ imagination, blinking eyes forming a blue inquisitive aura around its visage.

Hera of Herakut. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Herakut. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

No doubt many visitors winding through this late summer wildness were feeling quizzical to one another, confronting the various staged scenarios by 27 artists and asking “what if…”. Perhaps a  lush and greener version of the traveling “29 Rooms” selfie house we saw in Brooklyn a few years ago, this one blended themes of post-disaster with a glistening dark leafy future girded with idiosyncracies and Hans Ruedi Giger airbrushed human/machines locked in biomechanical reverie.

“They carry us off into barren deserts with relics of human existence,” says the press release,  “colorfully patterned animals in overgrown areas as well as spherical light worlds.”

Coderch Malavia Sculptors. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Plotbot Ken. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Frederique Morrel. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Dan Rawlings. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Vermibus. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Vermibus. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Pappas Parlor. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Ekow Nimako. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Ekow Nimako. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Vegan Flava. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Vegan Flava. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Goin Art. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Goin Art. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urs Koller. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urs Koller. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
NesPoon . Pedro Estrellas. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Filthy Luker . Pedro Estrellas. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Filthy Luker . Pedro Estrellas. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Quinte55enz . Pedro Estrellas. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nomad Clan. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nomad Clan. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Theater Anu. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Theater Anu. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Theater Anu . Gehard Demetz. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Outings Project. UN Biennale. Berlin September 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Participating artists include:

Coderch & Malavia // Cryptik // Dan Rawlings // David de la Mano // Dima Rebus // Ekow Nimako // Filthy Luker // Frédérique Morrel // Gerhard Demetz // Herakut // Inti // Julien de Casabianca // Louis Masai // Milenium FX // NeSpoon // Quintessenz // Nomad Clan // Rune Guneriussen // Sandra Chevrier // Theater Anu // Vermibus


Special shout out to Tobias Kunz, Annette Dooman, and the entire Studio Kunz team, Jens Rüberg and team and the YAP team.

We wish to express our gratitude to photographer and BSA contributor Nika Kramer for sharing her photos with us. Follow Nika on Instagram @nikakramer

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Vermibus and the Making of “Katherine”, Interview by Fer Alcala

Vermibus and the Making of “Katherine”, Interview by Fer Alcala

Making art is brutal. Or can be. Ask Vermibus.

When the Street Artist is not taking over bus shelters and reconfiguring fashion ads into grotesque critiques of beauty culture, he has also been learning about analogic photography at Nau Bostik. The Barcelona-based cultural space has phenomenal education programs for artists to develop their skills with facilities equipped with one of the best photography laboratories in Spain.

But learning how to create a photographic print there kicked Vermibus’ butt – making him nearly quit in his pursuit to get it right.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

“One by one, the artist carefully applied liquid emulsion on sheets of 100% cotton paper of the highest quality. By contrast, the developer was applied with an expressive brush stroke, which makes each one of the pieces different and special,” says the official press release for the new print he created, called “Katherine.” It doesn’t say that he failed multiple times before he discovered that technique.

His perseverance is documented here on BSA today as photographer and cultural documenter Fer Alcala interviews Vermibus about his residency and the challenges he faced learning how to create this work.


Fer Alcala: So, you spent some weeks as a resident artist at Nau Bostik working on the Katherine print. At the same time, you were doing a workshop with some school students about adbusting, contrapublicity… Which came 1st: the creative process of the print, or having to do the workshop, where you ended up with the idea of developing Katherine at Bostik?
Vermibus: The print and the workshop were two completely different projects that took place at the same time. I was invited by Xavier Ballaz, from Difusorbcn, to give a two month workshop in Barcelona about counter-advertising from the feminism and gender theories perspective.

The challenge was to find a place where to live and work during this time in Barcelona, that’s how the art residency at Nau Bostik came across.

I was supposed to have a room and a studio there but, because of the characteristics of my materials (the solvents) we couldn’t figure out where to install it. So, I had to approach the residency in a different way.

Fortunately, Nau Bostik has an important relation with analog photography and also they have one of the biggest photo-laboratories from the country “La Perversa”. It was impossible not to feel inspired by this place.

Adapting my needs to the situation I end up develop my last print there.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: If I’m not wrong, you’ve launched 3 prints to date, using a different technique in every one of them. Could you tell us a little bit about all this and how you have chosen each process? Is it kind of a challenge for you? Is it a matter of not repeating yourself?

Vermibus: After trying them, I think other artists can profit more from techniques like giclée and screenprinting than I.

When I’m creating, I like to have an experience and I want this one to be reflected in the final work. At the same time, I’m interested in the investigation and the developing of techniques that break boundaries and open new or forgotten paths. 

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: I had the chance of spending some time with you at the laboratory witnessing the developing of Katherine. I have to say that it was a very delicate, technical and magical process. Did you have to learn this technique from zero? What was the most stressful part of it? Did any ideas about quitting the project come to your mind?

Vermibus: I knew the very basics of analog photography and I knew what I wanted to do but I had to learn how to do it, almost from zero.

Of course, I had all the problems someone could have in a laboratory, literally every single one of them.

To be in a dark-room for long periods of time, when things are not going good can be devastating. The idea of quitting came to my mind many times.

But from my experience, when nothing is working and you are close to let it go is when magic happens. During the last week of the art-residency I found out that the main problem was the composition of the paper, so I decided to give a last push and I got a beautiful top quality paper that was decisive in the production of the print.

In the end, I could have everything ready on time with the results I wanted from the beginning.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: Once Katherine was produced, you showed it in the exhibition context during Moniker Art Fair London. After all the hard work, were you happy with the results and the feedback you got from attendants, collectors, other artists?
Vermibus: The moment of showing your work is when all the pain has passed and you can enjoy. I really believe Brutally Human is the best collection of works I have done until now. The feedback was great, so it seems like the people enjoyed it too.

Fer Alcala: Is there any way to still get it?
Vermibus: I think Moniker Art Fair still have some prints left.

Fer Alcala: I would like to ask you a couple of things apart from the creative process of Katherine. I think that, while you were doing the workshop at the school, working on issues as beauty, the role of women in advertisement, gender… the La Manada rape media coverage was at its height. Did it influence the way you approached the work with the students?
Vermibus: Working with kids is something that I didn’t do before, so my approach towards the students, the profession and of course it was taken with massive respect.

I was preparing the lessons with a lot of care but adapting myself and the content to the needs of each moment So, what happened during that time with La Manada was the worst that could have happened to the girl, to her family and to womens rights in general but perfect to make young people understand the importance of respect and empathy.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: You are developing your own solvent, which I think is great. Could you explain to us why you have decided to do it and give us some tips about the technical side of it?
Vermibus: Together with Elena Gayo, a renowned conservator and restorer from Spain, I’ve been developing my own solvent.

The idea had different goals: reducing toxicity, gaining molecular stability and understanding better my technique to be able develop it.

After months of work and infinite setbacks (similar to the process of the print) I found the correct proportion of “ingredients” to create my own solvent.

Visually speaking it leaves the painting slightly smoother than the old solvent and the molecular structure is much more stable because I control the ingredients. Also, I can modify the mix because I understand what each of the solvents does individually and all together.

But the most important is that we could reduce the toxicity drastically, from a commercial solvent that was carcinogenic, neurotoxic, mutagenic and reproduction-impairing to a solvent that produces no irritation through skin contact and inhalation. And that’s a big deal.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fer Alcala: Is it something that you are doing for yourself or are you planning to produce it and sell it at a larger scale?
Vermibus: The solvent is absolutely adapted to my needs but who knows, maybe one day…

Fer Alcala: Tell us about your plans for 2019
Vermibus: 2018 has been a very decisive year. I spent most of my time reflecting on what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, but specially with who I’m working with and with who I’m not.

I have learned a lot this year and 2019 will be the moment when all what was learned will start to materialize. That’s all I can say for now.

Vermibus “Brutally Human”. Nau Bostik, Barcelona. 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

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Moniker BK 2018 Catalogue Introduction Text by BSA

Moniker BK 2018 Catalogue Introduction Text by BSA

For the past few days we’ve been highlighting some of the artists whose brand new works will be debuted this week at Moniker International Art Fair this week. We are pleased that our editor in chief, Steven P. Harrington, was asked to write the Moniker catalogue introduction and today we share with you his original text to give you an idea of his perspective on having this art fair in BK.


From the seedy to the sublime, Brooklyn’s underground and street culture always bubbles up to the surface like hot gritty pavement tar when you least expect it – maybe because it’s character is so diverse and scrappy; a perpetual underdog, a fighter who never tires. Likewise Moniker has blazed many dark streets during its first nine years in search of new unusual inspiration and authentic voices. For its New York debut Moniker again short-circuits expectations and takes up a seriously innovative residence in the street culture epicenter of BKLN.

Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the modern Urban Art story Brooklyn is known for giving birth to epic 1970s train writers like Dondi, 80s train/canvas artists like Daze, crossover iconoclast graffiti/Street Artists like REVS in the 90s, and Street Art innovators like Bäst, Faile, Judith Supine, Skewville and Swoon in the 00s. Currently it claims the thickest density of international murals by urban aerosol wizards anywhere in the city – with the Bushwick Collective proliferating an epic scene of styles in the 2010s that brings a river of fans and tours out on the L train on any given sunny Saturday.

An earlier Bast in Brooklyn (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Curated, experiential, and immersive, Moniker again goes right to the source of this Street Art scene that has jolted many international collectors out of their comfort zones and sparked life into Contemporary Art in a way that nobody foresaw.

With an awesome shot of Gotham across the river and just adjacent to Williamsburg this site is where 4,000 workers in factories manufactured nautical rope for the Merchant Marine in the previous century, later becoming a marginalized and abandoned industrial neighborhood that was like a powerful magnet to Street Artists and graffiti writers until only recently.

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Right here only a decade ago my partner and I threw a Street Art burlesque show for 300 avant-art fans behind a graffiti supply store; acrobats, fire tagging and drunken DJs included. Months later, with abandoned buildings and empty lots at our disposal, we projected Street Art images meta-style on walls around the neighborhood along with 20 or so projection artists for BK’s own version of a renegade Nuit Blanche.

ASVP (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Only a block or two from where Moniker is sited graffiti throwups and bubble letters were scattered everywhere, squatters started fires to keep warm and scare off rats, skater kids regularly rode the underground paradise called “Autumn Bowl” by sneaking through a hole in the wall, and Banksy did one of his famous New York residency pieces here in 2013, “This site contains blocked messages.” The hardcore and anonymous REVS himself used a blowtorch to weld a dozen or so sculptures around this neighborhood during the 00s and ‘10s. There is at least one remaining.

FaithXLVII (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And now Moniker 2018 beams out a new international signal to you from here, channeling that explosive Brooklyn DIY creative spirit up to the soaring ceilings of the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, effectively recreating the kind of immersive street carnival atmosphere that proved the ideal laboratory for Street Artists in BK like like Skewville, Dan Witz, Aiko, Mark Jenkins and countless others.

Now Moniker is introducing you to a dynamic crop of work by street practitioners on Brooklyn streets like Icy & Sot, Specter, and ASVP as well as the international high-profilers who have put work on the street here like Faith XLVII, FinDAC and Vermibus.

Vermibus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As Urban Contemporary takes a solid hold in art world parlance it’s only right that a unique event like this challenges the rules for installations. All original new work from a handpicked highly curated group of 27 exhibitors, you will not have seen these installations and pieces previously. Judging by the hefty buzz leading up to Moniker 2018 in Brooklyn, you might not see them again.

Reminds me of Street Art.

FinDAC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Vermibus x Moniker x BSA

Vermibus x Moniker x BSA

In advance of Moniker in Brooklyn this May, we are interviewing some of the artists who are influenced both by street practice and fine art as the contemporary urban art category continues to evolve. Today, BSA is talking to Vermibus.

Readers of BSA will know that we have written about Vermibus many times for a number of years, so it is great to see him here in New York for Moniker. The Berlin-based Spanish artist takes a full frontal attack on advertising in the beauty and fashion fields primarily, using a paint solvent to dissolve features of high fashion models to disrupt idealized standards of beauty.

A veteran of countless takeovers of public bus shelters and kiosks here and across Europe, the results are shocking and confusing to passersby, who perhaps wonder if they are seeing something official and fashion forward or if its a viral ad using surrealist melting forms.

Vermibus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

To quote one of our own many texts, Vermibus is using solvent “to paint his critique of the corrosiveness of a commercial beauty culture that tears down and divides, glorifies consumerism for its own sake, belittles and relentlessly attacks self esteem and plays on negative emotions to enforce normative values about appearance. He takes the posters back to a studio and selectively eliminates words, logos, facial features, even entire faces — and then carries them to another city to repost on new streets. Sometimes he also takes them to an art framer.”

BSA: How would you describe your work to someone who is seeing it for the first time?
Vermibus: With my work I talk about 3 main topics.

It’s a critique of advertising, a reflection about beauty standards and an investigation on the complexities of the human being, not necessarily in this order.

Vermibus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: What is your intersection with Brooklyn and it’s history of Street Art and graffiti?
Vermibus: I haven’t spend enough time in Brooklyn to be able to answer this question properly.

All I can say is that for those who come from the graffiti scene we are obviously very influenced by NYC and Brooklyn in particular.

BSA: What’s most important to you?
Vermibus: Keep on standing up every time I fall.

Vermibus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Are graffiti and Street Art allowed to change, or should there be a strict definitions they adhere to?
Vermibus: I don’t think graffiti can change and still be graffiti, same like I don’t think street art can change and still be street art, will be another thing.

I believe in evolution and I think is not only good but necessary, but labels are made to define things. If things change then we’ll need more labels.

BSA: Moniker says your work has been influential and/or fundamental to urban & contemporary art’s growth. Can you see their point?
Vermibus: I guess for some people I could have been very influential and I think my work has the ingredients to open new perspectives in the scene.

But only people with a great overview of the scene can say and only time can confirm.

So far, Moniker has been very good at observing and guiding the scene over the years, so I’m happy they see my work as such.

BSA: Name one artist whose work you admire today.
Vermibus: Axel Void.


For more information please go to Moniker Art Fair HERE.

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BSA Film Friday 01.26.18

BSA Film Friday 01.26.18

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. Vermibus – In Absentia
2. Balú – Hutsean
3. Pati Baztán for Contorno Urbano 12 + 1 in Barcelona
4. Ai Weiwei: Human Flow. Trailer
5. Balloons Festoon the Ballet with Jihan Zencirli

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Vermibus – In Absentia

The Francis Bacon of advertising posters, Vermibus returns today in the Parisian Metro, solvent in hand. In such a fashionable city, where the image of beauty has been examined from every angle, it’s the visual pollution of consumerism that the Berlin-based artist targets. Shot in a very public series of venues, the Xar Lee directed video is significant for its absence of public, the intended audience for the beauty posters in this, their public space.

Hutsean – Balú

“Art is not in museums. Art is in all men and women,” proclaims Balú in tribute to Jorge Oteiza. The multidisciplinary artist from Basque country commissions his own intervention to honor this BAsque sculptor and thinker who has been a reference point for thought and art since Balú began his career. The intervention carried out in the Paseo Nuevo de Donosti, is located under the sculpture “empty construction” by Jorge Oteiza.

 

Pati Baztán for Contorno Urbano 12 + 1 in Barcelona

Pati Baztán takes special pleasure in savoring the color, the process, the materiality of her lifeblood. Here you can see the models of contemporary staking claim in the public sphere, asserting the massive blocks of color and volume as ends unto themselves, upending conventions of aerosol wizardry and defining a different approach to intervention.

 

Ai Weiwei: Human Flow. Trailer

Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei keeps the focus where governments and war profiteers would like to distract you from. When entire cultures are displaced, their lives made precarious, it is no longer simply geopolitical grabbing for resources – it is inhumanity. Ai Weiwei finds it and flows it into our midst.

Balloons Festoon the Ballet with Jihan Zencirli

Jihan Zencirli aka GERONIMO takes over the visuals with her ballooning imagination in the winter months at New York City Ballet for the sixth presentation of Art Series. Previous installations have featured notables like Faile,JR, Santtu Mustonen, and Dustin Yellen in the main atrium and onstage at Lincoln Center.

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Vermibus: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

Vermibus: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.

*******

Spanish Street Artist and fine artist Vermibus has been re-rendering posh pictures of fashion poses on public ad spaces for a handful of years now. His insight into how emotions and self image are impacted by advertisements is now concise and his rendering of opinion is clarion. More than 600 installations later, not only has his work become a powerful critique of twisted class and beauty standards, it’s a reclamation of public space and mindspace that we have allowed to become privatized. Today Vermibus shows us a photo he took in Berlin this year and tells us about revisiting one of his original lightbox spots and discovering something new that he wasn’t expecting.


VERMIBUS

This year I came across an empty lightbox and this one immediately caught my attention.

Many years ago, when I was just starting as Vermibus, I did an intervention in this spot but I didn’t realize until this day how beautiful and full of meaning this space was. Maybe it was the blue light from the moment, the empty street, or the closed windows from the building but they all together made some kind of poetical meaning for me, and I was touched by it.

This silent box gave me more than I was expecting, it gave me peace.

I never felt so connected with any campaign in the way I felt connected with the absence of it; this lack of message was stimulating my imagination and my reflection. I couldn’t tell if this was an intervention or it just happened naturally, who the person was who did it, or what was the aim of it – if there was an aim at all.

I end up realizing that in fact all this didn’t really matter, the information was there for the ones who could read it, and I was one of them.

My wish is that more people can see the message that is hidden in those empty shiny spaces in the same way I did.

Vermibus. Berlin, Germany. July, 2017. (photo © Vermibus)

 

Vermibus

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BSA Film Friday: 10.27.17

BSA Film Friday: 10.27.17

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. Joe Caslin: “We will let no life be worth less”
2. VERMIBUS – IN ABSENTIA
3. Fernando Leon / 12 + 1 Contorno Urbano
4. Graffolution. By Carl Friedrich

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Joe Caslin: “We will let no life be worth less”

Street artist Joe Caslin, known for his large-scale black and white drawings, has released a compelling and emotive short film entitled ‘The Volunteers – We will let no life be worth less’. The film follows his installation of a four story drawing on House Two in Trinity College’s Front Square. The film focuses on drug addiction, mental health, and our collective response to both and showcases the efforts of 20 people in Ireland working toward re-framing the conversation around de-criminalization and rehabilitation.

 

VERMIBUS – IN ABSENTIA

BSA has brought you Vermibus since he started messing with glamour, testing the limits of passersby ability to ignore his melted models. A protest against the classist beauty brands that insult us in our public space, Vermibus’ posters re-frame the conversation, jolting you into a grotesque brutalism, sometimes ornate, sometimes darkly disturbing. Here his latest solvent-based poster campaign appears on the metro in Paris, neatly framed and waiting to catch you eye. He calls it “In Absentia”.

 

Fernando Leon / 12 + 1 Contorno Urbano

The latest video from Contorno Urbano with Fernando Leon.

 

Graffolution. By Carl Friedrich

A post-modern meditation on mark-making. A soul-stirring piano score accompanies this layered montage of graffiti writing and abstract painting. Here there is destruction. And deconstruction. And recollecting of playful errant thoughts and passionate impulses and suite soliloquies, machine gunned and splashed like hot massage oil across the surface like so many erudite dialogues you pined for. Masterful? Maybe. Poignant. Positively. Transcendent! You decide.

Also, it’s an ad for a book duo called Graffolution and Dead and Afterlife of Graffiti, both which we hope to read one day. Until then, this video puts us in a great state of mind.

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Vermibus: Ad Busting In Barcelona. Catalonia’s Desire to Secede from Spain

Vermibus: Ad Busting In Barcelona. Catalonia’s Desire to Secede from Spain

As the October 1st  referendum deadline looms ever closer, the tensions over Catalonia’s attempts to secede from Spain have dramatically taken to the streets – and Vermibus is adding his voice to the raucous dialogue in the Catalunya area of Barcelona. Using an interventionist technique that has become more popular in the last decade but dates back at least to the 1960s, the Spanish born Street Artist is taking over an advertising space to promote artful civic discourse rather than flogging shampoo that makes your hair shiny.

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

In news reports everywhere you learn that the central Spanish government and its supporters are accused of extraordinary efforts to quash the democratic efforts of the Catalan parliament to push for the divorce. Recent letters from MPs, more than a hundred academics, and other secessionists accuse the government of anti-democratic measures such as, “taking to court 700 Catalan mayors for allowing preparations for the vote to go ahead, seizing campaign material and ballot papers, threatening to cut off power to polling stations, arresting and charging a newspaper editor accused of aiding the preparations for the referendum and banning a public meeting called in Madrid to discuss the issue,” reports The Guardian.

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

For Vermibus, the issue is simpler: The government is hiding from the obvious, choosing not to see the truth and hoping it will go away. Similarly you may look at this image of a person putting their hands over their eyes and interpret it that seeing what is happening is painful and shocking.

As citizens who may look at the events from a patriachal/matriarchal perspective, you can also imagine average people hiding their eyes from witnessing their parents yelling and fighting with each other. As painful as it gets, hiding your eyes doesn’t make it disappear.

“Spain is facing the most complex identity issue of its short democracy,” says the ad-busting Vermibus. “The unity of this country is obviously broken and this problem has to be addressed urgently. The attitude from the central power is one of trying to solve the problem by ignoring it,” he says, “and with that the tensions between Catalonia and Spain are growing exponentially.”

For Fernando Alcalá Losa, the photographer who shares these photos with BSA readers today, the demonstrations and fighting in Barcelona streets right now looked like a perfect opportunity to work with Vermibus, who was in town to give a talk.

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

“I had met the Berlin-based Vermibus personally at the 1st edition of Urvanity Contemporary art fair this year. Everything went very fast. I contacted him when I found out that he was giving a lecture in the city, got some tools and tried to make this happen,” Fer says. “We almost failed because of several reasons, but, after some hesitation and logistical issues, the adbusting happened while tons of people were flooding the heart of the city and cops were everywhere. And let me say, it felt good.”

It’s a simple act, this claiming of commercial space for public commentary, but worth the risk for those who increasingly take over bus stops and myriad kiosks that take over the public sphere. For Alcalá Losa, times of civil discontent require civic involvement and this is a tumultuous period for the culture.

“For me it was the fact that the ‘Guardia Civil’, the police branch of the Spanish army, arrested several Catalonian politicians in different cities of the region, leading to a massive and peaceful response by the citizens taking to the streets protesting, demonstrating and claiming for freedom and the right to choose and being independent from Spain,” he says.

“All this political confrontation is not about independence anymore. It’s about freedom of choice, the right to vote and the right of having the chance of saying yes or not. Period.”

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

For his part, Vermibus says the problem is a self-imposed blindness and he hopes his small intervention is a reflection of it. “What happened recently in Catalonia is not a problem of identity anymore, or at least is not how I personally feel it. It is an attempt at democracy, and by not wanting to see it the problem won’t get solved on its own.”

Vermibus. Barcelona Spain. September 21st. (photo © Fer Alcalá)


This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.03.17 NUART 2017 Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.03.17 NUART 2017 Special

 

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to Sunday! This week we have a special edition of BSA Images of the Week; Dedicated to Nuart 2017.

Each year Nuart challenges itself as much as it challenges you, unwilling to fall into the beckoning arms of the ever more bodacious and titilating Street Art Festival siren that increasingly works the thoroughfare in cities globally, looking so enticing in your Saturday night drunken reverie but unable to string together complete sentences over pancakes and coffee in the morning. Not that these stencils, these tiles, these installations and projections will necessarily lead to a more thorough examination and evaluation of neoliberal economics, corporate hegemony, or the caveats of a generation of identity politics, but they might. At the very least the practice of weighing in on these and other topics in a public way, in an ardent or passive voice, means that the conversation can be sparked, possibly brought to its fullness. And you may be encouraged.

John Fekner, stalwart public artist since at least the Reagan Revolution, has finally personally had his say here on the streets and on the subconscious . We asked him to share his wisdom with us, to take the measure of the scene and the new voices and perspectives. Not surprisingly, Mr. Fekner shows why an active engaged mind and spirit is paramount to evolving your art practice, your participation in the public conversation.

“The potent vitality of the artists in this year’s ‘Rise Up’ Exhibition in Stavanger, Norway is striking, in its exploration, selection, and development of the ‘visual voice’ of street art and mural making in 2017. NuArt exists as a ‘community commune of communication’ for artists, writers, musicians and guest speakers with an enthusiastic and participatory audience,” John tells us.

“Personally, I see a little bit of myself mirrored in some of the works- in the process, but not in the unexpected end results. Heralding from various  countries, this younger generation represent new beginnings for outdoor art that combine social concern, expressive beauty and hope, urgency and manifesto, for a new future that includes and engages everyone to experience.”

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring ± Maismenos ±, Ampparito, Bahia Shebab, Carrie Reichardt, Ian Strange, Igor Posonov, John Fekner, Ricky Lee Gordon, Slava Ptrk, and Vermibus.

See our conversation with Vermibus about his work here at Nuart below.

Top image:  Ampparito. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 John Fekner. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 John Fekner. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 John Fekner. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 John Fekner. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Bahia Shehab. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017.(photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Translation of the text:

“How wide is the revolution

How  narrow is the journey

How BIG is the Idea

How small is the state”

Slava Ptrk. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Vermibus. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Vermibus. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Vermibus. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

BSA: Can you tell us about your new piece and what it is about and how you are feeling about the progress?
Vermibus:
I brought two original pieces for the festival, both are part of one artwork that is the installation itself, and even if each artwork has its own personality they need from the rest of the room to express what I want to say with the installation.

The tunnels from Nuart Festival are huge and very interesting, so I thought I could use all this space to create an atmosphere instead of trying to fill the whole space with artworks or with a massive piece.

With this installation I want to bring to the viewer to its more hidden part of its personality, there where you don’t usually allow others to go in, where all the fears and traumas survive.

I want the viewer to have some intimacy with it’s inner self through my work.

The way the viewer will see my work is completely different from other occasions.

BSA: Can you give us your impressions of Nuart and Stavanger and the environment you are working in?
Vermibus:
It’s the first time that I participate in a festival, so for me everything is new, but I have the strong sensation that this place is special.

The whole team is friendly, incredibly talented, surprisingly humble and completely ready to help the artists to express themselves without limitations, it’s kind of a paradise.

The lineup is so well curated that I cannot be happier to participate around all this amazing artists.

 Vermibus. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Ian Strange. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Ian Strange. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

± Maismenos ± Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

± Maismenos ± Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Ricky Lee Gordon. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Ricky Lee Gordon is painting a mural of Finnish transgender activist Sakris Kupila for the launch of the BRAVE campaign with Amnesty International, raising awareness of human rights defenders and their work all over the world.

 Ricky Lee Gordon. Detail. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Ricky Lee Gordon. Detail. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 Igor Ponosov. Nuart 2017. Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

For a complete program of this year’s edition of NUART click HERE


We wish to thank our friend, BSA collaborator, and tireless Nuart volunteer Tor Ståle Moen for sharing his photographs and enthusiasm with us and with BSA readers.


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NUART 2017 Works In Progress and Nordic Gems By the Sea

NUART 2017 Works In Progress and Nordic Gems By the Sea

In Stavanger, Norway the Nuart Festival, in all its firey activist rebellious street-smart community-powered glory, is well underway; a chain-reaction of events and actions that ignite throughout the streets, in the gallery halls, and in neglected margins of this seaside town. In our 10th year bringing you the art and ideas from Nuart, BSA is ecstatic to show you works in process right now, courtesy of photographer Tor Ståle Moen.

Nuart 2017 artists include:

Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), flyingleaps presents Derek Mawudoku (UK), Ian Strange (AU), John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IL), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU), Vermibus (DE)

Bahia Shehab “No To Borders” Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab “No To War” Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab plays with an exciting Escif piece from Nuart 2011. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab at work on her large wall for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Bahia Shehab at work on her large wall for Nuart 2017 with members of the Nuart team assisting, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt experiments with a configuration of her trademark tiles for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt at work. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt tries a configuration of her trademark tiles for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Carrie Reichardt for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

John Fekner  contemplates the progress of his mural for Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

John Fekner. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

John Fekner. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Ampparito. Work in progress. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Moen Tor Staale)

Vermibus at work. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Vermibus at work. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Vermibus. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Ricky Lee Gordon work in progress. Nuart 2017, Stavanger, Norway. September 2017. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 

NUART 2017. For a complete listing of events click HERE

 

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