All posts tagged: VEXTA

BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

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Museums, Festivals, and Activism – three of the themes that garnered the most traffic on our published stories on BSA and The Huffington Post this year.

From a scholarly Street Art related exhibition in St. Petersburg to the opening of the Mima Museum in Belgium to the Anti-Banksy exhibition with the Blu controversy in Bologna and the “Magic City” exhibition in Dresden, BSA readers were astutely studying the slow but steady move of Street Art from the street to the museum and the academic canons.

But you also liked the huge multi-player outside exhibitions as well – with stories from Sicily and Northern Spain to Northern Mexico, BSA readers were interested this year in seeing how eclectic locally-organized Street Art festivals and projects are done, and who is doing them.

Finally activism played a big role in what you were re-Tweeting and “liking” and sending to your friends – From Icy & Sot installing anti-radiation work in the Native American desert and then talking about oceans polluted with plastic, to a United Nations food program with kids and artists in El Salvador, to highlighting Indigenous peoples rights with Jetsonorama, to a US cross-country tour to save endangered species by one artist and a Greenpeace show in Barcelona addressing the same issue with 35 artists, it looks like BSA readers are engaged and concerned about socio-politico-environmental issues left and right.

On a side note, we were honored that our El Salvador article was picked up and published in spanish on the UN World Food program website – HERE.

Of course it was good to see that you liked the feature on the notorious graffiti crew 1UP and seeing Nychos slay New York as well. Tasty!

These are the TOP 15 articles on BSA for 2016 from the more than 365 postings we did this year – meaning they all beat at least 350 articles to get here. Congratulations to us all.


No. 15
Borders and Boundaries : A Multi-Disciplinary Exhibit at St. Petersburg’s Street Art Museum

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SpY. Street Art Museum (SAM). St. Petersburg, Russia. May 2016. (photo © Evgeniy Belikov)

Rafael Schacter Takes a More Nuanced Approach to the Migration Crisis

Commerce and technology have been eroding traditional constructs of the borders and boundaries, especially in the age of the Internet, satellites, transnational banking and trade agreements that create governing bodies that openly dismiss national sovereignty, integrity, identity, aspirations. Borders and boundaries are contested, guarded, or disregarded at will; open to international capital, porous to immigration, hardened by armies.

Daily they are in the headlines: Trump’s plans to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, Syrian war refugees immigrating across European borders, Israel and Palestine’s ongoing land and settlement disputes, even maritime territorial claims of China and the Phillipines in the South China Sea that were ruled upon yesterday  – all reveal clues to our historically complicated relationships and geo-political perspectives.

Art to the rescue! continue reading here


No. 14
Icy & Sot Stencil An Enormous Blue Whale in LA

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Icy & Sot. Endangered Species Mural Project. Los Angeles, CA. January 2016 (photo © Jess X. Chen)

“The brothers spent two solid days hand cutting the multi-layer stencil here on Melrose Avenue. How many pieces? “19 pieces,” says Icy. “Its not that big but it has a lot of details” The composite image features an enormous whale emerging from the sea in full view of a coastline packed with industrial forms which presumably are dumping contaminants directly into the waters.

As ever, the brothers crash into each others sentences while talking to us. “Whatever happens in the ocean… it comes back to us,” says Sot. “Whether is trash or plastics or oil..”

Icy jumps in, “The fish eat them and then we eat the animals and we have the plastics inside of us.”

“Yeah, It’s a cycle. We are all making a lot of trash – we are affecting the world. Then it all comes back to us,” says Sot… Continue reading here


No. 13
MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

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Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)

What is it about Brooklyn Street Art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York Street Art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our  modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably…Continue reading here


No. 12
San Salvador, Street Artists, Food Insecurity and “Conect-Arte”

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Vexta.Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

“Six street artists took their social engagement a step further in El Salvador last month and taught youth some serious skillz from the street.

Coming from Brazil, Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, New York, and New Jersey, this international crew took the time to share and teach about painting, art, and how community can be built. The program Conect-Arte is a newly launched initiative by the United Nations World Food Programme, which as the name suggests, also is in the city to address a more core need to battle food insecurity. With Conect-Arte the goal is to also meet youth in some communities and help with positive role models an options with an eye on transforming lives through developing art and related creative skills that can provide income and channel energy in ways productive to community.

Together the artists worked on projects with 45 teens and younger kids over the course of the a week-long workshop in San Salvador, teaching street art techniques like stencil, lettering, mural painting, sculpture, even hot air balloon making. The goals are huge, like reducing violence, food insecurity, increasing access to economic opportunity. The tools here are art, the creative spirit, and strengthening relationships.

We bring you some images of the works that were made by the visiting artists and some of their observations and experiences during the Conect-Arte program…Continue reading here


No. 11
Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“A couple of weeks ago BSA was in Dresden, Germany to help lay plans for a new Street Art show opening there this fall called “Magic City” and naturally we hit the streets with bicycles three days in a row to see the city’s graffiti, Street Art, and murals whenever time would permit. The first day we had the honor of getting a tour from Jens Besser, an artist, author, lecturer, and producer of mural festivals in the city who sped ahead of us through a labyrinth of streets to show us a number of the impressive murals he and partners have brought to the city in the last decade or so…Continue reading here


No. 10

Louis Masai: “The Art Of Beeing” Tour Kicks Off in NYC to Save Endangered Species

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Bog Turtle. Endangered. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October  2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Activism and Street Art go hand in hand and some artists are skilled at activating public space for hearts and brains to spark and cogitate. During the last 15 years we’ve documented a number of seriously affecting artworks on the street that use text and/or imagery to address political, social, environmental, and economic issues and opinions by artists as varied as Shepard Fairey, Banksy, John Fekner, Ganzeer, LMNOPI, Myth, Gilf!, Gaia, LNY, Jetsonorama, and any number of one-shot authors. In this election year there are too many Trumps to count, and a few Hillary pieces as well.

Undaunted by commercial interests and able to deliver directly to the passerby, Street Artists know that their visual message isn’t guaranteed acceptance but they take a chance anyway. The ones that reflect the sentiments on the street tend to last longer, aesthetics count, and so does spelling, at least that is our inductive observation.

One London artist who seriously raises awareness about the Earths’ endangered species is Louis Masai, a painter, sculptor, illustrator and Street Artist. Starting this week in New York Masai is beginning a 20 mural tour across the United States to talk about the hard working, honey-making, pretty pollinating bee – and a number of our animals that are in danger of dying off completely…Continue reading here


No. 9
1UP in Berlin : “ ‘All City’ Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It ”

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1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“An amorphous shape-shifting consortium of Berlin-based aerosol hooligans named 1UP is one of those graffiti crews who eventually make the entry into graffiti street lore because of the scope and daring of their travails.

Primarily Berlin based, you’ll find their almost-commercial sounding name on roofs, walls, abandoned factories, and in tunnels in many cities around the globe. Without a clear idea of the exact number in their association nor precise membership these daredevils are most often described as white men in their twenties and early thirties reveling in the athleticism and sport of graffiti, in addition to style. The tag itself appears to be rather “open source” at times, with only insiders able to keep track of the distinct hand styles forming the ubiquitous name on thousands of surfaces…continue reading here


No. 8
A “Cathedral” of Characters in Northern Spain

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RIM. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“It’s a cathedral of characters, this abandoned furniture factory forty kilometers outside of Barcelona. Cartoons, illustrations, portraits are everywhere; a curious collection of aerosol spray pieces that highlights the popularity of the animated and exaggerated personalities among graffiti and Street Artists in this region of the world.

The character may be a salty with a haggard stare, or reference a topic with a bit of satire. The scene may be serious, comical, ridiculous or purely sci-fi and horror. You discover the stories and allegories as you walk through the empty manufacturing rooms now flooded with natural light and dust. Expressions and situations here are full of drama that may trigger your empathy, startle your attention, elicit a shiver, or creepily fondle your funny bone…Continue reading here


No. 7
“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

“They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.

The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils…continue reading here


No. 6
BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

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Tadlock (photo © @around730)

“An anti-Banksy & Co. Street Art show opened in Bologna Italy the same night as its controversial bank-backed cousin with brand new works by 50 or so Italian and international Street Artists and open admission to their outdoor ‘museum’.

 “It is free and spontaneous, as Street Art should be,” says an organizer and participant named About Ponny as he describes the exuberant and sometimes saucy toned exhibition on the grounds of the sprawling former headquarters of Zincaturificio Bolognese which is destined for future demolition.

“The message we want to convey is that true street art is found where it was born, in the street and not in the paid exhibits,” says Bibbito, who along with two other out-of-town street artists named Jamesboy and Enter/Exit found food and couches during their installations thanks to an association of artists called L’Associazione Serendippo. Together, these artists say, they and other organizers want to send a “strong signal” by creating “one of the largest museums of ephemeral street art ever made”. The new coalition named this project “R.U.S.Co” (Recupero Urbano Spazi Comuni) or (Urban Renewal Common spaces).

The new 16,000 m2 open-air art show may appear as a rather curious development because its method of protest runs completely counter to that of the shows’ most vocal and high-profile critic, BLU, who last week protested the same show by defiantly destroying 20 years of his own public paintings, rather than making new ones…Continue reading here


No. 5
Raising Yellowcake in Grand Canyon: Icy & Sot, Jetsonorama in Arizona

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Icy & Sot. “Nuclear Plant” Navajo Nation. Arizona. June 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

“Yellow Cake: A simple sweet dessert confection that gets its signature color from 8 egg yolks and a cup of butter, and is great with either vanilla or chocolate icing.

Yellowcake: A type of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Also, its radioactive. Also, Colin Powell showed off a vial of it at the United Nations to sell the Iraq invasion in 2003 to that body and the world.

Being more knowledgeable about the dessert variety of yellow cake than the desert variety of uranium contamination, we turn to Street Artists Jetsonorama and Icy & Sot to educate us about the active uranium mines that are at the North Rim of The Grand Canyon. The three worked jointly in June to create new public works addressing the topic and we have each of them here for you to see.

“The issue of uranium contamination and nuclear waste is timely as there is an active uranium mine at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon presently and a proposal to start mining at the South Rim,” explains Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas), who is a local artist, a practicing doctor, and a social activist advocating for the people who live on the reservation and the natural environment in general…Continue reading here


No. 4
Nychos Slays in New York : IKONS Revealed as Never Before

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Nychos. “Dissection of Sigmund Freud”. Vienna Therapy. Manhattan, NY. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Scientists, psychologists, surgeons…in the end we’re all driven by a similar curiosity.”

This month has been a whirlwind in New York for Austrian Street Artist /fine artist /illustrator named Nychos and he’s made quite the iconic impression. Anchored by a show that opened last weekend of canvasses and illustrations at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea named “IKON” and assisted by a co-branded sculptural event with the Vienna Tourist Board, the surreal dissectionist didn’t rest there.

In the weeks leading up to and after these events he also managed to hit a number of walls in Coney Island, Bushwick, and Jersey City…oh and he knocked out a box truck as well.

In addition to pulling out an astounding sculpture of Sigmund Freud looming over a couch that drew a crowd to the foot of the (also iconic) Flatiron Building at 23rd and 6th, the afterparty and reception featured Dominic Freud, the great grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, who surmised that if he were alive today he would definitely have wanted to put Nychos on his couch…Continue reading here


No 3
35 Artists in Barcelona Trying To Save The Arctic with Greenpeace

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La Castillo. Save The Arctic. Barcelona, Spain. April 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“Yesterday our posting was about artists in London creating works about endangered species and today we go to Barcelona where 35 artists joined with Greenpeace and a local group named RebobinArt on April 9th to create works centered on environmental issues, especially the quickly disappearing polar ice cap.

Only three days later scientists announced that the Greenland “Melt” has happened one month earlier than usual this year, smashing records and causing scientists to reexamine their measuring instruments to make sure they were working correctly.

The art-platform model of RebobinArt is interesting because they are a community organization that manages spaces and issues permits for painting for competitions, festivals, exhibitions, educational programs, and cause-based events like this one.

Under the guidance of Director Marc Garcia, RobobinArt promotes and facilitates a different sort of public painting that is not strictly commercial and yet it is clearly not the freewheeling graffiti/street art based stuff that made Barcelona such a magnet for artists in the early-mid 2000s…Continue reading here


No. 2
Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

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Chip Thomas. The original photograph of JC Morningstar holding her dog on a swing. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

“Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.

The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Red show that evening.”…Continue reading here


No 1
Chihuahua, a Mexican Desert City with a Few “Street Art” Blooms

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Paola Delfin. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Chihuahua is like one big ranch,” says a local reporter who guides you around this desert city known for beef, cheese, sotol, cowboy boots… and a growing middle class – thanks to the hundred plus multinational maquiladoras operating here with a focus on aerospace, medical equipment, and automobile manufacturing.

The “ranch” metaphor is meant to be welcoming, but it also lets you know that this city of nearly a million can still feel like a small town. This is the capital of Mexico’s largest state, which goes by the same name. And yes, the diminutive and scrappy dog originated here – as did Pancho Villa, and you can visit his homestead if you like.

It’s not the typical city where you might expect to find Street Art, yet only a few blocks from the government palace downtown that holds two stories of wall paintings by Mexican muralist Aarón Piña Mora, you will find new paintings in the dusty side streets that indicate a more international flavor is present…Continue reading here

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he tells me I’m an idiot because I trust scientists about climate change and that actually it is a hoax created by the Chinese.

Sorry, everything reminds us of Donald J. Trump and his outlandish claim for the presidency. Even when we are looking at the new Faile mural in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Love Me, Love Me Not.

The Greenest Point is an initiative that wants to raise awareness of Climate Change and three Street Artists have just completed two murals here in Brooklyn to support it. The organization says that they hope to gather “together people from different backgrounds, professions and skill-sets who are bonded by aligned values and a common vision.” By integrating Street Art with technology, film, sound and voice, they hope that we’ll be more capable of piecing together the climate change puzzle as a collective.

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t pretend to be scientists, but we trust the ones we have and we decided that this week we would dedicate BSA Images of the Week  just to this new project and this topic. We also know that it is now well-documented that tobacco companies fought us citizens with disinformation and legislative trickery for decades before they finally admitted that smoking was killing us and our families, so there is reason to believe that oil companies and related industries who flood our media and politicians with money are possibly buying time while we’re all heating up the atmosphere.

Here are new images of the two new murals in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn and an interview with the three artists who participated; Vexta, Askew, and long time Greenpoint studio residents, Faile.

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Faile: We feel it’s important to create work that can resonate with people on an emotional level. Something that we can live with everyday and that has a place in our lives that brings meaning to our experience. This is how we think people must learn to connect to climate change. It’s not something you can just think about, it’s something that you have to do everyday. It has to become part of you. We hope art has the power to be that wink and nod that you are on the right track. That the little things you do are meaningful and that change starts with you in the most simple of ways.

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Vexta and Askew. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Greenpoint has a history of blue collar communities who worked in factories producing goods for the both the merchant marine and the USA Navy. Those factories are all gone and only a few of the original settlers remain in the neighborhood such as the Polish community. How do you think the murals painted for the festival relate to them?
Vexta: Our collaborative mural hopefully offers a voice to people directly to people who will become a part of the history of Greenpoint and its legacy. We will have QR codes installed that link to video pieces that physically give Askew’s subjects a voice as well as linking to the birds calls and information about their situation.
Faile: We tried to be aware of the history of Greenpoint. The communities that make this neighborhood what it is. We tried to incorporate some nods to them through the work, specifically with the traditional Polish pattern in the socks. Unfortunately, Greenpoint is also home to some of the worst ecological disasters this country has ever experienced, the effects of which are still present. We wanted to bring something positive and something beautiful to the neighborhood that spoke to everyone. There are other historical murals in the neighborhood so it didn’t feel like it required another.

The neighborhood is also quickly changing. It’s home to many young families and has a vibrant creative class, not to mention our studio for the last 12 years. When creating an artwork in a public space, especially a park, there’s always that balance of trying to make something that people can connect with on a visceral, then psychological level in an immediate way–once that connection is made you hope they can dig a little deeper into the more subversive side of the meaning.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Faile:Whether you believe it or not there are basic things that people can do in their everyday lives to create a more beautiful environment around them. Picking up trash, recycling, being mindful that our resources are precious – none of these really imply that you have to have an opinion about climate change. Just the fact that we have a green space now in Transmitter Park is progress towards an environment that we can fall in love with.

We think that’s ultimately what the idea of Love Me, Love Me Not is asking. What kind of environment do you want? Do you want renewable green spaces that offer future generations beauty and room to reflect within nature? Or do you want to pave over the toxic soil and oil spills with the risk of repeating the past? If people can even ask themselves that question then we are at least engaging them into the dialogue where the seeds of action can be planted.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Vexta: For me as an artist it is the means that I have to talk about what I know to be important. Art also stands as this symbolic, most often visual, gesture that can bring people together, ignite debate and shine a light towards a new way of thinking that is perhaps still in the shadows of the mainstream. There is no more pressing issue right now than Climate Change.

There was a famous piece of graffiti up for a long time in my home city of Melbourne that read “No Jobs on a Dead Planet” in a beautiful font running down a power plant chimney. This work spurred my thinking back before I had begun making art professionally. That simple creative action out in public space was powerful and it spoke a simple truth and showed me that you can do a lot with a little. Art and art out in the streets is a great vehicle for talking about issues like climate change, because its a gesture in a shared space, it provides something to meditate on or think about that ultimately is a shared reality, this makes sense to me as climate change is a problem we need to work together to address.

Askew: I think that in particular art in the public space can be a very powerful way to put messaging on issues that matter right out in front of people who may not otherwise engage with it. Also an artist has the freedom to make the image captivating in a way that perhaps other platforms for speaking about serious issues don’t. People get bombarded with so much conflicting information every day especially via the mainstream media, art can put people in the contemplative space to engage differently.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: You have participated in at least one other art festival whose principal mission is to highlight the well being of our ecology and our planet. What would you say is unique characteristic of The Greenest Point that differentiates it from other festivals with equal goals?
Askew: Well I think this is different because it’s so focused on a specific place whereas the scope of other events I’ve painted look more generally at global issues. I think it’s great for communities to narrow their focus to directly around them to tackle very tangible local change. If every neighborhood did that globally, imagine the impact.
Vexta: I agree with Askew, What is special about The Greenest Point is that it’s very locally based yet has a global focus. The Greenest Point has brought so many different parts of our local community together, from creatives to government to business. It has shown us that people in our neighborhood really care about Climate Change.

BSA: Your collaborative mural with Askew represents the current and future generations of children. What do you think is the principal message to send to the children so they are more aware of the problems facing our planet?
Vexta: My mural with Askew represents a coming together of numerous ideas. The future belongs to the youth and the world’s children will be the ones most impacted by Climate Change. I think they are really aware of this problem and it’s a very scary prospect. Our mural brought together not only representations of young people but also birds found in the NY state area that are currently climate threatened & endangered (according to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report) as well as icebergs made of my shapes that represent the particles that make up all matter.

I would hope that we can inspire them to feel empowered to make small changes that they see as being possible whilst also acknowledging that all the other parts of our world – the birds, animals, water, air and land are just as important as they are. We are all in this together.

Askew: For me personally, celebrating young local people who are giving their time to make change in Greenpoint around sustainability and community-building issues is immediately inspiring to other young people.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Askew: Everything we do has impact, positive and negative – that’s the duality we deal with inhabiting this space. It’s a closed system, resources are finite and so we must respect them and do our best to live in harmony with this earth that supports us and live peacefully amongst each other and the various other creatures we share this planet with. No one thing is going to make pivotal change but everyone being mindful and keeping the conversation and action going is what will make a difference.

Our special thanks to the team at The Greenest Point and to the artists for sharing their time and talent with BSA readers.

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One image from this week by Street Artist Sipros depicts Climate-Change-denying Donald Trump as the character The Joker, from the Batman movies. A frightening piece of political satire, or perhaps propaganda, depending on who you talk to. Mana Urban Art Projects. Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Lincoln Street Art Park. Detroit, Michigan. Septiembre 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.18.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.18.16

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We debated whether or not to open today’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week on a political note with new Donald Trump related art or with an uplifting image of an almost universally recognized sweet little bird: The Sparrow.

The Sparrow won.

Who hasn’t seen them enjoying a good old dust bath or just happily munching on whatever crumbs fall from the public while eating al fresco. They have natural predators in the city and country and have been featured in songs, poems, books for centuries. More recently Chairman Mao Zedong ordered them to be killed The Kill a Sparrow Campaign in 1958 – where millions of them were killed by citizens, unleashing an environmental disaster of locusts destroying food crops, and people starving.

We prefer to think of these little birds in terms of the gospel hymn “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”

“I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches over me.”

This week two street pieces we discovered feature this finely feathered friend by LMNOPI and Elbow-Toe aka Brian Adam Douglas.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Brian Adam Douglas, Dirty Bandits, Indecline, Joe Caslin, Leon Keer, LMNOPI, MSK, SacSix, Swoon, The Flying Dutchman, Vexta, and WK Interact.

Our top image: LMNOPI.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brian Adams Douglas. Detail. Speaking of sparrows. They make and appearance on this portrait. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brian Adams Douglas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SWOON. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SWOON (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline. Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In New Jersey on a rooftop the passing car traffic is now able to catch a glimpse of a nude statue of Donald Trump. The anonymous artists collective Indecline has done of number of recent installations addressing political topics in the New York area. This one has garnered national coverage in the media. There’s not much that we can say that hasn’t already been addressed elsewhere.

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline. MSK . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leon Keer. Aruba Art Fair. Aruba. (photo © Leon Keer)

Title: ‘Niets aan te geven / Nothing to declare’. The 3D painting depicts the story on the crisis of critical shortages of food and medicine in Venezuela and the effect it has on the nearby island of Aruba. The location were the painting was made is behind the former customs office in San Nicolas. -LK
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VEXTA . Dirty Bandits (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Caslin. Waterford Walls International Street Art Festival (photo © Joe Caslin)

A new mural in Waterford, Ireland by artist Joe Caslin speaks to the topic of mental health and our awareness of it. On the façade of an abandoned hotel that overlooks the city, Caslin created this figure, quiet and troubled, as part of a mural festival there. The wheatpasted drawing by Caslin is entitled ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine’, which translates as ‘we live protected under each other’s shadow’.

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Flying Dutch Man (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Flying Dutch Man (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Jersey City, New Jersey. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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San Salvador, Street Artists, Food Insecurity and “Conect-Arte”

San Salvador, Street Artists, Food Insecurity and “Conect-Arte”

Six street artists took their social engagement a step further in El Salvador last month and taught youth some serious skillz from the street.

Coming from Brazil, Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, New York, and New Jersey, this international crew took the time to share and teach about painting, art, and how community can be built. The program Conect-Arte is a newly launched initiative by the United Nations World Food Programme, which as the name suggests, also is in the city to address a more core need to battle food insecurity. With Conect-Arte the goal is to also meet youth in some communities and help with positive role models an options with an eye on transforming lives through developing art and related creative skills that can provide income and channel energy in ways productive to community.

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Vexta. Process shot. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Jamie Toll)

Together the artists worked on projects with 45 teens and younger kids over the course of the a week-long workshop in San Salvador, teaching street art techniques like stencil, lettering, mural painting, sculpture, even hot air balloon making. The goals are huge, like reducing violence, food insecurity, increasing access to economic opportunity. The tools here are art, the creative spirit, and strengthening relationships.

We bring you some images of the works that were made by the visiting artists and some of their observations and experiences during the Conect-Arte program.

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Vexta. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

For her large mural project, Street Artist Vexta referenced the national bird, the Talapo, but creating two together in “Todos Estamos Conectados”. She says it is a reflection mural of this now endangered species at the entrance of a nascent community center called Teatro Camara Roque Dalton. During her installation she worked with three students and they experimented with abstract painting techniques, washes, spray paint, stencils and colour theory.

Brooklyn Street Art: How can a project like this help people feel connected to their city and their neighbors?
Vexta: This is a great question. In San Salvador there are very physical divisions that are highly visible – tall concrete fences topped with razor wire and the favela type neighborhoods which are often gang controlled territories. So people are really disconnected.

Conect-Arte enabled two groups of young people to come together from two distinct neighborhood areas – The Historic Centre and San Jacinto. The young people in the workshops got to connect with other young people that they wouldn’t have met otherwise, new friends were made and skills shared. This was super beautiful to see.

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Vexta.Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

Its really hard for young people in San Salvador who live in poorer neighborhoods to move about the city. The threat of gang and police violence is very real. My group in particular made plans to stay in touch, to make more art together and start break-dancing together.

Whilst I was painting at Roque Dalton I had quite a few local people come to thank me for creating something beautiful in their neighborhood, and especially within the historic centre which is an area that is quite neglected, rundown and old. I think art in the streets can provide people with something they can feel proud of, a focal point or new memory site that is not an advertisement billboard or an architectural symbol – which is how we usually navigate modern cities.

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Vexta.Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

This time they can say “I live near the twin birds that were painted for me” instead of “I live by the Mister Donut.” I hope my piece can bring a sense of the joy for life in a place struggling to remember what the value of life is. To me when you are seeing people approach the building to spend time taking photos of themselves and their friends and family, actively engaging with the art, is proof of a very real connection occurring between people and their city.

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Vexta.Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

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Vexta. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

LNY (Lunar New Year) says that he and students created a work based upon a poem by Javier Zamora entitled “Instrucciones Para Mi Entierro” (Instructions For My Funeral)

Brooklyn Street Art: Is it difficult to try to represent poetry visually?
LNY: It could be difficult yes but to me it became a matter of reacting to the poetry as opposed to try to represent it literally – which is the same way that I approach making context-sensitive art or murals. The poem was a starting point for our conversation and it helped inspire ideas, images, a mood and an internal narrative for the mural. We reacted to the poem the way dancing is a reaction to music, but we were not bound by a literal representation of the poem.

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LNY. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

Brooklyn Street Art: An average person can encounter a mural or a poem and, without context, have an interpretation that is very different from what the author intended. Do you ever feel like you want to leave an explanation near your artwork so a passerby can understand it better?
LNY: Art has the power and range of a self contained language, one that works just like a written one but benefits from not being attached to a particular official language, nation or culture. See, I find myself traveling to lands where I do not speak the local language, be it literally or the proper vernacular, but by making art I get to bridge that gap and communicate regardless – the universal language of art allows me to communicate beyond English or Spanish or what have you.

So that’s one thing, art can fully explain itself as a visual language. Then you have the problem of interpretation which I, as an artist, will never fully control so let’s not go there. Lastly, and what I think becomes really interesting, is the idea of audience as far as an explanation would go.

My answer was to somehow take an interpretation of a poem and turn it into something new and visual that you can now read as a mural, as its own thing, as an experience with its own language – as a new and self contained visual poem.

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LNY. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

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LNY. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

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LNY. Detail. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

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LNY. Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Lenny Correa)

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LNY. Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Lenny Correa)

In descriptions of the project the subject of safety in San Salvador comes up frequently, with stories of youth and families restricted to safe zones behind walls, fences, barbed wire for fear of violence from gangs and heavy handed authorities. Mexican Street Artist Paola Delfin created her piece entitled Tu eres yo¨/ ¨You are me” in one of these protected neighborhoods.

She says in the group’s press release ” This wall is inspired by many factors, after finding out a bit about the area where the wall is situated – A neighborhood consider safe in San Salvador. El Salvador is a country that a lot of people think of as a really wild place, but you can also find so many pretty things and beautiful people, this wall for example is the facade of ¨La Casa Tomada¨ a really inspiring place where many young people get together to create and learn from each other about art, music, media and many things.”

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Paola Delfin. Process shot. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

Brooklyn Street Art: Does San Salvador have a particular personality on the street? How does an artist effectively speak to that audience on the street with their work?
Paola Delfin: Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to check out a lot of places around San Salvador, but I felt really related to it. I felt it looks pretty similar to Mexico, and I think the contrasts you can find there are pretty similar as well.

I think not only the Salvadorian audience but a lot of people from nearby countries (even my own) expect to communicate their thoughts and concerns about a lot of situations that are happening. I guess that we as artists have to find the way to share their thoughts and try to focus on the impact that our own thoughts could have on the people who see our work.

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Paola Delfin. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

Street Artist Mr Toll created a number food related sculptural pieces in reference to the food scarcity issue in his work with the youth. Twisting the name of his project, he literally was making “Street Food” (Comida Callejera). He is quoted in the group’s press release saying,

“One of the major concerns in San Salvador is Food Security. This inspired my workshop and subsequent Street Sculpture collaborations with the students. During the workshops we focused on the healthy everyday foods the youth come in contact with, we discussed different issues while preparing the sculptures and then brought them together on the street as food face collages,” obviously injecting a brand of comedy that the kids could appreciate.

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Mr. Toll. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Jamie Toll)

“The opportunity of working directly on the street as a group gave the youth the freedom to play, experiment and feel safe in a public domain which generally they don’t have access too,” he says. “They face many restrictions due to gang activity and a heavy handed police presence in San Salvador. It was important for me to help to bring a little fun and humor in a creative way to their lives in a city faced with many difficulties.”

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Mr. Toll. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Jamie Toll)

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Mr. Toll. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Jamie Toll)

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Mr. Toll. Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Jamie Toll)

Adapted from the original Chinese hot air balloons, artesian balloons have had many cultures artistic influences in the last century. Brazilian Street Artist Claudio Ethos and members of the Sao Paulo based graffiti crew called 14 B.I.S crew (Sao Paulo) had a workshop  promoting the art form by teaching how to make them. Called locally by the name of Globos, the project involved elements of mathematics, physics and geometry as well as a very necessary requirement of collaboration.

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ETHOS. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

Globo Lokos was the project name and working together with the youth was especially rewarding because of the airborne result of their collaborative efforts. “The focus,” says Ethos, “was start to finish object making, where the young people had the opportunity to show their city, where they live, that they can make art and be artists. We helped the youth to make the balloons drawn with art to send their prays and wishes to the sky, Then they launched their works of art into the sky, which is a very powerful action,” according to the press release.

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ETHOS. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

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ETHOS. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

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ETHOS. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © WFP USA Charles Fromm)

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ETHOS. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © WFP USA Charles Fromm)

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Group shot at Casa Tomada. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Jamie Toll)

 

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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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.08.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.08.16

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Cities are urgently playing the deliberate gentrification/beautification card by bringing in the murals to give the place a facelift: Richmond just finished their third, Chicago is gearing up for a new mural program this week, and we are getting emails every few days from city planners around the world who would like to explore how to juice their flagging de-industrialized economy. And why not? New studies report that it raises your property values and advertisers are happy to join in to sponsor the events.

Is it Street Art? Most experts would say not- they lack the freewill autonomous nature and illegal aspects of the original Street Art scene – especially when their content is so sternly steered away from political or challenging themes and have corporate and state sponsorship. These are public/commercial mural programs – with work done by people who often are Street Artists.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Audio Surveillance Zone, Balu, Chamberlin Newsome, Claw Money, Clock, D*Face, De Grupo, FR, Gold Dust, Gregos, Selfable City, Sheryo, Smart Crew, Specter, Strok, The Yok, TMO Plater, and Vexta.

Our top image: Balu for Centrefuge Project. Balu based this piece on a photo from 1975 as a tagger was getting up in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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VEXTA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Antennae (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TMO Plater and Claw Money for Centrefuge Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chamberlin Newsome (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Clock in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unidentifed (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Yok and Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregos in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter AD Takeover. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter AD Takeover. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smart Crew in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Now that is planning ahead! Artist Unidentifed in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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STROK painted this miniature stencil on a roll down gate while visiting Brooklyn recently. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sellfable City in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FR in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gold Dust (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face and Shepard Fairey for Urban Nation ONE Wall. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Audio Surveillance Zone in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DE Grupo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Peonies. Brooklyn, NYC. April 2016.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.17.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.17.16

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Hillary Clinton announced in Brooklyn this week that she supports raising the minimum wage to $250,000 a speech while Bernie Sanders scoped around the showroom of a Danish furniture designer in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to order a new blond wood desk and chair for the Oval Office. The two sparred live on national TV from Brooklyn Thursday but you couldn’t tell they were in the BK because the CNN logos engulfed the screen and candidates and the actual citizens were reduced to a babbling rabble who hooted and hollered like sports fans somewhere in the dark. Wonder how long CNN intends to have their brand new warehouse-sized logo beaming across the river at Manhattan.

Meanwhile, on the streets here it is pretty evident who many New Yorkers favor and the majority of new Street Art pieces and graffiti pieces are feeling the Bern. It’s true, we tend to hang out with artists, creatives, punks, hippies, and assorted wild-eyed weirdos – so its not exactly a true cross-section, but Clinton fans are not making much art on the streets. Possibly that is because level-headed reasonable people don’t feel the need to express their support for her so loudly and visibly. It will be interesting to see if Big Media predictions of a 17% Clinton lead are true by Wednesday morning. The Wall Street Journal seems to be banking on it.

Trump is #1 in NYC for the Republicans, presumably because of “New York values”.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Caratoes, Elle, Ever Siempre, Faust, Flood, Icy & Sot, Lola Jiblazee, Lora Zombie, Nafir, Shantell Martin, Stuart Ringholt, Thiago Goms, Thievin’ Stephen, Thomas Allen, TriHumph, Vandal Expressionism, Vanesa Longchamp, Vexta, You Go Girl!, and Zabou.

Our top image: Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot . Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thomas Allen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flood (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vandal Expressionism (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thievin’ Stephen in Rochester, NY. (photo © Thievin’ Stephen)

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Lola Jiblazee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TriHumph styles Bernie as Bowie. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EverSiempre in Ostend, Belgium for Crystal Ship Fest 2016. (photo © EverSiempre)

“Homage to the Past and Future”

The city of Oostende began its great reforms in 1883. King Leopold II earned the nickname the “constructor” for his contribution to public works. These reforms were possible thanks to the large profits that were made from the king’s colony, an area sixty times larger than Belguim: the Congo. In the Congo, rubber was a resource that became precious because of its use in the automotive and bicycle industries. The king imposed high quotas on rubber production in the Congo and forced the indigenous population to comply using coercive methods and extreme violence. It is estimated that during Leopold’s years of domination about ten million natives were killed in the Congo.

“Homage to the Past and Future” is a work that talks about the heavy legacy of the past, about how societies live with the consequences of those that came before and how they build their current reality to be better. The mural is located at the urban entrance to the city, a work that perhaps Leopoldo II had not imagined at the gates of the resort town. Today, the reality is different; diversity flourishes in the city and the image is of a resident of Oostende. Humans learn from their mistakes and the future will always be better if our present remembers and pays homage to the real heroes.”

-Ever

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Faust. Shantell Martin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zabou for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Caratoes for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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You Go Girl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Elle for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lora Zombie for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vanesa Longchamp for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GOMS for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. SOHO, NYC. Spring 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

Surreal is the way the world is portrayed across all of our devices today.

It may be the shrinking staff and budgets of newsrooms who are veering ever closer to the sensational or simply the yellow journalism and the PR-planted hyperbole that is rushing to fill the vacuum, but the presentation of our own world is becoming outlandish.

Orwell could have seen this time when war is described as a peace effort, oligarchy is called democracy, and Reality TV is anything but. Combined with rapid technological developments that produce outcomes previously only imagined, we may feel like our grip on the genuine is definitely loosening somewhat.

So fitting it is that a mid-sized US city hosts a mural festival celebrating the surreal and the fantastic in 2015.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali, and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In partnership and as a cultural exchange with Berlin’s Urban Nation (UN) this year, Wall\Therapy 2015 curated this selection of international and local street artists who bring doorways and mirrors for you to step through.

We were glad to be there in person this year and relieved to see that this largely homespun venture continues to be strong and community-minded despite the very hard work that it requires to pull it off. In the face of a rapidly commercializing Street Art festival scene, not only is the grassroots rather refreshing, it is a bit surreal.

Without doubt it is fantastic.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jeff Soto . Maxx242. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Classic graffiti style from NYC’s Daze has always contained elements of surreality. In his three walls he sampled even more styles.”So I used a lot of influences – photo-realistic, almost cubist, there is some lettering, window panes as metaphor. I was also thinking about fabric and the way it folds, and it turned into water,” he says. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vexta: I’ve been doing a lot of collage as my source material – birds, abstract plant shapes, and the galaxy painted over.
BSA: She’s like an earth mother, or universal mother
Vexta: She is every woman.

 

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund’s mural features his superhero vexed by a stone in his boot. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew’s Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni created a whale inside an ice whale. “We usually work with themes about the balance between humans and nature,” says Togni, “In this situation we wanted to do a piece about the balance between the elements.”  Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“She is sort of a goddess of East meets West,” says Amsterdam’s Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A highly detailed original sketch that is culled from photographs and their own staging of a model in boots, Onur and Wes21 spent many long hours into a few nights to complete their wall.
Onur: It is more of a scene than a classical mural. The wall is perfect for something like this.
BSA: So it is nature taking a bite out of its aggressor
Onur: Yes, kind of. That’s not bad. We have a sign that says beware of beaver crossing. The animals are a metaphor for something else and we are always looking for stuff like this when we are on the streets.

 

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jason Wilder Courtesy of WallTherapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We knew we had a week and we thought ‘what can we accomplish?’” says Rochester local Matt Roberts on a break from his wall with Joe Guy Allard.  “I do monsters all the time and Joe does those robots. It’s a big old fight scene. I mean, who doesn’t want destruction, some mahem? I grew up on Godzilla movies and Ultraman, stuff like that.  Just a lot of B-horror. I’m really into it. The new Godzilla movie is like my Crème Brulee.”

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE) Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto Courtesy of Wall Therapy)

 

Our deep gratitude to the Wall\Therapy Family; Ian Wilson and Erich Lehman for their invitation to participate at this edition, and to Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation and this year’s co-curator. To the artists for sharing their talent with us in such a public and generous way. To all of the volunteers including Jason Barber and Maureen Malone for their sincere dedication and attention to detail and to the production team for making certain we all had what we needed and for making our job far easier. To the photographers for sharing their work with us throughout the process. To Jonathan Binstock, Director of the Memorial Art Gallery at The University of Rochester for hosting our BSA Film Friday Live event and to Meg Colombo and Mike Besaw at MAG for helping us with everything we asked for and then more. To the city of Rochester.

Click HERE to learn more about WALL THERAPY

 

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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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 6

Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 6

These have been a stunning few days here in Rochester with a dedicated crew of volunteers and artists is coming to it’s culmination as murals are finished or in their final stages. Again last night Onur and Wes21 were heading back to their wall right after the big celebratory dinner at The Yards – or as people call it, “The Nest”.

“This structure was designed to create a space for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. It was designed to rest tired minds flying back at the end of the day in the hot sun, on a lift and far from home,” said Yards member Sylvan Hemingway in a speech he gave to the group of 40 or so folks gathered at long tables in the collaborative art space. “The energy in this room is real and I am truly grateful that everyone in this wild family reunion is helping to create a dream-like production.”

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This small city in Northwestern New York State is warm and very green and lush in this part of the summer, and neighbors assemble on lawnchairs in the shade of leafy trees to watch the artists going up and down in their cherry pickers or ladders – keeping a respectful distance so they don’t interrupt progress, but sometimes its too irresistible not to ask a question or two or take a picture.

As murals are completed the volunteers help to keep the paint and water supplies replenished and to keep an eye on the situation as many of the painters are here in the States for the first time or are simply not familiar with the environment. Aside from the occasional raving opinionator shaking a finger or asking curiously incomprehensible questions, the average observer is amenable.

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today it is raining and the sky is overcast so there is some sleeping-in late in the morning, but of course if you are still painting, it can be a rather unwelcome occurrence. Let’s see those last horses coming round the final corner to cross the finish line (which officially is Sunday).

Tomorrow we’ll give you a mini-wrap of the week –including our trip into some sketchy underground explorations off the beaten path infused with the sound of water gushing out of pipes and the smell of teen spirit wafting through the dimly tunnels that serve as magnets for restless youth with cans in hand. Have a look at these more sunny scenes from Thursday and Friday in the mean-time.

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Eder Muniz hit the ground running in style on Thursday, quickly tracing out the natural/fantastic forms and figures that he later would be adding dimension and character to across a saturated cyan sea wall. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Trading tales and sketches and tags in black books after dinner at The Yards (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Never Crew. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Troy Lovegates aka Other from August ’14 when he stopped by to see the Wall Therapy folks. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matthew Roberts . Joe Guy Allard. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“People of Rochesterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Sung to the tune of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” by Joe Guy Allard. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta acknowledges the people who stop by below with a sign of peace. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Local talent Nate Hodge in the zone as he becomes ever-more abstract and gestural working across his wall. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund with reference material in hand. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund’s superheroic figure putting on his boots, or maybe he is shaking a stone out. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

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Wall/Therapy 2015 Day 4

Wall/Therapy 2015 Day 4

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“Love is Sacrifice” says the calligraphic script on the new wall by Jeff Soto and Maxx242. The two words rarely appear one without the other, as any sentient being will tell you.

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Maxx242 . Jeff Soto. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Courtesy Wall Therapy)

As with most artistic endeavors there are sacrifices to be made here as well, but the outgoing inquisitive nature of Rochester people are buoying the spirits as community members continue to visit the murals-in-progress and engage with artists and the various volunteers who keep the show going.

Li-hill kept working into the night, as did Onur and Wes21 on their mural. Li thinks he can complete it within the day – he’s a fast and expressive worker so we’re guessing he’s right. Onur and Wes21’s dynamic image will be strangely realistic, dare we say surrealistic, depicting a scene of nature’s retaliation against our domination – and their pace is perhaps more steady and deliberate.

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Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

Another outer-worldly battle is taking place between monsters and robots in the blockbuster piece by Rochester-based artists Joe Guy Allard and Matthew Robers, while also-local Brittany Williams is knocking out her first-ever mural, a portrayal of a woman blossoming in heart and mind on the streets of Rochacha.

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Brittany Williams. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

Regardless of how late they stay working, nobody really wants to skip dinner at The Yards, the collaborative arts space where most artists check in as a home base and where they actually get to hang out instead of being spread out. Friday night the party starts a little earlier so hopefully they’ll be able to break from the painting and come out to the BSA Film Friday at 5 pm on University of Rochester campus with us.

By then we’ll probably see Vexta’s vibrant, colorful textures have and blinkering diamond field fully anchor her masked woman, but no one is yet predicting what the Brazilian Eder Muniz will do on his arrival – but most predict is will be colorful, surreal, and fantastic.

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Never Crew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur and Wes21 burning that midnight oil. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Taking the long view to get some perspective of the wall in progress. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot of a superhuman not unlike the artist. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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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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Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 3

Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 3

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In Rochester the weather has been warm but workable, as evidenced by the progress that all the artists have been making. You don’t have a long summer in this city of Kodak so we happily have images to share from a dedicated crew of photographers who are catching all the action while the sun is still blasting and slowly baking the artists.

You’ll see that the Jeff Soto and Maxx242 is nearing completion, Daze is already making plans for a production wall with FUA crew around the corner and Andreas Englund has a number of inquiries from local passersby while he’s painting his first mural here. We’re thinking it will be something rather superhuman.

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Jeff Soto – Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto – Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Joe Guy Allard . Matt Roberts. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur . Wes21. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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NeverCrew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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NeverCrew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Lisa Barker/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andeas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas Englund. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Brittany Williams. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo ©Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 2

Wall\Therapy 2015 Day 2

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A lot of great action at Wall\Therapy yesterday with Daze, Jeff Soto, Maxx Gramajo, Onur, Never Crew, Nate Hodge, Vexta, and Andreas making a lot of progress on their murals in Rochester.

“The artists have settled in and everyone is really enjoying the environment and vibe here in Rochester, especially the warm-welcoming from everyone involved. It’s very much about community, about becoming part of our ‘family’,” says organizer Erich Lehman.

We start with this sculptural installation by Li-Hill.

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Vexta. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Nate Hodge. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jenn Poggi/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Daze. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Maxx242. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Onur. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Never Crew. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Jeff Soto. Process shot of a collaborative piece he is doing with Maxx Gramajo . Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Jason Wilder/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

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Andreas. Process shot. Wall Therapy 2015. (photo © Mark Deff/Courtesy Wall Therapy)

 

For wall locations, schedule of events and further details about Wall Therapy 2015 Rochester click HERE

 

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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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Handiedan Sets a Pinup Tone for Wall\Therapy 2015 in Rochester

Handiedan Sets a Pinup Tone for Wall\Therapy 2015 in Rochester

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Rochester, New York is the home of the Wall\Therapy festival and BSA is partnering with the team and Urban Nation (UN) to bring you coverage of the grass-roots mural festival for 2015. It will begin in a few weeks but the Amsterdam-based Handiedan got into town early due to being in New York for her show with Jonathan Levine Gallery.

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Handiedan in progress. (photo © Jenn Poggi)

Her curvaceous pin-up girls and orientally adorned femme fatales from noir films and rockabilly imaginations intricately layered with patterns and designs from currency – sometimes it is all about getting that paper.

In this case the paper in use is covering the facade of a beautiful brick building dating back to 1890 that was originally a church and later became a machine shop and home to the Rochester Community Players theater group for a half century or so. After a fire a few years back the building has sat vacant for a while.  At least, that is what most people from the area can remember.

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Handiedan. Taking in the action from inside the building. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Here Handiedan’s specially treated custom designed paperwork brings added dimension while stunningly emulating the template shape and color palette. In many ways it is bringing the building back to life – perhaps in anticipation of its new use as another playhouse to open at the end of the summer.

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Handiedan in progress. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Wall\Therapy 2015 has released its line up of artists curated in collaboration with Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation (UN) Berlin. This years theme of surrealism and the fantastic is off to a rather spectacular start obviously and in addition to bringing you daily updates BSA will be in the house on Friday July 24th for a special live edition of BSA Film Friday at the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester. We are really looking forward to meeting you in person.

Artists included for this years Wall\Therapy include: Andreas Englund, Onur, Wes21, Never Crew, Vexta, Li Hill, Handiedan, Daze, Jeff Soto, Maxx242, Eder Muniz, Brittany Williams, Matthew Roberts and Joe Guy Allard.

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Handiedan in progress. (photo © Mark Deff)

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Handiedan (photo © Mark Deff)

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Handiedan (photo © Mark Deff)

 

To learn more about Wall Therapy and more details, schedules, program and dates click HERE

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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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