All posts tagged: Victor Ash

Fighting Child Labor With NYC Murals : Clandestinos , Faith 47, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, Mr Cenz & Victor Ash

Fighting Child Labor With NYC Murals : Clandestinos , Faith 47, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, Mr Cenz & Victor Ash

With giant murals at the forefront of the message, a recent Manhattan campaign of select walls is intended to make us talk and keep our eyes on an ugly social justice issue that organizers hope we can collectively address: child labor and forced labor.

With a focus on “Gender Equality” Faith XLVII VOX AEQUALITAS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Even in downtown NYC on Wall Street people will admit that capitalism isn’t cool if we are doing it on the backs of children somewhere. Nobody celebrates that. Do they?

With a focus on “Gender Equality” Faith XLVII VOX AEQUALITAS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With murals that advocate for “decent work”, asking us to create a better “future of work”, a small inspired group of international artists created impressive new works on Midtown’s East Side – roughly in the area of the United Nations.

Adopting the topic of “YouthEmployment” Mr. Cenz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Included in the group are Clandestinos (Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky), Faith 47, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, Mr Cenz and Victor Ash. The collection is quite striking on city streets, as are the individual pieces. In fact each artist did their own interpretation of the overall theme by concentrating on direct and ancillary topics: green jobs, youth employment, gender equality at work, child labor and forced labor and the future of work.

Adopting the topic of “YouthEmployment” Mr. Cenz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Perhaps with some irony, the professionally rendered and emotionally stirring mural by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (at end of posting) was completed in the face of multiple obstacles that plague Street Artists sometimes, just not usually all at once. Regardless, the piece has an overwhelming impact.

A former culture-jamming urban installation artist who garners serious respect on the street as well as in professional art-world circles, he soldiered on for an installation that included lift equipment failures and a series of uncommon logistical challenges that come with mounting one of New largest mural works on the side of a soaring building that has a relatively narrow city alley. Only Rodriguez-Gerada’s determined vision allowed him to endure through a seemingly relentless torrent of bitter cold rainy spring weather for weeks.

“YouthEmployment” Mr. Cenz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nonetheless, the results of his work, and of all of these artists, are as remarkable as they are sweet. In the service of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and a philanthropic group called Street Art for Mankind (SAM) these works can hopefully help raise our consciousness and protect children from enslavement and harsh work globally. Remarkably, SAM is going to directly to the heart of the matter, funding efforts to “help fund raid & rescue programs to free children from slavery,” says their press release.

Victor Ash – Green Jobs

Victor Ash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Clandestinos – Future of Work

Clandestinos (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Clandestinos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada – Child & Forced Labor

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (photo © Jaime Rojo)

To learn more about Street Art For Mankind click HERE

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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.12.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.12.19

You are not alone.

In an era where people may feel more under attack, more alienated, more disconnected from one another (despite “always on” connectivity), comes this new campaign from Dirty Bandits, “You Are Not Alone”. New York walls have been popping up recently (see above) with this message and somehow it completely resonates, hopefully just in time to remind someone struggling.

Brooklyn based lettering artist Annica Lydenberg of the design company Dirty Bandits tells us that this was an idea she came up with her best friend who had recently published a memoir about living with anxiety disorder. The he murals are intended to have broad appeal and offer support to anyone who feels misunderstood, victimized, or abandoned.

She tells us that people need to know “they are not the only ones struggling with mental health. My wish is to be seen as an ally, for not only mental health, but to the many communities who do not feel supported.” She says the campaign is not strictly commercial, although it is certainly not anonymous and some funding came from a media concern. But we agree that it is a very worthwhile message, can actually help people and if you want to learn more go HERE.

As long as we are on the topic, please call these numbers right now if you need help:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Worldwide Suicide and Crisis Hotline numbers:
http://suicidehotlines.com/international.htm

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Suicide Hotline
1-866-488-7386

Teen suicide hotline
1-800-USA-KIDS (872-5437)

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fu, Cash4, Dirty Bandits, Elms, Icy & Sot, Jason Naylor, Mad Villain, Maia Lorian, Rude Reps, SAMO, Sinned, Smells, Soar, UFO907, Victor Ash, and Winston Tseng.

Top image: Dirty Bandits (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Victor Ash for Street Art For Mankind. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor for #youarenotalone campaign. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Adam Fu for #youarenotalone campaign. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dirty Bandits for #youarenotalone campaign. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ufo 907 & Heck (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rude Reps (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sinned (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mad Vaillan (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cash 4 . Smells (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cash 4 . Soar (photo © Jaime Rojo)
One smile, four eyes. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elms with friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Abe Lincoln Jr. in collaboration with Maia Lorian. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Samo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Seen on the streets of Manhattan…you’ve been warned! (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Abstraction. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Urvanity Madrid Diary 5: Selections From Urvanity Art Fair

Urvanity Madrid Diary 5: Selections From Urvanity Art Fair

This week BSA is in Madrid to capture some highlights on the street, in studio, and at Urvanity 2019, where we are hosting a 3 day “BSA TALKS” conference called “How Deep Is the Street?” Come with us every day to see what the Spanish capital has happening in urban and contemporary.

“Urvanity seeks to explore and thus imagine possible future scenarios for this New Contemporary Art,” they say boldly in the manifesto for this art fair/cultural platform in Madrid. A thrilling nexus is created here in this college campus of architecture where art from the streets is evolving in such ways that it is invited to come in from the street.

Isaac Cordal. SC Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Whatever your perspective is on this evolution, we encourage the conversation – which usually contains elements of tribalism (various), resistance, acceptance, even euphoria. During breaks from hosting the BSA Talks this weekend we are also skipping and swerving through the crowds to look at the art that galleries have on offer.

Anthony Lister, Marion Jdanoff and Victor Ash. Urban Spree Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here we offer a very quick sample of some items that have caught our eye, looked fresh, or were indicative of larger movements in the so-called “scene”. And we use the word “scene” very loosely, because there is really not such thing as a homogeneous scene, only a constellation of them which are intersecting, coalescing, and redefining themselves. Some pieces are remarkable.

Here is the past, existing side by side with the future.

Jan Kalab. MAGMA Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Miss Van. Fousion Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Okuda. The Rainbow Mountain Installation. Detail. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Okuda in collaboration with his mother. The Rainbow Mountain Installation. Detail. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hendrik Czakainski. Urban Spree Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dmitri Aske. Ruarts Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
D*Face. Stolen Space Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Witz .Wunderkammern Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Witz .Wunderkammern Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pro176. Swinton Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sabek. Swinton Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sam3. Doppelganger Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
2501 .Wunderkammern Gallery. Urvanity Art Fair 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Astronaut Street Art : Ground Control To Major Tom…

Astronaut Street Art : Ground Control To Major Tom…

Aside from signing the Outer Space Treaty that was ratified by 107 nations in which member states promise to not militarize the celestial heavens, US Vice President Pence tried to pull a fast one last week by announcing an idea for a US Space Force, the 6th branch of US Armed Forces.

Evidently being in 7 wars right now on Earth isn’t enough for the masters of war. There is surely more money to be made by further bloating a global weapons industry that focuses primarily on destruction rather than construction.

Victor Ash. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

What is Mike Pence needing defense from exactly? Gays? Gay aliens? Intelligent assertive women? African-American or immigrants struggling to make ends meet, living day-to-day from paycheck to paycheck? We decided to take the whole ridiculous announcement with humor and found ourselves pawing through the archives for Street Art images of astronauts. We found many!

As we contemplate war in space, we turn to our collective fascination with astronauts and cosmonauts and nauts of many kinds. Since the dawn of this popular spaceman fixation there has been this guy or gal floating around weightless in our collective imaginations, bouncing along at the end of his tether, or untethered altogether.

Victor Ash. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toven. Baltimore, USA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toven. Baltimore, USA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

B.D. White. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Axolotl Collective. Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

Topaz. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The London Police. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton in Collaboration with CYRCLE. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Joe Iurato. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Unbridled Berlin Street Art : Spencer Elzey in Europe

Unbridled Berlin Street Art : Spencer Elzey in Europe

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Berliners are hard to crack, they say, but probably not for New Yorkers. We “get” them because of their no-nonsense frankness, sometimes sharp tongues, and because their “creative types” are unhinged in a way that New Yorkers have been historically.

When it comes to the volume and variety of art that is being loosed in Berlin these days, they are setting some standards that many are still catching up with. Right now when you look at the freewheeling expression that bolted out from a broken wall more than 20 years ago and never looked back, you realize that Street Artists in Berlin are not hard to crack, they may simply be a little bit cracked.

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

In the third city of our series this week for Spencer Elzey’s residency on BSA, we visit Berlin, which some argue is the preeminent scene for urban art right now. It does appear to have a perfect mix for vibrant arts growth – a creatively permissive atmosphere and affordable lifestyle prevails in this city of design. And while uncommissioned public art is not legal, it is also not verboten.

The kids may come for the music and the art collectives and the dance parties, but they stay for the aerosol and the expressive faces and figures that accompany you while you walk. So far, people seem happy to let this arts scene continue to evolve and not surprisingly, tourists are magnetically drawn to it.

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Victor Ash (photo © Spencer Elzey)

As you walk through certain neighborhoods you may prepare to have your pre-conventions subverted and inverted. Awash with a decade plus of unbridled art, the scale, style, influences, and techniques of pop, illustration, and graffiti are all truly playing with each other.

Where a large spate of legal mural work has monopolized creative energies of many Street Artists in New York recently, some players have commented that the content is being tamed and neutered and the resulting scene is less risk-oriented stylistically. As you look at the work Elzey found in Berlin, you are reminded what it looks like when art laborers don’t have to self-censor or look over their shoulder. Also, it is still affordable for artists. Oh, wait, did we already mention that?

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Robi The Dog (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Out of the cities I visited the one that contrasted the most with NY was Berlin. It felt like a beautiful lawlessness with graffiti and rollers everywhere,” says Elzey as he tries to put his finger on the attitude of exploration and discovery that floods large areas of the city.

“Berlin by far had the most graffiti and Street Art in its most raw and authentic form, which is how I think it should really be experienced. It felt more free and genuine. Besides RAW and Urban Spree, which are commissioned areas, Berlin felt like a giant playground. There was graffiti and rollers everywhere and lots of abandoned factories to explore and have fun in.”

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Berlin has been an international draw for artists and arts institutions for the last decade at least and many of the Street Art world make sure to head here at least once, sometimes staying months and couch surfing and partying an staying out all night.  Since the graffiti scene and the Street Art scene are not so polarized in the minds of people here there is also a freedom to experiment without fear of upsetting your peer group.

Luckily for BSA, local Street Artists Various & Gould were very hospitable and more than helpful and willing to tour Spencer around some of the hot spots and to give him some background on the Berlin streets. “Meeting someone you admire, be it an artist, musician, or actor, is always a special experience,” he says about being with V&G, “It feels a little different when that person is a Street Artist, or at least it does to me. The fact that part of their job means that they do illegal things, being trusted enough to be welcomed into their inner circle has deeper meaning.”

 

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Blu. Detail. (photo © Spencer Elzey)

So he was in good hands with these two who have deep roots with the artist community and who frequently challenge themselves to look at their own work with new eyes – and to find new ways to engage with passersby with their art and a bit of theater. “In the case of Various & Gould in Berlin and C215 in Vitry I was able to meet these artists on their own turf. They showed me some of their new work in their studios and then toured me around the neighborhoods that they know best,” he recalls with some delight.

“While seeing art on the streets is one thing, getting the first hand history behind it makes it more meaningful,” he says. “You get more history and depth that way.”

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

How long Berlin will continue to be a petrie dish for experimentation and discovery? Forever. Just kidding. But for the moment this ephemeral art movement is fiercely alive and more independent than many cities. Artists have always made life a bit of a moveable feast. Today its Berlin, tomorrow it could be Mexico City, or Lima, who knows?

“I think I would recommend it if you were a younger artist who was trying to break into the game and establish a name for yourself,” says Elzey.

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Alaniz (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Herakut (photo © Spencer Elzey)

 

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Os Gemeos (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Nunca (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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JR (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Cooked (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Vhils (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO gives Alias a shout out. (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Klone (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Neurotitan (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Vidan The Weird (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Tafe (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Reaktor and Paulo Ito (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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G (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Inti (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Ema Jones (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Klub 7 (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Broken Fingaz (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blek le Rat (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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BLO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Maclaim (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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ROA (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Otto Schade (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Nychos (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Our sincere thanks to Various & Gould for their hospitality and time.

 

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Fun Friday 03.02.12

Before we get down to the Street Art related stuff, everybody get up and dance to some “True Romance” across a snowy mountain top with 20 of your closest backup dancers! Indian spandex space aerobics costumes not necessary. It’s FUN FRIDAY!

Can’t stop, won’t stop! That was exhilarating, wasn’t it? Now let’s see what’s up Street Art-wise around the whirl:

1. Pure Evil goes Pop @Boxpark Gallery (London)
2. Gregory Siff “There & Back” At Siren Studios (Hollywood)
3. ThinkSpace Gives You “Picks of the Harvest 2012” (LA)
4. Simple has Solo Show at Urban Art Room (Sweden)
5. “As The Crow Flies” Benefit for Art Against Knives (London)
6. Gregory Siff Time Lapse at Siren Studios Mural (VIDEO)

Pure Evil goes Pop @Boxpark Gallery (London)

Pure Evil opened his show at BOXPARK in London’s Shoreditch neighborhood. BOXPARK strips and refits shipping containers to create unique, low cost, low risk, ‘box shops’. This show opens to the general public today through the month of March.

 

Pure Evil (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Gregory Siff “There & Back” At Siren Studios (Hollywood)

Brooklyn born Gregory Siff had his opening last night on the Left Coast at Siren Studios and today it’s open to the general public in Hollywood, CA. In addition to the new work by Siff are 100 stickers by students in the neighborhood – see the kids and Siff making them in the video below.

Gregory Siff (photo courtesy of The Site Unscene)


For further information regarding this show click here.

ThinkSpace Gives You “Picks of the Harvest 2012” (LA)

The new show “Picks of the Harvest 2012” at ThinkSpace Gallery in Culver City, CA involves 60 artists from all over the world including some of the current Street Art scene like   ,       and . This show opens Saturday 3/3.

Liqen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Simple has Solo Show at Urban Art Room (Sweden)

Celebrating his birthday and his solo show Saturday (3/3), German born Street Artist SiMPLE has dynamic work on display at Urban Art Room Gallery in Gothenburg.

SiMPLE. Detail of a piece for this show. (photo © SiMPLE)

SiMPLE on the streets of Gothenburg. (photo © SiMPLE)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“As The Crow Flies” Benefit for Art Against Knives (London)

Art Against Knives is a youth-led charity which works to reduce the root causes of knife crime through arts initiatives that provide an alternative to violent gang culture.

Mother Drucker and Art Against Knives present:  “As The Crow Flies” at BoxPark in Shoreditch, London. This is a print show of European emerging Street Artists to raise money for future youth community projects in East London. Artists included in the show are: Penny, Nomad, Hannah Parr, Elmar Lause, Victor Ash, Various and Gould, Dolly Demoratti and Anton Unai.

For further information regarding this show click here.

Gregory Siff Time Lapse at Siren Studios Mural (VIDEO)

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Art Against Knives + Mother Drucker Present: “As The Crow Flies” A Group Show (London, UK)

As The Crow Flies

 

Silk screen printed Urban Art Collection from Berlin Based Mother Drucker exhibited in cooperation with Art Against Knives Charity.

Exhibition: March 2nd - April 2nd 2012.
Opening Reception: March 1st - 7-10pm.
Art Against knives Gallery, BoxPark, UNIT 55, London, E1 6JJ

Mother Drucker and Art Against Knives are pleased to present As the Crow Flies, a straightforward print show which aims to highlight the direct lines between visionary urban art and fine production silk screen printing. Mother Drucker has joined forces with East London based charity Art Against Knives to raise money for their future youth community based projects through print sales from the collection.

Urban art and silkscreen printing have formed a strong relationship with each other over time. The stencil based process of silk screen printing often easily compliments the methods of application chosen by urban artists, with many concentrating their skills upon stencil cutting, spraying, collage and general paint works of every messy degree. This new collection is all about the real relationship between the artist and the printer, between the creative and the productive, between the conceptual and the deviceful. Artist and printer have put their minds together to make a quality collection of silkscreen prints.

‘As the Crow Flies’ features a range of works by European urban artists:

Penny, Nomad, Hannah Parr, Elmar Lause, Victor Ash, Various and Gould, Dolly Demoratti and Anton Unai. Limited edition prints will be available to buy from the BoxPark gallery space throughout the exhibition with donations being made to AAK from every print sale.

Art Against Knives is an East London based charity that focus on raising awareness about knife crime and creating positive youth led Arts community projects for young people living in the East London area. Since their initial hugely successful art auction in 2009 the charity has flourished and now has a great permanent gallery space in BoxPark – the world’s first pop-up mall, AAK sells afordable artwork priced from £20 – £500 from established artists, as well as students and emerging talent.

Mother Drucker is a print house and gallery based in Kreuzberg, Berlin; here they work with a wide range of artists to produce high quality limited edition silkscreen prints. They release work on their website and organise a range of shows and events. They also offer an out of house screen- printing service and screen printing courses in English.

The Opening reception for ‘As the Crow Flies’ will be held on March 1. 7-10pm. Art Against Knives Gallery, BoxPark, Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6JE

Gallery Hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday Saturday: 11am – 7pm, Thursday: 11am – 9pm, Sunday: 10am – 6pm

For more details, press images, advanced catalogues or other questions please contact:
Gemma Brewer – Exhibition Manager: gemma@mother-drucker.com

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Addict Galerie Presents: ” L’ART URBAIN …du mur a l’atelier…” A Group Show (Paris, France)

Vernissage Samedi 16 Octobre à partir de 18H

Opening Saturday October 16 from 18H
Addict Galerie
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Exposition Collective du 16 Octobre au 4 Décembre Mardi – Samedi 11 :00 – 19 :00

Group Show from October 16th to December 4th Tuesday – Saturday 11 :00 – 19 :00

La rue, laboratoire d’un nouveau mode d’expression

Un art est né dans la rue parce que ses auteurs ne se définissaient pas comme des artistes. C’était là, la révolution. Des jeunes aux doigts errants, voulaient simplement rappeler leur existence en prenant à partie un paysage urbain, prison de briques et de pierres, souvent délabrée, qui servait de décor à leur vie. Depuis maintenant plus d’un demi-siècle, l’esthétique des cités s’en est trouvée modifiée.

On a souvent dénoncé le spontanéisme immature de ces peintres clandestins qui n’obéissaient en réalité qu’à un besoin instinctif d’expression visant à déconstruire un certain académisme des formes. D’abord terrain d’expérimentation de jeunes “amateurs”, la rue est devenue le lieu d’exposition d’artistes issus des meilleures écoles allant à la rencontre d’un public, souvent absent des musées.

A rebours de l’individualisme traditionnel du créateur, ces artistes ont su développer générosité et sens du partage pour élaborer des projets collectifs. Ils ont également renouvelé les outils traditionnels de la peinture en explorant toutes les techniques et tous les types de supports. Certains d’entre eux en revisitent l’aspect figuratif avec l’ironie d’un langage métaphorique. D’autres s’approprient aussi le multimédia pour nous sensibiliser aux dangers du monde virtuel.

L’art urbain est désormais un art de vivre pour beaucoup de ses adeptes, artistes authentiques à l’inspiration variée qui entendent créer en toute légalité, sur des supports autorisés.

Surgit alors un paradoxe : comment ces innovateurs nomades, ayant élu la rue comme terrain d’expérimentation, habitués à y exposer des travaux destinés à disparaître, comment ces acteurs du provisoire peuvent-ils se laisser enfermer dans un musée ou une galerie ?

Une chose est sûre : en investissant « l’intérieur », en renonçant à leur clandestinité, ces artistes ne perdent rien de leur authenticité. Ils revendiquent simplement une inspiration différente mais fidèle à leur démarche créatrice. Tous se promettent également de retourner s’exprimer dans la rue. Cette tendance n’est pas nouvelle. Le passage du mur et du wagon au support léger, mobile et collectionnable se produit déjà à New York dès la fin des années 70, avec Crash, Lady Pink…!

Face à ces tentatives qui se mondialisent que pense le citadin de ces « œuvres » qu’on lui met sous le nez ? Il demeure sceptique, parfois choqué, souvent dérouté. Institutions et critiques en ont tiré prétexte pour tenir à l’écart ces fabricants de signes indéchiffrables, ravalés au rang de propagateurs d’une sous culture de ghetto aux slogans parfois subversifs.

La presse, de son côté, a fait preuve d’une étonnante absence de curiosité à l’égard de ce mouvement quand elle ne l’a pas fustigé allant jusqu’à le traiter « d’art dégénéré ».

Les musées l’ont largement ignoré. Les collectionneurs, mal informés, ne pouvaient que se montrer frileux à son endroit.

Un tel contexte assigne à l’art urbain une place singulière dans l’histoire et ne facilite pas sa reconnaissance comme mouvement artistique à part entière. Même si la situation évolue lentement, à ce jour en France, très peu d’expositions lui ont été consacrées. Elles ont notamment peu pris en compte la variété des techniques qu’il met en œuvre, ni la richesse de son inspiration, passant même à côté de certains de ses grands acteurs.

Il n’était que temps de témoigner de l’importance d’un des élans créatifs les plus révolutionnaires du Vingtième siècle car inscrit dans une époque condamnée à l’entassement humain dont il réinvente les formes d’art pictural.

Pour rendre compte de son ampleur, Addict Galerie lui consacre deux expositions, la première débutera le 16 Octobre 2010. Ce panorama voudrait témoigner du foisonnement des talents qui l’irradie. Seront entre autres rassemblées les œuvres de plus de quarante artistes internationaux, des pionniers tels Gérard Zlotykamien, John Crash Matos, Doze Green, Lady Pink, John Fekner et Don Leicht, Jean Faucheur, Toxic… jusqu’aux jeunes talents tels Imminent Disaster, Jazi, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, 36RECYCLAB, Mambo…Partageront aussi ses murs Jaybo, Marco Pho Grassi, Victor Ash, Herakut, Andrew Mc Attee, Nick Walker, Kofie, Boris Hoppek, Thomas Fiebig, L’ATLAS, Mist, TRYONE, Smash 137, Eelus, Dtagno, 108 …

Ce projet unique en son genre suppose une subjectivité dans les choix dont Addict Galerie a conscience et qu’elle assume librement. Il s’agit pour nous de révéler, loin des sentiers battus, la cohérence d’un mode d’expression qui, à travers sa multiplicité, s’affirme comme imaginatif, inspirant et novateur.

La scénographie proposée scande en deux temps le parcours de ce panorama sans en briser l’unité même si la première étape comporte une dominante plus abstraite et la seconde plus figurative. Cette approche conforte au contraire une vision globale qui voudrait souligner la réussite du passage de cet art en galerie.

Par cette initiative hors norme, Addict Galerie souhaite rendre justice à l’art urbain et l’aider à asseoir sa légitimité artistique.

Laetitia Hecht et René Bonnell

Pour toutes demandes – Contactez la galerie : +33 (0)1 48 87 05 04 / info@addictgalerie.com

Information available upon request – Contact the gallery: +33(0)1 48 87 05 04 / info@addictgalerie.com

ADDICT GALERIE
Laetitia Hecht
14/16 rue de Thorigny
75003 Paris – France.
T: +33(0)1 48 87 05 04
info@addictgalerie.com

www.addictgalerie.com

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“Whole in the Wall” Opens with Fanfare

NYC Graff as Historical Touchstone
International Street Art Stars
Train Writers turned Fine Artists
High Culture/Street Culture Mashups
Corporate Logos and Celebrity Collectors

If that is not enough variety for you, then you have just been spoiled by too many years living in the center of a cultural and media capital.

You’ll be glad the former photo studios, two blocks north of Manhattan’s West Side Rail Yards, are generously spacious because you’ll need headroom to contemplate the variety of messages that Chantal and Brigitte Helenbeck, Parisian gallerists, are bringing to Hell’s Kitchen for a month.

For Chantal, “The street art style and story is distinctly American. It became a global phenomenon”. Her sister Brigitte agrees and asks her to translate to the visitor, “Yes, it is about movement, and color, it is very free and for this we say it is very American.”

Trains, geometric shapes, and natural beauty on Coney Island (Daze) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Trains, geometric form, fills, and natural beauty on Coney Island (Daze) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Amidst the flurry of 11th hour installations all over this temporary gallery, the sisters say that they see graffiti and “street art” on a continuum with other schools in contemporary art and art history in general. Chantal observes as she looks around the cavernous 12,000sf upper floor at the “Whole in the Wall” exhibition that the kids that used to be “Bad Boys” (and girls) of graffiti back in the 70’s are now warm and friendly adults who are great to work with. Better yet, many continued to develop their skills and have truly become “great studio artists”. “It is important that their talent and recognition is seen and documented with the art world,” she says.

Lee Quiñones at work (photo Jaime Rojo)
Lee Quiñones at work (photo Jaime Rojo)

A prime example of that observation could be Lee Quiñones, who is busily running up and down an aluminum ladder preparing a 12′ x 14′ canvas that couldn’t be more of a departure from his style back in the days of Sly Stone and Richard Nixon. A subway train writer as a teen in the 1970’s, his later exhibitions and studio work placed him in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum. The piece he’s working on for this show speaks to a sinister, more complex time using animal symbolism so often seen in the 00’s.

Up close to this canvas, it is an imposing thick dark forest of trees where the sprouting leaves and fallen, swirling fragments are actual dollar bills. Popping forward at you from the center comes the menacing protagonist; a realistic wolf in businessman’s clothing lurking from behind a tree in horn-rimmed glasses, looking at you with a dead-eye stare.

Wolf detail of work by Lee Quiñones (photo Jaime Rojo)
Wolf detail of brand new work by Lee Quiñones (photo Jaime Rojo)

As you talk to Mr. Quiñones, it’s easy to see that he cares deeply about his work, and he spends a great deal of time thinking about it, re-working it in his mind, and relating with it on an emotional level. The metaphor Lee had in mind this time is the children’s story “Little Red Riding Hood” and, as he points to parts of the canvas, you can see the story as it applies to any number of scams and backroom deals that clutter the business pages and Senate hearings these days. You might think of the same connection between financial crisis and the meager options for a teen in New York’s 1970’s while he describes the power brokers that created the current environment. Conspiratorially, he reveals that when the lights are out, the wolf’s eyes actually glow in the dark. He also says this piece is not finished but he’ll know when it is.

“Art is tricky, you know, you gotta look at it a lot,” the Puerto Rico-born painter says, “Then it tells you ‘Stop! Leave me alone! I’m done.’… I talk to my art, I spend time with it.”

"I was thinking of putting Madoff over here" (photo Jaime Rojo)
“I was thinking of putting Madoff over here”

He contrasts the life and the approach to creative work back in the “wild style” days and now; “My studio is not this big but it’s pretty big so I can step back and take a look at it. When I was painting trains 35 years ago I only had like this much space (holding his hands a yard a part) and I had this big 40 foot (long) train in front of me. …. I had no luxury of looking at it from a distance, or time. But that’s also where I get my nocturnal practice. I can actually stay up four nights without sleep, no problem. And I’ve been up three days now.” A broad smile breaks across his face as he announces this feat of endurance and commitment.

Be careful handling the ivy (photo Steven P. Harrington)
It really DOES grow on trees. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

There is so much exuberance and so much to see at this show that A.D.D. seems like an excellent processing mechanism – Ramellzee’s sculpture on a highly ornate fifteenth century credenza, a French dude in a suit holding forth about the geneology of a chair, Plateus moving briskly across the floor gazing upward at the multiple canvasses and downward upon his high-gloss contorted letter sculptures, Henry Chalfants’ screen prints of miniature trains spread out on some bubble wrap, NYC’s Sharp amiably chatting with Brazillian Nunca (recently at the Tate), stencil godfather Blek le Rat sneaking outside for a cigarette where Blade is showing off the 1972 creme colored roadster he’s restoring, and, quietly, the Banksy rat glances over his shoulder.

The selections of artists for this show are not meant to be comprehensive, as is evidenced by the lack of any number of current European street artists, and almost complete lack of artists from today’s New York. What impact “Whole in the Wall” will have on current “street art” and graff movements is hard to say, but it is an often inventive way of drawing the connections and revealing the threads in a storyline that continues to be told.

Rammellzee and King Louis (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Meet you on the Kings Highway! Rammellzee and King Louis mashup (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Martha Cooper prints waiting to be hung (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Martha Cooper prints waiting to be hung (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Who let the dog in the mansion? (Blek le Rat) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Okay, who let Sir Duke in the mansion? Don’t let him lick the gold leaf again! (Blek le Rat) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Armed nationalism on Sesame Street (Icon) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Armed nationalism on Sesame Street (Ikon) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Chalfant
Henry Chalfant silkscreens Blade (in the show) and many others on these metallic plates that clearly evoke the subway trains of the 1970’s and 80’s. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Helenbeck Gallery

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Whole in The Wall: 1970 – Now

May 29 to June 27, 2009:

“Whole In The Wall: 1970 – Now”

Blek Le Rat

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Masters from the 1970s NYC graf movement (Blade, Crash, Daze, Jonone, Quik, Lee Quinones, Rammellzee, Sharp) and European art stars (Victor Ash, Banksy, Blek le Rat, Ikon, Sozyone, Plateus) are among 19 painters, sculptors and photographers showing contemporary works in “Whole In The Wall: 1970 – Now”. It’s an unprecedented, museum-quality, 150-piece exploration of street art’s ongoing transition to, yes, fine art. The pieces are all original and rare; many are new.

piece by Sharp courtesy Helenbeck Gallery
The show is an ambitious, two-story, 25,000-sf installation on Manhattan’s industrial West Side, juxtaposing street artworks with authentic 17th Century antiques. It will be an unprecedented presentation.

The official website for “Whole In The Wall”: www.helenbeckgallery.com

Facebook group “Whole in the Wall” by Helenbeck Gallery – Paris

Brooklyn Street Art Interview with the Co-Curators of this show

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Whole In The Wall: 1970 – Now”
Friday, May 29 through Saturday, June 27
11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesdays through Saturdays; or by appointment
529-535 W. 35th St. @ 11th Ave. (former Splashlight Studio)

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