All posts tagged: Wide Open Walls

Tavar Zawacki Unveils in Sacramento with First Mural

Tavar Zawacki Unveils in Sacramento with First Mural

Depth, volume, shadows, movement; Perhaps some new stuff for the graphic and geometrically-inclined Street Artist Tavar Zawacki in Sacramento, California.

Actually, this new wall may be an indicator of the freedom the artist is experiencing now that he has dropped his street nom de guerre of 20+ years, ABOVE and replacing it with his given name: Tavar Zawacki.

Tavar Zawacki. Wide Open Walls 2017. Sacramento, California. (photo © Tavar Zawacki)

The artist says this mural painted for Wide Open Walls is the first under his new old new name and he’s proud of his decision to unveil his face and claim his name – something he did with a heartfelt confessional on Instagram, where he published an account relating his thoughts and the genesis of his journey to his friends and followers.

 

After a period of soul searching and introspection we are glad to see that things are looking up for Tavar.  Many will be looking forward to see how this great re-invention manifests in his new street work and everywhere else!


Tavar Zawacki. If you wish to read in full the rest of his testimonial click HERE

Tavar Zawacki. Wide Open Walls 2017. Sacramento, California. (photo © Tavar Zawacki)

Tavar Zawacki. Wide Open Walls 2017. Sacramento, California. (photo © Tavar Zawacki)

 

Tavar Zawacki. Wide Open Walls 2017. Sacramento, California. (photo © Tavar Zawacki)

 

Tavar Zawacki solo show “Metamorphosis” opens on September 7th at Urban Spree Gallery in Berlin. Click HERE for more details.

 

For more information and to learn the rest of the artists who participated on this year’s edition of Wide Open Walls click HERE

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ROA in Mexico, Gambia, and Cambodia

Globetrotting the Man-Made World, Listening to the Natural One

It’s sort of unprecedented to see how far ROA has gone this year, and how much work he has done. When people say that well-worn phrase “catching up with _____”, in his case you’d be out of breath. Here is a Street Artist who has very effectively escaped the street, an introvert traveling quietly in the extroverted world, with open eyes and an acute talent for observation; decoding the universe through study of the natural, and unnatural.

Today we debut new images taken by ROA from his travels in 2012 to three continents, leaving his footprints in the soil in villages and towns, studying creatures and the humans around them. As soon as he arrives at his host country he shakes hands of the people and smiles and sets his mind to observe his surroundings, taking interest in what roams free on the ground. He asks about available walls and when possible he selects a perfect one – the more imperfect the wall somehow the more perfect for him. From there it’s a simpler matter of immortalizing the critters and creatures that are all around and usually overlooked.

ROA here gives BSA readers these exclusive images of his travels to Cambodia, The Gambia, and Mexico with some of his observations, and we thank him.

MEXICO

In his second trip to Mexico City, ROA powerfully depicted struggle that commands attention across a large wall. “The snake with rats in her tail strangled. And as Jaime knows, the snake is very important for the pre-hispanic culture in Mexico,” says ROA.

ROA. Mexico City. All City Canvas Festival. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Cholula, Mexico 2012 (photo © ROA)

“Cholula is legendary known for the 365 churches to celebrate every day another saint,” ROA says in reference to this city in Puebla. Legendary is the right word, as there are actually only about 160 chapels in the town and surrounding haciendas, but the powerful influence of the Catholic Church here may account for the impression that there is one for each day of the year.

ROA. Cholula, Mexico 2012 (photo © ROA)

THE GAMBIA, AFRICA

ROA. Makumbaya, The Gambia. 2012. (photo © ROA)

ROA. Bakau, The Gambia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

“This was my second visit to the Makasutu Forest, The Gambia,” ROA explains as he describes getting his camera and computer stolen after his last trip – where many of the photos from that trip were lost. Thankfully he had retained some of his images from that trip, and here they are.  “The choice of the animals was mostly inspired by the moment; I would walk there and see a beatle, toad, lizard, .. and just paint it. The mosquito is the insect that has the biggest impact on the people’s daily conditions and health,” he says.

ROA. Kubuneh, The Gambia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Kubuneh, The Gambia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Roaming Cows, The Gambia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Gunjur Beach, The Gambia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Galoya, The Gambia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Galoya, The Gambia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Galoya, The Gambia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. The Gambia. 2011 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Galoya, The Gambia. 2011 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Babooms, Galoya, The Gambia. 2011 (photo © ROA)

CAMBODIA

Here on the invitation of  TheSk8Room (Bruxelles) ROA also gave some workshops to local youth, and had the opportunity to create something special for the tower of a school in Phnom Peng called Pour un sourire d’enfant (PSE).

“Because we spent time in the jungle near Vietnam two days before, I chose to paint a firefly. After sunset we hiked up the hill and we got to see hundreds of them in the middle of the tropics. Magical!” , he exclaims. He says that the firefly is important because  light pollution threatens her existence as that is the method fireflies use to communicate with one another.  “They produce with their lower body a yellow/green luminescent light, and cancer researchers observing them have posited the possibility that they would could kill cancer cells. They are very magical bugs!”

ROA. Sakateistan, Cambodia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Kep, Cambodia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Kep, Cambodia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA. Kep, Cambodia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

“During our two days stay in the forest we visited Kep,” says ROA remembering his time in the small town near Vietnam. “It  once functioned as the “French Riviera” of Cambodia, and you can see this in the villas they left behind, evidence of the former wealth of the area.” Unfortunately, many of the villas were destroyed during the time of the Khmer Rouge, he says. “Nowadays they are shelters for homeless people and for roaming animals.”

ROA. Kep, Cambodia. 2012 (photo © ROA)

ROA wishes to thank the following people:

Gonzalo, Roberto, and Jalil, Jesus and Francisco in Mexico City. All City Canvas.

Christian Milamores in Cholula, Puebla.

Lawrence at Wide Open Walls, The Gambia.

The people at TheSk8Room (Bruxelles) for inviting him to visit Cambodia.

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Wide Open Walls: Logan Hicks Post Game Gambia

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Logan is now back in chilly Brooklyn and looking over some of his images of beautiful weather, beautiful people, and painting in The Gambia. Now that the seven artists have returned back, the stories have returned with them. One thing for sure is that they all treasured the kids, and that the locals appreciated the art.  In addition to being a stencil artist, Logan is also a talented photographer and he shares some images here with you.

Local Kids. (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Local kids had different reactions to the appearance of the camera, and were very interested in the visiting artists. (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Eelus (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Eelus updated his hit “Raven Haired” with this version just for the WOW project. (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Mysterious Al reckons his work (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Mysterious Al reckons his work. Think he should add a little purple? (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Broken Crow at work with fans (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Broken Crow continues under close supervision. (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Lucy McLauchlan Birds (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Lucy McLauchlan painted a couple of birds on this fence. (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Broken Crow piece on a hut (Photo © Logan Hicks)
Broken Crow left one of their lions on a home (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Lucy McLauchlan collaboration with local kids. The kids did the faces. (Photo © Logan Hicks)
Lucy McLauchlan created this collaboration with local kids at their school. She did the sunshine and they did the faces. (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Xens takes a brake to chat with the locals. (Photo © Logan Hicks)
Xenz takes a break from the birds on the wire to chat with new pals. (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Xenz Trompe L'oeil (Photo © Logan Hicks)
Xenz got site-specific with this Trompe L’oeil (Photo © Logan Hicks)

Xenz and Logan Hicks collaboration (Photo © Logan Hicks)
Xenz doing his bit on a collaboration with and Logan Hicks  (Photo © Logan Hicks)

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(all images © Logan Hicks)

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Wide Open Walls Ends: The Stories Begin

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Gambia-Diaries-Wow-Oct22010Wide Open Walls officially ends today, and the artists are on their way home. “All the UK artists fly back tomorrow, we all expect a heroes welcome, keys to the country and an open top bus parade,” Says Eelus on his Twitter account.

It has been a trip they won’t forget, and we are hearing bits and pieces about the experience as they return. – Large Insects, lots of DEET, optimistic kids, incredibly lush beauty, crushing heat, and enthusiastic fans watching you while you paint; all of these things reoccur in the retelling of the stories. Eelus hurt his heel just at the end of the journey and is looking forward to resting up and sorting through pictures. Logan Hicks is back in Brooklyn and will be showing us some of his pics, along with a video he’s working on.

Here are some shots from Ian Cox and some observations of the experience.

Broken Crow at work (Photo © Ian Cox)
Broken Crow at work (Photo © Ian Cox)

“The aim of the game is to paint as much as you can before 1pm, trying to do anything after that is a sweaty struggle in this ridiculous heat and humidity.” ~ Eelus

Mysterious Al Tag. (Photo ©  Ian Cox)
Mysterious Al Tag. (Photo © Ian Cox)

Mysterious Al caught a few tags and a few mosquito bites too, and contends that DEET soaked mosquito spray repellent actually removes tattoos.

“Rashes, welts, bites and hives. My body is 90% covered in them. Why would I get bitten on the elbow? I don’t know, but it’s happened. I’ve also crushed a snail the size of a tennis-ball, seen spiders the size of dinner plates (almost) and encountered all manner of vile insects that are straight out of the ravine scene in that King Kong remake.” ~ Mysterious Al from the WOW blog.

Logan Hicks Stencils (Photo © Ian Cox)
Logan Hicks Stencils (Photo © Ian Cox)

“If the apocalypse comes, I don’t think the fat f*ckers that are sitting around in their lazy-boy recliners with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other are going to be the ones that survive. It’s going to be the Gambians” ~ the eloquent Logan Hicks

Xenz at work (Photo © Ian Cox)
Xenz at work (Photo © Ian Cox)

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Wide Open Walls: The Gambia Diaries

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Gambia-Diaries-Wow-Oct22010

The Street Artists have arrived in The Gambia

Near the giant river of Senegal the seven visiting Street Artists are unpacked and acclimated for two weeks (October 12-26) of painting. With a welcome from Lawrence Williams, artist and co-founder of WOW (Wide Open Walls) and of a huge ecological and cultural project in the area of Makasutu, they’re blown away with the natural beauty and enthusiastic hospitality.

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With UK Street Artist Eelus as the curator and local artist collective Bushdwellers as hosts, the team is ready; Lucy McLauchlan, Logan Hicks, Mysterious Al, Broken Crow (John Grider and Mike Fitzsimmons), and Xenz. Also on board is photographer Ian Cox who will capture as much of the action as possible in such a spread-out project covering many towns.

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The visiting Street Artists first met with village chiefs of local towns to discuss the project, it’s scope, and the various spots that artists will be getting up on. In stark contrast to the rough and tumble reception a Street Artist may encounter in gritty metropolitan areas in other parts of the world, a true spirit of welcoming has greeted the artists from the leaders of the 14 towns. With the intention of encouraging greater tourism and improving the local economy, the initial transformation plan was primarily for the village of Kubuneh but now includes others in the Ballabu area.

brooklyn-street-art-The-Gambia-Diaries-logan-hicks-10-10-9-web

“The optimism that exists here is hard to explain,” says Brooklyn Street Artist Logan Hicks, who has been pretty blown away by the experience so far and also by the open welcoming kids, many of whom he captured with his camera. “It’s odd going to a country where the kids are happy to just see you – I am so use to the New York way of life.”

brooklyn-street-art-The-Gambia-Diaries-logan-hicks-10-10-1-a-web

He’s also quick to note the very little they have in material wealth, and is glad that his Street Art work will help draw attention and hopefully money to the local towns. Says Logan, “The other day we had this big meeting with the village chiefs from the surrounding villages. All 14 chiefs were in attendance in their traditional gear, so it was a pretty big deal. But what floored me was that these villages were actually fighting over which village we should paint first!”brooklyn-street-art-The-Gambia-Diaries-logan-hicks-10-10-1-web

With “The Gambia Diaries”, BSA will be bringing you regular updates and exclusive images (like these from Mr. Hicks ) over the course of WOW.

You can participate! If you have questions you’d like to ask the artists, please email us at Gambia@BrooklynStreetArt.com.

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For now, take a look at some of these great images of folks from the area and pray for Logan to have the courage to sleep in his jungle lodge!  He’s seems like such a big brutish headbanger, but he contends that there are lizards and spiders the size of his hand back at the lodge. We don’t have those back in Brooklyn, although sometimes the rats in the subway tracks are as big as cats. Good luck Logan!

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http://wideopenwalls.wordpress.com/

http://www.makasutu.com/

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