All posts tagged: Yok & Sheryo

BSA HOT LIST 2023: Books For Your Gift Giving

BSA HOT LIST 2023: Books For Your Gift Giving

It’s that time of the year again! Our 13th “Hot List” of books – a best-of collection that is highly personal and unscientific presents a sampling across the board for a variety of graffiti and street art fans.

Our interests and network continued to venture afield this year, and we offer a cross-section of books that are well worth your time – whether it’s the stories they tell, the rare glimpse inside a wiley mind, or the revelation of seeing images previously unseen except by a handful of people. We have political, personal, and professional takes on this beautiful street art scene, as well as a careful instruction book on how to make your own

So here is a short list from 2023 that you may enjoy as well – just in case you would like to give them as gifts to family, friends, or even to yourself.

Djerbahood 2: Open-Air Museum Of Street Art – Albin Mitchel Publishers – Galerie Itinerrance

From BSA:

The traditional architecture in the Medina Atiga may be what attracts you initially, but it is the 150 street artists who will keep you wandering through the maze of tiny streets. The outdoor curation of Djerba by Mehdi Ben Cheikh, a bi-national with a gallery in Paris, happened over the last decade among the sun-blasted domes, arches, and towers here.

“Djerba was exceptionally well placed for an operation with worldwide impact.” says the visionary Cheihk in the newly released Part 2 of Djerbahood, “On this, the southernmost island of the Mediterranean, the climate is pleasant and temperate for more than half the year.”

In this village of Erriadh on the Tunisian island of Djerba, you are twenty-five kilometers from the airport, adjacent to a long shoreline of fine white sand, and officially walking inside a UNESCO World Heritage site. It also helps that here you’ll find palm trees, olive trees, figs, pomegranate, carob, apple, and apricot trees, crystal clear water, and a fairly mild climate.

Djerbahood 2: More of the Open Air Museum in Tunisia

PORK: “I LEFT A NOTE”. Published by Blurring Books NYC

From BSA:

New York’s PORK is one of the few fire extinguisher writers who reliably has can-control, or nozzle control, as the case may be. If you know your extinguisher tags, these are examples of fine penmanship. Additionally, his necessarily brief cursive bon mots are cryptically funny, even if you don’t know his intention.

In this new softcover of street photography, many of his rattled-looking words are framed in their natural/unnatural environment and given their page, or spread. In the index, you may get an insight into what the artist was thinking by the title given to the corresponding pages in the body. You’ll also gain insight into the irreverence, sometimes tempered with exquisitely poised timing.


“CITY OF KINGS: A History Of New York City Graffiti” – Compiled by Al Diaz/ Eric Felisbret / Mariah Fox. HOWL! Gallery.

From BSA:

“Like a small team of ants dragging a slice of Wonderbread down the sidewalk to home base, we persevered,” writes OG New York graffiti writer and curator Al Diaz about the collaborative process that produced an exhibition and catalog this winter called “City of Kings: A History of NYC Graffiti.”  

Respected on the New York graffiti scene for his contributions as a writer, collaborator, and artist, his street works with Basquiat as part of the SAMO© duo helped to push the boundaries of graffiti and street art, and his overall body of work has had a lasting impact on the development of the graffiti and street art movements.

A wildly dispersed and organic scene like the one birthed by graffiti more than five decades ago has had thousands of authors, making it a daunting task to tell this story at times, says Diaz. To do so he made sure to work with two other curators who could complement his knowledge and abilities when researching and collecting proper history to illustrate this movement correctly.

It’s All About The Writers: “CITY OF KINGS: A History of New York City Graffiti” Educates

Object / Subject Saman & Sasan Oskouei

From BSA:

Back on May 1st, 2023 Saman & Sasan released their new self-published book titled Object / Subject. In conjunction with the book they also released a Box set, their first, and included a collection of selected prints along with the book.

If you are familiar with their conceptual pieces and their powerful resonance – like Our House Is On Fire, for example, you will be excited at the prospect of having an opportunity to have this Box set in your collection. As a special commemoration of their most recent 8 years of work – that has re-defined their vision, their reputation as contemporary artists, and their ability to profoundly render verdicts on the human condition – the new book will also include an essay by author and art critic Carlo McCormick.

Saman & Sasan Oskouei – Object / Subject

REVS, XSOUP & ARBOR. “Life’s a Mission…Then You’re Dead”

From BSA:

Today the writer expands his reach, compiling with XSOUP and ARBOR the stories of many graffiti writers into a bound volume that will become an instant classic in the largely anonymous and underground realm of practitioners as well as with the growing cadre of researchers, academics, and historians studying graffiti/street art/urban art today. With this new passion effort by REVS and a small team, these stories are preserved and documented, ensuring a greater understanding and appreciation for the interconnected/alienated paradox of the graffiti writer’s life and practice.

Life’s A Mission… Then You’re Dead: REVS, XSOUP, ARBOR and 100 Graff Writers in Their Own Words

The Yok & Sheryo: Yeahnahnesia A Mystical Land Somewhere In The Indian Ocean. Vol 1. Published by Yok & Sheryo and The Art Gallery of Western Australia. 2566 AP / 2023.

From BSA:

In the realm where imagination dances with audacity, Yok & Sheryo, the dynamic duo hailing from the crossroads of New York, Australia, and Asia, have conjured up a whimsical masterpiece, aptly titled “Yeahnahnesia.” Published in collaboration with the Art Gallery Western Australia, this book is a memoir and fantasy of creativity and storytelling that makes a reader question the boundaries of reality and fiction.

Picture a tropical paradise, a place Google Maps forgot, where mythology, deities, philosophies, and unusual creatures roam freely. Yeahnahnesia, the brainchild of these intrepid artists, is a fictional island brimming with tales so rich that your skateboarding dreams will tip their hats in admiration. The burning questions of its existence and location will keep you up at night until you surrender to the allure of this enigmatic and chill place.

As you delve into the book’s 120 pages, you’ll be transported into an alternate dimension where art intertwines with narrative, and history plays a sly game of make-believe. The “Temple of Frivolous Wishes” at AGWA, Art Gallery Western Australia, Perth, is a mere glimpse of their artistic prowess. Bound in fabric with gold foil accents, this bound edition of 800 is a treasure.

The Yok & Sheryo: “Yeahnahnesia” A Mystical Land and Guide

Alan Ket: The Wide World of Graffiti. Monacelli Press / Phaidon. New York

From BSA:

Graffiti artists often dismiss histories or narratives not of their own making, including those from their peers. This subculture, which has continuously evolved across different cities, time zones, decades, and languages over the past 60 years, is so rich in stories and counterstories that it might take another 30 years for the aerosol to clear and reveal the origins of these tales comprehensively. One unwavering truth prevails: if you weren’t there, in the same city, during the same era, didn’t grow up immersed in that urban environment, and weren’t marking the same train lines or recognized by local crews, your credibility is questioned, and the original graffiti artists (OGs) might disregard your story.

It’s meaningful when a book like “The Wide World of Graffiti” is authored by someone like Alan Ket, a native New Yorker from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who has firsthand experience writing on city trains. As a self-proclaimed graffiti nerd, historian of the movement, and co-founder of the Miami-based Museum of Graffiti, Ket brings a unique blend of metaphorical depth and frank authenticity to his writing. He skillfully combines scholarly insight and sociological context in his narrative, spotlighting selected kings and queens of the streets to further illustrate in their words details of the scene’s evolution and his informed insights to provide context.

Alan Ket’s ‘The Wide World of Graffiti’: A Testament to the Art Form’s Global Impact


From BSA:

Mana Public Arts (MPA), a privately-funded real estate program supporting public art, announces the launch of a new book this Saturday at the Museum of Graffiti. The book captures the diversity and vibrancy of street murals by internationally acclaimed artists in two U.S. cities where MPA operates – Miami and Jersey City, New Jersey. Spanning over 300 pages, the book showcases a range of graffiti, street art, and mural works supported and presented by MPA over the past decade, reflecting their dedication to enhancing communities through public art.

Essays from four notable figures in the street art and graffiti world provide a deeper understanding of the evolution and changing nature of the graffiti/street art/mural art scenes in Miami and Jersey City, as well as context and educational insight into the program. Contributors include cultural critic Carlo McCormick, Brooklyn Street Art’s Steven P. Harrington, Museum of Graffiti’s Alan Ket, and UP Magazine’s T.K. Mills.

Mana Public Arts Launches Book with Panel at Museum of Graffiti in Miami

Martin Whatson INSIDEOUTSIDER Eva Marie Bentsen

From BSA:

Martin Whatson, a Norwegian stencil artist born in 1984, has carved out a distinctive niche in the contemporary and street art worlds. His journey from street art to international acclaim is a narrative of artistic evolution and the versatility of visual language. This book, written by art dealer and curator Eva Marie Bentsen, offers a comprehensive look at Whatson’s career, from his early experiments in graffiti to his current status as a celebrated fine artist. His education at the Westerdals School of Communication in Oslo laid the groundwork for a unique blend of graphic design and urban art, defining his approach to art-making.

The initial sections of the book explore Whatson’s early period, where his engagement with graffiti and stencil art began to shape his artistic voice. These early works reveal a developing style, marked by influences from notable artists like DOLK and Banksy. During this time, Whatson started to refine his distinct blend of political themes and aesthetic appeal. His participation in the Nuart Festival, championed by Stavanger art dealer and street art festival curator Martyn Reed, undoubtedly played a crucial role in bringing his work to a broader audience.

Layered Realities: Exploring Martin Whatson’s “InsideOutsider” / Eva Marie Bentsen

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.08.23

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.08.23

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week!

Heartbeats are pounding and New Yorkers are chattering and gawking here as the city ploughs into an autumn bevy of exhibitions, new theater shows, concerts, street fairs, and fall semesters at schools and universities. The prices are climbing higher every week at the grocery store, pumpkins are popping up on street displays, and fresh aerosol graffiti and street art pieces are appearing on the street. In quintessential Brooklyn fashion, Spike Lee opens his private collection of art, black American history, Oscar statuettes, Knicks jerseys, film posters, memorabilia, Prince’s guitar, even a brownstone stoop in his “Spike Lee: Creative Sources,” show at the Brooklyn museum. The dance party in the rotunda after the opening this week was the best! Thank you DJ Spinna!

Here is our weekly interview with the street: this week featuring Dark Clouds, Lexi Bella, Free Humanity, HOACS, Zexor, Huetek, Roachi, Yok & Sheryo, Kwest, Jeff Henriquez, Fours Crew, Fire Flower, Nemz, Chaos, Kar Part, Belows, Crem, and TakerOne.

TakerOne (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jeff Henriquez. Free Humanity. Huetek. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Chaos (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Roachi. Fours Crew. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Roachi. Fours Crew. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kwest (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Yok & Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nemz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nemz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fire Flower (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lexi Bella (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Crem (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Belows (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hoacs (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Zexor (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kar Part (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dark Clouds (photo © Jaime Rojo)
King (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Clarence Thomas. Who Protects Me From You? (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“Yeahnahnesia,” “The Temple of Frivolous Wishes,” and Yok & Sheryo in Perth

“Yeahnahnesia,” “The Temple of Frivolous Wishes,” and Yok & Sheryo in Perth

The mysterious, trouble-making, wise-cracking, sporty, surfing graffiti-street-art-fine-art duo Yok & Sheryo haven’t graced our pages since pre-pandemic days, which may as well be the Paleolithic Period. With some relief, we report that they are alive and making temples thank god, and now showing one of their most grand upon a sea of red shag carpeting in Perth.

“We escaped to a world of our own,” they tell us, “a mysterious sweltering tropical island with everything we’d ever wanted; killer surf, cold beers, lush, unique flora and fauna with quirky customs, culture, folklore and mythology stories”

Yok & Sheryo at work on their installation “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)

Indeed the sun-bleached white and burning blood red-themed installation with The Art Gallery of Western Australia is replete with the eclectic ideas and items that have thrilled Y&S fans for well over a decade.

“There is so much to tell you, where do we even start?,” they exclaim. Begin at the beginning darling, that always seems like a good strategy. “We named it “Yeahnahnesia”, says Sheryo. “It’s our biggest installation to date,” says Yok.

Yok & Sheryo. “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)

It all makes sense as you wend your way (without shoes, please) around this “Temple of Frivolous Wishes” high on hallucinogenics. There’s the Banana Boner Incense Burner. Hanging up above is The Cool “S. Nearly hidden over here is the Pig-Nose Dragon Cup Thing. Should you get the munchies, you can order snacks from a price menu listing delicacies such as Dragons Claw and Vegemite Toast.

A suave music impresario/high school science teacher will lead you through the offerings in the video below. Maybe later, he’ll invite you to stop by his place for a Pina Colada and to check out his new 2-person Pong video game on the TV – or perhaps take a ride on his velour-covered waterbed.

Yok & Sheryo. “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)
Yok & Sheryo. “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)
Yok & Sheryo. “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)
Yok & Sheryo. “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)
Yok & Sheryo. “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)
Yok & Sheryo. “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)
Yok & Sheryo. “Yeahnahnesia” at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (photo © Geoff Fortune)

Still have questions about what Yeahnahnesia is? All the mysteries, culture, and symbology are documented in this exquisitely designed 108-page, full-color, hard-cover scientific journal. Island of Yeahnahnesia, Vol 1. A welcome addition to any lord of the leisures lounge room.

Buy the book here. Or you can buy an Artist Proof HERE or a screen print HERE

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Postcards from The Yok & Sheryo in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia…

Postcards from The Yok & Sheryo in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia…

A unique duo of autonomous Street Artists from different backgrounds and paths somehow have melded themselves into a traveling tornado of tags, throw ups, and theatrics in a style that is theirs alone. The Yok and Sheryo (Perth and Singapore) continue to compliment, push, and pull against and with each other stylistically with a healthy dose of competiveness, inquisition, mutual respect and love for the fantastic and funny. If you take yourself too seriously with this pair, you lose baby, and no fools are suffered. This is badass, serious fun and when combined with lust and wanderlust, it takes you around the world.

Busting a trick in front of mural by Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

We didn’t invent the word “spraycation” (we think) but we first started using it in earnest years ago when showing their videos to audiences in auditoriums and theaters because adventure, graffiti, work, painting, surfing, and motor biking were always competing with each other – along with monsters, devils, pizza, and sexy ladies. Now back in the US after a 10 month tour, lets see some of the new installations and walls that Sheryo and Yok made in their travels around Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, China, Berlin, and Indonesia.

Varuna’s vessel (India)

We worked with some rad Bollywood set builders and a local fisherman who donated his boat for the installation. We created the installation based off a local folklore story called “Varuna & Makara” about a Sea God riding a sea creature.

The Yok & Sheryo. Varuna’s Vessel. India. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

CAMBODIA for “Paint Phnom Penh”

We spent about 20 days hanging out with an amazing group of friends painting laughing and riding motorbikes in Cambodia for @paintphnompenh, says Sheryo. “After the after after party we managed to get this wall painted – Cambodian Paradise.”

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)


A long, multi-character monocromatic wall really shows off the energy and regenerative imagination that Y&S can pull off on a mural for friends with a surf/yoga camp. “Loved spending a month cruising around Sri Lanka in a tuk tuk looking for waves,” says The Yok, ” and finding elephants, monkeys, turtles, lizards, dodging manic bus drivers, paying off cops. Amazing people, delicious food and a secret pirate village.”

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

SINGAPORE at the Art Science Museum

“After some Piña coladas and falling into waves kook-slams stylez, we went onwards to the big/small smoke of Singapore to paint a wall for the Art Science Museum about a post-apocalyptic material world,” says Sheyro. The full artist list also included artist like Remi Rough, M-City, Eko Nugroho, Tarek Benaoum, Zevs, Speak Cryptic, and YZ.

The Yok & Sheryo. Singapore. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Singapore. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

Australian Silos

“A 35 metre seadragon mural has been completed on the side of huge grain silos at Albany’s historic waterfront,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald, of the project featuring PhlegmHENSE, and Amok Island creating new works along a trail near the coast. To be clear, it is a “ruby sea dragon”.

The Yok & Sheryo. Australia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Australia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

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Selections From “SHINE” Mural Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Selections From “SHINE” Mural Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here are new images from St Petersburg, Florida, where The SHINE mural festival was thrown in September for the 3rd year in a row.

Kryptk. Shine Mural Festival. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

“Shine is a good example of a mural project when the community is involved,” says an organizer Iryna Kanishcheva, who has had a great deal of experience working with Street Artists in the last few years, including a very successful program in Kiev.

Regarding this Floridian community she says, “They started in 2015 with many local artists and family-friendly public activities. The event received good support from the community, so much so in fact that produced more murals next year.”

Mikael B. Shine Mural Festival. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Included this year are names you’ll find familiar like Cryptic, Hueman, Joram Roukes, Lauren YS and Yok & Sheryo. You’ll also find a fair share of local talents at SHINE because the festival makes a point to keep the mix local and international.

“They try to keep the ratio 5:10 local artists versus traveling artists, thanks to curator Chris Parks,” says Kanishcheva.

Axel Void . L. E. O. Shine Mural Festival. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

So what stood out in 2017?

The difference in this year’s edition is an exhibition, a group show called “Outside In” with large-scale installations by The Yok and SheryoJames OlesonThe Artwork of Ricky WattsVitale Bros.Sentrock and artwork by many more,” says Kanishcheva. “I’d like to acknowledge Axel Void’s piece, which is based on a series called ‘Nobody.’”

“A few years ago Axel painted a mural in Atlanta and he used a portrait of a boy – a random image from the Internet. Months later he received an email from a man in the original photo – his sister had alerted him to it after spotting it in a magazine. Axel Void kept in touch with him and even developed an idea for the film, show and canvas series. One of them is here in the ‘Inside In’ collection.”

See the original Axel Void wall shot by Jaime Rojo at “Living Walls” in Atlanta that year here; Living Walls 2013 ALIVE in Atlanta

Hueman. Shine Mural Festival. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Jose Mertz. Shine Mural Festival. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Jujmo. Shine Mural Festival. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Joram Roukes. Shine Mural Festival. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

2017 SHINE artists:

Axel Void & L.E.O.,Cryptic, Daniel “R5” Barojas, Herbert Scott Davis, Hueman, James Oleson, Joram Roukes, Jose Mertz, Jujmo, Lauren YS, Mikael B, Ricky Watts, Sentrock, Sam Young, Stephen Palladino, Suarezart, Thirst & Zulu Painter, Vitale Bros., Yok & Sheryo.

We wish to thank Iryna Kanishcheva for sharing her observations and photos with our BSA readers. Please visit to learn more about Ms. Kanishcheva projects.

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Le Rat Has Arrived, Police Remove Cars from “Art Mile”, 2 Days to “Unstoppable” in Berlin : BSA Dispatch 3

Le Rat Has Arrived, Police Remove Cars from “Art Mile”, 2 Days to “Unstoppable” in Berlin : BSA Dispatch 3

Blek Le Rat arrived at the Urban Nation office today with his wife Sybille after a long car ride from Paris, ready for a coffee and possibly to take a look at the wall he’ll be painting here to celebrate “UNSTOPPABLE”, the inaugural exhibition of the UN museum this weekend. The wind taunted BustArt as he attempted to lay his irreverent stencil of Mother Mary coddling Pluto Jr. and the sliced cutout cardboard bent and bowed beyond an average person’s patience while his buddy Stephan helped hold it down for spraying.

Isaac Cordal. Detail of a larger outdoor installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Under the elevated train a legion of police and traffic cops removed 80 or so cars so the team could begin building stages, cages, platforms, lighting, electricity – for a slew of fresh outdoor pieces which will be installed Thursday and Friday for the weekend outside component.

Who is going to be on display as part of the Art Mile? Try Pixel Pancho, Franco JAZ Fasoli, Bordalo II, Mimi S., HowNosm, Zezao, Isaac Cordal, Olek, Seth Globepainter, Blek Le Rat, Hottea, Dot Dot Dot, Borondo, Herakut, Deih XLF, Faith 47, David De La Mano, Nespoon, Tank Patrol, Lister, Cranio, Sandra Chevrier, Aaron Woes M, Yok & Sheryo, Haroshi, Don John, Ben Frost, Various & Gould, Icy & Sot, Mademoiselle Maurice, the Juxtapoz newsstand, Mark Bode, Shepard Fairey, 1 Up, James Bullough, and 2501. It’s a real cross section of styles, influences, and voice that will be engaging guests this weekend.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Berlin police actually use a truss and truck that picks up the offending car, puts it on a flatbed. Then, believe or not, they look for an empty parking spot in the neighborhood an place the car into the new place – also signs are posted to let you know where your car was re-located to.

In New York City if you are unfortunate enough to park your car in the wrong place it is simply towed away to a massive car yard somewhere, banging into things occasionally on the way and flying through potholes – and then held for a King’s ransom. Then you have to simply guess if it was towed or stolen.  No word on what the London Police do in regards to cars parked illegally.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Florian couldn’t wait to take a peek. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Hot Tea)

Up on a lift for painting today also were Mademoiselle Maurice, David De La Mano, and James Bullough, and the company plastering the corner façade of the museum with pink letters. When the winds got to strong everybody was forced to bring the lifts down for an hour. Intrepid and lucky photographers like Jaime Rojo and Nika Kramer still managed to go up in the buckets to get some good shots in.

Hot Tea is spraying a big installation space with a rainbow of colors – on the walls and floors completely. People who are peeking through the plastic sheeting that protects the windows are wondering what this world of color is going to be.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meanwhile the onslaught of arrivals continues, including hopefully we’ll see Martha Cooper and Carlo McCormick. Martha of course will be here to celebrate the beginning of the Martha Cooper Library within the museum and Carlo will be here to see the didactics and texts he wrote for the exhibition and catalogue –as well as speaking at the Unlock Book Fair. This publishing fair for graffiti, street art and related practices is a must see for those who relish the independent thinking minds who publish on paper in this scene. Other great speakers featured will be Pedro Soares, Jens Besser, Susan Phillips, Thomas Chambers, and Javier Abarca.

Okay that’s your update for today. See you on the streets tomorrow.

Ron English. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE at work for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bustart fights with the wind. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bustart. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tankpetrol at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice detail and process shot of her installation for Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice detail and process shot of her installation for Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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“Magic City” in Dresden : Exhibition of Street Artists and City as Muse

“Magic City” in Dresden : Exhibition of Street Artists and City as Muse

An unusual amalgam of the interactivity of the street combined with the formality of a gallery environment, Magic City opened this fall in a converted factory in Dresden, Germany with an eclectic selection of 40+ artists spanning the current and past practices of art in the street.


Skewville. Children enjoying Skewville’s “tete-a-tete” shopping cart. Ernest Zacharevic’s mobile in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With revered culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick at the helm alongside curator Ethel Seno, the richly marbled show runs a gamut from 70’s subway train writers and photographers like Americans Daze, Henry Chalfant, and Martha Cooper to the Egyptian activist Ganzeer, Italian interventionist Biancoshock, popagandist Ron English, and the eye-tricking anamorphic artist from the Netherlands, Leon Keer.

Veering from the hedonistic to the satiric to head-scratching illusions, the collection allows you to go as deep into your education about this multifaceted practice of intervening public space as you like, including just staying on the surface.


Ernest Zacharevic mobile with a “listening station” on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s not an easy balance to strike – some of these artists have heavy hearts and withering critiques of human behaviors and institutional hypocrisies ranging from 1st World treatment of refugees to celebrity culture to encroaching surveillance on individual rights, government oppression, and urban blight.

Magic City doesn’t try to shield you from the difficult topics, but the exhibition also contains enough mystery, fanboy cheer, eye candy and child-like delight that the kids still have plenty of fun discoveries to take selfies with. We also saw a few kissing couples, so apparently there is room for some romance as well.


 A visitor to Magic City enjoys a “listening station”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We believe that even the typical city is uncommon, and that the idiosyncrasies that make each city unique are collectively something they all have in common,” says McCormick in his text describing the exhibition. “This is then a celebration of the universal character of cities as well as a love letter to their infinite diversity. The special magic that comes from our cities is germinated in the mad sum of their improbable juxtapositions and impossible contradictions.”

Of particular note is the sound design throughout the exhibition by Sebastian Purfürst and Hendrick Neumerkel of LEM Studios that frequently evokes an experiential atmosphere of incidental city sounds like sirens, rumbling trains, snatches of conversations and musical interludes. Played at varying volumes, locations, and textures throughout the exhibition, the evocative city soundscape all adds to a feeling of unexpected possibilities and an increased probability for new discovery.


Olek’s carousel from above. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Obviously this Magic City cannot be all things to all people, and some will criticize the crisp presentation of a notably gritty series of subcultures, or perhaps the omission of one genre or technique or important artist. It’s not meant to be encyclopedic, rather a series of insights into a grassroots art and activism practice that continues to evolve in cities before our eyes.

For full disclosure, we curated the accompanying BSA Film Program for Magic City by 12 artists and collectives which runs at one end of the vast hall – and Mr. Rojo is on the artist roster with 15 photographs of his throughout the exhibition, so our view of this show is somewhat skewed.

Here we share photographs from the exhibition taken recently inside the exhibition for you to have a look for yourself.


Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A MadC installation made with thousands of spray can caps. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Belgian urban naturalist ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Skewville . ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Martha Cooper at the gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Henry Chalfant at the gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bordalo II (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andy K. detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Isaac Cordal. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anders Gjennestad AKA Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy & Sot with Asbestos on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Replete (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Truly (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Leon Keer (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jaime Rojo. A young visitor enjoying the Kids Trail through a peephole with Jaime’s photos inside an “electrical box”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jaime Rojo. The Kids Trail wasn’t only for kids it seems. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tristan Eaton on the right. Olek on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aiko at the Red Light District. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Yok & Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Herakut. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Herakut (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Full list of participating artists:

Aiko, AKRylonumérik, Andy K, Asbestos, Benus, Jens Besser, Biancoshock, Mark Bode, Bordalo II, Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas, Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Isaac Cordal, Daze, Brad Downey, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Fino’91, Ganzeer, Anders Gjennestad, Ben Heine, Herakut, Icy & Sot, Leon Keer, Loomit, MadC, OakOak, Odeith, Olek, Qi Xinghua, Replete, Roa, Jaime Rojo, Skewville, SpY, Truly, Juandres Vera, WENU, Dan Witz, Yok & Sheryo, Ernest Zacharevic.


Visit MAGIC CITY DRESDEN for more details, news, videos and the blog.


This article is also published on The Huffington Post


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“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

40 Artists Up Along Main Street, 12 More in the BSA Film Program


Curators Ethel Seno and Carlo McCormick in front of a new mural by German duo Herakut announcing the premiere of Magic City in Dresden. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


“Nature is a petrified magic city.” – Novalis

Curator Carlo McCormick quotes Novalis by way of describing this new exhibit of an eclectic blend of terrific troublemakers, pop-culture hijackers, and show-stopping crowd pleasers drawn from cities all around the Street Art/ graffiti /urban art scene today – and forty years ago. This is a welcoming walk of unexpected intersections that only McCormick and co-curator Ethel Seno could imagine – and pull together as a panoply of street wizardry that acknowledges activism, artistry, anarchy, and aesthetics with a sincere respect for all. It will be interesting to see how this show is viewed by people who follow the chaotic street scene today in the context of its evolution and how they read the street signs in this city.


Curator Ethel Seno with Managing Director Dieter Semmelmann and exhibition Designer Tobias Kunz cutting the ribbon at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

McCormick, in his customary self-effacing humor, expects there to be some shit flying – as anyone who is involved in this scene expects from the hard-scrabble rebellious margins and subcultures that this art-making interventionist practice rises from. There also are a growing and coalescing mini-legion of scholars and academics who are currently grappling with the nature and characteristics of this self-directed art-making practice rooted often in discontent – now organized inside an exhibition that is ticketed and sold as a family friendly show.


Street Artist and pop mashup painter Tristan Eaton in front of his new mural wall at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

In his descriptions of the public sphere, the writer, historian, author, and cultural critic McCormick often refers to graffiti and street artists messing with “contested space”. It’s an apt description whether we are talking about the public space in high-density gleaming metropolises or the bombed-out grid-less and polluted quagmires of human fallibility and urban un-planning that dot our globe; all public space its nature is contested.

Here is a place used by many artists to protest, agitate, advocate, or deliver critique – and many of the artists in this exhibition have done exactly this in their street practice, often pushing limits and defining new ones. Dig a little into many of the individual story lines at play here and you’ll see that the vibrant roots of social revolution are pushing up from the streets through the clouds of propaganda and advertising, often mocking them and revealing them in the process.

Ultimately, this Magic City experience is an elixir for contemplating the lifelong romance we have with our cities and with these artists who cavort with us within them. “Our Magic City is a place and a non-place,” McCormick says in a position statement on the exhibit. “It is not the physical city of brick and mortar but rather the urban space of internalized meanings. It is the city as subject and canvas, neither theme park nor stage set, but an exhibition showcasing some of the most original and celebrated artists working on and in the city today.”


Mixed media Street Artist Asbestos from Dublin, graffiti master/ painter Chris “Daze” Ellis from NYC, and Tristan Eaton from Los Angeles at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


Curator Carlo McCormick with New York billboard/culture jammer and artist Ron English in front of his new wall mural at premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


Dutch anamorphic art master Leon Keer with Polish crochet transformer/Street Artist Olek at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

BSA curated the film program for Magic City with a dynamic array of some of the best Street Art related films today presented together in a relaxed environment. In this video hosted by Andreas Schanzenbach you get a taste of the works that are showing that we draw from our weekly surveys on BSA Film Friday. Over the last few years we have had the honor of presenting live in-person to students and scholars and fans an ever-evolving collection of videos that speak to the spirit experimentation, discovery and culture-jamming outrageousness of urban interventions, graffiti and Street Art.  The BSA Film Program at Magic City presents a survey of some of the very best that we have seen recently.

Magic City artists include:
Akrylonumerik, Andy K, Asbestos, Ben Heine, Benuz, Biancoshock, Bordalo II, Brad, Downey, Dan Witz, Daze, Ernest Zacharevic, Ganzeer, Henry Chalfant, HERAKUT, Icy & Sot, Isaac Cordal, Jaime Rojo, Jens Besser, Juandres Vera, Lady Aiko, Leon Keer, Loomit, MAD C, Mark Bode, Martha Cooper, Oakoak, Odeith, Olek, Ori Carin / Benjamin Armas, Qi Xinghua, Replete, ROA, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Skewville, SpY, Tristan Eaton, Truly, WENU Crew, Yok & Sheryo

The BSA Film Program for Magic City includes the following artists:
Borondo, Brad Downey & Akay, Ella + Pitr, Faile, Farewell, Maxwell Rushton, Narcelio Grud, Plotbot Ken, Sofles, Vegan Flava, Vermibus

Some behind the scenes shots days before the Premiere


Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


DAZE reviewing his work at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


Urban naturalist ROA at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


Sheryo strikes a pose while the guys build the installation she did with The Yok at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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