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Art along the Ourcq: 10 kilometers of street art along a Parisian canal

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Story & Photos by Caroline Saurel

Seth and Levalet along the Canal

Street Art by Seth and Levalet along the Canal

Mural by Jace

Mural by Jace

If you’re looking for the sun in Paris this Summer, forget it! If instead you are looking for street art, there’s an event you shouldn’t miss from L’été du Canal – Summer Festival de l’Ourcq.  It will take you to the North of Paris on a street art treasure hunt along the Ourcq canal that you can follow for 10 kilometers. It’s specifically called “ART ALONG THE OURCQ” and it feels like street artists left their spray signature just for you to trace along the water canal. More than 30 French and international urban artists were offered the opportunity to create works in tune with this specific location. Among which: Seth, Jace, le MoDule de ZeeR, le Cyklop, Da Cruz and even Jacques Villéglé – now 88 but still creating visual interactive artworks which don’t fail to engage the passer-by.

They all got involved in the creation of a visually engaging trail that links Paris to Aulnay-sous-Bois for us to follow their steps as they designed their Hop-O’-My-Thumb’s pebble-like wanderings along the river.

With the canal as a connecting line, they could enjoy their every whim using different tools such as paint, stencils, cardboard paper or else to create installations bordering on in-situ contemporary art pieces. They also used whatever surface they fancied: phone booths, doors, stairs steps, billboards, sign posts, footbridges and iron curtains to name just a few.

Levalet along the Ourcq canal

Levalet along the Ourcq canal

This run-of-the-river street art fest is organized by the urban group Art Azoi which stands for the promotion of urban art in its most creative forms as well as the so-called ‘underprivileged’ areas.

The works are all different and unique, each one is a surprise. Large murals compete with tiny creatures, graphic for the sake of it or stating a political message, they are all here to impress. But there are also tiny patterns almost hiding here and there for you to hunt like treasures or just shying away from the public eye. Thus the city is conceived as a playground for the artists, the passers-by and the local residents.

Both street art lovers and passers-by enjoy the works as they walk, ride or sail along.

Phone booth painted by DaCruz

Phone booth painted by Marko93

Eventually, a walk along the Ourcq can remind you Arthur Rimbaud’s famous poem “My Bohemia”, where the artist is like a “Dreamy Tom Thumb, sowing the roads there/With rhymes.” You just have to open your eyes, so “That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”

 

 

Tips on getting there and where to look:

Metro station “Jaurès”:
-Sculptures and totems by Da Cruz in the gardens of la Rotonde de Stalingrad
-Works by Seth along both sides of the Canal when heading north
– Works by Levalet by the first suspended bridge

Metro station “Eglise de Pantin”:
– Advertising billboards by Tetar, Jacques Villéglé, Thom Thom  Dan23 (across the Customs’ office building of Pantin)
Along the canal walking towards Paris:
*left bank: works by Seth near a staircase, phone booths by Djalouz and Marko93, mural by Da Cruz.
* right bank: sculptures by Cyklop, mural by  Jace and chimney painted by Le MoDuLe De ZeeR and more works by Seth.

Participating Artists:

Art of Popof . Cristobal Diaz . Da Cruz . Dan 23 . Derlon . Dize . Djalouz . Erol . Eyone . Frez . Jace . Jacques Villéglé . JBC . Lapinthur . Le MoDuLe De ZeeR . Le Cyklop . Levalet . Marko93 . Medra . Oak Oak . Olivia De Bona . Ox . Romain Froquet . Seth . Surfil . TetaR . T.O . Thom Thom . W.A.Y.L.A

“U” – A portraiture show that is anything but traditional in London

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The United London gallery present “U”, a handpicked selection of some of the most exciting and accomplished contemporary artists in the world today that will explore the state of human identity in the digital age – an event that will also mark The Unit London’s 1-year anniversary.

Artists:
Ivan Alifan, Mark Demsteader, Ryan Hewett, SNIK, Henrik Uldalen and Jake Wood-Evans

Date and Location:
7 Earlham St, London, WC2H 9LL
19th September – 18th October 2014
Private View: 18th September
http://theunitldn.com/

 

There is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity – Erik Eriksen

This September, The Unit London, Soho’s breakthrough artist-led gallery space, presents U, an exhibition of contemporary portraiture that brings together six emerging artists under the theme of personal identity in the digital age. All of the works are in some way abstracted, deformed, concealed or destroyed, offering insight into the very modern notion of fractured identity, which has come to fruition in today’s hyper-digitalised age. Collectively, the artworks push the viewer to question whether the development of digital social platforms has improved our capacity for self-expression and communication, or has instead diminished our capacity for human intimacy and individuality.

Highlights include a series of portraits by renowned artist Jake Wood-Evans that combine classical references with his signature ethereal, contemporary style. Wood-Evans who has previously shown with StolenSpace, studied Fine Art at Falmouth University before going on to receive the prestigious Royal Academy scholarship for classical study at the Museo Nacional Prado, Madrid. He was also awarded the Free Range Art & Design show award for Most Promising Graduate.

Russian artist Ivan Alifan will present a body of work that explores the ‘modern gaze’. Alifan’s ambiguous figurative paintings have an apparent erotic subtext, designed to disarm and force the viewer into exploring their personal psyche. Prior to showing with The Unit London, Alifan completed an artist residency at The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

Works to be exhibited by self-taught artist Henrik Uldalen juxtapose references to nihilism, longing, and loneliness with a soft, fragile beauty. Nods to surrealism create an atmosphere of a dark, dream or limbo-like state within his paintings. With solo shows at cult galleries in both Los Angeles and Oslo, Uldalen has already developed a strong international a following.

In addition to Wood-Evans, Ivan Alifan and Henrik Uladen, artists Mark Demsteader, Ryan Hewett and SNIK will also be shown.

This is not a traditional portrait exhibition… What we are offered here instead, is a deeply psychological insight into the very contemporary notion of fractured and digitised identity – anchored in the old tradition of portrait painting.
Joe Kennedy, Co-Director, The Unit London

NUART Festival 2014: “Beneath the pavement, The Beach” Starting September 4th till October 12th in Stavanger

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NUART FESTIVAL 2014. “Beneath the pavement, The Beach”
Where? In Stavanger Norway. When? Sept 4 – Oct 12

The 2014 edition of the NUART Festival features some of the worlds leading names in street art from NYC pioneer John Fekner to recent Iranian rebel rousers Icy and Sot.

Nuart is set to launch what’s looking like one of the broadest most challenging street art festivals yet. Concept Art, performances, urban interventions, paste ups, writers, taggers, stencil artists and the ubiquitous mural artists are all set to descend on this sleepy little hamlet on the coast of the Norwegian Fjords.

Joining them will be a rag tag team of renowned industry professionals, cultural critics, authors and academics in our Nuart Plus series. This year sees the Plus series of talks and debates expand to include talks, presentations, panel debates and film screenings from the likes of Brooklyn Street Art’s Steve and Jaime Rojo, Evan Pricco the managing director of Juxtapoz Magazine, RJ Rushmore founder of Vandalog, Natalie Hegert from Artslant, Carlo McCormick and many others…

You can find more detailed information here www.nuartfestival.no

 

Ernest Zacharevic’s Interview in first US show for Black Apple Art’s: “Contraband 2”

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Contraband 2 is the second yearly edition of a one night only urban art show (on August 8th 2014) organised in Los Angeles by Black Apple Art Gallery, exhibiting for the first time in the US some of the most exciting street art talents from Europe. The one night event is accessible by guest-list only (click here for the guest-list) and will be attended by many underground actors, from local graffiti artists to major art collectors.

Street Art Anarchy had the chance to interview the artist Ernest Zacharevic as he arrived in Los Angeles to paint new works for the city and the show in situ. An opportunity to discover more about this rapidly emerging talent that has conquered the hearts of European collectors in the recent years with his iconoclastic approach to urban arts, bringing traditional techniques to graffiti:

Street Art Anarchy: Not many graffiti and street artists release or even use their full name publicly, what made you decide to do it?
Ernest Zacharevic: When I was younger and rebelled with my art I always took responsibility for what I did and I guess that stayed with me. When I do a piece, legal or not, I am willing to stand behind it and take responsibility for it.

SAA: You went to art school and have studied art academically since a very young age, how did this academic training and education balance on your decision to join the urban art movement?
EZ: What encouraged me in the first place having the academic discipline was the desire to rebel against it. And to have a group of creative kids who wanted to feel free outside of the classroom where they are not being graded on your progress and being a part of a more rebel movement then the school. I see the two very differently from each other and I always kept them apart because they were working against each other. Later in life I have found ways to blend them both together and it’s something that I still explore.

 

SAA: Your street works very often play directly with their environment, how do you feed such a rich and diverse inspiration?
EZ: Every piece has it’s own way that I come up with it. Sometimes it’s the locations that suggest something that sparks ideas and other times an idea that has me looking for a location. The main challenge and excitement I get comes from the street work so that is what I’m always looking to do rather than being in the studio and working on a canvas.

SAA: You are known to use brushes on the streets instead of spray cans, why is that?
EZ: It’s exploring the academic art which I was taught back in school. And the street culture… I’m not fascinated with graffiti because of the use of spray cans or running from the police. I use what I can and what I use best and I think that sets me apart form others as well. It’s a much slower process in the street but it gives me more of a sense of security when people see me doing it with brushes they don’t connect it as “graffiti” so they judge it more on the artwork it;s self and not the act of what I’m doing.

SAA: What made you come to Los Angeles for this very first time?
EZ: Well I had never been to the US before and had been talking to Eric Perlman from Black Apple Gallery for some time. When he told me about the Contraband show coming up and invited me to come out to LA, do some walls and participate in the show things all came together so we made it happen.

SAA: How different is the LA street art scene from the other places you have painted?
EZ: Hard to tell I’ve seen lots of diverse works here from local and also international so reminds me a lot of London and Tokyo a bit since it’s a big city so hard to just give LA one label.

SAA: How many pieces are you planning to leave on the city?
EZ: Two or perhaps three…

SAA: How long did it take you to prepare your new works for Los Angeles and the Black Apple Art show?
EZ: All my projects for shows I start when I get there…. a bit like my street work.. when I get to where I am going and get a feel for the place, the walls, people and feelings and then I put that into my work both in the streets and the studio. I explore I talk to people and don’t really prepare in advance. I do some mental preparation for the trip but I wait until i get into the new environment to inspire my works.

Photos: Courtesy of Black Apple Art Gallery

“From Street to Art”: An Overview of Italian Street Art in New York – Exhibition Featuring 2501, BR1, Sten & Lex…..

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“From street to Art” is an overview of Italian Street Art through the work of 10 contemporary artists, hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, and curated by Simone Pallotta. The exhibition presents the individuals who have determined the Italian Street Art scene over the past two decades, presenting works which portray authoritative and personal artistic vision. The purpose is to show a development of a new generation of artists who share a strong urban presence and establish a dialogue with the Italian artistic avant-garde. The exhibition investigates a generation of artists, who are beginning to shape the future of art in Italy, and of Italian art in the world: 2501, Agostino Iacurci, BR1, Cyop & Kaf, Dem, Eron, Hitnes, Sten & Lex, Ufo5. The exhibition opens this Friday at 6PM and ends on August 20th, 2014, featuring works of 2501 released on Street Art Anarchy’s new Gallery Works section and graciously loaned for the exhibition by our clients and collectors.

Details:
Date: Friday, June 20, 2014 – Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Hours: Opening June 20 from 6 PM
Venue: Italian Cultural Institute, 686 Park Avenue 10065, New York
Organized by: ICI
In collaboration with: La Fondazione NY, TRAMP, MIONETTO Prosecco

 

Opening of the Urban Art Festival in Amsterdam

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Story & Photos: Nicole Blommers

The second international Urban Art Festival is taking place in Amsterdam from the 30th of May until the 1st of June. The first edition was held in 2010 at the OT301, what will also be this year’s main location. Urban Art Festival will host a group show with 40 (inter)national artists. The line-up of artists is immense, with The London Police, Sjocosjon, Zender, Mr Dheo, Royalsteez, Eelco van den Berg and dozens of other artists from Netherlands and Europe.

The 40 artists are presenting their art on canvas, installations, sculptures and video art. Leading urban art styles such as street art, neo-graffiti and abstract art are highlighted in the exhibition. In addition, numerous activities are taking place – several mural paintings, podium discussion, art market, a family day and the Dutch premiere of the graffiti documentary Style Wars 2. Oh, exciting.

You will find among the artists’ line-up for this year’s festival:
Artistic duo The London Police have been active for over 15 year and conquered the art world with their familiar black/white ‘lads’. Zender started graffiti at the age of 13. After some time he starts improving his techniques and gets asked for commercials, illustrations and paint jobs. Mr Dheo is primarily known for his photo realistic and graphic element productions. This gives his work a very personal style in growth and development. SjocoSjon from Amsterdam is an all-round illustrator and most definitely not a stranger in the scene. You have probably already seen his art on Hannekes Tree container and Tuinstraat garage. Eelco van den Berg’s work is mostly drawn by hand. It is distinguished by its strong use of color and lines, combined with highly decorative elements.
Complete line-up: www.urbanartfestival.net.

The festival program includes various activities, side events and interventions. The exhibition, with the concept ‘solid:art – solidarity’, is the main focus at OT301. For one day there will be an art market, where young and upcoming artists are presenting their work. The Urban Art Academy is offering a one day workshop with a customized course about theory, technique and practice. All artists will contribute to huge mural paintings. As a visitor you can then watch and admire the live techniques of art in the making. An urban art expert will guide visitors during a city & art tour along iconic, historic and hidden places, and of course urban art. In an expert talk and podium discussion visitors are invited to participate in a discussion about a theme that is related to young urban art. The festival will be showing the graffiti documentary Style Wars 2 for the first time in the Netherlands. The documentary directors will be present for a chat and talk.

Details:
Urban Art Festival Amsterdam
Friday May 30th till Sunday June 1st 2014
Main location: OT301 – Overtoom 301, Amsterdam
Website: www.urbanartfestival.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/urbanartnow.network
Invite: www.facebook.com/events/289191034579351

 

 

 

The New Wall Order: A Post-Graffiti Conspiracy (Video)

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Story by Marco Contardi, video directed by Tommaso Matteocci 

In Milan a fistful of post-graffiti artists recently launched their own ‘NWO’ – a play with the conspiracy theory of ‘New World Order’ – displaying instead a cool performance through their vision of the ‘New Wall Order’… As if to say that the street-art and post-graffiti fields are being ruled by a kind of “art-Illuminati”: a satirical NWO is needed!

A New Wall Order

No chemical trails here (except perhaps for the paints used); but ‘just’ the last works by six fresh post-graffiti artists: each and all characterized by a very personal creative iter which gifted them with a brand new, out-of-the-box, and evocative style. In one of the many Milan important art locations (the ex-Spazio Ansaldo), they have been busy painting their portraits of the New Wall Order – in a chorus including six of the most interesting Italian street-art voices.

The artists cranking out the New Wall Order are 108 and his ‘dark side’ silhouettes from a primitive future, 2501 with his spot-on black-white linear symbologies, CT and his snap-fit deconstructed and reconstructed letters, Giorgio Bartocci with his multi-layered dancing dual characters, Ufocinque and his labyrinthine illusions and truths, and Eleuro with his ‘bizarro-fiction-alike’ scenarios.

Enough talking; now we leave you with the NWO ‘post-graffiti video conspiracy’ (which is directed by Tommaso Matteocci and features beats from artists Asso Spades, Outemat Music and Jazzatron) highlighting 108, 2501, CT, Giorgio Bartocci, Ufocinque and Eleuro’s wallpaintings. Enjoy it and… remember to watch your back!

NWO New Wall Order from N.W.O. New Wall Order on Vimeo.

Our interview with Invader the day before his arrest by NYPD

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ART4SPACE one night event by Invader

ART4SPACE one night event by Invader in New York City

Last October, two of the most famous contemporary urban artists: Invader and Banksy, suddenly announced a take-over of New York City. The simultaneous urban invasion / art show triggered a massive art-hunt by fans and medias, as well as a massive man-hunt by the NYPD.

In what seems like the classic tale of rejection of a new art movement by authorities, at the time then Mayor Bloomberg disappointed millions of New Yorkers when he publicly called-out urban arts as vandalism. In response to the mayor, the police put in extra-efforts to look for, arrest or harass graffiti and street artists suspected of “vandalism”.

Invader in New York City

One of Invader’s new works in New York City

This interview was set up the day after a screening of Invader’s documentary ART4SPACE, a 25 minutes film following the artist’s adventures through one of his projects and wildest dreams: the invasion of space. The artist answered Street Art Anarchy on a variety of subjects, from his techniques, to the invasion of New York City and the illegality of street art.

While Banksy managed to elude authorities, Invader got arrested the day after our interview. He was eventually released; but to protect the artist during his New York trip we decided to not publish the interview until now.

Street Art Anarchy: Which invasion is harder: space or Earth ? Paris or NYC?
Invader: Space and NYC because I am less at ease in both as I ‘m more used to Paris and Earth.

SAA: How long will the New York invasion last?
I: This is something I never tell.

SAA: How many new pieces will you install?
I: Same as above. As long as the invasion is not completed I don’t even count my pieces.

SAA: Did you bring your pieces from France or do you create them here?
I: I do both. Some pieces have been specifically thought for NYC but prepared in my studio and, as usual, I also try to find some local tiles – bigger- to create some pieces on site depending on the spots I find.

 

SAA: How do you pick your spots in the city?
I: I walk a lot and I am constantly looking for spots, even when I watch a movie, I pay more attention to the urban landscape it features than to the story.
Finding spots is the longest part in my process, there are lots of criteria to fulfill. The perfect spot has a good location, is aesthetic (for me), and has exactly the right size to welcome one of my piece…etc

SAA: If you could hit any spot in New York, what or where would it be?
I: I see NYC as an ensemble, my dream is that it is invaded enough so that you can find a space invader in every area…
Furthermore I can’t tell you neither where I would like (nor where I will!) put one of my piece.
For the side story, the twin towers were invaded as I put a small mosaic on the bridge between them in 2000. That might have become one of the most iconic Space Invader for me.

Surprise appearance by Invader to introduce the movie

Surprise appearance by Invader to present the movie

SAA: What is the motivation behind Invader ? Your inspirations/aspirations?
I: Invade ?
I am an artist who started a project by accident 15 years ago now and I follow my very own program – invading- as long as it is not over. I don’t know if it will be over someday or maybe when I die.
I mean as any other artist I need to do what I do. I was inspired by video game (and more generally the birth of new technologies) but why this in particular, I can’t say.

SAA: How has your artistic vision evolved since your very first invasion?
I: I don’t know if my vision evolved as it was already very strong at the starting point. I knew I was an artist and I discovered my way.
Nevertheless my technics and style have evolved!

SAA: Should street art be legalized ?
I: I don’t know. It won’t be the same, not because it “has to be illegal” or the “vandal” kind of stuff but because the conditions driven by this illegality create some specific artworks. If it was legal, the artworks and the energy won’t be the same, we might lose something.

SAA: Is it a coincidence that you and Banksy are in New York at the same time?
I: Yes, a total one.

SAA: What do you think of Mayor Bloomberg’s view on « vandalism » and his dedication to eradicate it (one of his first moves in office was to create the NYPD Vandal Squad)?
I: I think most of graffiti and street art are not vandalism so we shouldn’t feel concerned!
Someday people will realize all those censors were mistaken as for lots of art movements.

SAA: Outside of being an artist, do you collect art as well and do you consider some of your fellow street artists’ works as art to be collected?
I: Yes I do and I have the great chance to be able to exchange pieces of art.

(Photos: Street Art Anarchy)

 

 

Sheryo & The Yok: Surfing & Painting in Mexico

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Sheryo & The Yok are back in New York from their trip in Mexico, where they painted new pieces inspired by the Oaxacan Pacific coast (southern Mexico).

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The artists sent us pictures that we will keep on posting via our instagram of their new genius street creations in Las Olas, Puerto Escondido & La Punta. Here: Cannibal Mahi Mahi.

This trip also contributed to the inspiration and creation of new intricate artworks painted in Mexico by Sheryo & The Yok that we are releasing today: four original mixed media works, painted on fabriano paper available here.

 

Named by Complex Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Street Artists to Watch” in a row (2013 and 2014), the street artist duo is already well known in Australia and Singapore and have recently set up base in Brooklyn where they immediately embraced the local street art culture. Their mind-bending works in Bushwick and the late 5Pointz, along with the frequent new murals popping up in various parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan quickly integrated their unique style and dynamism as a new dimension to the New York street art scene.

Almost always on the road, traveling & painting, pushing through seemingly endless limits of both real and imaginative borders, their work can be spotted in cities like Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Taipei, Beijing, Paris, Singapore Bangkok and Hong Kong, as well as many other parts of the world that usually involve surf.

The Yok is also the mind and editor behind the street art magazine Kingbrown, where one can follow his encounters and interviews with other artists such as Broken Fingaz, Swoon, Aryz, etc…

 

 

Sheryo & The Yok in Mexico

Sheryo painting in Mexico