A few months ago when we were back in Berlin during Urban Nation we had a chance to go out on a mission with one of Berlin’s most prolific graffiti crews, the Berlin Kidz. Take a look closer and you’ll see them repelling down the wall to catch their tags. And as that was going on Alaniz had his mile high roller brush working on the middle finger from the ground. What’s crazy about this spot is Blu had buffed the entire wall black a few months prior as he didn’t like the real estate developers idea of having new condos that would have a great view of the local art hot spot. This was the message the Berlin Kidz and Alaniz had to say about that. Check out the time lapse and action photos shot by Birdman.
Part of the ongoing curated projects by Urban Nation in Berlin, Germany project M8 was curated by Stolenspace Gallery and featured just about every major contemporary artist. First of many postings from this project is the beautiful and quite massive mural by Shepard Fairey and the Obey team. Take a look at their process in the pics we got while hanging out with the crew for a couple of days.
Pics by: Birdman Photos
Our favourite Berlin-based Aussie, Reka is opening his latest show, OLYMPVS at Avantgarden Gallery.
Renowned for his graffiti, Reka’s work is populated by figures from anthropomorphic forms, playful but disturbing as it combines contradictory emotions: humour and foreboding menacing. These abstract and surreal figures, constructed from sharp lines, dynamic movements and bold colours, invade the streets of the city, “climbing” on brick walls and giving the urban environment a new layer of ‘literary colours’
The subjects by Reka, perfectly inserted in the Berlin metropolitan context, promote dialogue between the viewer and the surrounding environment. Reka’s art is not limited to the studio work he has been producing, but will overspill to the walls of the gallery too, spreading from the confines of the canvas to to the real world as his characters cross over the boundaries of fantasy and reality.
For artwork enquires and exhibition catalogue please contact:
AVANTGARDEN GALLERY www.avantgardengallery.com
Via Cadolini, 29 – 20137 Milano
Brooklyn Street Art recently kicked off the 7th part of Urban Nation’s Project M series. We caught up with BSA directors Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo to get the lowdown on their part of the project.
VNA: So, why did you guys put this together?
Steve: We had a couple of goals when putting ‘Persons of Interest’ together – one was to counter the cultural imperialism that can happen in these large street art/mural festivals around the globe right now. It is sort of in response to a critique we have heard in the last few years as an international circuit of recurring Street Art “names” go into a host city and leave work that people can’t relate to personally. We wanted to leave work that people in Berlin could feel connected to.
Jaime: We also asked each of the 12 artists to do research and produce a portrait of someone who lived in Germany or who lives in Brooklyn and is from Germany – a cultural exchange that highlights the real connection that Brooklyn and Berlin artists communities have had for decades, something we’re both personally familiar with as artists. The results have been nothing short of amazing (and gratifying) to us, because each of the artists chose people who they also relate to – realist and Dadaist artists, social and political activists, a writer and poet, an icon of the silver screen, Turkish immigrants, even a German photographer who lives next door to one of the artists in Brooklyn.
“Time flies when you’re having fun,” was Bart Smeets’ aka Smates’ reaction when we first told him it had been a whole five years since we last covered him here at VNA. In the meantime he has managed to achieve that closest held dream of every creative mind, to make a living from his love. Although, as he later mentioned, such an achievement has come at a cost. With an interview that was five months in the making, we touched bases with him again after all this time for an update on how things have progressed.
Stendhal Syndrome or Florence syndrome is a psychosomatic condition caused by viewing certain artistic or historical artifacts, especially when the art is particularly beautiful or a large amount of art is in a single place. With that in mind, Icelandic artist Katrin Fridriks, named an entire series of works after this phenomenon, and finally, her current solo show @ Circle Culture gallery in Berlin. The landmark show opened on 21st of November and is one of her most significant projects to date by many accounts.
The significance of this event can be seen through the fact that this particular exhibition will be the core of Fridriks’ first monograph that’s gonna be released through Skira Publishing later this year. Focused on 13 years of creation & evolution of her distinctive style and technique, the book will be explaining and showing her work through pieces now showing in Berlin.
One of the main characteristics of Fridriks’ abstract paintings and conceptual installations are limitless ways of viewing the works. Her unique expressive technique that include thick layers of paint flowing and splattering over canvas, results in complex visuals that can be seen as a whole, but also, examined in almost limitless macro perspective. In order to present this sensation, the artist produced an interactive installation titled Perception of the Stendhal Syndrome vs. Gene&Ethics – Master Prism. Consisting of an over sized magnifying glass and a large canvas, this piece allows the observer to immerse into the artwork and experience it in a way that wasn’t possible before. This groundbreaking approach to presenting her work, secured Fridriks participation at the 56th Venice Biennale, so after closing of the show on 15th of February, this installation will be on view at the Palazzo Bembo in Venice.
Almost simultaneously, another piece from the show, Riding Awareness – Noble Eye-Catcher, will be shown at Reykjavik Art Museum as a part of a big group show titled Just painted (Contemporary Painting In Iceland). This historic exhibition will feature works by most important contemporary Icelandic artists, and Fridriks will be represented with this signature colorful installation, that is balancing between painting and sculptural work.
Our main man Henrik ‘Lamar’ Haven was out in Berlin for the latest installation of Urban Nation’s ‘Project M’ series, curated by Jonathan LeVine. Featuring work from DAN WITZ, DALEAST, JEFF SOTO, NYCHOS, OLEK, SANER, ONUR, WES21, ALO, SOKAR UNO, CANVAZ.
Brazilian artist Nunca went to Berlin to check out the local vibes and paint some walls. Dscreet followed with a camera. This is what happened. You can check out our full interview with Nunca in print in the issue 28 of VNA.
‘Meanwhile in Ultraland’ is LOOK, aka Lars Wunderlich’s upcoming solo-show at Epicentro art showcase his current works on canvas, drawings and prints. The exhibition centers around the series …It was all green instead.
The topic of the big sized paintings is going back to a dream LOOK had as a teenager: Plunging into the fluid ground of the earth he was able to see the blurred world from below. Carrying and being inspired by this vision LOOK felt now encouraged to paint what he saw down there so many years ago. This dream considered as a starting point for the entire imagery of the artist is strongly connected to the topics he is dealing with. Meanwhile in Ultraland is a post apocalyptic world, ruled by nature.
Opening October 12th – 26th
More info: www.epicentroart.com
TwoOne is one of Australia’s leading street artists and ‘OUTSIDERS’ is a body of work completed in a new Berlin studio.
‘OUTSIDERS’ opens this Friday at 6pm (Oct 10th) at Backwoods Gallery.
TwoOne has been kind enough to chat and tell us a bit more about he exhibition and his processes. Keep reading as there is a terrific process video too!
Damo: Tell us a bit about yourself, how you got into art, and how you describe your work to someone who hasn’t been lucky enough to encounter it before:
TWOONE: I’m originally from Japan, move to Melbourne at age of 18. I then lived and started working as artist in Melbourne for 10 years. I moved to Berlin early this year.
I work with lots of different material, and form, and my style changes depending on what I use. There is loose theme that goes through my work, which is psychological portrait.
Psychological portrait is visual translation of people’s emotions, and personality, often usings animals as symbols.