God bless Donald Trump

While the self-proclaimed ” greatest country in the world”
is getting torn apart due to the recent president-elect
I can’t help myself but to think;
” God bless Donald Trump”.

– Written by Ard Doko

In 1964, Francis Bacon met his muse (George Dyer) during a burglary in Bacon’s house. Bacon’s portraits of Dyer (who were psychotic and twisted) are often considered by critics to be the artist’s most inspired works till this day. In order for an artist to keep on creating there needs to be a source of inspiration and while many artists turn to the opposite sex for a creative answer (I’m looking at you Picasso, you cheeky bastard) others choose a whole different subject matter. Throughout the years leaders and notable figures have been portrayed by followers and protesters alike, but the U.S president has always been a controversial topic in the land of the free and brave. With Trump as the new president you can imagine he is going to be a subject in graffiti and street art, but in what ways did other U.S presidents get portrayed by artists?

Kennedy

Even though his short presidency due to his assassination, John F. Kennedy might have been the first celebrity president of the United States. Robert Rausenbergh’s silkscreen painting Retroactive 1 (1964) has  symbolic imagery that depicts the optimism and the technological advancement of the future during the Kennedy era. With mixed media snippets of a press conference ,an astronaut and other objects the artwork has not only been functioning as a visual overview but also as a memorial. Willem de Kooning (a Dutch painter that lived most of his life in the U.S) painted the president in a different state with his piece “The reclining man” (1963). The painting depicts a bullet ridden corpse and while the overall painting is leaning to an abstract piece, the details in the face clearly resembles that of Kennedy. An artwork that is still sparking controversy is Ed Paschke’s “Purple ritual” (1967). While many artists try to commemorate J.F.K, Paschke decided to portray the man that allegedly (there is still a big debate going on whether or not he’s guilty) killed Kennedy. With nationalistic banners and a gun in his hand the painting is almost a surreal image of an martyr in western society. Fifty years later the painting is still displayed behind protective glass and for a good reason.

Nixon

While one of Nixon’s greatest achievements was ending the U.S involvement during the Vietnam war, he is still considered to be one of the most hated U.S presidents in history. In 1972 he wanted to get re-elected for a second term in the White house and was up against Mcgovern. Andy Warhol (who also depicted J.F.K) was in favor of Mcgovern becoming the next president. Instead of displaying Mcgovern he made a silkscreen portrait of his opponent. It is common to portray opponents with exaggerated facial features but Warhol kept it simple. He changed the color of Nixon’s face to green, implying the Nixon is a demon/monster that will ruin the country. With the sale of the print Warhol contributed over $40,000 dollars to the presidential bid of the Democratic party but it wouldn’t  help them win the election. 2 years later Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal.

Reagan

Before Shepard Fairey would even make a name for himself in the art scene there was somebody else who did anti-political posters in the streets. After being fed up with abuse of power by the Reagan administration, Robbie Conal decided to make satirical paintings of politicians. He made posters of his paintings and gradually developed an army of voluntary guerrilla activists that helped him put them up in the major cities of the U.S . In his career he has made over 80 different posters, criticizing leaders with various political believes. In 2004 he teamed up with Shepard Fairey and Mear One to make a series of “anti-war, anti-bush” posters, however one of his most iconic poster is a portrait of Reagan with the text “Contradiction”. The poster refers to illegal funding and arming by the Reagan administration of the right-wing contras that fought the leftist Sandinista regime in at the time in Nicaragua.

Obama

Art has always been a great medium to express personal opinions and feelings and while leaders and politicians are often depicted in a negative context there are exceptions. Barack Obama, first African-American president of the U.S, might have been the most portrayed president of this day. We all remember the iconic HOPE poster made by Shepard Fairey that quickly became one of the most powerful symbols for the Obama campaign. Other street artists like Mr.Brainwash painted him as Abraham Lincoln and Superman. This sort of prophetic imagery (contrary to his predecessor Bush who got characterized as a brute) amplified his campaign quote; “Change we can believe in” and the chant “yes we can”. In 2012 Obama got portrayed by 44 African-American artists at the Charles H. Wright museum for African-American history in Detroit. The project consisted of individual takes on the life-size Obama bust they received.Preston Jackson painted two opposites on Obama’s face, a lion and a zebra, two natural enemies that come together as a symbol of unity and diversity.

And know the country has a new leader. Some say he is going to make America great again, others are voicing concern under his reign. The matter of fact is, is that Trump’s statements make him an easy subject for those who are in favor of him as well as against. I hope to see something different instead of the easy imagery like comparing him to Hitler or various adaptations of the (iconic Berlin wall graffiti)” Fraternal Kiss” . I don’t want this to be a political blog so all I personally say about this, is that I’m eager to see in what ways Trump is getting portrayed these years.

Add Fuel to the Streets! The Amazing Tile-like Pieces by Diogo Machado

Add Fuel (Diogo Machado, 1980) has been building a solid reputation as a visual artist and illustrator in recent years. Having first created a unique visual universe populated by sci-fi inspired, fun-loving creatures, this Portuguese artist has recently redirected his attention to reinterpreting the language of traditional tile design, and the Portuguese azulejo (glazed tiles) in particular. Filled with humor and mental games, his vector-based designs or stencil-based street art reveal an impressive complexity and a masterful attention to detail.

                             

Memorie Urbaine- Italy- Photo: Ines Vilardouro

Memorie Urbaine- Italy- Photo: Ines Vilardouro

 

We see you combine Street Art pieces and illustration.  How do you define yourself as an artist?

Well, I have a university degree in Graphic Design, which helped me a lot with my work as an illustrator (and artist), to get to know all the digital tools, computer programs etc. I don’t really define myself as a Graphic Designer, I haven’t work in Graphic Design for almost ten years now. Illustration was always my passion. I’ve been drawing since I was a child and when I felt that Graphic Design wasn’t the right path for me, I turned my direction towards freelance illustration. I did (and sometimes still do) a lot of cool and nice projects with awesome clients. And that is also something I include in my art. My illustration world is present in the art I do now. I combine both of them. I plan a lot digitally for my murals but sketch all the works by hand, actually it’s a mix.

Atlantic Sailfish by Add Fuel

Atlantic Sailfish by Add Fuel – Photo: Irina Karishcheva

What are your artistic influences or sources of inspiration?

I combine lots of different elements. The work I’ve been developing in the past years around ceramics, patterns and tradition obviously has a lot of influence from traditional Portuguese culture, but I always include my own personal touch, my universe. A mixture of sci-fi, cartoons and (soft) horror. I’ve been working on re-interpretations of traditional elements, so I do a lot of research in books and Internet about patterns. Currently, I’m including figures in my works as a complement for patterns, so I’m also looking into old paintings, drawings and engravings.

Add Fuel More than metal – Cascais – Photo: Rui Gaiola

From a unique visual universo full of sci-fi inspired characters and themes, lately you have reinterpreted the traditional Portuguese tile design. Tell us more about this shift in your career.

Yes, it’s been quite a ride!! As I mentioned, I worked as a Graphic Designer for some years. However it was not fulfilling me, so I steered my career towards illustration. I did a lot of nice stuff, collaborations with MTV, Red Bull, Nike, both, solo pieces and collective shows. I even released an iPhone App called “Planet Fire”, a cool little wallpaper generator.

Add Fuel- Walk Talk, Azores- Photo: Rui Soares

Add Fuel- Walk Talk, Azores- Photo: Rui Soares

 

Then in 2008, for the first time,  I had the chance the work in my hometown in a project called “CascaisArtSpace”. At that time, I was working as an illustrator, but I wanted to do something that defined me as part of the city I grew up in. Then I took this idea a step further and decided to look into something that would define me as a Portuguese. This specific project consisted of a printing on a huge canvas to be showed in the city train station.  So I tried to image how my work looked like on a wall. In Portugal, many buildings are covered with tiles, so it  made sense to explore that field. I included my illustration in a (now looking back) simple pattern and used the 17th century colour scheme of blue and yellow. It worked quite well and I was really happy with the result, so I really felt I needed to explore that further.

I checked out some ceramic techniques and got some machines for my studio to make tiles, because at that specific time, I felt like I had to put my work in the streets, return my tiles to the streets. I´m still exploring that area, but now I use the ceramic tiles to do limited editions and unique pieces, but switched to stencil for murals.      

Ceramic Work by Add Fuel

                        

Recently, you have participated in MurosTabalacera in Madrid. Tell us more about this project. Why did you decide to take part in this project in Madrid?

In early 2015, February, I visited Madrid and viewed murals in Muros de Tabacalera. Coincidentally, this year I was invited by Madrid Street Art Project to take part in this new edition. Madrid is such a nice and vibrant city and specifically Lavapiés neighbourhood. Moreover, it’s the closest European capital to Lisbon, so I really wanted to be a part of this, I couldn’t refuse. Portuguese and Spanish cultures have a lot in common and I tried to represent the connection between both cultures in my mural.  I also added the touch of a King both countries had in common in the 17th century.

Add Fuel FLIPPED in Muros Tabacalera 2016 – Photo: Add Fuel

What projects are you currently involved now or in a near future?

This year has been crazy!! I started off with going to the US for the 352 walls project, then, I went to Italy (Memoire Urbane) and Australia (Public 2016). During the summer, I’ll be mostly in Portugal, up and down the country. Then, by the end of August, I’ll go back to the US and in September and October,  I have a few more projects in September and October in Europe, but I can’t speak about them now. And in between, studio work, edition/ceramic releases and working on new pieces for shows.

                                                

Are you familiar with Amsterdam Street_Art scene? Have you ever worked here?

Not really, sorry. I know of some festivals and artists, but I’ve never been to Amsterdam (work or leisure!!). I guess it’s about time, right?

 

Add Fuel UPWARDS DESCENT Perth PUBLIC 2016

Add Fuel UPWARDS DESCENT Perth – Photo: Luke Shirlaw

Currently, there´re many interesting Street Art projects going on in Portugal and many Portuguese Street Artists are internationally well known. Can you give us reasons to explain this Street-Art Golden Age in your country?

For some years now in Portugal there are in lots of interesting projects and artists. I think by 2008 the City Council of Lisbon opened a department called GAU (Galeria de Arte Urbana) and since then the City Hall has been opened to new ideas and projects. This has promote different associations and institutions such as Mistaker Maker and Underdogs in Lisbon and Circus in Porto, (just to mention a few). These organise events and promote artists in these areas.

                                              

I guess that people also appreciate art pieces in the street.  They embrace them as enriching elements for their cityscape. I have to say that this is only my opinion, of course, and above all I’m happy and feel blessed to be able to contribute with my art.

 

Add Fuel METRICAL GEOMETRICAL EXERCISE Albany

Add Fuel METRICAL GEOMETRICAL EXERCISE Albany – Photo: Add Fuel

 

In your opinion, what is the impact of Internet,  Web2.0 and digital revolution on Street Art? Does it have an impact on your art? What art webs or artist you follow?

Impressionism started in France in the 19th century, Expressionism in the early 20th century in Germany just to mention a couple examples, and these very localized movements didn’t “explode” in the way Street_Art has exploded.  Information and ideas travelled slower in the past. I think that Street Art can be considered the first global movement in human history, and art history in particular and this is only possible thanks to the Internet. And we’re talking about art in the streets. If you’re casually walking down the street and you see an amazing mural, stencil work or past up piece, you can just take a picture with your cell phone and post it online and all of a sudden someone in another part of the globe can see it. We live in the future!

                             

Add Fuel COMVIDA

Add Fuel COMVIDA – Lisbon – Photo: Rui Gaiola

A challenge for the future? I’m working on some new techniques with ceramic, looking forward to reach that point where I’m happy with the results and will actually start doing something with that. I my murals I’ve been inserting figures, that I painted freehand. I know I can still work on that to make them better. And my constant challenge is always thinking about new ways to work with a square.

Add Fuel - Photo by Bewley Shaylor

Add Fuel – Photo by Bewley Shaylor

ASA Artist Interview Series With TUCO

Hey everyone! Great to hear from you again! Check out our latest blog interview with TUCO.

tuc1

1. We are a big fan of your work. What is coming up that we need to know?

To begin, many thanks to ASA Team for interviewing! In the near future, I’m very happy to have my first solo show in a very friendly gallery called Art Bref in Paris. I will begin in June. I try to develop my hybrid fiends called ‘manimals’ but for this event, I choose a theme, which looks really important to me. Balance and imbalance. In French, it is called “Des Equilbres”. And of course, continue to paste various stuff on streets and in the countryside!

2. What mediums do you use at the moment to make the artworks and are there any new progress in new mediums or formats?

Actually, I often use wood for making my artworks. I collect different kinds of wood, different tree species… I really love sawing, sandind, dyeing, touching, smelling wood! I like the idea to realize a different support each time. I plan to use other mediums soon such as maps, books, suitcases…

3. How do you look at the Dutch street art and graffiti scene?

To be honest, I’m not an expert about Dutch street art. But I follow very precisely the great works of Ives One and Sjem Bakkus. I was lucky to meet them in Amsterdam last year following a participation in a group show at the GO Gallery. And I hope to come again to visit the great Amsterdam. Of course, I check the walls and canvas of The London Police. Who doesn’t appreciate their stuff in fact?

4. What is the next step in to the future of street art?

Wahou, so complicated question! I don’t really know… Maybe, just a thing that should never die for kids and for everybody, in fact… Keep drawing, pasting, and writing on walls for pleasure!

5. If you have to choose, which city would you like to conquer next?

It’s again so hard to answer… but if I have to choose one today, I would pick Reykjavik. I went one time in Island, and I dream to paint a huge manimal on a wall there! I like this contrast between a city and the nature… But I really want to paint in so many cities. London, Barcelona, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Lisboa, Tokyo…

6. I have seen a big progress in your artwork. What do you think about your own
progress of the last years?

Thanks you for the compliment! Well, it’s very difficult to stand back from things and judge your own work in fact… Anyways, I try to improve myself as much as I can. I continue to discover mediums and techniques, and of course keep dreaming again and again.

tuc2

7. You’re a very dedicated artist who travels around the world. Is there any advise you
can give to younger dedicated artists and your fans?

I started painting quite late… I think I was a little bit shy to dare making something in streets.
I feel I’m not really credible to give some advice, but if I have to write one, it will be something like… Dream! And dare!

8. What is the biggest change in the last twenty years if you look at the street art and graffiti scene?

Maybe the fact that now, many people like to discover and search new drawings and pastings on walls. The “image” has changed the last few years, we no longer talk of vandalism but art now! 

9. What is your favorite work of the last year?
The next one!

Muros 2016- Street_Art Walls

MUROS -Tabacalera is a Madrid Street Art Project initiative for the Fine Arts Department of Spanish Ministry of Culture, Education and Sports whose aim is to recover the outer walls of an old tobacco factory by transforming them into a Street Art space for the delight of everyone.

This new edition of MUROS comes after the great success of 2014 edition where 26 artists participated in the festival, and a few months after the 1st INTRAMUROS Edition held last November, an event that brought together Street_Artists, art managers, journalists,  art experts and general public to share their views and experience on Urban Art and related topics.

Artist: Animalito Land Photo: MSAP

Artist: Animalito Land
Photo: MSAP

You may wonder what Tabacalera is??

Tabacalera building is located in the heart of Madrid, in calle Embajadores. The premises were built between 1780 and 1782, as part of the urban policy of Borbon Monarchs that sought the transformation of the city and set up various Royal Companies in southern districts of Madrid.

Artist: Add Fuel Photo: MSAP

Artist: Add Fuel
Photo: MSAP

Formerly a spirit-drink factory and, then, a  playing –card plant, in 1809 the Royal Tobacco Company was set ip and operated until the end of the 20th century. Currently, the premises house the National Visual Arts Centre.

Artist: Lelo Photo: MSAP

Artist: Lelo
Photo: MSAP

Two years after its first edition, Muros Tabacalera holds a new one: Urban Natures. This year urban_art pieces revolve around the concept of Urban Natures.  The aim is to reflect on the nature of contemporary cities, the ways of life in them and the type of society they embrace, as well as the hostility they exert upon people, pollution problems and lack of natural spaces.  Muros-Tabacalera seeks to change this situation from a metaphorical perspective through art pieces that substitute grey cement for nature.

Artist: Btoy Photo: MSAP

Artist: Btoy
Photo: MSAP

However, this  can be controversial since some people may claim that when your issue is the environment,  art works using chemical paint sprays can defeat the aimed message.  I´ll go back on the enviroment and Street art in a future post.

Muros Tabacalera Photo: MSAP

Muros Tabacalera
Photo: MSAP

 

The artists participating in this Street_Art festival have created their art pieces directly on Tabacalera walls for the joy of neighbours and visitors.

Street_Art Windows

Street_Art takes Madrid Windows in CALLE 2016!!! You still don´t  know what CALLE is?? C.A.L.L.E stands for Convocatoria Artística Libre LAvapiés Emergente, in English, Free Artistic Award of Emerging Lavapies) 2016 , a fantastic Street_Art exhibition taking place in Madrid these days.

Artist: Ramón Amorós - Photo: CALLE

Artist: Ramón Amorós – Photo: CALLE

C.A.L.L.E is a Street_Art exhibition in Lavapies, an emerging and creative historic district in down-town Madrid. This award is sponsored by local businesses, like bars, coffee-houses, bookshops… Artistic creations will be shown in the façades, windows and outdoor spaces of these business for two weeks.

Artis: Alva Moca Photo: CALLE

Artis: Alva Moca Photo: CALLE

Sixty artists, both domestic and international, are participating in this new edition. Visitors and neighbours have the opportunity to discover the latest trends in street painting, sculpture, photography and so on… displayed by different artists in 60 business of this district.

Artists: HO Colectivo- Photo: CALLE

Artists: HO Colectivo– Photo: CALLE

The Asociación de Comerciantes de Lavapiés, the local trade association, launched this initiative three years ago. They aimed to boost artistic creation in the district from an open and participative point of view, and as a way to attract visitors, both locals and tourists, to enjoy this experience in a friendly way and in people´s everyday lives.

Artists: Tricroico - Photo: CALLE

Artists: Tricroico – Photo: CALLE

This outdoor museum promotes relationship between artists and traders, while adding a distinctive and unique touch to the district. CALLE makes Lavapiés an open air museum, following the footsteps of similar projects in Berlin, Paris or Istanbulv

Artist: Palau - Photo: CALLE

Artist: Palau – Photo: CALLE #Street_Art

For the complete list of the art pieces and artists participating in this edition , click here.

Find out who´s won this competition, click here.

Zosen – the Interview with the Bandit

Zosen Bandido‘s amazing works are not new in Amsterdam Street Art’s blog, as we have seen some of his collaborations with Mina Hamada, the Japanese street artist whom we interviewed a few weeks ago.  Born in Buenos Aires, Zosen Bandido (Bandit in English) moved to Barcelona when he was almost a teenager and there he started his artistic career, though today you can find his works all around the world.  Zosen’s pieces are colourful and filled with geometric patterns and symbols that create his unique fantastic worlds and are able to immerse the viewer in a vivid universe.

Color Mountain by Zosen and Mina Hamada- Photo: Zosen

Color Mountain by Zosen and Mina Hamada- Photo: Zosen

Zosen, tell us about your latest works?  What projects are you currently involved in?

In the past few months we have been very busy. I’ve been travelling a lot with Mina Hamada, as you know we often collaborate. We have visited Paris, where we painted a mural with 2Shy.  We coordinated the 4th edition of La Escocesa. Also we visited Poland and Houston in US, there we painted an amazing mural.  That was fantastic since in Houston it´s difficult to find new street art pieces apart from traditional letters and tagging.

Gotowe Mural by Zosen and Mina- Photo: Lukasz Glowala

Gotowe Mural by Zosen – Gdansk- Poland- Photo: Lukasz Glowala

Back in Barcelona we painted a huge wall. To be honest, I am not so interested in so big formats. Many artists seem to compete to see who can paint the biggest mural. It´s so exhausting!  And also I think that this short of interventions boosts gentrification process in historic districts and I don’t want part of it. It’s very sad when people have to leave their homes because rents are too high for them.  Later, we took part in three collective exhibitions, one in Paris called Barcelona Mia (My Barcelona),  other in a gallery in Madrid, A través del muro, Through the Wall, with relevant artists of Spanish artistic scene and finally we were in Family and Friends in Delimbo. A collective show with friends, like Okuda San Miguel, Remed, Nano4814, Hell’o, Jon Fox and Mina.

In Penelles, Lleida, I made a mural with Mina at the GarGar Festival and right now we are in New York working in some local projects.

Photo: Zosen

Mural by Zosen and Mina Hamada in Wynwood- Miami, US – Photo: Gustavo Amaral – Click here for amazing Wynwood video!!

A busy year! What’s next?

Well, in June I’ll present a stop-motion video and two murals for Genesis Project in Metric Market and then in July we’ll run the 5th edition of La Escocesa´s Mural Festival.

Work in Process- Photo: Elena Murcia Artengo

Work in progress- Photo: Elena Murcia Artengo

Are you familiar with Amsterdam’s street art scene? Have you ever worked there?

In 1997, I visited Amsterdam for the first time with Mash, a graffiti-bomber from Barcelona. It was amazing to see all those pieces by masters like Sender, Zedz, Shoe or Delta, a pioneer combining 2D and 3D pieces.  Amsterdam is one of the most significant cities in terms of urban art. Many Amsterdam artists are benchmarks of European street art. They have created many new techniques and were pioneers in many fields. Other artists, a little younger, like Bfree or Lennard Schuumans, are doing their own contributions and are interesting too.

Tree of Life - Canvas by Zosen- Photo: Zosen

Tree of Life – Canvas by Zosen- Photo: Zosen

Tell us about La Escocesa Project! 

La Escocesa was a former industrial complex located in the district of Poblenou, Barcelona. The development was initially dedicated to the production of chemical products for the textile industry, and dates back to 1852. Since 1999, it has become a creation space and meeting point for artists, which had previously been in short supply in Poblenou and other parts of the city. Hundreds of artists and crafts people from different disciplines have worked in its facilities since then.

Photo: Lukasz Glowala

Mural in Gdansk (Poland) by Zosen – Photo: Lukasz Glowala

Now we are in fight too because in Poblenou, a district where there were many textile mills in the past, but not now. All were closed down, only chimneys remains as historic heritage. But there are many new hotels in the area and our space is resisting urban development pressures. Like other artistic or social projects of its kind, La Escocesa is a threatened space. We almost don’t receive subsidies from public bodies, so we get our own funds and our artist pay a token fee to maintain the facilities.

Mural by Zosen - Córdoba- Argentina: Photo: Zosen

Mural by Zosen – Córdoba (Argentina) – Photo: Kosovo Gallery –

You often collaborate with Mina Hamada. You define yourself as an anarchist. What’s it like working with a person from a different cultural background like Japan, a country where people are supposed to be so disciplined and respectful of public spaces?

Normally, I like working with other artists. When I met Mina she already painted graffiti. Actually we met in a workshop that I hosted for the Picasso Museum, and she attended. She painted with spray and I saw her technique was very good. She comes from the area of illustration and had experience in illustrating books for kids. Mina is not the typical Japanese woman. She’s a free spirit, born in the US, but brought up in Japan. She loves listening  to punk music. That surprised me! She looks angelical, but she’s got a wild side! We are both into veggie food too. So we share many views and we both belong to the alternative part of society;  that’s why I think our artistic relationship has run its course well.

 

Tigger and Vase by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

Tiger and Vase by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

Devil and Vase by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

Demon and Vase by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

You are like Yin and Yang, aren’t U?

Yeah! Fire versus water. She loves colours and so do I. When I paint with her I try to adapt to her style. I work more figures, more graphic aspects. Our collaborations show homogeneity and look as just one piece. We don’t use sketches. It’s an organic creative process. Each one respects the part of the other.  A natural dialogue between two artists. Something fresh and spontaneous!

Drinking Jub by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

Drinking Jug by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

What are the effects of Internet and digital shift on street art? Does it have an impact on your art?

I don’t like the fast pace of modern life too much. However, I do like being up to day with new technologies.  The democratisation of media is fine. You don’t need to be affluent to afford these technologies and make your own creations. In the 90’s, it was not easy to document our pieces and other stuff since having a video camera was not cheap. It’s important to record the pieces for the future, like Marta Cooper or Henry Chalfant  did.  However, I don’t like when artists compete to achieve “likes” in Facebook, and some new street artists are into this.

Mural by Zosen

Mural by Zosen  in Cologne (Germany)  – Photo: Rodrigo Mirando

Today there is an information overload. I like reading or watching what I’m interested in. Information is infinite, but our lives are not, so you need to stop and limit the time you spend in front of screens and other devices.  That’s because I not very active in street art social media nor web2.0

Photo: Zosen

Canvas by Zosen and Mina Hamada – Photo: Mina Hamada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASA Artist Interview Series With Roy Schreuder

Check out our latest ASA artist interview with Roy Schreuder!

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  1. We are a big fan of your work. What is coming up that we need to know?
    Thanks! I will be travelling a lot this year. In June, I will paint some big walls at Roskilde festival in Denmark and later this year I will travel around Germany, Portugal and South-East Asia to get some work done there.

  2. What mediums do you use at the moment to make the artworks and are there any new progress in new mediums or formats?
    I mainly paint walls, electricity boxes and other objects in public space. Every now and then I work on canvas or wood, like I did for my exhibition earlier this year. When it comes to paint I only use spray cans, besides the occasional bucket of latex paint. Spray cans still seem to be the best and fastest tool to produce strong images on walls. I try to push myself to progress in use of colors and to make pieces fit in their environment.

  3. How do you look at the Dutch street art and graffiti scene?
    I think we have a really big and diverse scene here. In every aspect of the scene whether it is street art, legal graffiti or train writing, there are guys that try to push it to the next level. The scene is always changing and evolving, so that works as a good motivation.

  4. In your opinion, what is does the future look like for street art?
    Who’s to say? To be honest, I don’t have a clue. Street art is widely appreciated nowadays and it seems to survive the hype. I think more and more cities will ask artists to brighten up their walls and make them a bit more interesting.

  5. If you have to choose, which city would you like to conquer next?
    There isn’t one specific city. However, I would like to travel to cities or smaller villages that have not been exposed to a lot of street art and graffiti yet. In some of the big cities there is almost an overkill of murals and pieces, so it might be more interesting to work in areas where it is still something special.

  6. I have seen a big progress in your artwork. What do you think about your own progress of the last years?
    I think it has been a good step to mainly do freehand work, next to my stencils. Now most of the walls that I paint are freehand and it just gives you a lot more options to work with a specific spot and freestyle a bit more. Therefore the results also get more surprising.

  7. You are a very dedicated artist and travel around the world. Is there any advise you can give to younger dedicated artists?
    For some reason most writers are into travelling and getting their name up abroad. In almost every city there is a friend of a friend that has a good hook-up. Crash on their couches and return the favour when they are visiting your city. For me, this has been a great way to meet people around Europe and I would recommend anyone to do the same.

  8. What is the biggest change in the last twenty years if you look at street art and graffiti scene?
    Haha. You should ask the old schoolers. Even though many people see it as a negative change, I think the internet has done a lot for the graffiti scene overall. It’s incredibly easy to find likeminded people and stay in contact with friends abroad. Also the flow of inspiration is pretty much endless. I think this is one of the reasons why styles and subjects painted by different artists got so diverse.

  9. What is your favorite work of the last year?
    The experiments with positive and negative images I would say. I think they turned out pretty well and there is still a lot of space to explore that further.
  10. You won the first Dutch Street Art Award for Best Talent. How did this made you feel and what does it mean?
    It’s nice to get credits for the work that you do and almost surreal to get an award for it. I am happy with the award and it has a nice spot on the shelf in my house.

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Graffiti Pop – An interview with Antonio de Felipe

As one of the most internationally renowned Spanish artists, with 25 years of professional success during which he has displayed his work in multiple countries, Antonio de Felipe landed a triple somersault with his Graffiti Pop Exhibitions, with an artistic approach that has put him in the lead of Spanish contemporary art and which has connected with the greater public. He welcomed me to his New York-style studio in the center of Madrid, Spain.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Tell me how the project came about to collaborate in the street art project for the Miami Marine Stadium.

When I started to work on the series about music, I had already had it in mind to do one about graffiti. I had been working on it for 2 years, and I went to Miami, where I went to Wynwood, the Sistine Chapel of graffiti, and the possibility came about to do something there, through the Stephans who wanted to prevent the Miami Marine Stadium, a work by a Cuban architect, from getting knocked down. The possibility came about to participate in a renovation project for the stadium, making it into a maritime center, a museum, and a sea-front park as a public space for all kinds of events. It was a great experience, a wake-up call to work harder, having worked with artists from around the world and having left my footprint using graffiti concepts with a pop style.

The Beast - Antonio de Felipe

The Beast – Antonio de Felipe

You are a renowned artist with more than 25 years of experience in the field. What drew you to urban art and to participate in a project like this?

Today, Street Art belongs to the collective imagination. I am interested in its topics and I give them another reading, my own personal approach. It’s also a way to assert that there are big artists in the world of Graffiti and Street Art.

What new subjects have you tackled in his exhibition?

I feed off of everything that has caught my attention in the last 4 years. At the same time, this is an homage to a kind of art that is sometimes underrated. There are people who are geniuses like Banksy, with a very coherent and interesting artistic discourse, but his work also is highly valued in the art market. This could be seen as contradictory. On the one hand, you’re making social criticism and criticizing the system and at the same time you are part of that system.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

In your Graffiti Pop exhibition, we have seen that you reinterpret urban artists, some with recognized international prestige such as Basquiat and Banksy.  Are you in contact with the world of Spanish urban art?

Not very much. I am not in contact with many graffiti artists. I didn’t see it as necessary. I have taken from urban art what interested me for my work and I have interpreted it from my own point of view. On the other hand, they are also a somewhat closed group. Many artists in urban art see me as kind of a novice. I don’t really understand their point. I’ve made tributes to street artists and they have been bothered by it. It’s a way of paying homage to them. It is a reinterpretation of what I am constantly seeing; it isn’t copying. Certain urban artists have seen it as an intrusion. I am one of the most copied artists in this country, and I take it with a good sense of humor. If they’re copying me, it’s because what I do is good.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Would you like to participate in a similar project here in Spain?

Of course, I would love to. I think that the way to promote urban art is with the dividing walls, to increase the esthetic of the cities and improve them. It’s a plus. Yes, I would love to participate in projects that are accessible to everybody.

If the local governments promoted this type of project, it would be an option to get to make the cities more beautiful.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Where does your nickname, The Beast, come from?

Hahaha, when they saw me working in Miami, they told me, “Your work is fucking amazing! You’re a beast!” They saw me as a dude with a lot of energy when I work. It was a nickname given to me by others. The phrase was really funny to me, so I created the image of The Beast, which is like Wolverine, but instead of claws, I have brushes.

I read in an interview that as a Valencian, you create in order to destroy, and urban art is often fleeting. Is this related?

The concept of Graffiti Pop was more than an exhibition of paintings. I did short-lived works and once they were finished, they were covered up. This is very much connected to the spirit of the Valencian festival, Les Falles, something created in order to be destroyed. It was interesting to me to play with the duality of exhibiting works that touch on hyperrealism, combined with short-lived works.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Was it comfortable for you to work with the Street Art materials themselves?

Years ago, I worked with airbrushes, and I worked as an idea man in an advertising agency in the pre-computer era. We did everything by hand. I had been using an airbrush since the 80’s. And I haven’t used it since, and neither the spray. I’ve had to get with the times, to use different nozzles, stencils, and use masks. I’ve combined it with my visual language which is acrylic and paint brush on canvas, so it’s been very enriching. An interesting experience. I think this is the series I have created with the most energy and drive.

Audrey by Antonio de Felipe

Audrey by Antonio de Felipe

What impact do you think the digital revolution and the Web 2.0 has had on urban art?

I know that some graffiti artists make graffiti in order to put it online, once they have the photo, which is permanent, they forget the work. It certainly has been useful in popularizing graffiti and urban art.

My favorite social network is Instagram, because it is the most visual. I use it like a travel journal, a logbook. It gives access to people so that they can follow you.

You have exhibited your work in many cities and countries. Which countries would you like to exhibit your work in where you haven’t yet?

Many. For example, New York is like the golden dream in terms of Pop Art. My artistic idols are Warhol and Velázquez. The classics constantly appear in my work, along with the playful nature of pop.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

What projects are you working on currently?

This catalog with a very urban esthetic, like a newspaper. I’ve done books before and this is a fanzine. I have given the design painstaking care up to the last detail. I am very meticulous. It comes from my time spent working at the advertising agency. I don’t limit myself only to the work, but to everything, the image, etc.

I’m also doing work on paper for collectors who are starting out. In this way I can reach a younger audience, so that they can have access to an original work at a more accessible price. This allows me to be free and they work really well. I realized that Graffiti Pop was attended by people from different generations. This was fascinating to me, because this series is very visceral. It has connected the most with all kinds of people. With this exhibition, I have lost my fear of excess, something I learned in Miami. The exhibition has to be excessive. I tried it and I think I succeeded.

Work in progress - Antonio de Felipe

Work in progress – Antonio de Felipe

Well precisely this, excess, is what Antonio de Felipe showed me at all times, an excess of generosity, friendliness, and professionalism. Without a doubt the features of any great artist.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

 

 

Street__Art Photographers

Street_Art and Ephemeral are two words that seem to live a never ending “love/hate” story. Street artists assume that, sooner or later, their interventions and artistic creations will be gone with the wind… so the need to document Street_Art works before they are “gone” is inherent to the nature of Street_Art itself. Therefore, the role of photographers becomes critical so as to preserve Street_Art for the future. Not only in terms of historical documentation, but also they provide images of the process of creation, the reaction of public,  the artistic scene, the social and political atmosphere of different neighbourhoods,  urban areas and cities. Somehow, they can modify the way we, as spectators, perceive urban art. And on the other hand, they boost street art and artists when uploading their photos in the web and woks can be seen worldwide.

Photo by Keegan Gibbs. The emotions of Street_Art creative process

Photo by Keegan Gibbs. The emotions of Street_Art creative process

Photographers´ styles differ in what they focus their cameras on. Some provide a wide documentation of Street_Art during a period of time, like Matha Cooper, who documented graffiti scene during the 80´s in New York. Others rather outline the act of artistic creation itself,  like Nils Müller, others choose to prioritize the artists …You may found a wider photographers classification depending on what they focus on in the widewalls web.

The artist in the center: Keegan Gibbs focusess on the artists themselves. He follows the graffiti writers around the city when they work with spray-cans on walls and rooftops. Keegan is able to translate the emotion and atmosphere of the creation process to his photographies.

Street art history in the center: Martha Cooper is an American photojournalist famous for documenting the New York subway tagging in the 80´s and the birth of street art. She followed the writers on their subway tours aiming to document the painting within their real context. Her world-wide famous book Subway art, a porfolio of graffiti tagging was the result. Martha Cooper also released Hip Hop Files, R.I.P. New York Spraycan Memorials and From Here to Fame.

Photo by Martha Cooper - The history of graffiti in New York

Photo by Martha Cooper – The history of graffiti in New York

The act of creation in the center: Nils Müller

This photographer focuses on the act of creation and the emotions involved in it. His visual language is sophisticated and tries to show their personalities. Recently, he releases Vandals in which he provides  insight into a hidden movement that is dangerously appealing. Instead of simply photographing the finished works, Müller documents the process behind it. Formerely, he published Bluetezeit, also documenting the graffiti painting processs.

Photo by Nils Müller - Focus on process and emotions

Photo by Nils Müller – Focus on process and emotions

Politicial action in the center: JR is a French street artist photographer whose identity is unconfirmed. He focuses on social and political issues and many of his projects are not legal, however he managed to win the TED Prize because his work tries to change the world generating public awareness on different social and political issues.

 

Photo by JR- Social criticism in Street_Art

Photo by JR- Social criticism in Street_Art

More info about Street_Art and Photography in these links:

http://www.widewalls.ch/top-10-street-art-photographers

http://www.nicholasgooddenphotography.co.uk/london-street-art-and-graffiti-photography/

http://www.urbanartcore.eu/top-urban-art-photographers/

 

Wild Welva, an amazing Street_Art project

Wild Welva is an incredible Street_Art project going on in Huelva, Spain. I had a coffee with Seba Ventana, the man behind  Wild Welva and we talked about his artistic career and his projects.

How do you define yourself as an artist?

I don´t regard myself as a graffiti writer. Often, all Street_Art is considered as graffiti, but it´s not. I´m an urban artist because I paint in the streets, not for galleries. My art has no sense indoors, inside a building. I rather paint outdoors, close to nature. Once my artistic piece is in the street is not my work any longer, but it belongs to the city and is part of urban furniture and equipment. It belongs to the people who look at them.

Horse by Wild Welva Huelva, Spain

Horse by Wild Welva, Street_Art piece in Huelva, Spain

When did your start painting?

When I was a little kid. I loved painting animals at that time.  Wild Welva is a new project I started one year ago or so, but I´ve been working with stencils and on canvas much earlier.

Where does the name Wild Welva come from?

It´s a phonetic approximation of the Arabic name of Huelva, Wild Huelva.

Lion and lamb by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Lion and lamb by Wild Welva, Street_Art piece in Huelva, Spain

What are your artistic influences or sources of inspiration?

Recently, I´ve known incredible street artists thanks to webs like Amsterdam Street Art that shares a lot of amazing works and interventions. I do like Levalet or Alexis Diaz´s works. I think they are amazing! I also love antique engravings of animals and Modernist Art that combines nature and animals, and comics too. For example, Adrian Tomine can tell a whole story with just a single image. I love that!

Although, formerly, I liked painters like Goya or Velázquez, currently I´m into contemporary artists. To be honest, I think contemporary painting is far more interesting.

Flamingos in Paris by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Flamingos by Wild Welva, Street_Art work in Paris, France

What´s your artistic education background?

I´m a self-taught artist. When I was a little kid I began painting.  I´ve worked with artist  communities, like Laca Digital Colectivo, but I did not have a formal education.

What projects are you currently involved now or you will in a near future?

As part of  Wild Welva Project , I´m involved in a crowd-funding campaign with We the Vandals, a web site in Poland that support street artists. They proposed me to choose a project and I decided to paint endangered wild species in Paris. So far, the campaign is good, so if everything goes well, I´ll go to Paris in spring.

Monkey by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Monkey by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

What materials and resources do you currently use in your street art projects or Works? 

Paper! Since my artistic technique is paste-up so,  tons of paper! A special weather resistant paper. You know sunlight is intense here in Huelva and the rain too. I was hard to find the right one, but finally I found it. Also, I use special markets. Currently, I ´m using acrylic paints to add some colour.  Some colour looks good in black and white drawings!

Monkeys and Easter

Monkeys and Easter

In terms of formats, I like big size formats. My aim is to achieve bigger formats and sizes in the future.  My works are like big jigsaws, a collage, and you need to fit all pieces together. Often, I need help because it´s really difficult to paste-up big size pieces. First, you have to glue the wall, then the rear side of the paper should be glued too, a bit of varnishing… It´s really a very ephemeral work. Much more ephemeral than graffiti!!!

Doves by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Doves by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Tell me more about Wild Welva project. How did it start? Any change?

Wild Welva started thanks to a sort of vision I had one afternoon when I went for a wals.  I love marshlands and flamingos and I often go to the flamingo wild park in Huelva outskirts. It was amazing! All those flamingos so close to the city!  I thought it would be a great idea to bring flamingos to the city. So,  I started painting flamingos all over the city. Later, I started painting other non-local animals and exotic species. I realized that I spoke through these animals, in a way they are me.

Rhino and baby by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Rhino and baby by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

What are the themes or issues that prevail in your current work? Any evolution along the time?

Wild Welva is a project focused on animals and nature. Formerly, I made some interventions with more social criticism. You can see a social aspect in what I do now, but I´m the source of it, it´s an emotional art. Some people may say they find an ecological side in my works, for example in the locked monkeys, but that´s their own interpretation, not mine.

Flamingos in Finnland

Flamingos in Iceland

In your opinion, what is the impact of Internet , web2.0 and digital revolution on street art?

Very important without a doubt, I think that today a street art work is not complete until it´s uploaded. We all strive for good photos once the piece is finished. It´s exiting when one of your works gets hundreds of likes in social media after a few hours. Years ago reaching so many people was impossible for street artists. Now, the web is a global neighbourhood.

Flamingos by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Flamingos by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

What do you think about Huelva as a street art city?  What are people or authorities’ attitudes towards street art?

Huelva is now under the media focus in terms of street art. People have changed their attitude towards street art. Thanks to Man-o-Matic´s job, street art is well accepted in our city and people are proud of their street artists and their open air museums. Man-o-Matic has made a great job in that sense! The quality of the pieces and murals is high compared to other street art works you may find in other cities.

Born to be wild by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Born to be wild by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Public authorities have a positive attitude in regard to our works. Even they have cleaned up the lots where murals are made. An example of how art can boost urban regeneration in degraded urban areas. Formerly, street Art was associated with vandalism .

Work in process

Work in process

Would you like to work in other cities?

In Malaga, right now Malaga is becoming an important street art city, in the area called Soho, you can find amazing interventions. I´d like to paint in Paris too, it´s the paste-up capital.