MURAL KINGS TATS CRU AT THE HOUSTON/BOWERY WALL

Boogie Down bombers the Tats Cru representing New York in its classic flava, the Houston Wall is now blessed by some of the original mural kings, and all seems right with the world for a moment. 

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a legion of fans on the sidewalk and on social media saying that Bio, Nicer, and BG183 were finally bringing New York back to this New York wall, the trio was joined by a who’s who of peers and fans over a cold 4-day installation in a way that reminds this town of its proud roots in graffiti and the myriad styles it spawned.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the end, this is a love letter to New York on many levels. It’s a memorial to Tony Goldman, who captured the zeitgeist of the early graffiti/Street Art movement and provided opportunities for artists.

There is a black and white VIP section that reinvents a Tseng Kwong Chi of Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf standing infront of the wall – a meta experience to see NY graff royalty stopping by to tag the image of the Houston Wall that showed people tagging the Houston Wall. New aerosol contributors included people like Zepher, Terror 161, Duster, and Dez and many others.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Among other pop imagery and classic fonts and letter styles sits a stylized heart from the famous Milton Glaser design of I (heart) NY at the very center. Additional work was contributed by Daze and Crash and a special tribute is made for local activist Liz Christy who began the First Community Garden in New York City in 1973 nearby.

“’Bout time we got some real NY graff writers to rock that wall,” said Da Kid Tac on Instagram, a possible reference to the number of Street Artists who have been invited to paint here over the last few years. Based on the responses and happy reunions of writers and fans we saw over many visits to the wall during its production, Tats Cru has again created an instant classic.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Original image of Haring in front of the Houston Wall reprised by Tats crew. Tseng Kwong Chi © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Famed photographer Martha Cooper helps to fill in the VIP Tags section of the wall. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Graffiti writer Duster was also on hand to tag the VIP section of the wall. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NILS WESTERGAD PAINTS ONE OF “THE UNFORGOTTEN” WITH URBAN NATION, BERLIN

“endangering the morality and purity of the German race”, said §175 of the Criminal Code when referring to gay people.

Lies like that persist in other countries today, as does persecution of sexual minorities. The World Economic Forum in 2018 said that 73 countries still outlaw homosexuality, despite the move to legalize same-sex marriage in 26 others.

Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

This Sunday was worldwide Holocaust Remembrance Day and the new portrait painted by Belgian-American Street Artist Nils Westergard for Urban Nation  museum is that of a victim of the Nazis who was made to wear the pink triangle sewn onto his concentration camp uniform.

“I was digging through images of camps and prisoners for a few days,” says Westergard of his search for the right image for this 2 meter wide, 6-story high wall in Berlin.

Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“There are only so many that are classified as homosexuals or for sex crimes in general,” he says as he describes needing to incorporate a pre-existing sculpture of 200 metal origami birds that form a triangle into the composition by artist Mademoiselle Maurice.

He says that he ultimately discovered the image of this individual, a 32-year old locksmith named Walter Degen who was born January 4, 1909. While it is known that he was at Auschwitz and transferred to Mauthausen, it is not known if he survived the Holocaust.

Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Today we shout Walter Degen’s name from the rooftops and from this new wall to remind us how wrong we humans have historically been and how much we have learned, how much we still have to learn. We’re proud of Mr. Degen’s memory and honor his right to have loved another Mr.

Our thanks to photographer Nika Kramer for sharing her excellent images of this wall with BSA readers.

Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Nils Westergard. “The UNforgotten” Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall Project. Berlin, Germany. 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)

URBAN NATION x Nils Westergard:
The UNforgotten – Edition 1


Thanks to Yasha Young, Urban Nation Director.

URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART.

With support of “Faces of Auschwitz” project.

About “The Unforgotten”
The wall at Bülowstraße 94 follows a very special leitmotif: it is a memorial for the victims of the Nazi regime, who were persecuted, abducted, imprisoned and murdered for homosexuality. This memorial wall in the LGBTQI-influenced neighborhood of Berlin-Schöneberg will over time transform again and again, as a reminder.

TWO WRITERS WALK INTO A TUNNEL: MUSA71 X SIRO IN BARCELONA

Part of the experience of making art in the street is the interaction with people passing by. Other times it’s about being out with your mates or peers, hitting up walls that are near each other – sharing opinions, jokes, paint. Of course when you are in your own creative zone you also may be able to block out everything; people and sounds and smells. You escape into the paint, the movement, the physicality, the shapes and colors.

MUSA. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. January 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

This month Musa71 and Siro hit a tunnel together in in Rafael Casanova in Barcelona, each painting their own piece. They say they liked it and today we have pictures from their dual project – which turned into a friendly competition.

MUSA. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. January 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

Writing graffiti since ’89, Barcelona local Musa71 says she’sa self-taught artist who is passionate about the letterform and exploring a number of styles just to get an appreciation for ways to manipulate them while keeping them legible.

MUSA. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. January 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

Galicia born Siro studied fine arts over the last four years here in Barcelona and he says that he spends a lot of time painting and tattooing.  

“After 10 years of painting, I think I have already turned this habit of painting into my little shelter, into an escape route from all the rest,” he says in a press release. He wouldn’t be the first to admit to developing an addiction to graffiti and mural making – we’ve met many.

It’s good to see how these two artists work have some overlap – at least here in this tunnel in Barcelona.

SIRO. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. January 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
SIRO. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. January 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)
SIRO. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12 + 1 Project. Barcelona. January 2019. (photo © Clara Anton)

GLEO PAINTS “THE ORIGINAL DREAM” IN KANSAS

A blended composition of communities in a somewhat theatrical and warmly surreal rendering with personal features and cross-cultural decorative finesse, these folks painted across 17 silos in Witchita are not just going for special effects.

With a meditation on otherness and inclusiveness, Colombian muralist Gleo has brought the all the neighbors to this wall, intermingling social justice themes with characters and human nature – all passed through her mystical subconscious, her appreciation for ancestral cultures, and layered visual vocabulary.

GLEO “The Original Dream” Horizontes Project. Wichita, Kansas (photo courtesy of Horizontes)

Organized by multi-disciplinary artist Armando Minjarez the new composition is part of a public painting program and community engagement project called Horizontes that is meant to give visibility to two underrepresented neighborhoods in north Wichita, the predominantly Latino NorthEnd neighborhood and the historically African American Northeast neighborhood.

It looks like a stunningly effective and positive project that draws attention to groups of people who can be rendered invisible by industrial strength systemic blindness.

GLEO “The Original Dream” Horizontes Project. Wichita, Kansas (photo courtesy of Horizontes)

Aside from its size (4,500 sm), its 650 gallons of paint, and its time and cost overruns with 5 assistants over 11 weeks, the new community mural keeps the conversation fresh, and gives a pretty modern face to the city.

Public art initiatives like this can be a powerful key to fostering community – these Witchita neighborhoods are both physically and psychologically separated by these large grain elevators. The concept of community mural continues to evolve and this one shows promise for engaging modern ways to address social issues while honoring people and traditions.

GLEO “The Original Dream” Horizontes Project. Wichita, Kansas (photo courtesy of Horizontes)
GLEO “The Original Dream” Horizontes Project. Wichita, Kansas (photo courtesy of Horizontes)
GLEO “The Original Dream” Horizontes Project. Wichita, Kansas (photo courtesy of Horizontes)

MURAL KINGS TATS CRU AT THE HOUSTON/BOWERY WALL

Boogie Down bombers the Tats Cru representing New York in its classic flava, the Houston Wall is now blessed by some of the original mural kings, and all seems right with the world for a moment. 

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a legion of fans on the sidewalk and on social media saying that Bio, Nicer, and BG183 were finally bringing New York back to this New York wall, the trio was joined by a who’s who of peers and fans over a cold 4-day installation in a way that reminds this town of its proud roots in graffiti and the myriad styles it spawned.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the end, this is a love letter to New York on many levels. It’s a memorial to Tony Goldman, who captured the zeitgeist of the early graffiti/Street Art movement and provided opportunities for artists.

There is a black and white VIP section that reinvents a Tseng Kwong Chi of Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf standing infront of the wall – a meta experience to see NY graff royalty stopping by to tag the image of the Houston Wall that showed people tagging the Houston Wall. New aerosol contributors included people like Zepher, Terror 161, Duster, and Dez and many others.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Among other pop imagery and classic fonts and letter styles sits a stylized heart from the famous Milton Glaser design of I (heart) NY at the very center. Additional work was contributed by Daze and Crash and a special tribute is made for local activist Liz Christy who began the First Community Garden in New York City in 1973 nearby.

“’Bout time we got some real NY graff writers to rock that wall,” said Da Kid Tac on Instagram, a possible reference to the number of Street Artists who have been invited to paint here over the last few years. Based on the responses and happy reunions of writers and fans we saw over many visits to the wall during its production, Tats Cru has again created an instant classic.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Original image of Haring in front of the Houston Wall reprised by Tats crew. Tseng Kwong Chi © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Famed photographer Martha Cooper helps to fill in the VIP Tags section of the wall. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Graffiti writer Duster was also on hand to tag the VIP section of the wall. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)