Despite its 130 year history Paris’ building known as Les Bains was declared unsafe in 2010. The building will undergo renovations and reopen in 2014. In the meantime, however, the building’s owner has opened it up to street artists. The residency program, known as One Day One Artist, allows artists to work in the sprawling building. The result is a kind of street art heaven. A small selection of the artists involved are pictured here: (respectively) The Atlas, Seth, Sambre, Jeanne Susplugas, SWIZ, Philippe Baudelocque, ZeeR, Thomas Canto, and STEN LEX. [via]
Street artist Sy creates cleanly crafted murals. Rather than a hurriedly executed work, Sy’s pieces appear to be carefully planned to the extent of nearly seeming more at home in Adobe Illustrator than on an alley wall. Sy clearly references and draws inspiration from 8-bit graphics and the block y polygons of early computer animation. However, the simplistic graphics style really betray an expert use of light and perspective. Subtle color shifts and familiar imagery in a surprising context add depth to the murals of Sy.
Born from a complicated mixture of graffiti, typographic abstraction and installation art, the work of Italian street artist Teo “Moneyless” Pirisi differs slightly from what you would expect to find in an outdoor space. His mathematical, geometric sketches are quiet, contemplative—an appropriate precursor to his finished installations. What started as lettering on walls steadily shifted toward pure abstraction, where Pirisi says “my efforts then dropped the symbolic meaning of the letter.”
Pirisi ditched the paint, the letters and the walls for a series of carefully choreographed suspended rope installations. He has traveled the world creating multiple iterations of these works, which are often found suspended in wild or forgotten spaces. Pirisi’s attention to perspective and material are seamless, and his placement is usually quite surprising—providing moments of wonder for curious passerby.
From the artist: “My shapes are reduced to the minimum, at the same time they carry some kind of an intense tension, an invisible movement; most of my patterns hide multiple visions and different perspectives. I think my art now speaks through geometry.”
“At age 17, I lost every possession I had accumulated in my short life span; ever since I have been a collector. My mission is to document and observe the world around me as if I have never seen it before. I take notes. Collect things I find during my travels. Document my findings. Notice patterns, Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing at a time. Record and follow what I am drawn to. It brings me immense joy to create space for what has been left behind. To preserve the history of others.”
Oakland-based illustrator and installation artist Lauren Napolitano works with found materials: wood scraps, old bottles, paper torn from old books, tattered lace and dried flowers amass in her subtle shrines, which are layered with the tiny, intricate painting style she has honed over the last decade. Entirely self-taught, Napolitano uses her thin, fragile, art-deco-inspired linework to coat forgotten relics of the everyday with new meanings, and new life. Her recent traveling project with street artist Shrine, called the “Reckless In Love Shack,” has been set up at Symbiosis and Lightning In A Bottle, and she continues to fill spaces with her lovely, lightly aged drawings and paintings, most recently at White Walls in SF and Old Crow in Oakland.
The scale and color density of artist Spencer Keeton Cunningham‘s work makes it almost impossible to ignore—but it’s the poignant, painful subject matter that makes his work difficult to forget. By pushing around the overly romanticized notion of North American Indian culture as a series of icons, sketches or markers, Cunningham is able to speak to the viewer through short, graphic strokes that hit hard. He’s interested in presenting his own take on the demonization of tribal people in American culture.
Being 1/4th Colville from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (which consists of 12 different tribes: The Colville, The Entiat, the Nespelem, the Okanogan, The Arrow Lake, The Methow, The San Poil, The Chelan, The Moses Columbia, the Palus, the Nez perce, and the Wenatchee), Cunningham is able to make assertions with his work that relates to his unique position and perspective in this world.
The subtly subversive work of artist Roadsworth fits well in the long history of street art. However, rather than finding his art on the wall, you’ll need to look down. Roadsworth, as his name suggests, sticks to asphalt. Making slight additions with paint to the language of road symbols, Roadsworth provides drivers and pedestrians alike with brain-interruptions for the morning commute. Roadsworth explains:
“The ubiquitousness of the asphalt road and the utilitarian sterility of the “language” of road markings provided fertile ground for a form of subversion that I found irresistible. I was provoked by a desire to jolt the driver from his impassive and linear gaze and give the more slow-moving pedestrian pause for reflection. The humourlessness of the language of the road not to mention what I consider an absurd reverence for the road and “car culture” in general made for an easy form of satire.” [via]
The work of Mexican artist Curiot is still on display at FFDG in San Francisco. If you find yourself around those parts and have not yet seen the exhibition, then fear not- you still have three days to roll through. Age of Omuktlans closes this Saturday. I would get there before then if I were you. Curiot’s technique is looking pretty solid with this new batch of paintings that allude to Mexican traditions (geometric designs, Day of the Dead styles, myths and legends, and tribal tinges). His characters seem to exist outside of time, and possess so much magnetism that the artist’s compositions maintain a certain vibrancy even in the absence of any background elements. Spring is here, and these works express a lot of the churning, dynamic forces coming into play outdoors right now. Rain or shine, Curiot seems to have a handle on the natural dynamics constantly at play around us. And if you can’t make it to the SF institution’s IRL location, click past the jump to see more images from the show.
Mosstika Urban Greenery is a NYC based collective of eco-minded street artists, using gorilla tactics to evoke the call of man back to nature. They believe that if everyone had a garden of their own to cultivate, we would have a much more balanced relation to our territories. It is with this notion in mind, that Mosstika, aim to collide the worlds of art and nature, creating havens of unexpected greenery, within the colder harsher environment. Together they aim to give green guerrilla tactics a new twist by creating works meant to be touched, in turn aiming to touch the souls of all that pass by. Mosstika strives to call back to mind a more playful existence, returning man to nature, even among the barren patches of urban existence.