I know we’ve extensivelycoveredHyuro‘s recent mural in Copenhagen, but I’ve got one more thing about it to share. Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds into the above video to see her mural animate as it is shown frame by frame. Such an interesting way to tackle a massive but not particularly tall wall.
Honestly, when I see a time lapse video of street art or graffiti, I usually watch about half of it and then skip to the end to see the finished piece. I often then discover that the filmmaker has neglected to include the finished piece at all which is kind of upsetting, and when the finished piece is included, I’d still rather see a photo. Time lapses can be great, but the usually go on for too long. We get it. You use spray paint. What does the end product look like?
Well, this video of Sofles is a time lapse of sorts but it completely blew me away. I don’t think I missed a single frame of the nearly 4-minute piece except to blink. It’s extremely difficult to capture graffiti as the performance that it is, but this video comes close. It may not really capture the performance of graffiti in the purest sense, but it does turn the act of Sofles painting into a performance of sorts. Such an amazing piece. I’ve seen things a bit like this before, but never anything at this level of complexity. Kudos to Ironlak, Sofles and filmmaker Selina Miles for keeping me watching a time lapse video of painting for about 20x longer than I normally would.
One of the most pivotal aspects of street art is the democratization of public space. Whether people choose to engage or not, graffiti and street art are a way of reminding the everyday pedestrian that they have the power to manipulate their environment (sometimes at a price). Many residents of Balitmore have come to accept dilapidated neighborhoods as their everyday quality of life. The structures around them are literally falling apart due to neglect from city government property owners and has resulted in a massive property-vacancy problem. If Broken Window Theory has anything to do with it, that “If the city doesn’t care, why should I?” mentality has fostered one of the highest crime rates for any city in the country.
What does street art have to do with Baltimore’s structural issues and decline in living standards? Over a dozen street artists have taken on the task of bringing attention to these issues in a grassroots effort, through installing large pieces on some of the city’s dilapidated, vacant houses. Nether, Gaia, LNY, Noh J Coely, Mata Ruda, Nanook, Harlequinade and others have joined their forces as a non-profit organization called Wall Hunters have teamed up with Baltimore Slumlord Watch to put up large-scale murals on these eye-sore structures with QR codes alongside which informs viewers of who owns the vacant property. Simultaneously, they are creating a documentary with Nether and Carol Ott at the forefront, showing this massive issue corroding Baltimore and their relatively small effort to combat it. They’ve received a bit of funding to make their project possible but not enough, so they’ve created this Indiegogo campaign to bring it to fruition.
Sorry for all the downtime on Vandalog this week. I dunno what’s up with Vandalog’s web host. If you have suggestions of a good web host that I could move to (even though I just switched to Gandi), let me know. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading:
Another massive month in Melbourne in April with some great events, shows and work on the streets. This month I’ve also decided to include a bit more on graff and also some work off the streets in some of Melbourne’s awesome abandos.
Melbourne Train Graff. Photo by Luke McManus.
There’s been an explosion of panels running in Melbourne recently, including a couple of whole cars. Whilst some of the pieces are not the best in quality it’s still rad to see so much graff on trains again lately. Are the authorities asleep? Or is it our lack of trains to meet demand to blame so they HAVE to run them? The best of Melbourne graffiti Facebook page is a good place to keep up with what’s running, they cover anything running each day on the Melbourne rail network (good and bad). Here’s my favourite flick from the page for April. Read the rest of this article »
As a precursor to the release of a book on hand styles, entitled Flip the Script, LA graffiti writer Mike Giant gives us a brief history lesson on his introduction to Cholo graffiti. He cites the importance of understanding this history, not just in the graffiti world, but now in the graphic design world and art world, and says, “To me, it’s getting too derivative of things that were already derivative of other derivatives. It continues to just pile on.” Mike comments on the fact that graffiti writers today are picking up hand styles from the internet, as opposed to getting alphabets from their mentors.
Tatzu Nishi, who people probably know best from his Discovering Columbus project in NYC, recently had a work of his performed for 48 hours for Cultural Hijack, “a survey of provocative interventions” in London aka a bunch of street art and outdoor performances with a good budget behind them. Nishi’s Ascending Descending is a Rube Goldberg device of sorts, except nothing ever gets accomplished. Check out the video: