Web hosting craziness link-o-rama

Photo by Luna Park

For the last week or so until today, we’ve been in the process changing Vandalog’s web hosts. No need to get into the technical details, but now the site should run more smoothly and with less downtime. Unfortunately it means that we haven’t been able to write anything new on the site since that process began (everything that’s gone online was pre-scheduled). So this is a mega-link-o-rama combining the usual weekend link-o-rama content with stuff that I could have written about last week even if I’d had the time.

Photo by Luna Park

Finals are approaching link-o-rama

OX in Paris
OX in Paris

This weekend I’ve been without solid internet access, and Caroline and I have both been knee-deep in exams and final essays for the last week, so here’s a belated link-o-rama…

Photo by OX


Weekend link-o-rama


Happy reminder that we’re less than a month from Christmas…

Photo by Hyuro

While I was in Stavanger… link-o-rama

Ron English working on his mural at Nuart

For most of last week, I was in Stavanger, Norway for the 2012 Nuart Festival. Naturally, even though I was there in part as press, I spent very little time on my computer and didn’t do any blogging. So, expect a full post or two about Nuart later this week, but for now here’s what I missed writing about while I was away:

Photo by Ian Cox


A long overdue post: Living Walls 2012

Mon Iker

Last month, I was at the Living Walls Conference in Atlanta, but it’s only now that I’ve really had a chance to sit down and write about it. I thought that I was going to write this really long post, but the environment at Living Walls is difficult to capture in words, so this post isn’t nearly as long as I would have hoped.

Miso. Click to view large.

Living Walls is, as far as I can tell, the best mural conference/festival/program going on right now in North America. Living Walls doesn’t tend to just invite all the artists who are painting at other mural events around the world. They invite good artists. Sometimes those artists are guys like Roa who are everywhere, and sometimes it’s women like Miso who have only ever painted one or two murals. As a result, Living Walls sets trends among mural festivals.

Lex and Sten

For their main conference this year, Living Walls really bucked popular trends and tried to put street art on a new track by having a festival made up almost entirely of female muralists. While guys like Gaia, LNY and I were still invited to speak at the lecture and panel portion of the conference, the murals by Lex&Sten and Indigo&Andrzej Urbanski were the only two where male artists were contributing.

Martina Merlini

While the murals weren’t as amazing on the whole as they were last year and the crowd of artists wasn’t nearly as rowdy (although that might have been a plus), this year’s Living Walls did bring some great work to Atlanta and really showed that there are some underrated female street artists and muralists out there who could be on the mural circuit as much as guys like Jaz or Roa. My hope and expecting is that the top-tier of artists from the conference will get more attention brought to their work thanks to Living Walls and some will start getting invited to a lot more mural festivals. As I’ve said in the past, I do not generally get excited to give artists preferential treatment based on them belonging to some underrepresented group, but I can see why an all-female Living Walls may have been the right move for this year even if the quality of the work did drop slightly.

Jessie and Katey

This Living Walls conference had more artists than ever before who were either more on the community mural side of the spectrum or had never painted a mural before. The results of that move were mixed, but there were some artists like Jessie&Katey and Mon Iker who took the opportunity and absolutely crushed it.

Hyuro. This wall has since been painted over.

One thing I have to add isn’t so much about the art though. Whether Living Walls were inviting only artists that none of us have ever heard of before or stealing their line-up from Nuart, it would still be at least one of the best mural conferences in the world. That’s because Living Walls’ secret is in their amazing staff. Living Walls has best team of volunteers of any mural festival I’ve ever seen or could imagine. They are unbelievably dedicated to the festival and to getting more world-class street art and murals in Atlanta. Every day, the media team led by Alex Parrish was up until something like 4am putting together a video of what had gone on that day, and then they’d be back up at 7am to start filming all over again. Just last week, I was emailing with Keif Schleifer, their Logistics Director, who was spending her free time advising me on cherry-pickers. The day of the Vandalog Movie Night, volunteers showed up out of the blue to help us set up and run the show. Laura Calle and pretty much everyone else on staff who spent their own money to pay for the gas to drive myself and the artists around Atlanta. The drag queen who was a volunteer last year and this year helped arrange a drag show for the Living Walls Block Party. The artist assistants who stand in the hot sun alongside their artists all day long, offering any help they can. And of course, Monica Campana, the Executive Director of Living Walls, who is the amazing glue holding everything together without ever sleeping or slowing down. Everyone on staff or volunteering at Living Walls works at least as hard as the artists, and they were certainly working harder than me. After visiting two years in a row for just a few days each time, it honestly feels like I have family in Atlanta.


Much more after the jump… Continue reading “A long overdue post: Living Walls 2012”

The saga of Hyuro in Atlanta

On September 16th, Hyuro‘s mural in Atlanta was buffed by members of the Living Walls team. As I wrote last month, the mural that Hyuro painted for this year’s Living Walls Conference was the highlight of the festival, but it was considered controversial by some of the local residents. Of course, street art and murals cannot last forever, nor should they, but it’s difficult to not be at least a little sad about the swift rejection of this mural by the community. Creative Loafing Atlanta has a great slideshow going over the story of the mural from start to finish.

Both Hyuro and and (Living Walls co-founder and executive director) made statements about the mural and it’s removal.


Each person can take it the way they want to, because it is for everyone …and at the end, if it gets painted over, know that the gray paint will not hide the fears of no one, but if anything It will make those fears more visible.

Monica Campana:

Paint on this wall made for a beautiful mural, people talking about it made for a beautiful conversation. A public space was created and all of a sudden this dead intersection became more human. The mural belonged to all of us, to the ones that liked it and to the ones that didn’t, it was our dialogue, it was our challenge, but now it’s gone. Now we are back to ignoring that space again, now we are back at thinking that erasing the evidence will make us think this never happened. It hurt so much to paint over the wall, to destroy something someone else put so much heart and passion into. It was a painful process, but what hurt the most was that for the first time I felt like I had to censor myself. It was a weird feeling, a confusing and ugly feeling that I never want to experience again.

Photo by Dustin Chambers via Creative Loafing Atlanta

Weekend link-o-rama

Zéh Palito and Tosko

It is time for me to get a reasonable number of hours of sleep. Until I have to get up in the morning. Here’s what we didn’t get to write about on Vandalog this week:

Photo by Zéh Palito

Hyuro mural in Atlanta under threat for too much “T & A”

A portion of Hyuro’s finished wall. Photo by Dustin Chambers.

Update: It looks like the latest news, as of August 27th, is that this mural is going to be removed.

My personal favorite mural at this year’s Living Walls Conference (which took place in Atlanta last week and we’ll be covering more from there soon) has to by Hyuro‘s mural in the Lakewood Heights neighborhood. It’s also proved to be the most controversial mural of the conference to date, with some people worried that the mural is too lewd for having in a public space, particular a space nearby a church, a mosque, a lot of street prostitution and a federal prison. Personally, I think the mural brightens up an otherwise drab wall and parking area.

Photo by RJ Rushmore

Hyuro painted a frame-by-frame animation (of 30-some frames) which can be seen by walking down the length of the mural. The animation is of a women growing fur and then shedding that fur, which turns into a wolf and walks away from her. It’s based on an animation she made last year using drawings:

The way I read the mural, it was empowering to women, urging them to be strong and go out into the world with the strength of a wolf. The way I’ve heard Hyuro explain it, the mural is about shedding one’s animal instincts for higher planes of thought. Either way, a great message.

But not every mural is for everyone, and any mural that everyone likes is almost sure to be a boring one. In a thread on the website i-Neighbors, some Lakewood Heights residents have complained that they find the mural offensive, with some even saying that they will now change their usual routes to work or school in order to avoid them or their children seeing it. I had a quick read through of the i-Neighbors posts, and while there are certainly some people who want the mural removed, most of the posts expressing in opinion one way or the other are from people who are okay with the mural or who love it. According to Alex Parrish, Living Walls’ Director of Communications, the response to the mural over social media has been overwhelmingly positive.

Hyuro working on her mural. Photo by RJ Rushmore.

Unfortunately, the local news seems to be over-hyping a friendly discussion amongst neighbors into a full-blown controversy and now Hyuro’s mural truly is at risk of being removed. Eeven though Hyuro had the permission from the owner of the wall to paint there, the city of Atlanta does still have some control over what goes there. The initial plans that were submitted to the city included a sketch by Hyuro, but upon showing up at the wall, the artist changed her mind about sample work by Hyuro, and upon showing up at the wall, she decided what to paint given the shape of the wall and how her animation could fit there perfectly, as well as provide an uplifting message for the neighborhood. As a result, the mural was not really approved by the city. On Wednesday, Living Walls resubmitted plans to the city based on the finished mural. The final decision is still pending.

Hyuro’s mural in progress. Photo by RJ Rushmore

If you want to voice your opinion on the mural, you can email Camille Russell Love, director of Atlanta’s Director Office Of Cultural Affairs. Her email is CRLove -at- atlantaga.gov. Living Walls (and I) would really appreciate your support of this beautiful artwork. As I understand it, many of the people upset with the mural have contacted Love and other city officials, and so it’s extremely important that those who are in favor of keeping the mural make their voices heard as well.

Photos by Dustin Chambers and RJ Rushmore

Katowice Street Art Festival – part 2


In continuation of Katowice Street Art Festival – part 1, this post concludes the two-part series on the Katowice Street Art Festival, which took place last month from April 20th to the 29th.

Toward the end of last month the Katowice Street Art Festival came to a close. Held in southern Poland, the festival featured a reputable lineup of street artists from around the world including Roa, GanzeerEscifHyuroLudoM-CityOlek, Mentaglassi, and more. The energy surrounding these artists provided the opportunity for a few local artists to exhibit some work on the streets as well (though not affiliated with the festival). Here are some more of the completed murals, and an interesting collaboration between Mark Jenkins and Moneyless; the only two artists involved whose outdoor work primarily consist of sculptures.

Mark Jenkins and Moneyless collaboration
Mark Jenkins and Moneyless collaboration
Etam Cru

Photos by Kalevkevad

Katowice Street Art Festival – part 1

Escif. Photo by Foto Sigma DP1S

Poland is playing host to some of the world’s most talented street artists and muralists for the Katowice Street Art Festival. From April 20th to the 29th, the festival will feature artists such as Escif, Hyuro, Mark Jenkins, Ludo, M-City, Olek, Roa, Moneyless, and many more. Here are a few of the pieces already in progress or completed. There are many more photos on the festival’s facebook page.

Fantastic piece by Olek. Courtesy of Arrested Motion.

Ludo’s piece is a massive wheatpaste that incorporates paint. It looks great, but the one worry I have for this piece is that someone will probably have to paint over the eyesore that’s left when the paper weathers and inevitably comes down.

Ludo. Photo by Wojciech Nowak
Mark Jenkins. Photo by Foto Sigma DP1S
Hyuro in progress. Photo by Paweł Mrowiec
Tellas and Moneyless. Photo by Tellas

Photos by Foto – Sigma DP1S, Wojciech Nowak, Tellas and Paweł Mrowiec, also courtesy of Arrested Motion

Via Arrested Motion and Street Art News