The Jardin Rouge is an artists’ residency center located in Morocco, near Marrakesh, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Created by the Montresso Art Foundation, the idea was to have a place of exchange and creation open only to artists, with no other purpose than seeing them evolve and grow in their creative process. The residency boasts an amazing environment and very comfortable working conditions, and it is open to both well-known and emerging artists. The only requirement is to have talent. And those who have passed through “Le Jardin Rouge” have that in spades! Lucky for us, the owner has a particularly strong passion for urban art, and the residency offers urban artists complete freedom of artistic expression.
It sounds like paradise, and that’s not far from the truth. The photographic work of Bart, from UrbanPresents, makes me fall in love with this place. The landscape, the light, everything is there to sublimate the work of the artists, whether in the park (which covers is 13 hectares!) or inside a building that also serves as an exhibition space.
French artist GoddoG was recently an artist-in-resident at Le Jardin Rouge. In his own words…
It was super welcoming. Le Jardin Rouge is one-of-a-kind. The main purpose of my visit was to deepen my technique on canvas by linking my work on walls with my work on canvas. The 10-week residency helped me develop my technical skills, and allowed me to concentrate on my work while expanding it. In addition, Le Jardin Rouge is a place to meet other artists and exchange opinions, which helped me develop further as an artist and as a critical thinker.
On Wednesday, Banksy unveiled this installation on the Lower East Side, the latest from his Better Out Than In show/series. According to Hyperallergic, the area had been covered with a tarp recently, hiding any potential work Banksy was doing. It’s not Banksy’s best work from a technical standpoint, but hey, it’s a complicated piece that was presumably executed illegally. One thing that became very clear during our Illegal August experiment (in case it wasn’t clear before) is the pretty obvious point that a mural an artist can spend a week on is usually going to look more visually stunning and well-executed than something done illegally in the dark. Even with the tarp, this installation was risky. So I certainly can’t fault Banksy for the execution.
The piece reminds me of something like Goya’s The Disasters of War series, although maybe that’s just because horses make me think of classical painting… Anyway…
What really strikes me about this piece is the “audio description” component of this installation. Instead of the funny museum-style audio descriptions that have accompanied about half the works in Better Out Than In, today’s was just a snippet of the audio from the Collateral Murder video that was leaked by Chelsea Manning through Wikileaks in 2010. The video shows US Army airstrike that kill Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, his driver Saeed Chmagh and at least others (the airstrike also wounded two children). Here is the full Collateral Murder video (warning: this video is quite graphic and potentially disturbing):
A few days ago, I raised some questions about Banksy appropriating audio of an by Syrian rebels that brought down a Syrian military helicopter in his video where rebels shoot down Dumbo the elephant. I’m still not sure what to think of that appropriation, but I think here Banksy did a great job. He isn’t using death to make a joke (even if that joke has a serious point). This installation is a sort of anti-war memorial, and the Collateral Murder audio makes the piece even more powerful.For today’s + 5, we have work by stikman (whose show I just organized at the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia), Jace, Saki and Bitches and two artists that I’m not sure about:
These images were taken over the past 6 months while I got to know the Woodstock Community and explored the explosion of new work by local and international artists. During my many visits I was welcomed by the kind majority-Muslim community, they commissioned me to do work for them and I shared many fond experiences (except for when my original custom made RETNA Art iPhone grew legs while painting a mural). I was able to freely document their lives and unique area; I even shot portraits of a small child that ended up being used for a piece I had done by my friend from Durban Pastel.
Over the past few years the level of work and roster of international artist has risen dramatically. Woodstock will soon become Cape Towns ONLY area filled with creative public expression. I believe in and support the beautification of urban areas like this and others around the world.