The Wa brings the street inside, but not in that cheesy “I’m a street artist painting on canvas, therefore I’m bringing the street inside” way

The completed indoor component of “Skate-anti-skate” by The Wa

Not all of these works are particularly new, but I want to point out a series by The Wa where he’s been improving cities in subtle ways that might not be immediately apparent as art, until he brings the results of his interventions into the gallery as sculpture. These works by The Wa are reminiscent of Brad Downey‘s CCTV Takedown series, but with a more labor-intensive process and a slightly different focus on what in the city modification. At the end of the day though, both series attempt to improve the general public’s experience in cities by providing more freedom in public spaces and both series involve highlighting the work through sculptures that get displayed indoors. Which is not to say that I don’t love what The Wa is doing as much as I love Downey’s series. On an aesthetic level, I actually prefer the sculptural end product that The Wa produces.

The sculpture shown above, Skate-anti-skate, was made from metal “skate stopper” pieces that The Wa removed from the street in Berlin in 2011. If you don’t skate, you may not have noticed things like this before, or you may have thought nothing of them, but skaters know them all too well. The seemingly functionless metal studs that often break up otherwise long and smooth sections of marble or metal in public spaces are there to make those spots difficult or impossible for skateboarders to skate on. For this sculpture, The Wa removed some skate stoppers to salvage the materials and reassemble them into something that looks like a skateboard. See the GIF below for before and after shots of where he got the material from:

Continue reading “The Wa brings the street inside, but not in that cheesy “I’m a street artist painting on canvas, therefore I’m bringing the street inside” way”

Safari in the urban jungle with The Wa, OaKoAk and fra.biancoshock

The Wa
The Wa

The Wa, OaKoAk and fra.biancoshock recently teamed up on a project across cities where all three of them made work on the theme of a “safari in the urban jungle.” The work was made in Milan, Berlin, Dusseldorf and St. Etienne. The three artists agreed on a theme, but beyond that each of them had no idea what the other two were making for their contributions to the project.

The Wa
The Wa
The Wa
The Wa
The Wa
The Wa
The Wa
The Wa

Photos courtesy of The Wa

Nuart part 3: The odd outdoor bits

Jordan Seiler. Photo by Ian Cox.

In part 3 of my series of posts about this year’s Nuart Festival (here are parts one and two), I want to highlight some of the less traditional outdoor work at the festival. While mural festivals like Nuart are known for, well, murals, three artists went a different direction for their outdoor contributions to Nuart: The Wa, Jordan Seiler and Aakash Nihalani.

Aakash Nihalani. Photo by Ian Cox.

Aakash Nihalani’s work was, as usual for him, tape-based. While it was 2D like a mural and could have theoretically been painted in the same spot with similar results, the tape reinforces the idea that street art is ephemeral. You couldn’t preserve one of his pieces outdoors even if you tried.

The Wa. Photo courtesy of The Wa.

The Wa installed a series of small sculptures resembling pools of oil in one of the main squares of downtown Stavanger, with the oil leading a path from the sea (where there is a lot of oil) to the nearest ATM. Again, a temporary intervention, but also a sculptural one. Nuart has had sculptures before, but it’s still not all that common at other, similar, festivals.

Jordan Seiler. Photo courtesy of Jordan Seiler.

Perhaps the most shocking of all were Jordan Seiler’s ad takeovers. He replaced around two dozen public advertisements (two large billboards and the rest bus-stop ads) with his own art. Like Aakash, that’s pretty much Jordan doing what he usually does, but it’s something that not many other mural programs seem likely to embrace, particularly programs like Nuart that get government funding. Nuart’s ballsiness is certainly to be commended. That said, it’s important to note that Jordan did something similar but on a much smaller scale in the early days of Living Walls. Unfortunately, only the large billboards lasted more than about 12 hours. Those bus-stop ad guys are quick.

More photos of work by Jordan Seiler, The Wa and Aakash Nihalani after the jump… Continue reading “Nuart part 3: The odd outdoor bits”

See you at Nuart Festival 2012?

Skewville at Nuart 2009

This year’s Nuart Festival takes place later this month in Stavanger, Norway, and I’ll be there along with a really amazing group of artists and speakers. This year’s artist lineup is Aakash Nihalani, Dolk, Eine, Ron English, Saber, How and Nosm, mobstr, Niels “Shoe” Meulman, Jordan Seiler, The Wa and Sickboy. I’m excited to see the “mostly legal” work that those artists get up to.

I’ll be participating in three events at Nuart Plus, a 3-day international summit on street art taking place during the festival. Evan Pricco, Tristan Manco, Carlo McCormick and others will be speaking there too. Here’s what I’m involved in: On the 27th, Jordan Seiler and I will be giving a tour of some of the art (and ads) in Stavanger; On the 28th, Carlo McCormick and I will be at Martinique, a cafe and pub, to debate about whether or not one can truly appreciate street art on the internet; On the 29th, Evan Pricco, Tristan Manco and I will be on a panel about street art and the internet moderated by Eirik Sjåholm Knudsen. Sorry if I’m focusing a bit too much on my own stuff, but I’m really excited to be going to Nuart, especially since I’ll be speaking alongside so many of my friends and idols.

There will of course also be an indoor art component to the festival.

Nuart’s street work begins September 20th, the indoor show opens on the 29th at Tuo Scene and the panels and talks will take place on the 27th-29th.

Photo by RJ Rushmore

On the street

The Wa. Photo by the artist

There are a few street pieces to share today.

Above is something by The Wa in the tradition of Roadsworth or Darius & Downey, which I think it just fantastic.

And here’s something that Kid Acne put up in London from his Art Fags series (Hooked has more images):

Kid Acne. Photo by Hooked

Here’s two billboards from Ludo:

Ludo. Photo by the artist

It’s worth noting that Ludo is selling a few works on paper with 100% of sales going to Skateistan.

Ludo. Photo by the artist

And Monica wanted to share this piece from E1000ink (who also has some cool new work on Rebel:Art):

E1000ink. Photo by the artist

Photos by The Wa, Hooked, Ludo and E1000ink