Street Art

An Overview Of The Second Edition Of Akumal Arts Festival in Akumal, Mexico

November 11th, 2019 concluded the second edition of the annual Akumal Arts Festival (AAF) in Akumal, Mexico. By strict facts, the festival lasted four days and hosted over 130 international artists who painted murals, taught workshops, and participated in both an opening and closing ceremony. Weeks before I disembarked to cover the festival in person, its organizers had testified to the place’s singular magic. Once immersed in that atmosphere, I understood the subtle, yet meaningful attributes t

Self Reflection and Artistic Evolution: Gunnar Magnus

NYC-based fine artist Gunnar Magnus, a confidante and supporter of the local street art scene, will be showing his work this Sunday, November 24th, at Art Apple NYC. The Bushwick gallery is hosting its first annual ‘Friendsgiving’ group show. The Eventbrite page explains it is “an event where the local community and artists celebrate together what being a New Yorker is about,” featuring art by Magnus, Sorinn Lillico, Najee, Rodrigo Meireles & Gaia, Demetrios Zissiadis, Marie Jose Cima, and Dice

The Story Behind Evoca1’s Huge Mural in Erie, PA

Miami-based, Dominican-born street artist Evoca1 recently completed his latest mural in Erie, PA. Erie Arts & Culture facilitated this massive endeavor, which is the latest chapter in their mission to revitalize the urban landscape with fresh public art painted by world-class talent. Evoca1’s photorealistic mural occupies the towering residential complex of Methodist Towers, and depicts one of its own residents grinning with pure authenticity. Local news source Go Erie reported that the subject

L7Matrix In Moissy-Cramayel, France

Wall Street Art Festival completed this year’s annual edition September 2nd-6th. This year’s iteration of the event took place in Moissy-Cramayel, a small town located in Grand Paris Sud (GPS), France. The festival’s website explains that it “has welcomed street artists from all over the world since 2015,” to the region. It intends to “embellish the facades, [create] beauty [and] color, [and] promote exchanges between artists and residents.” Parisian gallery owner Gautier Jourdain provides artis

A Mural by Nevercrew On Human Act Of Compressing Nature Through Exploitation

Swiss street art duo Nevercrew have continued to elaborate upon their passionate exploration of nature and humanity with their latest work, titled “Tide.” The pair completed their newest mural earlier this month for the third edition of the Points Du Vue street art festival in Bayonne, France. They were the only representatives among the event’s impressive lineup to represent Switzerland. In a press release for their previous mural titled “Celsius,” completed in June, Nevercrew wrote that the p

2019 Nuart Festival Recap

“There is some kind of paradoxes at work here, you want to preserve graffiti as something wild and not institutionalized, but at the same time see the creativity within it,” says Malcolm Jacobson, of Stockholm University’s Sociology Department, in the recap film for Nuart Festival’s 19th edition. “I think Nuart has been very good at keeping on that edge and balance.” The famed festival, a titan in its field, conducted this year’s annual event September 5-8th at its home location of Stavanger, N

Building A Bridge In A Divided Community Amid Spike In Tourism Industry

Mural festivals are a powerful force in today’s artistic era. They can be divisive or unifying, because street art is a facet of placemaking, a sort of ‘face’ each community presents to its residents and visitors. As such, concrete mission statements from festivals must guide this force, and those missions determine a community’s tone. Akumal Arts Festival, hosted in the traditionally sleepy, coastal community of Akumal, Mexico, is a joint effort by transplants and native residents to recapture

Life in 3-D: Savior ElMundo

I hadn’t seen Savior ElMundo since the day of the UP Launch, so I knew our last conversation was on June 20th, 2019, exactly. When we made plans to meet, he directed me to enter La Esquina on Kenmare Street, and to “tell the guy at the front” that I was meeting him downstairs. Perpetually twitchy in the face of uncertainty, I entered the restaurant on a mid-October evening and loudly asked the girl behind the counter where “downstairs” was. She directed me to a nondescript steel door. Through t

“Waiting”: A Mural By Artez In La Bañeza, Spain

Earlier this week, while reporting on the collaborative mural ‘Where’s Wally’ in Sacramento, California, I noted how murals stand apart from other art forms due to their public nature, and the integral roles they play within their surrounding communities. With his latest mural in La Bañeza, Spain, titled “Waiting,” Serbian street artist Artez pays homage to a specific aspect of this characteristic: the impermanence of outdoor art. In a statement for the mural, Artez writes that, “There are many

‘Where’s Wally’ A Collaboration from Axel Void, Emilio Cerezo, Ivan Floró & Alberto Montes

Muralism derives its distinction as an art form from its lack of isolation. Rather than facing the confines of a canvas, which can receive the same perception regardless of its placement, a mural is rooted in its spot. Its size and position within the face of a community makes it a unique aspect of that locale. When international artists travel the world, building a resumé of walls across the globe, it can be easy for each work to feel like mere notches in their bedposts. With their collaboratio

A Mural On Co-existence & Common Humanity By Sebas Velasco & Axel Void

Spanish artist Sebastian Velasco and Miami-based artist Axel Void recently achieved a new chapter in their ongoing creative relationship with their latest collaboration for Mural Fest Kosovo. Their piece, titled ZOGJTE (Birds) can be found on two massive facades in the Balkan nation’s principal city of Ferizaj. Highlighting both of the artists’ technical prowess and proclivities in subject matter, ZOGJTE pays tribute to the country’s storied history through the lens of the nomadic Roma people.

Jad El Khoury’s curtains Adorn An Abandoned Building In Stavanger With A Message Of Hope

Earlier this spring, we were taken with the work of Lebanese artist Jad El Khoury, who completed his both ideologically and technically amazing street art installation, Burj El Hawa, otherwise known as the Tower of Wind. Nuart Festival Founder and Director Martyn Reed called this feat “a standout work leagues ahead of anything else,” and the festival subsequently named El Khoury their artist in residence. El Khoury also received the Arte Laguna Prize for this work, which focuses on the healing

An Artist Survival Guide

Even in my adolescent anticipation of moving to New York to become a writer, I knew there would be struggle involved. I wore this awareness proudly, bragging to my friends that any measure would prove worthwhile if it meant that I was living a meaningful life rather than selling out to some bland career I felt lukewarm about at best. I imagined a sparse apartment like Holly Golightly’s and began walking to school to condition myself for the city’s brisk pace. “I’ll only eat two apples a day,” I

Beholders: A Timely Look At The Ongoing Migrant Crisis By Jofre Oliveras

When I took World Cultures in 10th Grade, my teacher, a steely yet lovable cynic who could provoke laughter and the fear of God in the span of a sentence, sagely told us, “the human race will not get along until aliens come to Earth.” Straightforward enough, I thought. People fought, I knew this. My parents watched the news with dinner. When I graduated high school and left my town for New York City, I came to understand this concept so much more profoundly, more intimately. Tribe mentality was

REWILD By Escif: A Rewind Symbol To Reconnect With And Respect The Earth

Spanish artist ESCIF has teamed up with cultural initiative Splash and Burn, curated by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic and coordinated by Charlotte Pyatt, for their latest endeavor, titled REWILD. This ambitious, multifaceted project is centered around a stunning land intervention, supplemented by murals, and culminating with a short film. The entire project is inspired by “the upcoming UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, reflecting on the warning that we have just 12 years before climate c

IPAF’s 8th Edition Concluded In Martinique July 2019

Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Martinique on behalf of Europe during his fourth voyage in 1502. Encyclopedia Britannica writes that it was at this time that the island received its current name, which “is probably a corruption of the Indian name Madiana (“Island of Flowers”) or Madinina (“Fertile Island with Luxuriant Vegetation”), as reputedly told to Christopher Columbus by the Caribs.” The changing of this unwitting island’s name signified the greater cultural shifts that woul

Kai Aspires to Keep it Real

I couldn’t find the PDF invitation to CONTEXT Art Fair during Art Basel. T.K. and I stood at the pavilion’s VIP entrance while the guest services director scrolled through my email incredulously. “It’s there, I swear,” I urged her, smiling sidelong at the security guard who’d inspected my purse moments before. When we finally gained access to the fair’s booths, I took special measures to hold my collarbone broad, chin parallel to the floor. It was my first time at Art Basel, my first time in Mi

Conversations with a Chat Girl: Orange Li

I am no stranger to esoteric discussions with artists. My staunch belief in the law of attraction enables many interviews to veer off course into a familiar territory, comparing the numerous coincidental moments of serendipity that come to shape our mere existences into lives. Though I was acquainted with Orange Li’s remarkable narrative from attending her sold out show, Diary of a Chat Girl, at B[x] spaces in October, nothing could have prepared me for the deep conversation we would share in th

Recap Of Casalabate Street Summer Festival In Lecce, Italy

Lecce, Italy boasts multi-faceted points of fame. Known for its agricultural exports, the capitol metropolis is also renowned for its limestone. As a result, Lecce features an astonishing amount of Baroque sculpture and architecture, “marked by heavy building speculation that began in the 1970s,” for which it is commonly referred to as “the Florence of the South.” Last month, Lecce built upon this artistic tradition, and “returned its soul to its most authentic vocation” with the first edition o

First large-scale installation By Dourone In Angelholm, Sweden

Earlier this month, Spanish street art duo Dourone completed their first large-scale project in Sweden. Located in the city of Angelholm, their mural, titled “LITA 00 :00,02,” appears to be the next step in their ‘Space-time H’ series, which the pair initiated in December 2018. In a statement, the artists explain that this piece “is part of the record that the artist is developing and talks about the consolidation and fragmentation using time as the basis in the 21st century through the female f
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