It’s hard to believe yet another Summer Olympic Games are right around the corner! You might be wondering why I’m referencing a sporting event on an independent film and art-centric blog - well, the awesome thing about the Rio Games is that, just days before the opening ceremonies kick off, a world record attempt will also be kicking off. No, this doesn’t have anything to do with athletic prowess. This will be Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra’s attempt to design and paint the world’s largest mural created by a single artist. 15.5 metres tall, 190 metres long and nearly 2,945 sq miles in size, this mural, titled “Ethnicities”, could just be one of the largest of its kind in the entire world. The street where the mural is being created is part of Olympic Blvd, a live site that will be offering coverage of the Games on big screens, stages for live music, street art, nightly fireworks and many other activities throughout the Olympic run. Kobra stated that the mural is all about building on the theme that we are all connected despite the ongoing conflicts and confusion throughout the world. Who said the Olympics were just about athleticism and national pride? Read more about the artist, the mural and what it takes to break a world record here!
So, what happens when you allow 165 street artists to take over an entire building in Berlin? Described as part haunted house, part adult fun house, the result is a 5 floor maze of graffiti and art created by street artists from over 70 different countries! Once a former bank, the temporary gallery is set to be demolished in June in order to make way for new apartment buildings. However, for now, people are waiting in line for hours in order to explore the labyrinth of indoor street art while it lasts. The project is titled THE HAUS and was imagined by a trio of creators from the Berlin art scene. A range of invited international artists worked from January through March to create this insane explosion of temporary works. No fees to get in. No phones allowed. It’s all about the visceral urban street art experience…indoors. Want in on the action? You better book that flight to Berlin ASAP as THE HAUS is set to be destroyed at the beginning of June. For more info and a sneak peak at some of the artwork, head over to Creators now!
Amsterdam is set to take street art off the...well...streets...and into a museum. At least that’s what curator Peter Ernst Coolen is planning for an old, former shipbuilding warehouse in the north of Amsterdam. Once home to the largest shipbuilding company in the world, the museum will pay homage to all of the graffiti that once covered the entire shipyard. It won’t be the first street art museum in the world, but Coolen told Hyperallergic that his will offer a totally different kind of experience considering the vast openness of the warehouse space. With hopes of opening by next summer, we think there might need to be an Indie Street field trip planned very, very soon! Head over to Hyperallergic to read the full interview with Coolen as he discusses plans for his newest endeavor.
Well thought out graffiti in an urban, concrete jungle usually always adds eye-catching, inspiring value to a city. It’s art, color, and self-expression, giving character to the otherwise metal structures and lifeless 9-5 inherent in city life. Now, graffiti in a real jungle? Maybe not so much. The Amazon rainforest is likely the last place in the world where most people would want to experience graffiti. But can such a sacred place still be a canvas for art? Photographer and light artist Philippe Echaroux seems to think so. But rather than picking up a spray paint can, Echaroux uses a projector to spray light instead. Using the tree canopies as the ultimate canvas, his light graffiti tells a necessary story in the most visually stunning of ways. He photographs and then projects the faces of the local Amazonian Surui tribe onto the trees. Echaroux tells The Creators Project, “When I got in contact with the Surui tribe I promised them one thing: I wanted to illustrate that when we cut down a tree it’s like putting a man down, when we see the connection between these people and the forest, this really is the evidence.” You can watch these light projections come to life via pays-imaginaire.fr’s Vimeo and see more of Philippe Echaroux’s work over on his site.
We've just discovered a remarkable piece of street art that popped up and subsequently disappeared in New Dehli this past Spring. Created by the anonymous, India-based graffiti artist Daku, it is one unlike any other. Because of shadow positioning, the piece was not viewable after May 15. However, as of August 15, visitors can now, once again, see the piece as it was meant to be seen! ‘Time changes everything’ took inspiration from the concept of a sundial in order to create a sort of graffiti piece in motion. Because of the positioning and three-dimensionality of the letters used in the artwork, its shadows and reflections change throughout the day, never staying in one place, always symbolizing things that are forever with us: light and time. They say not a lot is known about the artist, only that his works incorporate social commentary and that the translation of his name is “bandit”. You can check out images and videos of the fascinating "graffiti-in-motion" in New Delhi here.
While the past two weeks have been filled with social media memes, scandal, lies, and intrigue, we've also seen the usual inspirational gold-medal winning performances, surprising upsets and underdog stories we’ve all come to expect and love from a highly-produced Olympic broadcast. While the Games may be wrapping up this weekend and the world may have, for better or for worse, crafted a new opinion of Rio, there are still some amazing hidden gems around the city that can still be discovered long after the games. Instawalk Rio is a walkable route on Instagram that showcases some of the best in urban street art around the city. Both pre-existing work and newly commissioned work is featured. Some notable work includes Jorge Selarón’s famous steps in Lapa and and São Paulo artist Eduardo Kobra’s giant “Todos somos um” (We Are All One) mural, which was commissioned for Praça Mauá’s Boulevard Olímpico Site. Whether you are in Rio, plan to go in the future or can’t manage the trip, everyone can experience a little bit of the vibrant and colorful Rio culture through this project. You can read more about the project here. To view all of the images and the complete route map, you can visit InstaWalkRio.
Earlier this month, a surreal new work by artist Katharina Grosse was unveiled in the Rockaways. The artist has transformed an entire abandoned Army aquatics facility in Fort Tilden Park into a whirling mix of reds, whites and pinks. Her first installation in New York, the empty building played canvas to her work as part of the “Rockaway!” project, a biennial series of art installations commissioned by MoMA PS1 that was born in response to the disaster of Hurricane Sandy. That abandoned facility? It was actually gutted by the hurricane. And now it gains new life, through Grosse’s eyes, as a surreal thing of beauty on the beachy landscapes of New York. The painting effect is supposed to mimic that of a wave washing over the building. The project is the next step in the Fort Tilden Park’s efforts to restore the natural habit in the area. A stunning tribute, you can visit the outdoor installation anytime between now and November 30, 2016. Read here for more info.
Over in the NEON arts district in Norfolk, Virginia, a new kind of interactive mural has popped up that changes shapes and colors in relation to the viewer’s proximity to the images. Under the glow of a rainbow of lights, illustrator Jason Levesque’s work, titled “Transparent Seas”, features four women composed of different layers and painted in a variety of pigments that are only revealed under certain lights and colors. Reactive sensors are what adjust the color casts on the mural and allow it to morph before our very eyes. What makes the sensors react? The viewer! Depending on how close or far away the viewer gets, the lights will adjust, revealing different images under the glow of the changing colors! To learn more about this morphing, interactive piece of street art and watch it in action, click here.
Fancy a walk in the park? Fancy a walk in the park surrounded by contemporary art? Hmm, artwork presented on security fences and large mesh tarps is not what you were expecting, huh? Actually, this is exactly what currently greets you as you take a stroll through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in New York City. The exhibition, called Natural Disruptions, is a collaborative mural project being sponsored by Artbridge, a public arts nonprofit. Two artists - Mark Dorf and Anthony Goicolea - were the chosen ones for the project because their work represents nature by manipulating images through technology. In the end, by seeing real landscapes through a digital lens, Prospect Park becomes a very public space that allows its visitors the opportunity to escape their everyday realities through unnatural, beautiful worlds still unknown. Read more about the history of Prospect Park as well as Dorf and Goicolea’s inspirations over at Hyperallergic.
Spanning across 50 different brick buildings, a giant graffiti (or more specifically, "calligraffiti") mural has taken shape in Cairo’s Manshiyat Naser ward - better known as the infamous “Garbage City”. Home to about 60,000 trash pickers in Egypt, French-Tunisian street artist eL Seed picked this location as a way to bring global attention to the contrast between the success of the community’s recycling/garbage system and the squalor of its inhabitants and surroundings. While the Coptic community has collected trash for the city over the past few decades and has created one of the most effective and profitable recycling systems in the world, the area is still perceived as dirty and segregated. Many do not have electricity and make a living by reselling the garbage they have collected. The 50-building artwork, titled “Perception”, is a sort of optical illusion, illustrating the work’s message about shifting POV’s and location. The only way you can see the whole message of the graffiti is when standing from a specific spot on the nearby Moqattam Mountain. To learn about about the fascinating work that eL Seed put into “Perception”, read here.
A transcendent experience now greets visitors at the rainbow-hued, geometric facade of a local chapel in Youssofia, Morocco. Street artist Okuda San Migual has covered the church in his signature eye-catching & multicolored shapes. Giving his art a higher level of power and spiritualism through the canvas of a church, the piece, entitled 11 Mirages of Freedom, is part of the British Council sponsored Street Art Caravane. The movement is taking place around Morocco and is helping to build an art community around the country. To check out more images of this spiritual prism-like artwork, read here.