Tag Archives: street art

This art will stick with you

At first, we figured there wasn’t much more to Max Zorn’s tape art than what meets the eye. But the street artist has a few twists waiting for anyone who takes the time to check out his site. First of all, it’s not evident in these online pics, but he hangs his portraits on street lamps and other urban light sources. The tape has been applied to clear plastic layers, so the lamp illuminates what might otherwise look like the top of a discarded shipping box.

Max Zorn (surely not his real name – that was the villain’s name in the James Bond flick, A View to a Kill, played by Chris Walken!) includes a map on his site that will tell you where he’s “displayed” his art. And he even announces upcoming “shows”. Just the other day, he posted that Liverpool, Bristol, and London can expect to see the release of his take on The Beatles.
If there’s any doubt as to the talent that his tape art requires, there’s a time-lapse video below of Zorn at work. We wouldn’t have guessed the process requires so many steps, both additive and reductive. It’s darn impressive.

Does this city make you laugh?

Here’s a new spin on street art that you can count on seeing more of in 2013 – the interactive variety, adding a narrative to an urban setting. The French artist OaKoAk uses crumbling city environments and breathes life into them with quirky humor. The Berlin-based art collective Mentalgassi created the two pieces in Spain shown at the bottom. Mentalgassi may have had a bigger budget than OaKoAk and a bigger scale to work on, but they share the same approach. Adding humor to the mundane is something that everyone can appreciate – we often do it ourselves in our own day-to-day lives. Do you classify works like these as “Art”? OaKoAk_2

OaKoAk_1

OaKoAk_3

OaKoAk_4

Mentalgassi_remote-control

Mentalgassi_sand_sculpture

“Street” art promotes more walking, less driving

This is one of the better examples we’ve found that art can be a powerful way to deliver a message. DDB China Group – they provide “creative solutions” for different companies – and the China Environmental Protection Foundation created an interactive, outdoor art project in order to promote the environmental benefits of walking over driving. Throughout 15 cities in China, giant white canvases with the image of a bare tree were used to cover 132 crosswalks. In order to cross the intersections, pedestrians had to first walk thru a pad of environmentally friendly green paint. The resulting footprints created the look of leaves covering the tree. Now, when we say that it sent a powerful message about environmental responsibility, consider this: nearly 4 million people were estimated to have participated in painting the leaves. In addition to those people, the final posters were hung in urban locations where they were no doubt seen by however many more
millions of people. Wow.

The Mosaic Man

After you hear Jim Powers’s story, you’ll never think of street art the same way again. Powers, or the Mosaic Man as he is known, was homeless when he began doing outdoor murals in 1985. Over the decades, and despite a city-wide graffiti cleanup, he’s adorned 80 light poles in New York’s East Village – each one representing the community. It’s an amazing story that teaches the always-important lesson, art is what you make it and where you make it.

Zachas brings murals to life

We took a break from street art for a while ’cause it was getting pretty intensive on here. But you can thank Ernest Zacharevic, aka Zachas, for pulling us back in. The Lithuanian artist puts a spin on outdoor murals that’s so intuitive you’ll wonder why you haven’t seen something like this before. Well, maybe you have, but certainly not quite this good. Zachas’s painting is striking in itself – more technically adept than what one typically sees in street art. But the juxtaposition of the images with real world objects and clever positioning makes that much more of an impact. These can be found on the streets of Penang, Malaysia.
Zacharevic was one of six artists featured in the site-specific RESCUBE exhibition, part of the George Town Festival 2012 in Penang. In another part of the festival, Zacharevic organized “Mirrors George Town,” consisting of 6 to 12 large-scale murals throughout core neighborhoods celebrating the town’s multiculturalism.

Ishknit the yarn bomber

You might’ve heard the term “yarn bombing” on ye olde internet and even seen pictures of what it looks like. But what’s it all about? How is it done? Who are these artists that practice yarn bombing?

American Hipster Presents is a series of video portraits that focus on trendsetters across the country. They’re doing 10 cities, 5 people in each city. In episode #12, they go to Philadelphia to visit Ishknit, a yarn bombing street artist. It’s interesting to see the how, why and wherefore behind this craft-meets-guerilla-art form.

Who needs canvas when you’ve got a cardboard box?

EVOL is a German street artist who we’ve talked about before. His work typically involves transforming outdoor environments. But these caught our eye because he’s transformed a 2-dimensional space into the outdoors. Well, the outside of buildings, at least. The unnervingly well executed facades are done with spray paint and stencils on flattened cardboard boxes. The detail and shadows aren’t impressive simply because of the materials used, but also because the space being described isn’t terribly deep. Sometimes it’s just a dumpster in front of a building or an awning over a window. Yet if it weren’t for the cardboard box element, you might think these were photographs or painted with a brush and oil paints. We also love how the origin of the surface isn’t kept secret. The shape and edges of the cardboard, as well as the printed labels, don’t detract from the effect. On the contrary, they enhance the overall look. Any theories on why that is, dear viewer?

Max Zorn’s tape art portraits will stick with you

At first, we figured there wasn’t much more to Max Zorn’s tape art than what meets the eye. But the street artist has a few twists waiting for anyone who takes the time to check out his site. First of all, it’s not evident in these online pics, but he hangs his portraits on street lamps and other urban light sources. The tape has been applied to clear plastic layers, so the lamp illuminates what might otherwise look like the top of a discarded shipping box.

Max Zorn (surely not his real name – that was the villain’s name in the James Bond flick, A View to a Kill, played by Chris Walken!) includes a map on his site that will tell you where he’s “displayed” his art. And he even announces upcoming “shows”. Just the other day, he posted that Liverpool, Bristol, and London can expect to see the release of his take on The Beatles.
If there’s any doubt as to the talent that his tape art requires, there’s a time-lapse video below of Zorn at work. We wouldn’t have guessed the process requires so many steps, both additive and reductive. It’s darn impressive.

2011 – Year of the Street Artist

We’re closing in on our 200th post as well as the end of 2011. So we’ll do some reflecting this week, beginning with a subject that dominated our blog this year: street art. Call ’em vandals, call ’em comedians, whatever you may think of this movement there’s no denying that it’s become ubiquitous. It’s safe to say that such a low-tech, low-cost expression of art would not have gotten so much notice without such a thing as the internet. The term “street art” is used to encompass so many types of expression, but the two determining factors certainly seem to be A) an outdoor setting, and B) well, “B” is a little harder to define. Street Art Utopia posted “106 of the most beloved Street Art Photos” of the year and we recognized many of them from our own articles and other appearances online. Seeing so many pieces of street art in one place leads us to think that “B” quality might be a certain naiveté crossed with whimsy. Add a pinch of love for pop culture. And don’t forget a healthy dose of humor. Perhaps that common denominator among street artists is that they are the crying-on-the-inside clowns of the art world.
These are our favorites of the ones we hadn’t seen before. The only downside is that we can’t frame ’em!

Abandoned buildings made beautiful

We’re going to coin a phrase right here & now – “Art is where you find it.” Alright, so what the heck does that mean? Y’know, it’s like “Life is what you make of it.” If you’ve got some colored tape, or some guitar strings or sumpthin, just find yourself some derelict property and voilà – you’ve got art! Seriously, art can be whatever and wherever you want it to be, gallery or no gallery, frame or *shudder* no frame. Don’t believe us? Check out these truly unique works that WebUrbanist posted of abandoned sites that have been transformed by some very talented artists.Artist Jennifer Marsh, along with professional and amateur artists from 15 countries as well as over 2,500 grade-school students, covered this 50-year-old former Citgo station with more than 3,000 panels of crocheted and quilted fabrics.

The Crono Project is an effort to bring street artists from around the world to decorate abandoned structures. This piece on an enormous building in Lisbon, Portugal was done by BLU and Gemeos.


BUFFdiss is a Berlin-based street artist who sneaks into abandoned spaces and creates geometric designs and human forms using paint and tape. We like how his work activates the debris and decay around it, making the rest of the building appear to be intentionally made art as well.

“Defenestration” means “to throw out of a window” and it’s the name of this project by artist Brian Goggin. He and 100 volunteers staged an escape by chairs, clocks, tables, and other furniture that can be seen flinging itself off the roof and climbing down walls. This is how Goggin describes it – “Located at the corner of Sixth and Howard Streets in San Francisco in an abandoned four-story tenement building, the site is part of a neighborhood that historically has faced economic challenge and has often endured the stigma of skid row status. Reflecting the harsh experience of many members of the community, the furniture is also of the streets, cast-off and unappreciated.”

It’s unknown who constructed these criss-crossing blue guitar strings. Photographer Mary-Jane Lee found it when she climbed up onto these abandoned railroad tracks on a bridge that overlooks Paris. The anonymity lends itself to the work’s mysterious nature and beauty. Is it real, or is it a trick of the light? Is it a threat to a train that will never come? Can it be brushed away like a cobweb?

Go to WebUrbanist if you’d like to see more like these.