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walltowall511Quite possibly the most adorable thing Montana Colors has ever come up with – the mini wall. Ideal for perfecting your skills as a graffiti artist. Wall2Wall is a project by Oscar Clemente, esclusively for Montana Colors.

Find out more about it on the Montana World website

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APES, Barcelona

APES, Barcelona

HASK, Barcelona

HASK, Barcelona

PAKO, Barcelona

PAKO, Barcelona

PUKE, Barcelona

PUKE, Barcelona

SENDYS, Barcelona

SENDYS, Barcelona

street_art_daleast_2Chinese-born graffiti artist DALeast is as unusual and creative, as he is secretive and elusive. Currently living in South Africa, and working quickly to avoid arrest, he’s travelled the world and made his mark on almost every continent, spending half the year every year on the road. The scale of his work, and three-dimensional approach to a two-dimensional concept, are just two of the many qualities that set him apart from most of the street artists in the game.

In some instances, he’s taken over buildings and structures with pieces that span hundreds of feet across with beautiful designs that appear to pop right off of each surface, like an explosion of metal shards that coalesce to form incredibly intricate compositions, that mostly involve animals in dynamic motion, and the inherent behaviours associated with natural life – predation, evading, emotional states, and how the natural world unfolds in the infinite space that encompasses everything. Each piece incorporates the aesthetic juxtaposition of the organic and mechanic, vibrating at high speeds with intense kinetic energy and a deep, resonant connection from one particle to another. The process of depicting the tight-knit nature of molecular construction unravels on itself in a vortex of expression and movement.

To read more about DALeast, and discover more of his works, visit his website.

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Twenty-something self-taught Chicago street artist Vicente Jasso has been widely recognised for his controversial artworks painted on the walls of Little Village and Pilsen. Though originally working in mixed media on canvas, he’s now graduated to bigger and more prolific works in public. His handiworks include Mexican revolutionary “Emiliano Zapata” as a rebel Jedi with a lightsabre, NARC agents shooting at Super Mario and Abraham Lincoln wearing a Dr Seuss hat. His stencil and wheat-pasted works,  said to be inspired by Banksy, Blek le Rat, and Picasso, depict his opinions on immigration, political corruption and gang violence in Europe and throughout the world. He’s not always the easiest artist to come across, but lately he’s been making headlines and there’s something about his mixture of cartoon and real life that portrays the message of how ridiculous and detached from reality a lot of the senseless murderers and greedy politicians of this world are, that opens an avenue for dialogue.

To read more about him, check out this article.

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POSTER-BOY-6New York City street artist(s) Poster Boy is changing the very concept of being an “artist” by creating a decentralized movement in the scene, where anyone and everyone is welcome to take on the moniker as they manipulate their environment – like an open authorship, creating a collective under one unified name. “No copyright, no authorship…A social thing, as opposed to being an artist making things for bored rich people to hang above their couch.

It all began with the drudgery of work commutes, creating pieces on the way to and from a job that, ironically was working in an art studio for a well-established artist. Working with 2″ stainless steel razor blades and vinyl stickers, the anonymous artists slice ads and repaste them in improvised compositions to alter the messages and meanings of images in public spaces. Working conditions are risky, so quick movements and spontaneously shrewed creative decisions are crucial to each piece. Little by little, people started noticing and blogging about it, and then one day, garnered media attention. They decided to start putting the work up on Flickr and it spread like wildfire since then. The more attention they got, the more intense the works became. By the time the second year rolled around, the group had grown to four or five members.

There is some talk about showcasing individual work in a gallery show setting, to be able to reach out an audience that is less familiar with the subtleties of street art and culture, and create a stronger impact, with focused works that are designed to create dialogue. Trying to show to an audience that already exists is kind of “preaching to the choir” so to speak, so branching out to the public, rather than street art aficionados bears quite a bit more weight, and really starts to spread the message, and further the evolution of expression.

Although they’ve been asked to work on some very lucrative works on commission by some of the companies they’ve targeted, the hypocrisy of the deals themselves undermine the entire point of their efforts, and so they continuously decline. And rightly so! I’d be pretty pissed to see them cave just to make a fistful of easy money.

We’re not going to say which company and how much but it was definitely enough. It was definitely a whole salary. A year’s salary for one person. And we just couldn’t do it. It was very enticing. It was bigger than making money and giving in that easily. We want to see how far we can take it with no budget without taking any kind of offers like that.

I can’t wait to see where Poster Boy take this. The evolution of street art, and public expression is an incredible antidote of rebellion against the wacked-out system in which we live, and continually accept as what it should be, at the bequest of others, who have nothing to do with our every day living.

Poster Boy also made a guest cameo appearance on “Exit Through The Giftshop”. Watch the whole documentary on YouTube.

Check out the famous Flickr gallery for more great work.

Great interview with Poster Boy by Patrick Raycraft at Hartford Courant.

To read the piece the BBC wrote, check it out here.

And finally, while you’re at it, might as well read the New York Magazine article too.

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In late 2001, activist Peter Gibson created his own guerilla campaign to try and sway the city of Montreal to rethink their street planning strategies and increase the number of bike lanes. Rather than turning to extremism, he used street art as his weapon of choice, modifying the markings on public pavement, roads, sidewalks, and parking lots, simply using paint, and going by the clever moniker Roadsworth – a “poet of roads” rather than “words”, if you will.  In doing so, he’s opened up a huge opportunity for dialogue between both the police force and the politicians of the area about the fine line between the concept of street art versus that of vandalism. What began as a protest for more accessibility to bicyclists in the urban environment has grown into large-scale symbolic displays of both environmental and societal critique.

His work was “very simple, open-ended, ambiguous,” says Gibson. “They were also somewhat integrated with the environment — the street, the road markings — giving them an almost subliminal quality.” Gibson adds, “I think my intention was to create a language that would function as a form of satire, accentuating the absurdity inherent to certain aspects of urban living, urban space, [and] public policy.”

Problem is, the authorities didn’t see it the same way. He was arrested and they charged him with 51 counts of mischief, with fines ranging from $200 to $5000. Luckily the charges were dropped in 2006, and he was merely given a small fine and 40 hours of community service work – which involved creating art for The Plateau area of the city.

Roadsworth’s case really brings some important questions to the forefront of society – and underlines the fact that we are constantly bombarded with competing and contradictory information. How do we draw a line to differentiate the artistic act of openly publicly expressing oneself, and the destructive and single-minded act of vandalism and violation of public space? Public spaces should be designated as “free” spaces, shouldn’t they? Ones in which we are able to express whatever we choose, to an open population who is being suffocated by the very commercialized and stigmatized society in which it is forced to live. Roadsworth said it best,

“We aggressively pursue graffiti writers for scrawling their names on a wall across from a massive backlit billboard advertising Big Macs.”

What kind of a world is this, when art is relegated to being this big horrible threat on the corporate monopolization of spaces that are supposedly for everyone? I’m sure most people could agree. Not many people on the street were very opposed to Roadsworth’s creations – in fact, he had garnered quite a lot of support in his community.

What I think we need more of, is “artivists” – people who aren’t afraid to step across the boundaries and manipulate the commercialized elements of society in order to make us, the passerbys, question all sense of what is “freedom of expression”. People who express what the general populous is feeling, and is afraid to speak out on. People who risk their own freedom, in order to open the door for others.

“Painting images on the street is actually a very innocuous gesture in the face of the problems that exist. We are living in serious denial if we feel that business as usual is going to ensure our continued survival and well-being.”

Visit his website to learn more about his experience.

Check out this video to see him in action. Also, if you can, check out the National Film Board of Canada film that features his story – here’s the trailer.

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Israeli street art gang Broken Fingaz Crew hit the global scene by storm from the city of Haifa just over a year ago, selling out their first London exhibition on a daily basis throughout the entire duration of the event. The politically neutral posse, comprised of four “gypsies” – Deso, Kip, Tant, and Unga – have gained serious notoriety in the street art world with their focus on the positive nature and beauty of artistic expression, rather than exploit the subject of war and conflict that they are immersed in at home. Veering away from the usual politics and activism that is associated with street art in general, they dive face-first into the vivid world of psychedelia, creating original pieces that are purely for the sake of entertainment and aesthetic interest.

Broken Fingaz Crew is not just about throwing up graffiti, or even about being the first crew out of Isreal – the collective also creates installations, music and are deeply rooted in graphic design, for well over a decade now. Their popularity is exploding now on a global scale, and are travelling to all corners of the globe, leaving their mark along the way.

To learn more about these guys, visit their website.

To watch them in action, check out this video.

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The streets of France are always peppered with really amazing street art by artists from around the world, but Mademoiselle Maurice stands apart from the rest with her distinct style of creative urban installation, not only with the works themselves, but because she involves the community in the process. She brightens up certain neighbourhoods with splashes of bright colours and engages the viewer with inspiring messages made of origami elements. She’s decorated everything from staircases, schools, sidewalks, community centres, buildings, and most notably, even a prison.

Recently, she was a participant in France’s 2013 ARTAQ Festival, and every Tuesday she would lead workshops for all ages and demographics that brought people together to work on large-scale public installations in urban areas. Over several months, in almost 20 locations, they collectively constructed origami works that involved over 30, 000 folds, and revived urban landscapes, as well as creating a deeper link between individuals and their community.

To see more, check out her website.

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Colombian street artist Bastardilla is changing the face of impoverished areas everywhere with her amazingly colourful and deeply heartfelt murals. Both evasive and enigmatic, the 28 year old has thrown up pieces in Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, and has also bestowed her works on travelling friends to post on their journeys through places like Guatemala, Madrid, and Boston to increase the breadth of her reach. Her name is now known from Paraguay to Serbia, and continues to spread globally.

Bastardilla (Spanish for “italics”) is focused on the attention that’s drawn to her art, and not herself a an artist. Unlike many others in her field, she’s not interested in fame, and continues to hide in the shadows, and out of the media’s spotlight. Her voice is the people’s voice. The subjects she often paints are reflections of the community around her – people immersed in sadness, poverty and bound by emotional distress, and tirelessly working their hands to the bone to survive in a cruel world – gloriously immortalized in brilliant colour and bold lines.

Visit her website to see more of her incredible work.

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Hailing from the City of Angels, Plastic Jesus (aka “The Banksy of L.A.*”), has already made a name for himself with his globally-popular “Stop Making Stupid People Famous” stencil, which I find to be utterly ingenious and totally apt at this point in time, as we obsess over the most inept humans the media can deliver. His humorous approach to the controversial subjects he expresses views on is rife with irony and teems with sarcasm, as he stabs at various topics in the political, social and economic fields. He’s made jabs at Governor Chris Christie, the Oscars, Lance Armstrong, Chick-fil-A, religion, consumerism, capitalism, gay marriage… the list goes on. Basically, no one is safe from his scathing criticism.

His recent installation work is not only adding a third dimension to his repertoire, it’s expanding the basis of how he executes his ideas, and puts his pieces in more conspicuous and unavoidable locations that the public cannot overlook, engaging them further than just a simple stencil on a wall. A couple of my favourites so far are the “Best Buy’s Useless Plasticbox 1.2” series and the ever-popular “American Excess” piece that juxtaposes the idea of credit, consumerism and drug addiction. There’s no avoiding the conversation with the way he throws it down – he creates a new context for opinion and social criticism. No wonder most of the top news publications have been chasing this dude down and featuring him in articles.

The fact that he is also associated with the Los Angeles Youth Network, helping runaway and homeless youth, and attempts to work in the most ethical manner possible, trying to make as minimal an impact to the environment as possible, is just the icing on the cake. His website even mentions, “If you find a piece of Plastic Jesus art on your building and you don’t want it there please email Plastic Jesus and one of the removal team will be there to remove it and make good.”

What a guy. Love it! Can’t wait to see what he does next.

To learn more about Plastic Jesus and follow his antics, visit his website.

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Internationally-reknowned graffiti master Stinkfish isn’t interested in the art world. His feet are firmly planted in the realm and purpose of graffiti – to vandalize an object is to subvert an underlying agenda.  The bulk of his work revolves around the people who live in the areas where he works. He wanders the streets, photographing the people that pique his interest without their knowledge. Then he translates their essence into a singular work, never to be reproduced again. Like snowflakes – like humans, really – they are all independent and characteristic of themselves, and exist nowhere else in time and space.

Born in Mexico City, and currently residing in Bogotá, Colombia, the busy urban environment is where he dwells. Surrounded by chaos and crowds he draws inspiration from everything around him.  Evolving out of trial and error, he focuses his efforts on illegal surfaces – permission walls have no business being a part of his execution. He likes them to be clearly visible, accessible to all, and most notably, located next to something you are forced to look at every day, such as a street sign.

His approach is pure expression. Bold explosions of bright colours and patterning – almost psychedelic – with an untamed style that is both random and well-thought-out. No two works are alike, and he continues to grow and adapt to each piece as he delves deeper into experimentation.

His work can be seen all over the world, most notably in Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala, Spain, Germany, UK, France, Holland, Austria and Nepal.

To see more, check out his website. Or view his Flickr gallery.

There’s also a great interview with Stinkfish on Bombing Science’s website that’s worth reading.

Check him out in action:
AMSTERDAM // HOLLAND // June 2013

OFFPROJECT Presents: Stinkfish

ALMA INK x Saks & Stinkfish // 2013

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