Street Art Festival

The following guest post is by Houda Lazrak

While in Vienna, I had the chance to meet and talk with Jakob Kattner, founder of Calle Libre, the impressive mural festival that has been enlivening Vienna’s 6th and 7th district walls since 2014.

How would you describe Calle Libre? And why the Spanish name?

I would describe Calle Libre as a festival of urban aesthetics. My doctoral thesis focused on urban art in South America. I researched it there for 14 months, and this festival is my way to give back to the artists who helped me — who let me live with them and document their lives.

Where in South America did you do your street art research?

Colombia was the first country I visited. Stinkfish became a friend. He introduced me to the local scene, which really paved the way for me to explore further. I then went to Brazil, where I found a unique urban art style whose history is unfamiliar to most people. And, finally, Argentina. There I could feel how the weight of dictatorial history had impacted the street art scene but, also, how artists finally found their freedom.

How has Calle Libre evolved since 2014?

 We have broadened the programing every year. It started with live painting at the Danube Canal, along with an exhibition. We then added workshops at mumok. And the following year, we hosted film screenings, organized performances and presented artist talks. We also started doing annual signed screen print editions in collaboration with Limited Edition Art Prints aka LEAP. Among the artists we work with are Millo, Alfalfa, Inkman, Rodrigo Branco and Stinkfish. And in 2017, we launched guided tours.

What would you say is your main mission?

Intercultural exchange through art. We always include South American and local artists.

Is this your full time job?

I run a creative advertising agency called Warda Network. We produce creative, video and digital content. Actually, the agency does the documentation for Calle Libre, but the festival is its own separate nonprofit entity.

That’s why your online documentation is so great! Can you tell us something about your background?

I studied fine art and cultural theory. I am also a rapper. I’ve always wanted to work with moving images. I directed my own music video and that’s how I met my current partner at Warda Network.

Who is your team? Who helps you produce Calle Libre?

We are a team of seven. My fiancé, Laura, and I are the curators. When we started, it was just the two of us — and we still can’t believe how we managed to create an entire festival! Today, we rely on our team.

How many murals have you produced so far? 

 More than 35 but I am not sure how many are still up.

How have people reacted to Calle Libre?

It has been all positive feedback, especially from people who live near the walls that are painted during the festival. There is always a person from the team at each wall, and we have heard great things. We’ve also had funny incidents.

Such as?

When Mantra painted his 3D butterflies, someone asked us how he was able to put glass over such a big wall. And when Nychos painted a naked woman with a parrot on her shoulder in his signature Jugendstil-inspired style, a woman — whose house window faced the mural — asked why he was drawing her.

Do you focus on specific neighborhoods?

Each year we try to include new districts, but the 6th and 7th are where we have the most walls. It’s also where most of us live. These districts like the impact we’ve had, so we have good relationships with them. We try to pair artists with walls in relevant contexts. For example, the mural by Stinkfish — featuring a father carrying his child — is located on a kindergarten school property.

Have you collaborated with any museums in Vienna aside from mumok.?

The Albertina Museum contacted us about a possible collaboration on a Keith Haring exhibition. When we received the news, it was like we were knighted!

How do you get the funding to produce such a significant festival?

We get public funding from the city. We also received money from the European Union our first year. We apply for project grants, and we collaborate with local partners, based on where the walls are. It’s like playing the lottery! We never know how the next festival will be funded. We work for free and we love what we do, but it’s nice when the city and citizens give back. Every time we walk past the walls, we feel a sense of gratification.

Who are some of your favorite local artists?

Perk Up, Skirl, Frau Isa

What has been your biggest challenge since you first launched Calle Libre?

Convincing building owners to let us paint the walls! That’s definitely the hardest part.

Are there any artists on your wish list?

Inti, Pixel Pancho, Herakut, Os Gemeos. I also want to bring talented artists from South America who are not yet well-known in Europe.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next!

Images

1 Stinkfish

2 Kashink

3 Mr Woodland

4 HNRX

Mantra

6 Millo

7 Koz Dos

Interview and images by Houda Lazrak

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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POW! WOW!, the international art movement that celebrates culture, music and art in cities throughout the globe, continues this week to enhance the city of San Jose. The image featured above was painted by Ivan Gonzalez. Several more works — many in progress and all captured by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad — follow:

Local artist Drew Flores at work — on ladder — with a little help from his friend

Dragon 76 and Woes — along with local students — posing in front of their mural

Iranian brothers, Icy and Sot at work on “Ladders to Nowhere,” a metaphor for the inhumane  US prison system, which makes it almost impossible for a released prisoner to move up in society

Korean artist Sixcoin at work on “Gulliver”

West Coast-based Apexer at work

Hawaii-based Kamehanaokalā aka Cory Taum at work

Photos by Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad

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Founded and directed by Jasper Wong, POW! WOW! is an international art movement that celebrates culture, music and art in cities throughout the globe, as it engages the broader community.

In 2017 — its inaugural festival in San Jose, California — it added 20 murals to the city’s landscape  It is back again this week with new public murals, musical gatherings, educational programming and a range of diverse activities. Featured above is a close-up of a huge mural in progress by the extraordinarily talented twin brothers How and Nosm. Several more images from earlier this week — all captured by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad — follow:

The entire How and Nosm wall in progress

West Coast-based Sean Boyles  and his wife, Roan Victor

Montreal-based French duo Scien and Klor of the 123Klan

Self-taught West Coast wire sculptor Spenser Little

Bay area artists Skinner and Jesse Hernandez

Local artist Shrine

Photos by Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad 

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Featured above is a mural fashioned by the renowned Italian artist Pixel Pancho.  Several more images — all captured by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad — that surfaced at last month’s hugely popular Wide Open Walls Festival in Sacramento, California follow:

Hera of the German duo Herakut

Berlin-based, Argentine artist Guido Palmadessa

 Mexican native, LA-based Ilse Valfré

Brazilian artist Mateus Bailon , close-up

NYC-based Tom Bob

Organized by David Sobon and Branded Arts, the annual Wide Open Walls is the largest open air art festival in the USA. You can download a printiable mural map with exact locations here.

Photos by Karin du Maire

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Dedicated to promoting and celebrating public art, Wide Open Walls held its annual festival from August 9 – 19 in Sacramento, California. Local, national and international artists converged once again to transform the city into a tantalizing open air museum, featuring a wide range of diverse artworks. Organized by David Sobon and Branded Arts, it is the largest open air art festival in the USA. The mural pictured above — depicting Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison is the work of Shepard Fairey aka Obey — his largest mural ever in California. What follows are several more images — all captured by NYC-based travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad.

LA-based Shepard Fairey aka Obey mural in progress

Shenyang, China native Lin Fei Fei

Local artist Michele Murtaugh at work

San Francisco-based Monty Guy at work

Portuguese artist Bordalo II

NYC-based Fench artist Hugo Kriegel 

Photos by Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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Since 2005, Festival Asalto –the oldest international festival of urban art in Spain — has been bringing a diverse range of alluring public art to Zaragoza, while actively engaging the community in all aspects of realizing its vision. While visiting Zaragoza last month — with map in hand — we roamed the city in search of public artworks. Pictured above is a close-up from a hugely impressive mural by Spanish artists Aryz and Daniel Munoz aka San. Several more images  — a small representation of what we encountered — follow:

French artist Zepha

Madrid-based Sabek

Madrid-based Okuda

Belgian artist Roa

UK-based Helen Bur

Copenhagen-based Isaac Malakkai with Canary Islands-based artists Felo CNFSN and Tono

France-based Mantra

Photos 1-6 & 8 Lois Stavsky; 7 Sara C Mozeson

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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Last month, six widely-acclaimed artists, who have shared their visions throughout the globe, brought their extraordinary talents to Talpiot, a vibrant beighborhood in South Jerusalem. Pictured above is a large segment of a huge mural fashioned by Brazilian artists, Douglas de Castro and Rantao Ferreira aka Bicicleta Sem Freio. What follows are the other five new artworks that surfaced in Talpiot during Walls Festival Jerusalem, produced by Ghostown and hosted by the Jerusalem Municipality.

Jerusalem-based artists & brothers Gab and Elna, known as Brothers of Light

Tel Aviv-based visual artist and designer Pilpeled

The famed Haifa-based collective Broken Fingaz

Tel Aviv-based Know Hope,”246 Sides to a Story” — on an abandoned flour factory, with 246 bullet holes, that had been caught in the crossfire of the Six Day War

Multidisciplinary Mexican artist Smithe One

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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A beloved art festival, The Crystal Ship has produced over 25 installations, sculptures and murals per year for the past three years in Ostend, Belgium’s largest coastal city. Curated by Bjørn Van Poucke, its mission is to bring outstanding art directly to the center of the city “where people live and work.” While visiting Ostend last summer, travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad captured a strong sampling of Ostend’s rich mural art, as she biked around the city. The mural featured above was painted in 2016 by Hamburg-based Polish artist 1010zzz., whose hypnotic images can be viewed through June 10 at GR gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Several more artworks from The Crystal Ship — photographed by Karin — follow:

Brussels-based Hello Collective

Argentine artist Ever Siempre

South African artist Faith47

Australian artist Fintan Magee

LA-based collective Cyrcle

Self-taught Norwegian artist Henrik Aa. Uldalen

Photos by Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad 

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A global art movement connecting world-wide artists with local artists in Ecuador, Fiesta de Colores brought together 25 international, national and local artists to collaborate with the community of Canoa last year. Six months after the earthquake had destroyed much of the Ecuadorian coast and killed hundreds of people, Fiesta de Colores created an outdoor mural gallery of over 30 large-scale murals, while sharing skills and ideas with the community.

This November the project will be expanded with an additional 30 murals, along with a deepening of the partnership with the local high school. It will also be extended to the Amazonian region of Ecuador, where artists and the community will work together to create public art projects and bio-murals to promote environmental awareness.

Tomorrow, September 28,  you can support the project by joining Fiesta de Colores, the Public Service Artists Guild, and Chemistry Creative for an evening of art, music, food, spirits and camaraderie.  Tickets can be purchased here. If you are unable to attend the fundraiser, but would still like to support these projects, you can donate to its online fundraiser here.

What follows are a few of the many works that will be on exhibit and for sale at tomorrow’s fundraiser:

Gaia

Layqa Nuna Yawar

JT Liss

The event takes place from 7-11PM at Chemistry Creative, 315 Ten Eyck in Williamsburg

Note: The first three photos are from Fiesta de Colores, 2016

1 Don Rimx

2 Damaris Cruz

Don Rimx, Layqa Nuna Yawar and Gera Luz

All images courtesy Kristy McCarthy

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Beginning August 10th and continuing through the 20th, over 40 artists participated in Sacramento’s Wide Open Walls mural festival bringing stylish intrigue to the Sacramento area.  Pictured above is Russian artist Lora Zombie, along with two young fans, in front of her mural. What follows are several more images captured by NYC-based street and travel photographer Karin du Maire, who had been documenting the festival from the beginning:

Sacramento-based Molly Devlin and SV Williams, close-up from work in progress

Sacramento-based Micah Crandall-Bear, alongside his mural

Santa Cruz-based Jeremiah Kille, in progress

Australian artists Adnate and Jessica Crema aka Last Night Collective at work

Hong Kong-based Caratoes at work

Sacramento-based Bryan Valenzuela at work, close-up of huge mural

Organized by festival founder David Sobon and Branded Arts, the Wide Open Walls mural festival has evolved into one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

Photos by Karin du Maire

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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