Posted in BlogApril 12, 2013
A year or so ago we were in sunny Buenos Aires; throwing blue paint everywhere, chatting to the locals and working on a large scale mural for Meeting of Styles. Not a year later we were happy to hear the news that Alex Fakso was to visit the city, and here is a brilliant record of his time there with an insight into this process and attitude to photography and the subjects he chooses.
Fakso is a great photographer, representing a world that we cannot see. An avid capturer of street art in the process, his photos show real life people with real life issues in real life dirty dark tunnels. Let’s just say on his trip to Buenos Aires he didn’t get much sun, instead lied low, stayed dangerous and got on with it.
Having already released a couple of great books on his work, Fakso is storming his way through street art urban culture and telling us how it is. A graffiti writer himself, he claims he is now not telling the stories, but creating the pictures. Part of the reason for his move from street art to photography was due to the way photography captures more attention to detail than the painting on the wall can. Not to mention a photograph is forever, and walls get painted over.
The video below, filmed by Dscreet for Very Nearly Almost, documents Fakso’s trip to Buenos Aires alongside some words about his work. Check it out!
Alex Fakso Buenos Aires VNA 2013 from The Baron on Vimeo.
Posted in BlogJanuary 7, 2012
This year we hooked up our friends Zoer and Towns some very sweet spots around London to help support the growing Ground Release project, bringing together artists from different countries and situations and giving them the appropriate platforms for self expression.
Meeting of Styles has always been a chance for us to bring together our favourite people from across the country to paint on an international platform. This year we were proud to present a fantastic lineup of artists including Astro, Kanos and Shane from France, Peeta, Semor, Infamous Last Words Crew, Shok and a whole load of very talented artists who rocked the spot. We invited Kem5, Score and Opium to join Zoer and Towns on the main wall of the festival. They painted a huge advert for the Ground Release conglomerate.
After the event finished we repainted our local spot with the Ghetto Farceur, Shane, 3Dom, Bonzai, Poer, Epok, Amuk, Zoer, Kem5, Skore, Roid and Opium.
check out the pictures below and play the video
Posted in BlogDecember 2, 2011
We finished the enormous gaucho at the Meeting of Styles and went looking for another wall. We stopped by the MOS spot to see what was going down and marvelled at this incredible mother and son by Pesimo – incredible styles and great execution. The whole place had over flowed with colour since we had left early the night before to find a steak dinner.
We had heard Vhils was doing something far away from the MOS spot and thought we should give it a look. We thought we were lost as we walked down this enormous boulevard but we kept on in the sweltering heat. We spotted Lilliween up a ladder and Peruvian Jade Rivera painting next to her.underneath a huge cast iron bridge. As we rounded the corner an enormous Skeletor greeted us and shit a brick when we realised the scale of the wall Lean Frizzera, Martin Ron and Emy Mariani had painted. It was enormous… We had to paint by these guys and scoped out a wall right next to them which was covered in Political slogans and football team propaganda.
We hopped across the street between 12 lanes of traffic all speeding up to catch the lights and found a stash of ladders, paint and emulsion. We had nearly exhausted our supply and picked up much needed black IronLak and local paint. We legged it back across the street this time carrying an enormous ladder and set up underneath a crying tree. This set the tone for a serene and laid back paint next to the busiest street we have ever seen underneath a huge railway bridge in the middle of Avenida Libertador and Doreigo.
This was the most moist we have been painting for a while – the Buenos Aires Crying treee, Fresh Orange Juice, local Churapan from the street vendor and incrediblee humidity made this one sweaty paint – but the people were great and the police even showed up to lend some support..
We finished pretty late and the darkness comes on you quickly in Argentina. We trusted the final shots to local photographers and got the fuck out – stranger and stranger people were turning up and the busy street became a honking noisy smelly polluted gridlocked mess. The fun was over time to get out of dodge. We hopped in a taxi and headed to a wall some new friends were painting around the corner and got thoroughly blazed and drunk on the local 40oz beer and strange bush weed.. All the pictures from this point on were very wobbly.. anyway here is the results…
Posted in BlogDecember 2, 2011
The final part of holiday was a painting trip to the barrio of San Telmo. Whilst Jim Vision was painting up a burnt out car we noticed the beautiful but neglected wall of what looked like an abandoned building. We quickly covered the wall with blue and white and it was only once most of the wall had been covered in paint that the owner of the building rounded the corner to see Jim mid-throw with a bucket of emulsion.
He was an angry man, and the lack of communication was making him go blue in the face, needing a cigarette to calm his shaking nerves luckily a local photographer pointed out how much better this was than the tags and butterflies that had previously occupied the wall. After much discussion in languages unknown he came round to the idea and let us finish. If only it was that simple here. Probs painted Marvel characters Daredevil and Elektra on this wall to complete an incredible day of painting. We can’t say enough good things about Argentina and the wonderful people we met. Thank you Mateus for taking so many great shots of the walls and convincing the locals to give us a break.
Posted in WallsDecember 1, 2011
Posted in BlogNovember 30, 2011
The next part of our South American adventure saw Probs painting with two of our favourite local artists – Bater, Riccy Riccardo, Emy Mariani, Martin Ron and Lean Frizzera. We’d come across the wall they were painting for Meeting of Styles that included a big Skeletor (from a cartoon called He Man, for those too young to remember) so we knew they were on our wavelength and when they saw Probs’ rendering of Princess Amidala (from the new Star Wars movies, for those too old to have watched them) they felt the same.
After the language barriers had been transcended with gifts of beer and an exchange of email addresses, we met up again a couple of days later to produce a Thundercats themed production at a big wall at the end of the train line called Los Incas. We just happened to have a sketch by comic supremo Francisco Herrera in our bag of Lion-o and the Mutants. The result is definitely one of the highlights of the trip. As always we’ll let the pictures do the talking at this point. Let us know what you think in the comments section and watch the the new manga style Thundercats series, it’s fantastic!
Posted in BlogNovember 30, 2011
We’d been staying in a pretty swanky hotel in central Buenos Aires, but it was far away from the areas we were painting and more importantly a million miles away from the ‘real’ Argentina. So, instead of staying there, we moved to one of the poorest areas in BA instead and rented a room from some tango dancers. We were warned to be careful in Constitución , but the worst we experienced was getting picked up by a hefty looking transvestite. A day after we started painting there was a huge fire that gutted a squat close to the wall bringing the whole neighbourhood out to gawp.
We were given a tour of the area by local artist Pol Corona and spotted a massive wall close to our apartment. This, the next road along from one we were told never to walk down at night as it was too dangerous, had some terrible tags on it so the locals were very happy to see it disappearing under a barrage of thrown blue and white emulsion. The local kids wanted to see their favourite football teams up so Probs dutifully supplied them with a ‘racing’ and ‘boca’ as well as a pair of wings that the kids could stand in front of.
The local kids surrounded us and took control of roller duties as their mothers fed us ‘mate’ the local tea. We returned to the wall throughout our trip and dropped a floating horse without the rider. It was interesting to see the locals immediately interpret this as a political statement – the people as the horse throwing off the government rider. Wall art here is traditionally political with political parties routinely whitewashing whole blocks and covering them with slogans. We explained that Jim just likes painting horses.
When we finished painting the whole street, we pimped the local tramps house (a corner of the pavement), the locals threw a street party and the local mafia don turned up in his 4*4 and tried to commission us. We feigned ignorance and made our excuses and left them too it. It’s certainly a different attitude to street art than you’d find here and even the crazy old lady who lived in the house at the end was eventually persuaded that it was a great improvement.
Check out the pictures and let us know what you think in the comments section.
Posted in BlogNovember 30, 2011
We’re back! And what a trip it was. Surpassing all expectations and providing an experience that will stay with us forever, Meeting of Styles Buenos Aires was a truly inspiring journey. We’ve got so much to tell, too much for just one blog post, so this is merely chapter one of our South American diaries.
Buenos Aires is a European city in the middle of South America, its dirty, noisy, smelly and sweaty and we loved it. We didn’t speak the language but we were still able to communicate enough to paint a shitload of walls and had a pretty good excuse when we were caught in broad daylight painting peoples houses. We arrived in Buenos Aires fired up for painting and wanted to get straight in to it. Luckily we’d anticipated the super laid back Argentinean attitude to everything and were ready with a bit of polite pressure to acquire the necessary paint and scissor lift for Probs’ wall sooner rather than later. We stocked up on Ironlak and the local paint, then found our wall, and what a wall it was – a 40m high blank canvas in a residential barrio called Colegiales.
Day one was mainly taken up with creating a beautifully dirty blue and white drippy background (a theme that Jim carried through all his pieces in BA) and a horse. On day two Probs finished off the painting with a waving gaucho mounted on his horse. The locals were out in force by now, cottoning on to the epic piece being painted in their neighbourhood and the finished picture elicited many cries of ‘Muy Lindo!’.
Meeting of Styles Argentina was pitched to the local councils as a way to regenerate run down areas and it was fantastic to receive such positive feedback from the people who live there and for whom this work will become a part of their daily lives.
Check out the pictures, let us know what you think in the comments section, and stay tuned for part two.