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5 Books to (re)discover Street Art

If you, along with many other people, have been bitten by the street art bug, then you probably enjoy the historical insight into the contemporary movement just as much as you enjoy the aesthetic aspect of the artworks. Like with any artistic phenomenon, it is important to lurk in the shadows of its details in order to truly appreciate the bigger picture. In this case, you have laid your eyes upon the right article.

Without further ado, let us introduce you to five of the best books on street art if you want to move away from its mainstream representation and discover the less known, but nonetheless fascinating facets of the culture.

 

Wall Writers: Graffiti In Its Innocence

If understanding the deeper social context behind graffiti art’s propulsion into mainstream society is what peaks your interest, then Wall Writers is the book for you. Exploring the sociopolitical turmoil of the 60’s and 70’s, the book provides a detailed account of how graffiti became a movement of rebellion and revolution in itself. One of the most extensive works on the topic, Wall Writers is both visually compelling and a captivating read.

 

Lost Walls: eL Seed

An inspiring cultural journey across his native Tunisia, calligraffiti artist eL Seed travels across the country to paint over long-forgotten walls. Lost Walls is a month-long project, which resulted in 24 painted walls; but more than that, it is also a unique insight into the lives and history of the Tunisian people.

JR: Can Art

 

 

It’s called Can Artnot Cannot Art for a reason. An in-depth illustrative work on Parisian “photograffer” JR, Can Art is a journey through the artist’s career, and includes details on his solo work and big collaborative projects with other artists and institutions. Created in close collaboration with JR, this book also includes previously unpublished behind-the-scenes documentation of his studios in Paris and New York, where he and his creative collaborators created some of the world’s most provocative large-scale public photography projects.

 

Sticker City: Paper Graffiti Art

This account of the relatively young graffiti art movement takes an exciting new angle on the phenomenon. Claudia Walde, aka graffiti artist Mad C, traveled to different corners of the world in order to meet the artists who took street art and transformed it into stickers, which now adorn cities’ surfaces. Sticker City features over 80 international artists and a striking photographic account of their artworks.

Street Renegades: New Underground Art

If Sticker City caught your attention, make sure to read this logical continuation of street art’s evolution. Francesca Gavin, the Street Renegades’ author, provides her readers with insight into the latest generation of street art. Frustrated by the corporate hijacking of their culture, have diversified their techniques, with different means of dissemination, different materials, different ways of getting their work noticed.  This book documents the new graffiti forms with photographs of the work and interviews with major players around the world.

Find all these street art books and more on Bombing Science online shop!

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Worldwide artists are gathering in Montreal for MURAL Festival

“Art is the universal language of the soul,” – Unknown

Fluent in that language, artists work outside norms and cultural restrictions, and their creativity travels internationally; which is why it is of the utmost importance to facilitate their journeys.

Business travel isn’t limited to the corporate world! That’s why Air Canada developed the Corporate Rewards program with the needs of artists and entrepreneurs in mind.

Air Canada chose to partner with us to assist many artists from around the world to participate in the festival in Montreal. In a bright and captivating video, Air Canada transports the viewer from Brooklyn to Montreal, as street artists bring their talents and imagination to the heart of MURAL Festival. Capturing the essence of the Festival, the video shows us the beautification of the city through urban art.

Check out the video and peek into the artistic universes of Aaron Li-Hill, Ricardo Cavolo, and Aydin Matlabi, as they bring their creations across borders.

© Video: ABCDF
© Photo: Julien Gagnon (@fuji_ju)

Mural by Kevin Ledo in tribute to Leonard Coen Mural Festival 2017

Kevin Ledo’s 9-storey tribute to Leonard Cohen

The magic of art lies in its ability to create something beautiful even out of dolorous events.

Leonard Cohen was no stranger to exploring the dark corners of his soul, whether it was in his poetry or his music. Born and raised in Montreal, Cohen pursued his studies in McGill University before becoming a published writer and later blessing the world with his musical talents. In November 2016, after six decades of a successful career, his death devastated the hearts of millions.

When Montreal artist Kevin Ledo was asked to pay tribute to the legendary artist during Mural Festival’s 5th edition in June 2017, he grasped onto the opportunity. The massiveness of the mural was a first not only for the artist himself, but it is also the largest mural created by the festival. The artwork was received with positive feedback from the public, most of whom were happy to have the legend back in his hometown, at only few feet from his last house.

Watch CBC Art’s documentation of how Leonard Cohen was immortalized by Kevin Ledo on a 9-storey building’s wall.

Mural Festival 2017

X-Ray: Colours & Emotions

XRAY is an artist with various influences, whose work doesn’t remain unnoticed. He creates pieces conveying a universal language through colorful murals and artworks with Pop and cartoony references and a great sense of calligraphy. Growing up in an American military family, XRAY draws his inspiration in the different environments he lived in as a child: Texas, Florida, Alaska and especially Japan.

The artist also often uses the aesthetic of cartoons and advertising of the 50’s, their eye-catching visuals and nostalgic references that came with the political background. After discovering the skateboard culture, XRAY dived into graffiti. Imprinted by Pop culture, he started to paint the streets by associating Disney characters, Japanese influences, humor and graffiti culture in a colorful style.

«I did Donald Duck with Donald Trump’s face. It’s called angry Donald» he tells to MURAL with a simplicity revealing his talent to deliver clear messages through association.

  

Thanks to his rich cultural background, he has imposed a language of his own which allows him to create works that come to life in front of the eyes of the public whether one is an art lover or simply curious.

« I’m feeling like good things can happen and you can make it happen. The work is something but it’s the reaction of the people to the work, that really makes it art, I think» he stated during the 2016 MURAL Festival.

                   

After leaving Florida for Montreal, XRAY developed his universe on the Canadian scene. Attracted by Montrealers’ ability to express themselves and their infinite search for new experiences, the artist absorbs this culture even though he doesn’t speak the same language.

We can’t wait to see XRAY’s coming appearances in Montreal!

 

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GREMS: Rap, Graffiti, Design, Street Art or Contemporary Art…

Grems is what we can call a polyvalent artist! Music, graphic design, tattoo, street art, he masters his universe while being continuously seeking for innovation. Originally from France, his work can be found all around the world and even on clothes with his own streetwear brand: CAAPS.

Leaving Paris for Bordeaux to study Fine Arts in the 90’s, Michael Eveno specialized in graphic design, giving birth to Grems, a nickname referring to his extreme thinness at the time. He then started making himself a name by creating illustrations for flyers and records while painting the walls of the city.

Grems gets inspired by everything surrounding him and turns it into works of art: the artist spontaneously creates by referring to primitive arts in a very colorful and minimalist style. The tool or the place has no matter for him, there is no rule nor limit to creation for this pioneer.

« An artists need to be someone who is sensitive to their surroundings and who is visual and who takes in everything around him and who will turn it into something. » he says in the context of the 2016 MURAL Festival.

 

 

Also known for his musical career in rap, Grems founded numerous groups where he evolved as a rapper and launched new names in the french rap scene. With 7 albums and 2 EPs, the artist has stood out for his avant garde style mixing Hip Hop with Chicago House, Detroit Techno and electronic experimentation.

If Grems has experimented through music he also seeks reinvention in his professional projects and his painting.

« For me, street art is guys who come from graffiti but are bored with the conventions of graffiti, who break the code and who create new contemporary paintings. » he explained for the 2016 edition of MURAL.

 

 

Despite his particular attachment to the values of graffiti, Grems has also been able to combine his professional career with collaboration with brands such as Nike, Swatch,

Grems’ work can be seen everywhere: from the walls of Montreal to Bali, to the Pompidou center, the Parisian art galleries or the RATP campaign and even the paint cans themselves!

 

 

MURAL FESTIVAL GREMS BOOM BOX