Historical Item

Syria Freedom Graffiti Week (Video)

Info here (Arabic)

Text/Content found here

Following examples set in other Arab Spring countries like Tunisia and Egypt, Syrian activists have taken to arming themselves with cans of spray paint and stencils to peacefully protest against embattled President Bashar al-Assad’s regime via a very public and artistic medium – graffiti.

Activists have called for “a week of graffiti for freedom” from April 14 – 21 not only in Syria, but across the Arab world. The campaign invites everyone, tagger or not, to pick up a can of spray paint and peacefully express their feelings in a public place. The project, which was launched on social networking websites by a Syrian activist living in exile and several of his peers still in the country, included an online tutorial and printable stencil models.

Create a stencil and paint it safely.

Stencil Archive Talks Mu-Ban with ROBBBB (Beijing)

Last year, Sean Leow took my Street Art tour of San Francisco's Mission District. He knew a good bit about art in the streets and eventually asked me "do you know about any stencils and graffiti in China?" My answer was no. I believed that it existed and was not that well known due to language barriers (as well as accessing evidence of a sometimes illegal art inside a tightly-controlled country like China). Leow not only knew about street art and graffiti from that part of the planet, he also was part of a group of people who were creating content for the site Neocha Edge, based in Shanghai (http://edge.neocha.com/category/street-urban-art/). He gave me links and jpgs of art from China, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia. I eventually posted them up in the Asia Archive (http://www.stencilarchive.org/archives/index.php/Asia), and was happy to have two artists, Brother (http://www.stencilarchive.org/archives/index.php/Asia/artists/Brother-Ta...) and ROBBBB, get their own artist archives.

Since then, ROBBBB has gotten in touch to say hello from Beijing, pass his personal link along (http://robbbb.com/), and give me some more jpgs to post into his archive (http://www.stencilarchive.org/archives/index.php/Asia/artists/ROBBBB).

I am happy to know that there are stencil artists getting up in China. When I wrote "Stencil Nation," I attempted to include parts of Asia in the content. I was fortunate enough to find a few photographers via Flickr who had traveled to Taiwan and Japan and snapped up some stencil photos. Back in 2008, Asia seemed to be a blank spot in the Stencil Archive geography. There were no books, and artists like Logan Hicks were just starting to travel there with stencil art. I knew it had to be there, and, like the rest of the world, street art and graffiti has blossomed in all cracks and corners of the globe. Including Taibei and Beijing.

(Stencil by ROBBBB, Beijing)

During our most recent email exchange, ROBBBB wished that the English-speaking world could find out more about stencils in China. So I asked him some questions and he was glad to answer them. I have cleaned up the grammar of ROBBBB's answers, but have tried to keep the spirit and intent of his answers intact. I look forward to seeing more mu-ban art and graffiti from China. Keep an eye out for new works by ROBBBB, along with other folks who cut the negative space.

……………………………

Stencil Archive: How do you say "stencil" in your dialect?

ROBBBB: We call stencils "模板". To pronounce it, it is spelled "mu-ban".

Stencil Archive: My research shows that cut out art originated in China. Do you have any historical details about cut out art?

ROBBBB: Do you know the "paper-cut for window decoration"?

Stencil Archive: No.

ROBBBB: "On the joyous New Year's Day, a lot of people in this area stick various kinds of paper-cut - paper-cut for window decoration - in windows so that they can enjoy it. The paper-cut for window decoration not only sets off the joyous festive air; it also brings beautiful enjoyment to people by incorporating decorating, appreciation, and an ease-of-use into an organic whole. The paper-cut is a kind of well popularized folk art, well received by people through the ages. Because it is mostly stuck on the window, people generally call it "the paper-cut for window decoration".

Mad Graffiti Week in Egypt and Beyond

Graffiti week returns with calls to resume revolution
Author: Jano Charbel

Original Article Found Here: http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/618131

In the run-up to the anniversary of the 25 January revolution, a street art campaign dubbed “Mad Graffiti Week” spread like wildfire across Egypt. The call for the event was announced on Facebook, Twitter and the blogs of Egyptian street artists and activists.

A growing number of Egyptian and foreign artists and activists, male and female alike, have responded to the call. They have painted their art and their messages on walls, not only in Egypt, but also in Germany, UK, Austria, Poland and Canada.

Most of the themes center around calls for completing the revolution, deposing the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), and transferring power to civilian authorities.

Over the course of “Mad Graffiti Week,” three youths are reported to have been arrested — one in Banha City and two in Mahalla City — for acts of “vandalism.” These youths were reportedly detained, questioned and then released on the same day.

Graffiti and street art “are very powerful and effective tools of public expression,” said artist-activist Omar X-ist Mostafa. “This is evident in the fact that the police and army arrest people for painting graffiti with a political message, while the municipal authorities are constantly erasing and painting over it.”

HST's Hell's Angels Mentions Stencils (~1964)

(NOTE: The term "stencil" has been historically known to refer to screen printing images, rather than spray painting them. In the 1960s, stencils were put inside the screens and the image was made when the ink got pushed through by a squeegee)

"An Angel known as 'the Mute' was stopped by a policeman... . The Mute was proudly displaying his colors on a ragged Levi jacket. 'Take that off,' the patrolman [said]... . The Mute stripped off his Levi jacket, exposing another Angel decal on his leather jacket. 'Take that off too.'" The Mute took the jacket off, and then had a shirt with the emblam. The cop told him to take that off, and "under the shirt was an undershirt. It had been stenciled with the club insigia... . The Mute had the last laugh. He was prepared to go all the way. His trousers and shorts were also stenciled."

(excerpt from "Hell's Angels" by Hunter S. Thompson. This story was said to have happened sometime in 1964)

A Spray Paint History Primer

The Origin of Spray Paint
By HILARY GREENBAUM and DANA RUBINSTEIN

Original NYTimes link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/magazine/who-made-spray-paint.html

That a paint salesman from northern Illinois created the tool through which rebels, gang members, artists and anti-Wall Street protesters alike have expressed themselves merely confirms that inventors can neither control nor predict the impact of their innovations. After all, Jack Dorsey never imagined that Twitter would facilitate Anthony Weiner’s self-immolation.

The spray-paint can, however, has eminently practical origins. Ed Seymour, the proprietor of a Sycamore, Ill., paint company, was in search of an easy way to demonstrate his aluminum coating for painting radiators. His wife suggested a makeshift spray gun, like those used for deodorizers. And so, in 1949, Seymour mixed paint and aerosol in a can with a spray head. As it turned out, compressing paint in a can made for a nice finish.

NYC Tagger Neo was also NYPD

Graffiti legend was also an NYPD cop

By KATHIANNE BONIELLO

Last Updated: 11:24 AM, November 6, 2011

Posted: 9:34 PM, November 5, 2011

Police have discovered the identity of one of New York City’s most prolific graffiti vandals -- and he’s one of their own.

Steven Weinberg, 43, of Flushing, a patrolman who retired from the NYPD in 2001 after hurting his leg, is the notorious “Neo” -- one of the peskiest subway taggers of the 1980s.

And the spray-painting miscreant is making a comeback, cops say.

100,000-Year-Old Paint Shop Discovered

In African Cave, Signs of an Ancient Paint Factory
By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD

Original Article appears HERE

Digging deeper in a South African cave that had already yielded surprises from the Middle Stone Age, archaeologists have uncovered a 100,000-year-old workshop holding the tools and ingredients with which early modern humans apparently mixed some of the first known paint.

These cave artisans had stones for pounding and grinding colorful dirt enriched with a kind of iron oxide to a powder, known as ocher. This was blended with the binding fat of mammal-bone marrow and a dash of charcoal. Traces of ocher were left on the tools, and samples of the reddish compound were collected in large abalone shells, where the paint was liquefied, stirred and scooped out with a bone spatula.

In the workshop remains, archaeologists said they were seeing the earliest example yet of how emergent Homo sapiens processed ocher, one of the species’ first pigments in wide use, its red color apparently rich in symbolic significance. The early humans may have applied the concoction to their skin for protection or simply decoration, experts suggested. Perhaps it was their way of making social and artistic statements on their bodies or their artifacts.

VIDEO: Bristol, UK ... Beyond Banksy with See No Evil

6 Sep :: Street Cultures (Berlin)

STREET CULTURES
Empowerment and Intercultural Dialogue
Exhibition and Interactive Programs
Empowerment und interkulturelle Brücken
Ausstellungund Interaktive Programme


6.September - 17. September 2011
SKATEISTAN - TINY TOONES - TINY DROPS
Part of the cultural program of the Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin / Teil des Kulturprogramms der Asien-Pazifik Wochen Berlin
STREET CULTURES like skateboarding, breakdancing and street art have the fascinating potential to bring people of different backgrounds together, bridging the gap between their social and cultural differences, and thus creating an opportunity for exchange and cooperation. Hip Hop, skateboarding, and BMX are no longer only part of western culture, but have become global phenomena that are growing especially quickly in Asia. As a result, the number of projects and initiatives that use street cultures as a tool in international development work is growing steadily.

Many of the people that are involved with these activities have recognized that sport and creative programs can be connected to "Empowerment" and education in a very sensible way. This includes initiatives like "Back to School" programs that focus on traditional forms of education, as well as more experimental forms of education that are largely creative arts based and focus on socially inclined topics, i.e. local communities are being empowered about topics like environment, health, diet, and racism.

The networks of these various street cultures work in an informal way to overcome language and cultural barriers, as these activities have their own language and culture. For example, skateboarders speak to each other in a certain way about the sport that is universal, a kickflip is always a kickflip, and street art has its own codes and symbols. Consequently, heritage, religion, skin color, or social status are pushed into the background. Through street cultures intercultural bridges are being built, which can be used to reduce prejudice and promote conflict resolution.

The event introduces projects from Cambodia, Afghanistan, China and India, that are using new and innovative methods in the field of social development, with their own strategies and models.

The exhibition will be accompanied by films, workshops, skype-conferences, fundraising events and a music program under the umbrella of the Berlin Music Week.

Hugo Kaagman Sees/Makes Dutch Punk Stencils in 1977

In 1977 I squatted a house in the centre of Amsterdam with ten other people. We started a punk fanzine inspired by the British fanzine Sniffing Glue. To get a response we began to write and spray on the walls. At the end of 1977 there was a protest manifestation at the opening of the new metro that was running beside our squatted house. There I saw the first stencil sprayed, a protest text: “Metro = Geldriool” [metro = sewer], in fat, stencil-bold font. ‘Spraying freehand was frustrating most of the time, because I couldn’t get the effect I wanted. So, a few months later I cut my first stencils: one of Johnny Rotten and one of Bob Marley. Our fanzine was a photocopy magazine, the same time I blew up the images with Xerox to cut them out and spray around. In 1978 we started a shop called Gallery ANUS to sell our magazines and that of others. - "Street Knowledge" (pp. 140-141) by King Adz

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