Today is October 31, the last day of street artist Banksy’s self-proclaimed month-long NYC residency. Seems like the perfect moment to reflect on recent politics in street art.
Considering our recent Fresh News about censorship on the internet, we’d like to point out Banksy’s intervention on Noble and West Streets in New York City: across a wall where a city worker had effaced graffiti by covering it in gray paint, lies the message: “This site contains blocked messages.”
London-based artist Slinkachu commented on the European unemployment crisis by installing tiny scenarios around the city of Paris during this month’s meeting of the European Parliament. His project ‘Why is it so hard to find a job?’ features miniature construction workers, electricians, sales people, a scientist and a museum guard all pondering their economic predicament.
This summer in Baltimore, 17 artists joined forces with Carol Ott, founder of The Slumlord Watch, to call out the companies, investors, private tax payers, and even the Housing Authority of Baltimore City for the depressing and dangerous condition of derelict buildings in once thriving neighborhoods. The idea is to provoke a response from city agencies while encouraging neighbors to take ownership of their own communities.
With only hours to go on their kickstarter campaign, Dutch artists Haas & Hahn (Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn) have exceeded their $100,000 goal to raise funds for a hugely ambitious urban intervention. Their plan? A monumental painting project that will illuminate the inner beauty of an entire hillside favela in Rio De Janeiro! (There’s still time for you to contribute on kickstarter!)
Speaking of activists, we recorded our first Fresh Talk LIVE with American artist interventionist Theaster Gates on election night last November at American University, Washington, DC.
Contributed by Freya Schlemmer