Street Art and Social Change: BEZT Paints a Mourning “Europe”

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Polish artist, BEZT, recently just wrapped up painting this beautiful and thought-provoking mural in Mannheim, Germany, as part of the Stadt.Wand.Kunst street art Festival. One half of the powerhouse Polish muralism duo, ETAM CRU, BEZT is known for his ability to masterfully blend captivating imagery with his illustrative realist style. This piece, entitled “Europe”, depicts three women wearing shawls and carrying flowers, as if in mourning. The mural has a somber tone and reflects on the shifting state of Europe today, with tensions high between the European Union, politics, borders, economics, immigrants, culture, religion, and safety. Powerful and poignant, as usual, from BEZT!

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Street Art and Social Change: JR Installations for the Olympics in Rio

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Prolific French photographer and installation artist, JR, has been hard at work with this team in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The games are officially underway, with the grand opening taking place last Friday night, and JR has installed a number of massive olympians around Rio. Known for his ability to connect people with place, JR’s works in Rio are site-specific installations of athletes interacting with the city. Usually JR is wheatpasting his large photos on existing physical structures in cities around the world, but for his Olympics installations he has erected huge scaffolding structures and draped over them his photographs printed on fabric.

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Much controversy has surrounded The Games this year, with huge protests taking place before and during the games. NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro writes, “Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s elected president, has been suspended and is awaiting an impeachment trial in the Senate for fiscal mismanagement. Her former vice president, the right-of-center Temer, is now heading the country. Polls show he is hugely unpopular. He’s been pushing through austerity measures to reboot the country’s tanking economy.”

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“This is Mohamed, a Sudanese athlete who couldn’t make it to the Games because of an injury. He still came to Rio and jumps over a building in Flamengo,” JR shares. “80 years ago the Olympics happened in Berlin. Hitler wanted to use them to demonstrate the supremacy of the Aryan race. Today they will open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a “mixed race” country (“país mestiço”). Even though Brazil is going through political and economic turmoil and the necessity of the Games at this moment can spark controversy, the Olympic spirit will joyfully be welcomed by the people […].”

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Activist Artist Spotlight: Shamsia Hassani

Hassani's "Birds of No Nation"

Hassani’s “Birds of No Nation”

Shamsia Hassani is the first well-known female street artist in Afghanistan. Through her art, she aims to subvert the perspective of Muslim women as oppressed and belonging to the home–a view held by many in her own community and the in the Western world. Her characters are most often depicted wearing burkas or hijabs, and are seen outside, holding musical instruments that represent freedom of voice and expression. The compositions are rendered with distinct lines and decisive shapes to convey strength in her characters. Hassani strives to destroy the association of hijabs with oppression by illustrating characters who find freedom within tradition, and are not restricted by expected gender roles.

Hassani also portrays feelings of displacement and a rejection of nationality dealt with by Afghan refugees; her characters are often distanced from their surroundings, looking at them from above. In her piece, Birds of No Nation, she explains, “Birds are constantly migrating to find food and shelter, they have no nationality because they find comfort in any safe place. I see this in the Afghan people as well, they are moving from country to country in search of peace and safety. It seems as if they have no nation like those birds. In this series, the woman is in a new area and she is feeling displaced because nothing is hers and so she does not fit in.” Shamsia Hassani challenges established perspectives and recreates an identity for Afghan women that transcends limits of nationality and marginalization.


Street Art and Social Change: INO Paints “Instability” in Ukraine

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Greek master of design and meaning, INO, just finished his largest wall to date in Kiev, Ukraine. The piece is entitled “Instability” and depicts a ballerina dancing on a spherical bomb. The artist is known for his powerful and highly provocative imagery, which almost always has a social or political edge to it. Standing at 48m high, this piece was painted in context with Ukraine’s recent political instability. INO is adding to the narrative of humanity’s apparent inability to grow toward a more harmonious living. Check out the images and a aerial video of the finished piece below!

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INSTABILITY from INO on Vimeo.

Opening Night Recap: Eddie Colla & Bask’s “Nothin Nice”

Thank you everyone who came to the opening reception for Eddie Colla & Bask’s “Nothin Nice”! We were excited to see Eddie and Bask fans, other artists, and friends of 1AM at the reception. The evening started off with a giveaway of 50 original small works by Bask. Inside the gallery, Eddie Colla’s striking portraits stood side by side with gestural text-based works by Bask. Eddie’s “We Are Shadows, And Night Falls” lit up the entire gallery after sunset, truly one of the highlights of the show. If you missed the opening, the “Nothin Nice” will be on display until August 18th… Swing by to see what all the talk is about!

You can check out photos from opening night on our Facebook page. For inquiries and catalog requests: artsales@1amgallery.com.



1AM Artist Spotlight: Kopsky of Lords Crew

Kopsky's "Leader of Ramen's Dissection Studies", on display at 1AM gallery now!

Kopsky’s “Leader of Ramen’s Dissection Studies”, on display at 1AM gallery now!

French artist Kopsky traces his beginnings back to the suburbs of Paris, where he was born and raised under the artistic influence of his painter father. Though always surrounded by art, Kopsy discovered spray paint in the mid 90’s and began to explore its many applications and benefits. In addition to learning graffiti the “classic b-boy way,” Kopsky started studying art and moved to the Mediterranean coast. Since then, he continues to experiment with different styles of street art to “color walls across the world.”

Kopsky’s expansive, large scale work captures the balance between uninhibited spontaneity and minute mastery of detail. He works with characters, symbols, and letters in an effort to enter a realm of “dysfunctional imagination,” where he can create art that is fresh and previously undiscovered. Since 2011, Kopsky has represented “Lords Crew” and the British team “After School Klub”. By dedicating himself to constant experimentation and discovery, Kopsky delivers messages that are colorful and unprecedented–an endless quest for “the fresh effect”.

Check out more of Kopsky’s work in “Legendary: Celebrating 30 Years of Lords Crew” until July 14th! For catalog requests & inquiries: artsales@1amgallery.com.

Street Art and Social Change: Shepard Fairey’s “Earth Crisis” in Paris Continues

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Shepard Fairey has just completed a large mural on the streets of Paris, France, which continues his ongoing project there titled, “Earth Crisis.” The project has included an installation, murals, fine art, and prints, all of which are centered on the imposing environmental crisis that we are facing on a global scale. This recent mural, painted in District 13, is of a mandala with imagery that symbolize both threats to nature and incitement to respect it.  The mandala images, composed of climate change and environmentally themed graphics, are positioned to raise awareness and provoke discussions about the Earth’s future.  The colors used in the globe design connect blue and green of air, water, and vegetation that allow the earth to sustain life.

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The ongoing Earth Crisis project is made possible by Galerie Itinerrance. Building on Earth Crisis, Fairey approached this new body of work keeping in mind different ways to engage people through art. He created a series of six letterpress prints that will be available along with the fine art and sculpture pieces for the Earth Crisis exhibition opening this Friday, June 24 at Galerie Itinerrance in Paris, located at 24bis boulevard du Général Jean Simon 75013. The prints and fine art continue to address and spark conversations about protecting the planet through the powerful environmentally-themed art. Proceeds will be donated to support global environmental organization – 350.org.

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“The installation, the murals, the fine art, and the prints – they are all different platforms to put across the message that we are facing an earth crisis. I think that art is a way to engage people. Art can initiate conversations when other media fails. If a viewer likes my mural, if they like my installation, like my art pieces, that may make them consider what the image is addressing. This new body of work reflects on and builds upon, my entire history of environmentally-themed art. I hope that it appeals visually AND sparks the needed conversation about protecting our planet for future generations.”
– Shepard

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(photos © Lionel Belluteau)

Summer Community Mural at Boeddeker Park

Progress after week 1

Progress after week 1

Boeddeker Park once felt somewhat dangerous and empty–sitting near the unofficial open-air drug market known as the Gauntlet, it was barren and strewn with needles. The stark 6-story facade of the Windsor Hotel overlooked the park, and it’s residents formerly had very little access to any green space. The Windsor Hotel offers converted SRO units courtesy of DISH (Delivering Innovation by Supportive Housing), and following the physical park’s facelift in 2015, we’re excited to liven up the side of their residency as well. The park is now bustling with activities including homework tutoring, bodywork, teen hoops, and classes in culinary arts and life skills. As we’ve officially begun painting for the summer, the busy, bright energy of the remodeled park is soon to be reflected by a 1AM community mural.

The 1AM Mural team has spent the last year developing designs for the 6-story mural, in conjunction with DISH, Friends of Boeddeker Park, and the Tenderloin Community. After months of revision, the finalized design includes a colorful treehouse with open doors, implying the welcoming atmosphere of the community, and inviting the viewer into the world of the mural. The houses perched on the tree branches are modelled after the familiar architecture of the San Francisco skyline, with some of their windows aligning with the windows of the building–giving the illusion the Windsor’s residents are peeking out of the treehouse windows. At the base of the tree trunk is written DISH’s motto “Everyone Deserves A Home”.

DISH’s community project manager, Ariel Fortune, explained her organization’s decision to partner with us: “They are a local organization, they have a lot of artwork throughout the Tenderloin, and both artists that are working on this piece lived in the TL at one point. They have a connection to the neighborhood; they are respected.” Thanks to DISH and the Community Challenge Grant Program, 1AM is incredibly excited and grateful to be a part of this project.

Stay tuned for the finished mural, and follow our progress on Instagram!

Final Design Mockup

Street Art and Social Change: Nevercrew Paint “Inhumane Barriers” in Manchester

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As part of the street art convention, Cities of Hope, in Manchester, England, Nevercrew painted this beautiful and poignant piece titled, “Inhumane Barriers.” Hailing from Switzerland, the duo of Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni executed this exquisite mural that depicts a beautiful giant crystal with silhouetted figures beneath it scrambling to try and climb atop it, many of them falling off below. Nevercrew writes, “This project is about immigration and integration: about the loss of humanity and empathy, about barriers and values, and about the distant and often presumptuous position of who’s on the “right part” of the border.”

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The image touches on the issues surrounding immigration, a difficult and arduous event for most. Nevercrew worked with local action group, WASP (Women Asylum Seekers Together), who fight for rights and raise awareness about the issues that force women to seek international protection and the effects of the injustices of the UK immigration system. Cities of Hope is a street art convention which brings 9 of the worlds best artists to Manchester with the objective to force witness to 9 key social justice issues. Each artist and issue is being linked to a vital local organization that fights to help the lives of those affected by the issues, at a grass roots level. The event was produced by Vestige, a not for profit social justice organization that uses the Arts to inspire action on the social issues that define our time and support the work of agencies that champion these. Well done, everyone involved!

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(photos © Nevercrew)

Opening night recaps: Lords Anniversary & “First Edition”

We’ve been busy over here at 1AM! With openings at each of our locations this month, we can’t thank the Bay Area art community enough for your support.

“Legendary: Celebrating 30 Years of Lords Crew” is on display at our San Francisco gallery until July 14th, make sure to swing by and see a truly masterful collection of work from 12 domestic and international legends! Check out all of the opening night photos on our Facebook page. For catalog inquiries: artsales@1amgallery.com

“First Edition”, 1AM Prism’s very first juried show, is on display at our Oakland gallery until June 24th… cast your vote for the winner at 1AM Oakland any time during regular business hours.