Street Art and Social Change: Blu with Activists in Northern Italy

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The world renowned Italian artist and activist, Blu, recently just wrapped up two new murals which both critique a high-speed rail being built in the Susa valley in northern Italy. The project has created a lot of criticism and conflict, with the majority of objections against it being centered on environmental, health, energy and economic costs as compared to its claimed benefits.One mural is of a ominous industrial machine paving its way through the countryside toward a tree of life, obliterating everything in its path. The other mural depicts a line of people crawling one after the other on their hands and knees, gobbling up money from the ground, without conscious thought. Powerful imagery as usual from Blu!

The NO TAV movement has also focused on the unnecessary construction of the expensive high-speed line and the presence of illegal economic activities and loss of public money through corruption. In classic Blu form, the artist showed up on location at the site of social and environmental injustice armed with his creativity and paint. He painted these two murals, which are meant to raise attention and awareness, and invite solidarity with those who are actively working to halt the massive project.

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Street Art and Social Change: “Mother’s Artists” by Pejac in Jordan

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This week we have another powerful piece by the Spanish artist, Pejac, in Al-Azraq, Jordan. Pejac has been working tirelessly on powerful new imagery the last year, with this piece, entitled “Mother’s Artists,” being painted in the refugee camp in Al-Azraq. Most of his art weaves together topics of social justice and environmental issues, with his classically trained paint brush technique. This piece was painted on the side of a refugee bunk house, and depicts a mother washing her child in a tub. Al-Azraq currently has 40,000 Syrian refugees housed there, with hundreds more arriving every week. The majority of refugees are children, and also women who are caring for them. This symbolic painting by Pejac is in homage of all the single mothers and women who are trying to give their children a better life. Also in the piece, Pejac pays tribute to the famous nineteenth century Spanish painter, Sorolla, by painting a segment of late artist’s work Playa de Valencia a la luz de la Mañana” – a mother washing her child in the sea.

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Street Art and Social Change: Escif Paints “Blood for Oil”

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Spanish artist, Escif, recently painted this social-environmental-political charged piece on the streets of Valencia, Spain. The work depicts a soldier in a crouched firing position, armed with a gas pump as the weapon. The artist’s use of muted colors and simple lines helps him communicate messages and ideas, and not just decorate walls with shapes. Escif’s narrative on the state of the world is clear in his always-inviting imagery. Through his painting, he holds a mirror up to society, using his work as social commentary. Another simple, yet poignant piece by the talented, Escif!

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Opening night recap: 123Klan’s “Style Is The Message”

Thank you for coming to celebrate the opening of 123Klan’s new solo show, “Style Is The Message”! The gallery has taken on a life of it’s own… the duo hooked up the entire space with murals, Band1tism gear, and even some 123Klan furniture. We had so much fun meeting all you Band1tism fans, and seeing our 1AM friends & family. If you weren’t able to make it, swing by the gallery before June 2nd to see what all the talk is about! The team is here Tuesday through Saturday, from noon until 6:30pm. Contact artsales@1amgallery.com for a catalog.

123Klan’s “Style Is The Message” Opens Tomorrow!

 

San Francisco! Join us tomorrow for the very special opening reception of 123Klan’s solo show, “Style Is The Message”, from 6:30 – 9:30PM. Along with an insane collection of new original artwork, we’ll have silkscreen posters & limited BANDIT1SM gear available.

Originally hailing from France, this dynamic husband and wife duo is now operating out of Montreal, and they’ve created an entire body of work exclusively for their San Francisco debut at 1AM. The collection is punchy, satirical, and a visual commentary on Bay Area culture, U.S. state of affairs, and the generally unique energy of California.

Scien has flown in from Montreal, and we’re ready to celebrate… See you tomorrow night! (1000 Howard @ 6th)

Street Art and Social Change: Air Pollution Masks in London

Greenpeace activists fit a statue of Isaac Newton at The British Library with an emergency face mask (photo © John Cobb : Greenpeace)

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In a recent urban intervention, Greenpeace activists installed a series of air pollution masks on public statues around the capital city of London, England. Designed by the artist, Christopher Kelly, the masks are all unique to every statue, and took a month of making and organizing to accomplish. Wearing safety vests with the emblem “Statue Cleaning Team,” activists scaled 18 statues in one morning. Greenpeace wants the acts to raise awareness toward dangerous levels of air pollution in London. According to a recent study carried out by researchers from King’s College London, nearly 9,500 people die early each year in London due to long-term exposure to air pollution, more than twice as many as previously thought.

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Greenpeace states, “At the moment, [Mayor] Boris Johnson has put forward a proposal for an ultra-low emission zone, but that only covers the area of the congestion zone, which is a very small area in central London,” Morozzo told Vice. “So we’re calling for a clean air zone to cover a much larger area of London to be brought in sooner than 2020. We’re saying at least by 2019, and we need it to be stricter, to protect the lungs of most Londoners — not just a few of them.”

Greenpeace activists climbing Nelson’s Column (photo © Jiri Rezac : Greenpeace)

The 170ft tall Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square. Greenpeace activists climbing Nelson’s Column (photo © Jiri Rezac : Greenpeace)

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Have you spotted our latest 1AM mural? We love our city!

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Our latest 1AM mural is a shoutout to where it all started, good ol’ San Francisco! Have you spotted it yet? Clue: Check it out next time you’re on your way to the SoMA skatepark or headed to grab a drink at Zeitgeist… Prints of “When the Lights Go Down” will also be available for this week’s upcoming Second Saturday, celebrate the release with us at our Oakland location from 6-9PM. (1523 B Webster St. @ 15th)

 

Street Art and Social Change: eL Seed Paints Massive “Perception”

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The talented and socially engaged French artist, eL Seed, recently finished a most unique production in Cairo, Egypt! For those who are unfamiliar with his work, the man is a visionary artist that truly puts his creative ability to work for social understanding and change. In his most recent project, he was hard at work in the Manshiyat Nasr neighborhood of Cairo. There, he painted an anamorphic mural that stretches across 50 buildings in the community, and can only be seen in its entirety from the point-of-view location, at the nearby Moqattam Mountain.

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eL Seed is known for his unique arabic calligraffiti style, which he stretched across the many buildings in this neighborhood. The project is questioning the level of judgment and misconception society can unconsciously have upon a community based on their differences. The community of Zaraeeb has collected the trash of the city for decades and developed the most efficient and highly profitable recycling system on a global level. Still, the place is perceived as dirty, marginalized and segregated.

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The passage of writing is from Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, a Coptic Bishop from the 3rd century, that said: ‘Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first.’
‘إن أراد أحد أن يبصر نور الشمس، فإن عليه أن يمسح عينيه’

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eL Seed writes: “The Zaraeeb community welcomed my team and I as we were family. It was one of the most amazing human experience I have ever had. They are generous, honest and strong people. They have been given the name of Zabaleen (the garbage people), but this is not how they call themselves. They don’t live in the garbage but from the garbage; and not their garbage, but the garbage of the whole city. They are the one who clean the city of Cairo.”

Opening Night Recap: “The End Is Near”

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Thank you 1AM friends & family for coming out last Saturday! We all had a fun time celebrating the opening of “The End Is Near” with Robert Bowen, Vyal One, and Lango Oliveira. The gallery was enchanting and otherworldly, with each artist’s post-apocalypse vision coming together beautifully. If you weren’t able to make it, make sure to stop by! “The End Is Near” will be on view until April 14th, Tuesdays – Saturdays, 12 – 6:30PM.

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Street Art and Social Change: TWOONE in New Zeland

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The wonderful, world-traveling arts and activism event, Sea Walls (from the Pangea Seed Foundation), aims to protect the world’s oceans via public art and activism. Currently underway in Napier, New Zealand March 11-20, the festival has an amazing roster of international artists painting away, raising attention and engaging discussion on oceanic protection. For this week’s article, we are sharing the beautiful mural painted by Japanese artist, TWOONE. A beautiful large slate grey wall with colorful flora that matches the surrounding environment strikes the tone. Central in the mural is the KOKAKO bird, native to New Zealand, and currently on the endangered species list. Good news is, population numbers are slowly growing according to resent research by the Department of Conservation!

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