Even though Rotterdam is only one hour by train from Amsterdam (net of rail traffic continuous delays, obvs), until the very last moment I wasn’t sure I could make it to Pow! Wow! Rotterdam 2019, the second edition of the international urban art festival Pow! Wow! to take place in The Netherlands.
Liverpool astonished me with a grassroots scene where both graffiti and street art have found their own space. On the legal side, walls are provided to both graffiti writers and street artists by a young yet kick-ass festival named Contrast Mural; on the illegal side, writers share the streets with the members of the Secret Society of Super Villain Artists, which was founded in Liverpool 7 years ago. Enjoy my guide to graffiti and street art in Liverpool!
Silent Bill: “I started making art a few years ago. Low-brow art with a political/social twist. One day I made up the society’s logo and wrote on it “coming soon”. Immediately I noticed that people were intrigued by it, so I took the next step and made an application form. People had to fill it out in order to “join the society” and post it back to the Tate Museum. I did it as a joke; I wasn’t expecting anything out of it, but a big laugh. However, people did start filling it. I was getting some really good application forms, which were works of art themselves: drawn, engraved… one guy even screen-printed it on a glass!”
After a cozy weekend with my big, fat, Italo-French family, it was time to hit the city and explore the street art of Paris. I opted for the 13th district, where some great murals have just been added to an already outstanding collection of public art to inaugurate the open-air street art museum “Boulevard Paris 13”, a project curated by Itinerrance gallery.
At Nuart Aberdeen last year, I had the pleasure to help Carrie Reichardt mash hundreds of tiles into smaller pieces that—like the colours in a kaleidoscope made of life’s shards—would eventually tell two powerful stories on the walls of the Granite City. This year, after her talk had kicked off the Nuart Plus conferences programme, we sat down for a quick chat…
I met Helen a couple of years ago inside an abandoned factory in Germany. After several festivals, we recently caught up in Aberdeen. She told me about the murals she painted for Nuart, and shared insights into the path that brought her there.