art cube from urban nation at lollapalooza 2015

URBAN NATION @ LOLLAPALOOZA FESTIVAL 2015

The Lollapalooza festival was nothing short of explosive. The festival made a spectacular debut claiming success even before the festival was completed. The festival offered the attendees a chance to indulge in a once in a lifetime art experience. They constructed a magnificent installation in the middle Tempelhof airport.

art cube at urbannation lollapalooza festival

THE CUBE – was an installation that was used by seven artists to display master art pieces. These artists had horned their skills to perfection finding harmony between street art, and modern art. Approximated at eight meters, it included passages where visitors would have the relish of exploring the fine art that was hanging around.

URBAN NATION received an invite from Lollapalooza to attend the festival. URBAN NATION would fuse music in with the art and form a musical marriage. This collaboration would bring forth Europe’s Lollapalooza festival where people could come and enjoy art.

URBAN NATION is an organization, that supports young artists who have their eyes set to leave a mark on the urban scene. This Berlin based organization, brings together local and international artists together, to create projects on how to beautify urban spaces. The organization is set to help artists, access the best in inspiration and find audience to critic or applaud their work. The organization is non- profit and its initiatives and accomplishments are supported by exhibitions and local workshops.

URBAN NATION is a baby project by the Berliner Leben Foundation. This organization has been running under the guidance of Yasha Young. A foundation, by the name of Gewobag Gewobag founded the Berliner Leben foundation back in 2013. The aim of this was to provide platforms that promoted the general development of the city districts in Berlin.

The foundation, has its eyes set on equal participation and cultural integration that is important in keeping the society aware of their surroundings. They also focus on the needs of senior citizens, sport development and finding aid for youth who need funding.

The Lollapalooza is a festival that takes place annually. It is an amazing music platform where popular artists perform popular genres of music to multitudes of years. This festival invites a wide range of artists who take their time, to display the mastery of their crafts. People are in love with Lollapalooza simply because it offers a buffet of art displays and music ready to seduce the eras of the gods. This festival has proven to offer a free platform, where nonprofit based political groups, and visual artists find voice for their causes.

Molded and brought to life in 1991 by the melodious Perry Farrell who was famously known for Jane’s Addiction. Lollapalooza took a break in 1997 and stayed dormant till 2003. The festival took the chance to tour north America just as a way to advertise their epic return. The year 2004 was not such a good year for the festival due to low ticket sales.

Back in 2005 musician star Pharrell Williams worked with the sports entertainment company one known as C3 Presents.  The result of this collaboration stamped the festival as it is now. Grant Park in Chicago was to host the festival as a weekend destination kind of festival.

Lollapalooza has taken the festival to other locations like, Chile, Brazil and recently Berlin. Hosting to over 160,000 people during a period of 2-3 days where people indulge in various art forms and let their hair down.

“THE CUBE-Think out the box” held on September 12th -13th was the first alliance the Lollapalooza festival was having with Europe and expectations were high. Hosting both international acclaimed artists and local celebrity artists, the art spoke through and journalists took their time to collect information that they needed for their publications. The music was up to our expectations and the art did sooth our minds. It’s like a piece of nirvana.

The director of the festival Fruzsina Szep had these reassuring things to say “Lollapalooza is more than a music festival. It is a blend of music, fashion, art, food and cool projects for children,”, he added, “I am very excited about the artistic spirit that URBAN NATION will bring to our festival. It’s great that URBAN NATION has chosen to embrace this adventure and help us make Lollapalooza a one-of-a-kind Berlin festival.”

The festival was jam packed with renowned international artist who appreciate the festival platform. Appearances were made with artists like fat boy, muse and Sam smith just to mention but a few. Some of the pieces were created by famous faces such as, Telmo Miel, Alexis Dias, James Bullough, Case Maclaim, Tankpetrol from Manchester, and Li Hill just to mention but a few.

The marriage between URBAN NATION and Lollapalooza has proved to be fruitful. There are many plans to make it even more explosive every year!

Hillary Clinton Mural that Caused Controversy

First it was a mural depicting a near-naked Hillary Clinton in a swimsuit with stars and stripes. The mural went viral, circulating around social media and causing criticisms of all kinds. The provocative painting was displayed on the wall of a small business building in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray.

Protests followed from Maribyrnong Council who called the mural offensive.

“We believe it is offensive because of the depiction of a near-naked woman, not on the basis of disrespect to Hillary Clinton, in accordance with the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007,” said Stephen Wall, CEO of Maribyrnong City Council.

hillary clinton mural wearing star spangled bathing suit with cash

That prompted Lushsux, creator of the mural, to add something extra to his painting – he painted some $100 notes stuffed in the swimsuit in reaction. This was also a response to Instagram after it suspended his account for posting the image on the social media platform. The artist’s account had already won over 100,000 followers.

The authority went further to claim that local residents were not happy with the painting and even threatened the owner of the building with the prosecution along with a fine if the mural was not removed. Of course, the mural went up during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign so perhaps it created a negative image of her.

‘Hillary Clinton’ in a Burqa

Lushsux branded the calls to remove the mural as pathetic. Instead of removing the mural, he eventually covered up the swimsuit by painting a Burqa over it, leaving only the eyes showing. The Burqa is traditional outfit worn by Muslim women to cover their bodies in public.

hillary clinton mural by lushsux wearing a burqa

Next to the new work, he painted the message, “If this Muslim woman offends u, u r a bigot, racist, sexist Islamophobe.” He then posted on his new account, “This is no longer a wall of a supposed ‘offensive and near naked’ Hillary Clinton, it is now a depiction of a beautiful Muslim woman”.

Lushsux is no stranger to controversy

It’s not only Clinton who was handed the artist’s treatment and it wasn’t the first time the artist attracted media attention for his satirical paintings. Lushsux also painted and adjusted murals of the then Republican nominee Donald Trump and his wife, Melania across Melbourne. However, these murals didn’t receive harsh measures from the Instagram owner.

He has also satirized extremely renowned celebrities in the past. In another mural, he displayed an image of singer Taylor Swift and captioned: “In Loving Memory of Taylor Smith, 1989-2016”, in reference to the pop star’s public conflict with rapper Kanye West. After Swift threatened to take legal action, Lushsux transformed that piece into one Harambee, the gorilla whose killing after a little child fell into his fenced area sparked outrage.

Of course, there are those who have no hard feelings towards the murals or how Lushsux express his ideas. Some even find the murals funny and create memes out of them. In any case, the murals live on and so is the artist. We can only wait for the next controversy he’s going to create.

murals in the market homepage

Murals in the Market – what a beautiful scene!

In collaboration with the Eastern Market Corporation and Knight Foundation, 1xRUN and Inner State Gallery curated and delivered a 9-day mural festival that thrilled locals and visitors to Detroit. There were series of events that activated the whole footprint of the Market which organizers believed will leave an everlasting impression on the Eastern Market.

Detroit’s 2016 mural festival was huge; it was a triumphant return to the city for the second year of its only international mural festival and more than 50 local and international artists were invited to add new arts throughout the city. You can check out the full list of artists on their website.

1010 murals in the market 2016

Over the last 5 years, 1xRUN and Inner State Gallery have produced more than 75 murals in the Eastern Market, with over 100 murals throughout Detroit city. On 2016 alone, 50 new murals were added to the city’s gallery.

Artists from as far as Paris, Singapore and Australia crowned the festival with breathtaking murals. New York’s Cey Adams, a renowned graffiti artist came along to exhibit his work alongside notables such as 1010 from Germany and Britain’s Mr. Jago.

Visitors had the chance to get up-close with the artists and culturally significant photographers during discussion panels. Cey Adams said he acknowledged the mass population that dropped by, inspired by what he does, that a city like Detroit is putting on a festival like Murals in the Market.

Pat Perry murals in the market 2016

Mexican Victor Quinonez, famous as Marka27 said he really enjoyed the city and the culture. Some of his works are on at hot spots such as Belmont Tunnels, L.A, and Hall of Fame in Spanish Harlem, N.Y and Five Points in Queens, New York.

For the native artist Pat Perry, who lives about half a mile from his mural in Eastern Market, the festival was an opportunity to use his artistic talent to inspire the enthusiasm of his neighbors. He thinks when people walk by the mural every day, they feel more value than if the wall is just an abandoned building.

What’s the impact?

With the production of these murals, every location has had a significant visual impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Not only that, there’s an increase in traffic to the areas, economic boom as well as increased security.

Felipe Pantone murals in the market 2016

Even more interesting, all events were free and open to the public as both the local and international artists looked to extend their artistry markets. And it was more than just artwork; from multiple art exhibitions, installations, children’s workshops, community events and live music, it was a great way to portray the spirit of Detroit. The festival brought more energy to Eastern Market and encouraged people to connect with each other and their city as well.

Visitors to Eastern Market are now treated to a batch of bright murals on every corner. And that was the goal of the organizers – to encourage people who have never visited the century-old Eastern Market and seen the renovated sheds in the area. It’s more exuberant today than it has ever been thanks to the public art that has expanded the footprint and the district at large.

 

ArtUnitedUs – The Largest Urban Art Project

Art continues to grow all around the world, uniting different cultures wherever it touches. One special place where street art has recently made a major impact is in Kiev, Ukraine. Project ArtUnitedUs is taking the city’s look to a whole new level. Launched on March 16th, 2016, ArtUnitedUs claims to be the greatest urban art project which unites 200 of the best artists through mural art and the declaration of maintaining peace around the world.

ArtUnitedUs initiators are Ukrainian social figures Geo Leros, Wone Interesni Kazki, Ilya Sagaidak and Iryna Kanishcheva. On their website, they express that the artists were united by the forces to coordinate the strengths of art towards peace, regardless of whether it would be in Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine or Abkhazia.

As indicated by them, now is a period when propaganda of hostility and brainwashing create tensions on earth. This is the major reason why a line-up of international street artists will cooperate to create public awareness and direct attention towards the issues of war, animosity and violence.

The organizers are certain that murals are an immense weapon that will save the world. With 200 murals to be painted around the world, project ArtUnitedUs aims to create an entirely new history. The initial 100 murals will be made on the Ukraine territory and the other 100 in strategic places around the world, forming a “ring of peace”.

Notable Murals

about travelling mural by artem proot

“About Travelling” By Kyiv native Artem Proot

The painting by Artem Proot is about travelling into the places that make us better, giving us fascinating meetings and opens numerous new opportunities. He was helped by a 12-year old kid Oleskii, who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Apparently, the coordinators of the project will look into consideration the opportunity to draw children with handicaps into the way toward making art in Ukraine.

 

labyrinth mural by rustam qbic

Labyrinth mural by Rustam QBic

It was supposedly the first mural of the project, done by the Russian street artist at Dmytrivska 62/20. His Labyrinth mural portrays a character wearing a crown molded like a maze over his head who guided by scarab bug compass, who tries to discover an exit from a huge labyrinth of life difficulties. As per the artist, the mural reflects on the sense of this journey, an excursion we all undertake at some point in our lives.

 

shelter mural by paola delfin

“Shelter” by Paola Delfin

The Mexican artist works are usually influenced by illustration expressing beauty and a feminine sensibility through fragile drawing and natural structures. Her “shelter” mural in Kiev highlights the picture of a young woman with her arms traversed over her chest in a defensive, yet at the same time fragile and peaceful position. She doesn’t fear since she is sheltered. “Shelter” suggests that we all have a place of refuge, regardless of whether it is a person or a place we feel comfortable with.

Among the world-class artists

Some other big names that make up this project and whom we expect many interesting works from include:

108, 2501, Aaron Glasson, Andrew A. Antonaccio (2Alas), Adnate, Add Fuel, Agostino Iacurci, Alexey Luka, Alexei Kondakov, Andrew Hem, Ana Marietta,  Bik Ismo, Britcev Alexander, Bohdan Burenko, Cyrcle, Celso Gonzalez, Case McClaim, DALeast, Deih, Emmanuel Jarus, Edgar Saner, Ernest Zacharevic,  Evoca1, Ernesto Maranje, Filio Galvez, Faith47, Fintan Magee, Fin Dac, Fikos Antonios, Gaia, Grebeniuk, Guido Van Helten, Grino, Herakurt, Hyuro, Ilya Chichkan, INO, James Bullough, Jade Rivera, Jonny Alexander, JR, Jura Kanevski, Kenor, Liqen, Li-Hill, Moneyless, Mata Ruda, M-City, MTO, NeSpoon, Okuda, Olivier Bonnard, Os Gemeos, Pastel, Phlegm, Retna, Reka1, Ricky Lee Gordon, Rone, ROA, Sainer (Etam Cru), Sebastian Velasco, Sego, Sasha Kurmaz, Smates, Saddo Raul, Sten & Lex, Senekt, Speto, Storaz, Soke, Smitheone, Vero Rivera, Waone Interesni Kazki, Zio Ziegler, … and many others.

Peace.

roboart - wall painting robot

Artbot – the new artist on the block

In Korea, apartment buildings dominate Seoul city and large murals as high as 75m command the walls of the apartments. You’ll be forgiven to think that the best artists from around the world created the murals, yet no human applied paint on a single art.

Introducing Artbot – a robot for painting exterior walls of apartments or large buildings. The robot breaks an image into several small pieces to paint the entire picture. Made and used by Korean company Roboprint, it’s a safer, quicker and more economic form of painting building’s exterior than people can do. Using Artbot is less expensive than the traditional labor painting by up to 80% plus there’s no risk of human accidents working in high places.

Artbot also works on highways and expressways where sound proof walls can be transformed into delightful masterpieces. The apartment repainting sector in Korea is approximately a $350 million industry and with the Artbot’s efficiency, these figures are bound to shoot. Apartment repainting helps to increase the value of a property as well as the visual appeal. Even those dull storage tanks in industrial settings can be transformed into artistic murals and make the surrounding lively.

Technology

The wall painting robot system relies on different technologies to execute various tasks.

The first is Real-Painting Technology. This allows the robot to create a necessary color by spraying 4 color paints (CMYK), one after another through a nozzle situated at the head.

Another one is Image Splitting Technology which is specifically what creates an image. Since the robot works on relatively large wall paintings, it splits an image into many small pieces to paint the whole image. This allows expressing a wide image as one real wall paint. Moreover, selective or partial repainting can be possible regardless of the possibility that painting work is disrupted because of machine faults or external causes.

Perhaps one that saves on a major challenge that artists usually experience is the Irregular Structure Painting Technology. Yes, painting on uneven surfaces is overwhelming but it can’t beat the Artbot. The spout of the robot keeps a setting distance from a surface to be painted at least 20mm while the head takes after an irregular or a curved surface. Along these lines, painting a twisted surface is possible.

The final and one that cut’s significantly on labor costs is the Workability Improvement Technology. This reduces work preparation time by a level checking gadget Print leveling by a lift. The robot painting system is also controlled remotely and wirelessly.

The Artbot has now put Roboprint in a dominant position in the building repainting market. And to meet resident’s expectations of increasing the value of their apartments and promote customer satisfaction, the company shows luxurious designs along with their smart painting robot. Their mission is clear; transform Seoul city into an urban museum.

 

A Young Artist Makes Yonge and St. Clair a Place to Visit

There is a new life in Toronto city, thanks to Phlegm’s 8-storey mural.

phlegm mural painted on st clair

The Mural

What was once an empty side of a 12-storey commercial building at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue is currently a monster wall painting done by Phlegm, a British street artist and illustrator. Phlegm collaborated with a public arts organization, STEPS, to create Toronto’s newest public art landmark.

Assisted by Danforth-based muralist Stephanie Bellefleur, they painted a human silhouette peering at its surroundings. Stephanie was lucky to land this gig from a pool of over 100 applicants. While Phlegm was busy burning through cans of spray paint, Stephanie provided logistical support; overseeing materials and other hardware, working the swing stage and offering artistic input when required.

Phlegm came up with the idea of creating a human body out of the Toronto landmarks like the ROM, CN Tower, Old City Hall and St. Lawrence Market to portray the city as a spirited, living ecosystem. He also consulted with over 230 native residents and integrated their insights including certain buildings and ravines.

st clair mural being painted by phlegm

Phlegm

Born in North Wales and now residing in Sheffield, the UK, Phlegm is widely known as a cartoonist and an illustrator. His work is composed of quirky figures and a descriptive structure. They usually feature strange creatures and ancient-like beasts.

Most of Phlegm’s arts are entirely based on illustration. The larger part of his vast characters originates from comics which he often spray paints onto massive walls. Phlegm likes to use the black Indian ink and a dip pen for painting his work and only uses color for painting large murals or screen-painting.

Phlegm’s style has developed entirely from his independently published comics. In the most recent years, he has put a solid exertion into taking a shot at street art. He appreciates working the empty spaces on large walls, old industrial facilities and different structures. Phlegm believes that a piece of art in the street becomes part of the urban architecture and is impacted by what’s around it rather than being a cumbersome canvass in the art display or gallery.

Since Phlegm’s took the stage, he has gained recognition across the world and is a standout amongst the most respected street artists. His street art is distinctive and exceptionally full of energy. His work has additionally shown up in various objects such as vehicles, boats, planes and several street art festivals across Europe; the UK, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Croatia. He has also painted murals in Tunisia, New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

STEPS

This award-winning company was given the task to leverage underutilized public spaces in the heart of Toronto by Slate Asset Management, the owner of the four corners of Yonge and St. Clair.

STEPS couldn’t help but invite an artist to help beautify the plain wall of the Padulo building at 1st St. Clair Avenue. Their instincts led them all the way to Britain, calling Phlegm to take part in the project. Phlegm was chosen from 10 shortlisted artists because of his vast experience with giant murals and his unique black and white style.

With a solid mandate to fabricate the capacity of local developing artists, the St. Clair Ave. project was STEPS’ first on international level. They strongly believe the mural will cultivate cultural dialogue and help foster tourism in the region.

'untitled' kirsten mccrea mural at up here

How UP Here Festival Transformed Sudbury

In August 2016, Up Here made a comeback to Sudbury, Canada with the aim of rebranding the city. The pollution-stricken downtown city of Canada had long been the centre of criticism from outsiders and Up Here was out to refine that notion. A city formerly nicknamed ‘the asshole of Canada’ by the locals was set to become the happiest city in Canada.

Up Here landed in Sudbury already rebranded after their original name, Up Fest was found to infringe on another street art festival from the UK. That was a blow to their Sudbury’s festival event which was much about muralists, musicians and artists, but they still nailed it. To add the icing on the cake, Up Here even launched a mobile app thanks to their shrewd graphic designers and marketers Andrew Knapp and Christian Pelletier.

"you are beautiful" mural from sudbury's up here festival

There were about 16 Up Here’s commissioned murals which were part of the plan of transforming Sudbury and change the perception of the city. Pelletier’s ambition was to make Sudbury a destination for art enthusiasts by turning the city’s downtown to an urban art gallery. The plan involved inviting artists from around Sudbury and across the world to create big murals.

2016’s event rocked with big stage artists, with the likes of Ella and Pitr, Kirsten McCrea, Ola Volo, James Kirkpatrick and Hobz leaving marks of jaw-dropping murals.

'god helmet' mural on Science North building rooftop

The mural at the Science North rooftop is especially breathtaking. Done by French artists Ella and Pitr’, the piece is of great significance to Sudbury as it put the city on the international stage. The mural features a sleeping giant and it’s visible via Google maps. Many people from around the world hunt for Ella and Pitr’s murals all over the internet trying to find the different pieces in Chile and Portugal. And now Sudbury was added into the game. That’s why it matters to the people of this city.

'untitled' mural by kirsten mccrea at up here festival in sudbury

 

The musical offerings at last year’s fest put the focus on female-fronted bands with U.S Girls, Young Galaxy, Dilly Dally and Stars making the headlines. Locals Neli Nenkova and Tracy Baker also made to the podium. People had tough decisions to make. Pelletier called the festival ‘dueling late nights’ which put two bands against each other at different venues. Some hip hop acts were also on the roster as Pelletier was of the idea of diversifying the program in all senses.

up here mural by krueger krew

He also didn’t forget about the fun and creativity for kids. They organized a family day and kids from within Sudbury had a blast of 2016. Kids did face-painting on adults as well as painting mini-murals on cardboards. The organizers believed there’s no better way of gentrifying the city than getting everyone engaged and celebrating the move together.

whos going to take the weight mural from up here mural festival in sudbury

By the time the fest was over, Sudbury was lit by life-worthy elements. It looked renovated with beauty oozing from all corners of the city. Pelletier said last year’s theme was based on terraformation, which according to him is making an inhabitable space livable. They are proud of that achievement.

ostendstrasse frankfurt germany mural in subway (aka metro) tunnel

Ostendstrasse Metro Mural – 6,600 m2 Mural in Frankfurt, Germany

Murals have the power to transform a community. They unite people and teach them about their culture plus their origins. Issues like inequality, violence, unemployment among others are well expressed by murals because of the long-lasting effect. It’s hard to ignore a large painting on a wall somewhere in the street even if it’s been there for many days. And, you somehow realize something new about it every time you see it.

The tunnel in Ostendstrasse metro station in Frankfurt was once considered a dangerous place to wait for a train. The walls were covered in dirt and the area wasn’t bright enough.

Enter Case Maclaim and Does. The two artists combined to create a 6.600 m2 mural in the tunnel. They spent six weeks underground and gave the city a masterpiece. The work began with cleaning the walls which were the major challenge of the project. Not like the dirt was an issue but because the tunnel was not equipped with a system that could allow large amounts of water.

frankfurt mural

Nonetheless, Case and Does had the extra manpower for assistance. They moved in a 1.5-ton compressor that removed grime with dry ice. The walls were then prepared in one color coating which consumed 1,000 liters of paint. They used green as the base color because of its crisp effect. Green also gives a sense of growth, rejuvenation and energy, perhaps what they intended for the people.

frankfurt tunnel mural

The artists followed by applying their designs on the primed walls. They added 2 more color palettes resulting in an awe-inspiring art that span every inch of the wall. Ostendstrasse metro station is now a go-to place for everyone visiting Frankfurt. Many people flock the station for public meetings, take photographs and witness the piece of art.

Case Maclaim Bio

Born Andreas von Chrzanowski, CASE is a German graffiti artist. Case began his work back in 1995 painting with spray cans to create photorealistic graffiti. His style features body shape representations and photorealistic arts. Some of his artistry usually portrays people or the human body. He takes them from their natural form and displays them in a new context often with animalistic, monstrous and mythic elements.

Most of his incredible works can be seen on several walls across Europe. From London to Wroclaw, Seville, Milano and Moscow, Case has caused waves in the international art arena. He has also painted walls in Mexico, New York and Los Angeles. He has been doing projects since 2008 and the Frankfurt painting is a tip of the iceberg.

About Does

Joos van Barneveld aka DOES is a Dutch artist known for his pure style, eye for detail and balanced color palettes. Born in 1982 in The Netherlands, he started crafting in 1997. His talent and years of experience have raised him to international artistry.

His works have featured in several exhibitions around the world. Does works includes prints, illustrative drawings, canvasses and murals. He likes to breathe brightness, dynamism and energy in his art. The Ostendstrasse wall graffiti sums it all.

Thank you Case and Does for breathing new life to Ostendstrasse metro station.

magic finnga wond with students in thunder bay painting macs streetart mural

Mural Project in North Bay Brings Community Together

One of the greatest things about street art and murals, in particular, is their ability to bring people together. This is not only true in the way murals and street art interact with the everyday person, ie. through viewing and playing with pieces of public art, but also in their creation. All around the world, mural programs reach out to community members and introduce people to the power of art, and give them the tools and skills to start or continue their own artistic journey.

Here on the MuralForm blog, we have dedicated a lot of space to the many mural programs we hear about and witness, both locally in Toronto and around the world. It is an important part of who we are and why we do what we do. And today we have yet another incredible example of a mural arts program doing good in a community. This time in North Bay, Ontario.

In the northeastern Ontario town, a local Mac’s decided it was time to give back to the community that has served them so well, and they did it through a simple yet powerful donation: the large wall on the side of their building. A plain wall by any standards, Mac’s convenience store owners, along with North Bay Police and Near North Crime Stoppers, decided to get the local kids and youth involved in a beautification project. The goal: teach the kids how to make murals and paint the wall with a memorable a beautiful piece of street art. They called the project Mac’s StreetArt initiative and it was a huge success from the moment it got started.

mural painted in thunder bay

To make the project a reality, the Mac’s StreetArt initiative invited Toronto muralist and graffiti artist  Magic “Finnga” Wong to their town. Together, they started a three-day program that encouraged participation in every single facet of the mural, from coming up with the design to the actual painting.

Magic Finnga Wong helped the many locals who came out and participated learn the finer points of spray painting, all while teaching them the code of street artists. Namely to respect each other’s work and to contribute to the community rather than to desecrate it. “When you invite the kids from the neighbourhood or anyone in general from the area to come out and paint it makes it theirs,” he said in an interview with Sudbury. “It becomes ownership to the neighbourhood.”

The piece, now finished, is a testament to the power of murals to not only beautify space but enrich people’s lives. Now, these community members have the start of the skills they need to continue on their personal artistic journey. Who knows, the next great graffiti artist may have got their start painting the Mac’s wall in North Bay, Ontario!

drew lausman creating art via explosionism

Explosionism: Using the Power of Fireworks to Make Art

There are thousands of “isms” in the art world. Surrealism, abstract expressionism, postmodernism, regular modernism. They all have a history, their fans and their detractors. But there’s a new “ism” that has come out. It’s called “explosionism” and it’s making quite the bang in the art world.

Explosionism is the creation of Drew Lausman, a Lakeland-based artist who’s lifelong love of fireworks has turned into a brand new art form. At its core, the new art style is both rambunctious and audacious. Lausman dips a firework or firecracker in paint, sets it off and checks out the result. And what results they are, many of which you can check out on Lausman’s Etsy page.

beautiful starry landscape horizon artwork by drew lausman featuring his explosionism style

 

Explosionism, like many amazing innovations, comes from a combination of desperation and tragedy. “Part of my inspiration came from actually having little materials at the time,” Lausman told Business Insider. He goes on to explain “that when his brother passed away in 2009, he left behind a ton of firecrackers, leading Lausman to use those as a way to create art.”

From that initial step forward, Lausman has only improved in his chosen technique, with some seriously incredible results. Many of his paintings, some 200 in just four years, are incredible, beautiful and unlike what you would expect from the process. There is a level of detail and precision to the work you would not normally expect and, in that, it defies expectations.

explosionism artwork by drew lausman

While his art is impressive, as is his output, Lausman is quick to stress the importance of safety and experience when handling fireworks and firecrackers. “Everyone likes playing with fireworks. However, it’s not all fun and games,” he says in one of his demonstration videos. “Creating art with fireworks can be a dangerous craft .When I’m doing multiple explosions, I’ll have parts of the firecracker blow up, basically on my leg, or on my jeans. I make art with fireworks. I still blow myself away sometimes. I’ve done 200 paintings in four years.”

explosionism artwork featuring starry night sky by drew lausman

Explosionism is a brand new genre of art, one that proves unique and new ways of doing things can be created every day. It also stresses the importance of how art gets made, not just the end result, which goes a long way to humanizing artists, an important step for getting the pay they deserve for their labour. Another benefit of explosionism’s approach is Lausman’s output, which allows him the chance to sell his art at lower prices and reach more and more people. It may just be one of the ways of the future that we’re just learning about today!