A long concealed street art series. Happy February
Italian post-graffiti artist Morcky and more cool stuff, in your every-1st-of-the-month newsletter.
How are you?
January has been a terrific month for me: I worked on two new projects that, on top of giving me a reason to get out of bed and turn my writing muscle on, pushed me back into sociability by involving talks with street artists, editors, and curators -albeit on skype.
These projects are just what I wanted to be doing right now: a journalist gig at an online marketplace for urban contemporary art and a street art book celebrating an abandoned factory turned graffiti playground, now gone.
I love my blog but sometimes working on my own is demotivating, whereas this past month, I was excited to be part of something bigger. Knowing that my writing is a piece of a puzzle, which someone will need on a specific day to fit it together with the work of other people, made me look at it in a new light -while also showing me how much I miss that when I write for my blog.
On top of that, I reckon my motivation dropped when I landed in Amsterdam. Unable to share with you the excitement of my working life behind the scenes of the street art museum (my job contract forbade me to do it), I gave up on Blocal's editorial calendar and deleted the social accounts altogether. I focused all my energies on the museum, working passionately on a series of long-form interviews that -sadly- never saw the light, as they got hindered by a three-year-long series of events -from new managers to a global pandemic.
I’m still frustrated for having allowed myself to put my blog aside, and indeed it's tough to get my motivation back to -let's say- the 2017's standards. (ah, what a year! Who remembers?).
However, since I want to make a fresh start in 2022, I finally decided to publish the first chapter of the series I wrote to retrace Amsterdam's street art evolution. Just reply to this email to let me know what you think about the interview with Morcky. I need your feedback to decide what to do with the rest of this long-concealed street art series.
Until next month,
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Morcky and The Beginning of Figurative Graffiti in Amsterdam
Morcky moved to Amsterdam in 2002 for adventure’s sake. Amsterdam’s earlier generation of independent public artists inspired him to go back to painting figurative graffiti, as he did in Italy in the mid 90s. Eventually, Morcky channeled the inspiration he was getting from the streets of Amsterdam into new, more intimate artworks produced in his studio.
“What I really liked was the act of painting in the streets. I respect those who do stickers, stencils, posters and all those things, but for me street art is the unique gesture that happens in that specific time and at that specific place. It’s the movement of your hand, it’s the stress, it’s the limited amount of time and it’s the surroundings. That’s what makes it unique and, frankly, the magic of the performance is also the best part of it.” - Morcky
Handpicked by yours truly
What happened in the street art world? KAWS teamed up with Fortnite to bring his artworks into the virtual world. Since he began with illegal graffiti in the 1990s, KAWS's ability to cross disciplines' boundaries has marked his career, so it's no surprise that he is one of the first street artists to experiment with augmented reality. His exhibition "New Fiction" at London's Serpentine Galleries launched simultaneously on Fortnite, where a global audience of players can dress up as KAWS' trademark figures and explore the artworks.
This graffiti piece was made on World Braille Day (January 4th) by the Dutch train writer Tripl. It says "Furious" (the artist's second name) in Braille language:
Mural of the month: Tant, one of the founders of the Broken Fingaz Crew, painted this mural in Naharyia, Israel:
This mural by Tant boasts the iconic bold lines and acid-pop colors that made the Broken Fingaz collective renowned worldwide. It was painted as a part of "Lemala," an ongoing project that supports local artists and communities around Israel.
"Side Hustles", a new documentary movie by the subvertising duo "InDecline."
This piece by Brazilian street artist Cranio:
Cranio’s iconic blue characters represent the indigenous people in his homeland Brazil. They are blue because they are sick -a sickness caused by alienation in a society where consumerism and technology distract us from the destruction of forests in Brazil.
AELLE Magazine, the legendary hip-hop fanzine that introduced hundreds of fellow Italian kids and me to graffiti, is uploading its 1990s’ archive.
The narrative podcast Limited Capacity, which is a collection of six short stories about the strange and twisted ways we interact with the internet, and with each other;
I’ve been sharing with you every episode of Julie Nolke’s “Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self” series -and I won’t stop until she stops ;)
The IG account @cosechesonofelicidiesserecose (things happy to be things), featuring randomly-shaped objects in which we can recognize happy faces (a tendency known as pareidolia);
No one wants this villa with a Caravaggio mural. Villa Aurora has a special place in my memories, as my high school was just around the corner;
What did you like in the past month? Just reply to this email to let me know!
You somehow stumbled upon my blog and subscribed to the newsletter, but you have no idea who I am and how my blogging journey has unfolded so far? Here I share the ups and downs of my first ten years of blogging :)
Artist Open Calls
HKWALLS is looking for Hong Kong-based street artists to participate in the festival's upcoming edition. They haven't indicated a deadline, but the festival is taking place in March, so hurry up!
Superblast is back with a second edition! The international competition for artists under 40 offers a three-month residency to develop artistic projects in dialogue with the spaces of Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence. Apply before March 1st!
Since 2016 the Pebeo international competition has encouraged the discovery of emerging talents in the urban art scene. The prize is organized by Fluctuart, Paris' Urban Art Center. Apply before March 15th!
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From the Archive
From Graffiti Writing to Contemporary Art: The Story of Greg Jager
Raised in southern Italy, Greg Jager was active on and under the streets of Rome at the turn of the millennium. After being part of the second generation of graffiti artists in Rome, he began spraying abstract, conceptual pieces in public spaces and, more recently, in his studio.