Weekend in Florence. Happy November
One week with Milu Correch and more cool stuff, in your every-1st-of-the-month newsletter
Ehi there, how are you?
This month I spent a couple of days in Florence and realised that the days when we could enjoy solitary promenades around our cities are over.
Florence was packed with people, museums were crowded and human flocks roamed the narrow streets of the city center (which aren’t pedestrian and come with even more narrow sidewalks, so narrow that it’s impossible to walk side by side and you’ll end up at yelling ahead of you conversations that are probably best to keep private). And don’t get me started on restaurants, which not only were fully booked, but also offered a very little variety of vegetarian dishes, despite a regional cuisine that boasts some of the most wholesome soups in Italy.
This isn’t to say that I wasn’t happy to finally take a getaway, and I guess that each of the thousands of persons with whom I shared the view of Florence’s marbles glinting in the autumn sunshine will tell you the same.
Moreover, I was in Florence for the opening of an exhibition I truly enjoyed: “Forma”, a show featuring artworks by Etnik and Soda, two of the greatest post-graffiti artists in Italy. The exhibition shows the artists’ reinterpretation of Florence’s textures: starting from the Florentine ashlar or the black-and-white marbles of Florence Cathedral, each artist developed the Florence theme through his own style. Both artists boast a long and consistent graffiti practice, which they pushed beyond the rigid rules of lettering graffiti and into design and geometry, although with completely different results.
This month I also led a private walking tour highlighting street art and contemporary art throughout Rome’s neighborhoods of San Lorenzo and Esquilino. I made some interesting discoveries while researching it (haven’t I always said that my favorite thing about my city is that there’s always yet another layer to uncover?) I'll probably turn it into a blogpost and/or a video soon. Stay tuned!
That’s all folks! As always, feel free to let me know about your October by replying to this email :)
Until next month,
New on Youtube!
10 Years of Blocal blog :)
A deep dive into the archive for a celebratory video that runs through again all the coolest trips I’ve shared on Blocal blog over the last 10 years. Incredibly blessed to enjoy this milestone, my heartfelt thanks go out to all of you :)
New on the Blog!
Unfolding Milu Correch’s Work in Progress at the Appartengo Festival
The Appartengo Public Art Festival invited me to follow the work in progress of Argentinian street artist Milu Correch, known for painting non-stereotypical, narrative-based murals all around the world.
“I like to provide the ingredients and then leave to the viewer the power of making a dish with them, to come up with their own interpretations. This way the artwork isn’t only mine, it’s also theirs.” - Milu Correch
In Partnership with Masterclass
Learn Spray-Painting and Abstract Art with Futura2000
I’m starting a partnership with Masterclass, a streaming platform that offers classes on a wide variety of topics. Each month I’ll review one class and leave you a special link to try it too, because I believe you should keep learning new things in order to trigger new ideas and nourish your mind.
This month I watched a class on spray-painting and abstract art by graffiti legend Futura2000. Leonard Hilton McGurr began writing his graffiti name Futura2000 in the streets of New York in the early 1970s, at the dawn of the subway graffiti movement. He pioneered the shift of the graffiti movement from lettering towards a more painterly, abstract style -a personal style that he keeps evolving ever since.
Click below (yellow button) to take this spray-painting masterclass with Futura2000, or go to the blog to read my full review.
Full disclosure: If you use the link above (yellow button) to get yourself a Masterclass membership, I’m earning a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Handpicked by Yours Truly
Stuff I liked this month
What just happened in the street art world? Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo covered with white paint an artwork he made (and meant to be) in the streets, after finding out that it was part of a pay-to-enter exhibition in Turin. Borondo posted a video of himself vandalising his own artwork, followed by a series of instagram stories where he contextualises the phenomenon of peeling street art off the street to put it on sale or to feature it in an exhibition (which is why every Banksy exhibition comes with the “unauthorised” disclaimer).
“These interventions in public spaces weren’t made with the intention to create objects to consume, but to dialogue and accompany their surroundings. Without their context, the interventions make no sense, the will and intent of the artist have disappeared, so, in the end, the works of art do not exist anymore.” Gonzalo Borondo
You should know by now that you can count on me to let you know when a new piece by David Sedaris is out ;) This one is not an actual essay, but a selection of entries from his 2016 Diary, as the second volume of his diaries (“A Carnival of Snackery”) has just been released.
Mural(s) of the Month: “Medicinal Flowers of Lebanon” – New Mural Series by Faith47 in Beirut:
Faith47 painted a series of murals in the brittle sites of Beirut, Lebanon. By depicting local medicinal flowers, whose healing power is known since centuries, Faith47 attempts at healing past and present scars etched into the city. Growing out from concrete, her flowers show resilience and -despite the gentle trait- boldness, even amongst the debris.
Still in October, English subvertiser Dr. D joined forces with Climate Call-Up to raise the alarm on climate crisis with a World War-level mobilisation in the streets of London:
“I was surprised that it didn’t get more worried looks from passers-by, but then a lot of people will hop over a dead body on the street without batting an eyelid, missing a step or more importantly not interrupting a hard scroll.” - Dr. D a.k.a. Subvertiser
Yet another great installation produced in October is this one by Nuno Viegas at Lisbon-based Festival Iminente, a tribute to graffiti writers and their attitude for “getting up”, no matter what.
It reminded me of what Nuno Viegas did at Berlin’s Urban Nation Museum, and it is -obviously- part of that graffiti-inspired series that Nuno Viegas began developing in 2016. A thematic series that isn’t simply a homage to his world, but also a genuine acclaim for the commitment shown by graffiti writers.
“For me, graffiti is not just about writing your name all over, but it has to do with everything that comes with it: life experiences, fun, friendships, brotherhood, dedication, loyalty and more… It’s a way of living and I still carry parts of it with me today.” - Nuno Viegas
Book of the Month: this month I read “The Eternaut”, a sci-fi graphic novel created in Argentina in the 1950s. (actually, I read “The Eternaut II”, published in 1969). The story shows Oesterheld’s increasing concern about the political conditions of his country and region, concerns that turned out to be justified as the author was kidnapped, murdered and dissapeared —along with almost all of his family— by Argentina's last civil-military dictatorship.
I’ve enjoyed “The Billion Dollar Code”, a miniserie on the birth of TerraVision, a virtual representation of Earth at the intersection between art and technology, and how Google stole the idea (and the algorithm) to turn it into Google Earth:
Connecting Artists with Art Opportunities
Send your best posters and stickers to the Paste-Up Festival Naples. Deadline November 9th.
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 10 years of blogging :)
From the Archive
My Best Friend’s Big, Fat, Balkan Wedding
A storytelling piece I truly love. I wish I had written more blogposts like this one!