activism

Posts tagged
with activism



Art

A New Book Repaints the Legacy of Street Art by Spotlighting Women Leading the Genre

December 1, 2022

Kate Mothes

A photograph of a mural of a woman wearing a scarf on the end of a building.

Medianeras, “The Crystal Ship” (2021) in Ostend, Belgium. All images courtesy of the artists and Prestel, shared with permission

For street artists, the urban landscape is an infinite canvas. Whether wheat pasted, sprayed, or layered with brushes, vibrant compositions revitalize public spaces and provide an ever-evolving barometer of the political climate and current affairs. The genre has been historically dominated by men, but a new book by journalist Alessandra Mattanza and Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art founder Stephanie Utz shifts the dial.

Women Street Artists spotlights the diverse practices of 24 graffiti and mural artists hailing from around the globe who work in a variety of styles, from large-scale public projects like Camilla Falsini’s vibrant pavement composition in Milan to striking interventions like Olek’s pink, crocheted coverlet for “Charging Bull,” Wall Street’s masculine bronze sculpture. Each finds walls, sidewalks, demolished structures, prison cells, grain silos, and other nontraditional surfaces to express ideas around feminism and empowerment, body imagery, racism, the climate crisis, and other critical issues.

You can find a copy of Women Street Artists on Bookshop.org, available now in the U.K. and scheduled for release in the U.S. on December 6.

 

A mural of Ruth Bader-Ginsberg and symbols of American democracy.

Elle, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg” (2020) in New York City

An aerial image of a colorful geometric public art piece on a Milan street.

Camilla Falsini, “Tactical Urban Planning Intervention” (2020) in Milan, Italy. Photo by Jungle Agency

A detail of graffiti featuring two women wearing hijabs with Superman logos on their torsos.

#LEDIESIS, “Superwomen” (2019) in Italy

A pink crocheted coverlet sewn over the "Charging Bull" sculpture on Wall Street.

Olek, “Charging Bull” (2010), Wall Street, New York City

A blue and black portrait of a young woman on the site of a disused diner in Miami.

Christina Angelina in collaboration with Ease One (2015) in Miami, Florida

The cover of 'Women Street Artists' book.

 

 

advertisement



Illustration

Uncanny Scenarios Unfold in Whimsical and Ironic Illustrations by Yuko Shimizu

November 16, 2022

Kate Mothes

An illustration by Yuko Shimizu of a young person and their dog with balloons shaped like lifebuoys.

“Balloons.” All images © Yuko Shimizu, shared with permission

Abundance, repetition, and a tinge of irony accompany a cast of humans and animals through uncanny scenarios in Japanese artist Yuko Shimizu’s illustrations. Her whimsical subjects are often playful and humorous, like a pet dog in a sweater with red stripes that matches its youthful owner’s swimming suit, the pair flanked by numerous balloons in the shape of lifebuoys. In contrast, a more grave undertone emerges in “Me Too,” a reference to the #MeToo movement, as a woman stands on a mountain of eyes and attempts to brush countless more off of her body.

Drawing inspiration from myriad sources, including Japanese culture and current events, Shimizu’s compositions are characterized by a sense of action and obscure narrative. You can follow more of her work on Instagram.

 

An illustration by Yuko Shimizu of figures surrounded by numerous cats.

“Catman”

A detail of an illustration by Yuko Shimizu of numbered lifebuoys that look like balloons.

Detail of “Balloons”

An illustration by Yuko Shimizu of a figure on a bicycle carrying tulips. some that are so large they obscure him.

“Dutch Tulips”

An illustration by Yuko Shimizu featuring several children in white pajamas underwater with red mushrooms as if in a dream.

“Little Nemo”

An illustration by Yuko Shimizu of a woman standing on a pile of eyes as she tries to brush eyes off her body with two lint brushes.

“Me Too”

A detail of an illustration by Yuko Shimizu of a woman brushing eyes off of her body using two lint brushes.

Detail of “Me Too”

An illustration by Yuko Shimizu of a figure emerging from the water in front of moon with a net over their head.

“Fisherman”

 

 



Art

New Banksy Works Emerge Among the Destruction in Ukraine

November 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

All images shared with permission

Banksy (previously) has been traveling through the battle-scarred streets of Ukraine, producing a slew of works directly confronting Russia’s unwarranted and unjust aggression. The elusive street artist’s signature stencils have been spotted among the rubble of bombed buildings and barricades in Borodyanka and Gorenka, both in the Bucha Region, while others are just outside the capital city of Kyiv. Each centers on the strength and resiliency of the Ukrainian people.

The works broadly criticize the ongoing war and its disastrous effects on the everyday lives of citizens, depicting a woman outfitted with hair rollers, a bathrobe, and a gas mask grasping a fire extinguisher, a bearded man scrubbing his back in an open-air bathtub, and silhouettes of young children teeter-tottering on a left-behind hunk of steel. Perhaps the most pointed piece is that of a young boy slamming Russian President Vladimir Putin to the ground during a judo match—according to the BBC, Putin has projected an interest in the sport.

Watch Banksy at work on these pieces in a recent YouTube video, and find more on Instagram. This is the first time the artist has emerged since the Spraycation series 15 months ago.

 

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged barricade in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

A photo of a stenciled Banksy mural on a damaged building in Ukraine

 

 



Art Dance History Music Photography

30,000 Photographs of Black History and Culture Are Available From Getty’s Archive

July 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

August 7, 1962, a student at the Jamaican School Of Arts And Crafts models a bust of a woman in clay. Photo by Central Press/Getty Images

From a black-and-white portrait of a reclined James Baldwin to a candid shot of a father and daughter on a Harlem park bench, a new archive from Getty grants open access to thousands of images devoted to Black history and culture. The massive collection—which was developed with historians and educators Dr. Deborah Willis, Jina DuVernay, Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Dr. Mark Sealy MBE,  and Renée Mussai—comprises 30,000 photographs taken in the U.S. and U.K. that are available for free non-commercial, educational use. Applications for access are open now.

Organized by decade from the 1800s to the 2020s, the Black History & Culture Collection offers a broad, varied look at the people, events, and undeniably influential movements that continue to shape life today. The collection is further searchable by type and subject matter, which encompasses everything from art and entertainment to politics and sports. You can find a curated selection of images from the multimedia platform Black Archives, which partnered with Getty to shine light on specific moments from the collection. (via Peta Pixel)

 

A father and daughter sitting on a bench by Harlem Meer, Central Park, New York City, New York, 1948. Photo by Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A group of girls in dresses and ballet slippers watch a girl perform dance movements as a woman accompanies her on an upright piano, 1920s or 1930s. Photo by FPG/Getty Images

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates testifies during a hearing on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The subcommittee debated the H.R. 40 bill, which proposes a commission be formed to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans. Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

1919 in New York. A parade in silent protest (anti-lynching) in Harlem. Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images

American singer and actress Eartha Kitt (1927  to 2008, right) as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company, circa 1945. With her are other members of the dance troupe, Lawaune Ingram, Lucille Ellis, and Richardena Jackson. Photo by FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images

A photograph of author James Baldwin smoking a cigarette. Photo by Bettmann/UPI/Getty Images

A mural of two hands holding up a dove symbolizing peace, possibly in the United States, circa 1960. The mural is signed by various artists and the words ‘Para Todas’ ‘For All’ are visible in Spanish and English. Photo by Frederic Lewis/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Botanist George Washington Carver donated $33,000 in cash to the Tuskegee Institute to establish a fund to carry on the agricultural and chemical work he began. Photo by Bettmann/UPI/Getty Images

 

 



Art

Vintage Textiles and Boxing Gloves Redefine Strength and Vulnerability in Sculptures by Zoë Buckman

July 6, 2022

Kate Mothes

“According to Grandma” (2019), boxing gloves, vintage linen, chain, and ribbon. All images © Zoë Buckman, shared with permission courtesy of the artist, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, and MOTHER Gallery

Boxing gloves typically evoke associations with masculinity, competition, and aggression, but Zoë Buckman punches back with her series of mixed-media sculptures and embroidered textile pieces. Sometimes draped like bunches of dried flowers and other times balanced delicately on top of one another, they “question whether they are holding each other up or tearing each other down,” says a statement. Taking a feminist and activist approach to challenging preconceptions about gender, trauma, and safety, she became interested in the symbolic dualities of the gloves, both in the way they are made and used.

For the last few years, the glove sculptures have formed a focal point for a number of bodies of work that explore the relationship between strength and vulnerability. Buckman encases each form in fabrics like tablecloths, dish rags, or dresses, then suspends them in groups from ribbons affixed to metal chains. Installed at the height of a punching bag, they provoke tension between feelings of hostility and support, highlighting connections and contrasts between places where people exert intense energy and force, such as gyms, and places associated with calm and security, like home.

 

“the flowers that write me back” (2021), boxing gloves, vintage linen, and chain

Constructed of cotton batting or polyurethane foam and covered in leather, traditional boxing gloves are malleable, yet the finished form is a solid instrument for force and protection. By wrapping each piece in fabric associated with womenswear or domestic settings, the artist challenges the notion of gendered spaces, such as the home being feminine or the boxing ring masculine. Through her use of materials, she also dissects gendered associations of fabric and textile.

Buckman has strongly advocated for women’s rights to abortion and bodily autonomy. In her most recent series Bloodwork, vintage handkerchiefs, doilies, and upholstery remnants provide the canvas for embroidered statements conveying responses to experiences of domestic abuse, illness, and hardship. As a revolt against negativity or oppression, figures of women—many of whom she knows personally—are portrayed in scenes of celebration or repose. The text and figures sewn into the fabric also appear unfinished with dangling threads and raw, asymmetrical edges in an ongoing state of transformation and becoming.

Buckman is exhibiting in We Flew Over the Wild Winds of Wild Fires at MOTHER Gallery in Beacon, New York, until September 18. She will also be presenting a solo show at London’s Pippy Houldsworth Gallery opening on September 2. You can find more information on the artist’s website and on Instagram.

 

Left: “raining from the first” (2022), boxing gloves, vintage textiles, and chain. Right: “un-mesh the mistake that you left” (2021), boxing gloves, vintage textiles, and chain

“Running my gums” (2021), boxing gloves, vintage textiles, and chain

“maybe I won’t be so silent” (2021), embroidery on vintage textile

“for tonight” (2021), embroidery on vintage textile

“the dye is cast” (2022), embroidery on vintage textile

 

 



Photography

Containing 80 Portraits, ‘Stop Tanks with Books’ Pleas for Broad, Sweeping Action in Ukraine

May 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

Lina in a national costume, Orihovo-Vasylivka village, Donetsk (2018). Images © Mark Neville, courtesy of Nazraeli Press

Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, British artist Mark Neville moved to Kyiv, a city he traveled to frequently from his home in London since beginning Stop Tanks with Books in 2016. The project, which culminates in a new 180-page volume edited by David Company and published by Nazraeli Press, involved documenting life in the country through portraits of passersby on the street, families lounging at the beach, and others dancing among energetic nightclub crowds.

Each photograph tethers a human face to the entirely inhumane atrocities of war and “(weaponizes) the medium to effect change.” The images are intimate and profound, showing a young girl screaming into a toy phone following shelling in 2016 or a father and son cradling goats in their home in Decyatny.

 

Alexsandr Konokov and Sasha on their Goat Farm in Decyatny, Zhytomyr Oblast, 2017

Neville’s intention for the project has always been twofold. He hoped to inspire broad, international support for Ukraine’s independence in Donbas and Crimea and to offer a necessary corrective to the stereotypical information and images disseminated by the Kremlin, which he saw Western media sources often redistributing without context. “Stop Tanks With Books was my attempt to fight Russian aggression,” Neville says.

Eighty of his portraits are positioned alongside research from the Centre of Eastern European Studies in Berlin about the 2.5 million people who had already been displaced by 2018, in addition to short stories by Ukrainian poet and novelist Lyuba Yakimchuk that detail life under Russian occupation in Donbas.

The pairings lead to a call to action written in both Ukrainian and English, one made more urgent by the full-scale assault on the nation that’s taken thousands of civilian lives alone in the last three months. “I wonder what the international response would be if Stockholm, London, Paris, or New York were threatened with an unprovoked and imminent invasion by Russia? Our book is a prayer and a necessary plea to the international community,” Neville wrote before the war officially began, when he also sent copies of the book to 750 policymakers, ambassadors, media members, and those involved in peace talks. He hoped to raise awareness about the immediate threat the people of Ukraine faced.

There are a few copies of Stop Tanks with Books available from Setanta Books, although a second edition with a new foreword by Neville is in progress. You can find much more of the photographer’s activist-centered work, in addition to more images from the series, on his site. (via Lens Culture)

 

Boy with dog, Troitske, Luhansk (2019)

Couple at Stanytsia Luhanska Bridge (2019)

Ukrainsk, Donetsk (2021

Three Kilometres from the frontline, Donetsk (2019)

Policewomen, Mariupol (2019)

Kristina in Troyitske, Eastern Ukraine, an hour after the shelling (2016)

Maria Holubets, Natalia Tarasenko, Rozalia Boiko, Maria Shvanyk, and Rozalia Mahnyk at the Greek Catholic Monastery, Zvanivka (2018)