Page 1



R. Rodrigues Faria 103 Pav.I-3.21 | Lx Factory 1300-501 Lisboa Tel: +351 264 072 . email: www.facebook/balneariolx

BOOK A STREET ARTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE 3 / JUNE 2014 EDITORS IN CHIEF Guille Lasarte & Charlotte Specht CREATIVE DIRECTOR Guille Lasarte MARKETING DIRECTOR Mario Rueda CONTRIBUTORS Konstantinos Angelos Gavrias, Nick Broad, The Busking Project, Magda Wallmont, Larsen Soleto, Robyn Landau, Luis Bellagamba, Filippo Fiumani, Mine Gurzumar, Inês Santos, Stefanie Moshammer, Helena Adams, JOS*, Bordalo II, Soryang, Kaja Clara Joo, Dirk Schuster, Swantje Hinrichsen, Fabian Stürtz, Yuki Poudyal, Kolor Kathmandu SPECIAL THANKS TO David Stiehl, Gisa Golpira, Boardbrothers, Mark Cain, Christian Grosselfinger, DJs Doris&Dagmar FOUNDERS OF BOOK A STREET ARTIST Charlotte Specht Mario Rueda

Cover photo by Filippo Fiumani


LETTER FROM THE EDITORS Another four months have passed, and with that, we bring you a new issue of PANTA. Issue 2 views went through the roof, and that just motivates us to work harder to keep improving the magazine and to bring readers interesting and appealing material. In this third issue, we stayed true to our concept and kept a high level of quality and diversity. We are so thankful to each and every individual who has contributed to the magazine, without which, it couldn’t exist. For the occasion of the launch of the third issue, the PANTA team has organized a collective exhibition at LX Factory in Lisbon, which will present the work of a wide array of artists that have been featured in the magazine. The exhibition will include design, illustration, photography, painting, collage and tattooing. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop by! You can find more info on the exhibition on our website. Art in a community can be a powerful and productive thing. We hope this magazine encourages people to create more art and to team up to build artistic projects that can have a strong impact on society. We hope you enjoy lucky number three!







Text by Nick Broad Photos by The Busking Project


I’m awake. Where am I? I’m on a floor. In… in Bangkok, that’s right. That’s where I am today. Today… today we’re filming. Better get up. That was my morning thought process for about ten months. In 2011, I traveled with two writers (Chris and Belle) to a new city every week, crossing 5 continents to film a documentary and write a book about street performers. I’m going to get to the artistic dreamscape of the world’s streets in a second. But, what’s missing from that last paragraph is that this trip was the single most uncomfortable, difficult, exhausting and traumatic experience I’ve ever had. To put it in perspective, the longest that the Discovery Channel says they shoot for is 3 weeks, because otherwise it gets “too stressful” for the crew. And the world record for longest continual

of acrobats in San Francisco, and a mime darting in and out of traffic in Buenos Aires. We saw 10ft unicycles, chainsaw jugglers, clowns, balloon twisters, freak shows, surrealists, anarchists and a short, bristly granny who dances to techno in Rome. And, of course, musicians of all kinds. People often ask me “So who was the best”, (the second most frequent question after “how did you fund it?”). Well, that’s difficult to answer out of context, but one evening in Tokyo has stuck with me, the evening when we first met Ethnic Minority, a Japanese jazz band. We had just come through South East Asia, one unbearably humid, traffic-filled city after another. Belle and I weren’t getting along. By then we were so overly tense we’d had to ban ourselves from playing cards. I’d developed a nervous twitch (my

WE SAW 10FT UNICYCLES, CHAINSAW JUGGLERS, CLOWNS, BALLOON TWISTERS, FREAK SHOWS, SURREALISTS, ANARCHISTS AND A SHORT, BRISTLY GRANNY WHO DANCES TO TECHNO IN ROME. shoot is Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, which lasted 400 days without a break. Fine, ours didn’t last 400 days (only 287). But the three of us lived, ate and worked with each other (not a good idea), traveled on countless buses, trains and boats, continually slept on floors and couches, filmed 27,000 video clips, had no budget or time for entertainment, were always lugging around heavy equipment, and, at times, completely hated the trip (and each other). What kept us going? [Stubborn perseverance, pride and] the surprising, varied and exceptional talent to be found on the world’s streets. We filmed snake charmers in Marrakech, a strongman balancing a ten year old on a chair on his teeth in Copenhagen, a monkey on a toy motorbike in Jakarta, puppeteers in Jaipur, a troupe of child breakdancers in Bangkok, an entire busking family

first ever) that only came out when I spoke to her. The following week she’d threaten to quit (for the first time). That evening we’d touched on a no-go subject — religion, of all things — and it hadn’t gone well. After our argument, the three of us brought our cameras out to the Shibuya “scramble crossing”, an insanely busy four-way intersection where every time the lights change, up to two thousand people all cross at once, like four advancing armies that somehow slip by each other before the reds turn green again. Massive ad screens illuminate the entire place, and cosplay weirdos mill about. We walked through the chaos around us, then saw a small crowd over to one side. Perhaps a hundred people had gathered around three nerdy looking jazz musicians, one on drums, another on sax and the third on a pared down electric double bass.


Chris, Belle and I separated around the circle, and set up our equipment. I was on audio, so mounted the shotgun on the tripod and hooked it to the stand-alone mike for 4 channel recording, and slipped on headphones. Then the band started playing, and all else was forgotten. BOOM. What an intro. Bass note, drum solo, bass note, drum solo, the sax joined in, maybe 140bpm, thwack, sax trill, crowd roar, building, building, higher pitch, faster roll, louder bass, hoooowwwwwllll… and slide elegantly into the harmony of the song. Sick. Until then I’d been holding my breath. I woot!ed way too loud, way too close to the mikes. The crowd nodded their heads and tapped their feet, cheering and smiling. Others joined to watch, eyes wide and smiling. All of us, now two hundred strong, were transported away from the intense throng of Shibuya, out of our problematic lives, our tiredness gone, our fears forgotten, our anger dissipated on sound waves. Then the cops showed up. The band were fingerprinted and told to pack up. I couldn’t have been happier — that’s exactly what our documentary was about. Because that’s exactly how buskers are treated, worldwide. I don’t care where you’re reading this, which country, which city, which neighborhood, almost everyone around you completely misunderstands what it means to be a busker. At worst, you’ll hear people say that buskers are homeless, alcoholics, drug addicts, opportunists or glorified beggars. At BEST they’ll consider a busker a “failed artist”, someone who hasn’t quite made it. And the few enlightened people who think highly of buskers, who appreciate what they do… even they don’t see the bigger picture. Busking is the most common expression of the human spirit that has ever been. They have entertained us in public spaces since public



spaces were invented. Buskers predated the concert hall and will outlive the Internet. Pre-radio, buskers were educators. But don’t think the Internet has replaced them. Look at what Ethnic Minority were doing, playing jazz to two hundred random strangers, most of them in their 20s or 30s, promoting that art form to a new generation. Where else would an inexperienced 20 year old see jazz, live, if not in the streets? What I’m about to say may discredit me as an extremist. But, busking is not just one way of making a living out of art, it is the most honorable way you can possibly make a living out of art. No managers. No PR. No cult of celebrity. No Facebook popularity contest. No latest gig app. No entrance fees. No service charges. No security guards or fences. No clever lighting. No razzle-dazzle. No fancy brochures or billboards. No sponsorship deals. No product placements. No middlemen. No “redefining the theoretical framework of coexisting, interstitial relationships via nonlinear, temporal works.” Just an artist and their audience. Okay, buskers are not entirely free of their own financial obligations — even if they wanted to, they couldn’t make money with abstract pieces that nobody

understands (no, to do that you need an agent). But if you think that “popular” art is somehow on a lower level than the “highbrow” stuff, you don’t like people very much. Ethnic Minority were playing fastpace, inventive, 1960s jazz, the kind of thing your granddad might have listened to. It wasn’t abstract or experimental, it was standard. But they took an unpopular art form and made it popular, to a new audience, if only for a moment. Ethnic Minority made me wholly and unreservedly happy for about 4 minutes before the cops appeared. A few days later we were in Seoul. Then Beijing and Moscow. Then through Eastern and Central Europe, back to London for a fundraiser and then to North and South America. Rio was the last stop, we got drunk on the last night, and then I was home. And that was it. But despite all I saw, all the experiences, all the performances and all of the time that has passed since, I still feel excited about that show. When the trip was over (December 2011) it took 5 months until I was ready to socialize again. 8 months for me to stop grinding my teeth. About a year until I was ready to dive back into the project. But now I wasn’t traveling, I was sitting at my laptop, working on trying to start a revolution.

Yup, a revolution; I’m trying to live in a world where there’s no more need to get a £40k vendors license if you want to sell CDs; no more auditions in front of council appointed panels; no more police judging whether buskers are “fit and proper” people; no more arbitrary bans or limiting pitches to 30-minute slots; no more £1,000 fines, summonses or arrests; in other words, a world where Ethnic Minority don’t get fingerprinted for being epic. And it’s going well. We’ve just funded a large-scale academic study into how bad policy harms creativity in public spaces, which we’ll present to the United Nations in September. We’ve launched a QR code system so buskers can get tipped via PayPal on the street. And we’ve recently gotten press in NME Magazine, The Guardian, The Independent and been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and The Economist. Not bad for a tiny team. We’re still drastically short-staffed, have zero budget and I’m not sleeping enough (we’re always looking for volunteers if you’re interested), but I’m happy because I love my job, even if it doesn’t pay. And when the revolution comes, and councils are building amphitheatres instead of bronze statues, when classically trained artists are no longer embarrassed to be seen on the streets, when art is judged on merit, not PR, and when politicians are tipped instead of bought, experiences like the one I had in Tokyo will become commonplace, and art will rule the world. That’s the plan, anyway. Feel free to join me. ◆

For meat lovers. Para aficionados de carne.

Mercado de Campo de Ourique Rua Coelho da Rocha 1350-075 Lisbon, Portugal



Photography by Konstantinos Angelos Gavrias

Greek photographer Konstantinos Angelos Gavrias was born in Germany in 1978. He studied Photo Design at Ruhrakademie in Schwerte, Germany, and took Fine Arts classes with Rita McBride at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions around Europe. His work ranges from commercial, fashion, portrait to fine art, linked by a particular artistic style that is identifiable in most of his works, regardless of their category. Konstantinos is influenced by British documentary photography and artists such as Guy Bourdin, Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, Daido Moriyama and Larry Clark. He finds inspiration in many different media: painting and sculpture, as well as video installations, because he believes artists should never limit themselves to a single creative field, as there are countless practices that can be inspiring and valuable to one’s artistic development. At the moment, Konstantinos is based in Germany and continues to pursue studies in Fine Arts at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. However, he spends most of his time traveling between Germany and Greece.


luis bellagamba


Luis is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer born in 1975 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

This page: Cover Art Opposite page: Lucky People

To See Or Not To See



This page: 1. Angel Eduardo Mateo 2. Fair Play Opposite page: The Beginning of Forever



Text by Helena Adams Illustration by JOS*

t’s noon on a Friday, the rush of the week is waning and you can’t wait for the weekend; most likely bored of the daily routine, you check your Facebook for the umpteenth time and find yourself with a link from one of your friends to a website or article that “you have to see to believe it!” Normally you don’t open these links, but your level of boredom has reached its peak so you go ahead and check the link. As the images unravel one by one on your screen, indeed they take you by surprise. You’ve heard of these images before, this new trend called Street Art, and you’ve surely ran into some of those annoying and impossible to understand graffiti writings on your way home in the underground. And you’ve even heard of the infamous Banksy, along with other major players in the scene. But beyond that, you’ve never paid too much attention, so these images at least entertain you. Sound familiar? If you’ve received and clicked on these kinds of links in social networks, you have been smacked by Viral Art, and if they’ve prodded you to look further as to find more related images, post them and re-post them on your social media universe and even to track down some of the creators behind them, congratulations! You have officially become a part of what Evan Roth calls the “Bored at Work Network”. What am I talking about?

As much as we may try to dismiss graffiti writing, street and performance art as a fashionable hipster-revivalist trend, the reality is that they are art expressions that have crossed the boundaries of trendiness, fashion, pop and vintage-reliance. If you ask around, probably most of your acquaintances have bumped into a piece of street art or graffiti writing, but if you ask them where, the answer uncovers the fascinating topic of this article: the Internet, the Digital-Virtual Space, the next extension to be conquered by these forms of art in their ongoing pursuit to be seen, known and freely distributed. RJ Rushmore, editor-in-chief of the street art and graffiti blog “Vandalog”, has made this topic the subject matter of his second book entitled Viral Art, published last year under a creative commons license, that is, that everybody can read it online or download it for free, following the ethos of the art he praises. Viral Art is a reflective work upon how communication technologies have affected graffiti writing and street art. For over 350 pages, Rushmore takes us through a genealogy of street art under a communication technologies approach, from the cheap zines, the first photographers, the hand-made magazines and some expensive books all the way to the contemporary digital documentation accomplished by more at-hand means such as a camera, a computer and a connection to



Internet. His thesis means to prove how these forms of expression have evolved from the physical space to the digital one and through an extensive research on different styles of graffiti and street art as well as some interviews with whom he considers key characters within the scene, he concludes that the Internet is the new Public Space to intervene in. And although this quite reductionist conclusion sparks a lot of questions regarding authenticity, motivation, originality, and so forth, before addressing those, it’s important to understand what Viral Art is and judge for ourselves whether it’s turned into a fact. But first things first… If you don’t know much about graffiti writing and street art, we may need to lay down a few basics to go further. I’m not going to go through the whole history of these forms of art but I will provide a quick dab of key concepts needed to better understand the ideas behind Viral Art. Graffiti writing goes back to the 1960s in New York City with the hip-hop movement, it progressed from scribbled signatures to elaborate ‘pieces’ done with aerosol colors on sides of trains to stand out since they traveled the entire length of the city and were seen by millions. The writing of the name or nickname is ‘tagging’, which revolves around typography and letter formation. The writers’ motivations are fame, power, artistic expression and rebellion, and the best way to attain them is through their marking on every public space possible. Their message? As an internal dialogue within those who belong to the scene, they aim to craft an identity and use it as a self-conscious and literate means of reflecting on current affairs. Street art arose or evolved from graffiti writing when writers and artists, tired of the tagging tradition and the hardened set of rules from graffiti culture, turned to a more diverse set of media like stickers, posters, stencils, oil-based chalk, a wide variety of paint, sculpture and other materials such as yarn, fabrics and light, featuring images, shapes, colors and, most importantly, a message to be transmitted to everyone. Their motivations are, aside from possibly fame, to relate with a caring and sharing community where their works offer commentary on a wide range of

issues, allowing passerbys to freely appreciate the art, while using their environment, that is public space, in creative ways. Compelled to state something in and with the city, these artists become the expression of the voiceless ones, in the forms of protest, critique, irony, humor, beauty, subversion and anti-conformity. Their works reveal the hidden narrative of artists and their locations, a way to give back creativity lost in a financially driven world. So, a few key points to remember are, to begin with, the unmediated distribution of the works of art, that is, “no one can tell you what to see, how to see it, and if you should like it or not”. Second is location, which


allows for free distribution and diffusion. The street, considered a public space before being intervened upon, is a playground, an open canvas. That space is directly connected to the community where the work is placed, therefore the right location and placement equals the right distribution to reach as large an audience as possible. And finally the motivations – they include expression, contestation and recognition, although not necessarily in that order. Now that we have a brief background on graffiti writing and street art, we may proceed. Rushmore argues that what really matters about these artistic expressions is that they should reach as many eyes of the general public as they can without barriers, and by borrowing Pedro Alonzo’s definition of street art, he states that “at its core, Viral Art is the unmediated (digital) distribution of art from artist to public”. Alonzo, an international street art curator, states that the ‘street’ in street art isn’t really about being on a

Network”, which is the largest audience of street art, and our demand is such that artists now, more than ever, should reconsider their audience and the media by which we get to appreciate their work. The new challenge for these artists is how best their work would look through the lenses of different devices – mobile phones, professional and disposable cameras, as well as the intervention of such devices via software like Instagram, and the social media where their work will be posted and reposted over and over again – Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. Because, at the end of the day, it’s not us who go out to find the art, it’s the art that finds us. So… when does Viral Art come in handy? Back to that link you just clicked, remember? Although you can find conventional street art on your screen – e.g. stencils, wheat-paste posters, spraypainted tags etc. – there are some subgenres that have either already been created within the fashion of

THE CORE GOAL OF STREET ART: THE UNMEDIATED DISTRIBUTION THROUGH HACKING NEW SYSTEMS TO DO IT, AND WHAT ARE THOSE NEW SYSTEMS? THE INTERNET. street corner but about being available to everybody that passes by the work of art. Evan Roth, artist and founder of the Graffiti Research Lab, suggests that “painting on the Subway was a hack graffiti writers came up with to distribute their work”. So essentially the canvas (public space) was what mattered because it was the way to let the graffiti writers – and street artists today – be known, for their pieces to be seen, without any intervention between their work and the audience. Hence, Rushmore urges the new and old generations to go back to what he considers to be the core goal of graffiti writing, street and performance art: the unmediated distribution through hacking new systems to do it, and what are those new systems? The Internet. Viral Art then, “is street art for those of us who grew up in a post-America Online world. It is art that bypasses gatekeepers, appeals to the masses and reaches our eyeballs without us having to Google art” or even leave our desks for that matter. It is the “Bored At Work

the digital space or have embraced digital space as a better canvas for suitable appreciation. Of the former we can mention Op-Art, art that involves optical illusions like that 3D chalk art drawn on the streets, but that needs to be seen from a very specific angle to be appreciated in its fullness. What better way to do this than through a photograph taken at the right angle for our eyes to be absorbed by it? And then we have the “install, document and dismantle” works, like installations in museums and galleries, these works are set up and built like scenes to be documented through photographs and then distributed online. Once the documentation is complete, and considering that the “Bored At Work Network” has neither the time nor patience to see updates of street art pieces, the installations are dismantled after they are recorded. On the other side of the coin, we have the kind of street art that actually ‘prefers’ to exist within digital space, such as what’s known as ‘super-ephemeral art’, a subgenre in which materials and/or motivations


put it at risk of a very short lifespan. Within the super-ephemeral art tradition, we might find the ‘buffable’ (from the graffiti lingo ‘buff ’, that refers to the act of removing graffiti from any surface, employed by city authorities) offenses, which are highly politically charged pieces that are erased but which, through proper documentation, can actually achieve much more attention because of their almost ‘mythical’ transience. The Addisruptions or Takeovers, existing advertisements which are replaced, enhanced or modified by street artists in order to change their original message; the Tape-art and Yarn bombing, so fragile that cannot bear wind, rain or dust; and finally the performances that happen every time a street art piece is created, as the act itself encompasses the art form, therefore video documentation is vital to spread the word about it. All of the above-mentioned subgenres of graffiti writing, street and performance art are still very much attached to physical space, whereas there are some examples of Viral Art in full bloom that are born in and for the digital public space only, where the street is but a credential of authenticity. An example of this is street art animations, which combine murals painted as frames that are photographed and then put together to create animations. The disadvantage? After each frame is photographed, it is partially destroyed or painted over for the next one to be created, so rather than leaving hundreds of murals around, what’s left are mostly messy patches of paint. Then we have the GIF-it art, implemented by the street artist INSA, who creates his gifs by painting on a wall, taking a picture of it, repainting the wall for the next frame, reshooting it and repeating the process over and over until he has enough frames to make a looping animation that appears to move or light up. Contrary to street art animations, GIF-its stay in place longer as they aren’t painted over by the artist. Finally, there are the Manifestos, which are videos that go beyond the regular documentation of street art, they are statements with a message to spread and, like the zines in past decades, they too become artworks in themselves. On both sides of the spectrum of street art and graffiti writing, a certain faith lies in the arguments

of artists when it comes to the Internet as the new public space. The Collective Poster Boy, a New York City street artist, wrote Rushmore “[that] Flickr is the new writer’s bench. We use it to communicate our ideas with people who might not have the chance to experience it otherwise. The social media sites have become just as important as the work itself ”. And according to KATSU, an international graffiti writer, “you can be a vandal online in 2 ways. First you can upload and share content that represents your tag… Just getting your tag online where people can see it is vandalism for me… If it is a symbol of vandalism then getting up online can function in a similar way to defacing property. The second way you can be a vandal online is through actually marking or defacing the digital space… Coming up with ways to watermark, ways of spamming and hacking will be the bridge for physical graffiti to the digital realm”. To wrap it up, Viral Art to Rushmore is what happens when you think of the Internet like a street or a public space for purposes of fame or of engaging directly with an audience, rather than just a new type of gallery space. If the best street art relies on good placement to be seen and distributed, it comes as logical to consider different websites and social media networks as the next space to intervene, because the “Bored At Work Network” will most likely not go out on the street to find themselves face to face with the art that lies away from the screen. Rushmore firmly believes that “Street Artists and Graffiti Writers can and practically must produce work on the Street that addresses a primarily digital audience”. Almost all kinds of limitations and constraints get dissolved in cyberspace – location, temporality, illegality, and so forth. But that makes me wonder – how authentic is this art created with the sole purpose of being distributed on the web? And probably more unsettling, just like ephemeral art in museums and galleries where documentation is key, what is more important – the piece or the picture? These and more questions need to be addressed in order to come to terms with this phenomenon. It’s up to us, the audience, to keep the contestation alive. But for now, we can at least say that the Internet erects itself as the next steppingstone. ◆



Text by Mario Rueda Photos & Illustrations by Filippo Fiumani



ilippo Fiumani, an Italian designer in his mid-20s, joined me to share his experience on how technology can take artists and designers to another level. As a designer, Filippo believes that the best artistic results are achieved when using different technologies in the same project. While mixing different devices he had available, he stumbled upon an artistic concept that has not just changed his life, but also inspired many others. “Everything started while I was living in Brazil”, says Filippo. “I got inspired by the texture and carefully designed pieces of Pre-Columbian art”. Pre-Columbian art itself was what introduced him to the history of tattoos. “The magic world of tattoos”, as Filippo calls it, “is not just drawing on the skin. It is a vast, interesting and complex world from the history, meaning and anthropology, to the pen, tattoo tools and design”. The result of this passionate involvement with the world of tattoos is “LE MANI” (in Italian: the hands). LE MANI is a research project on new forms of visual art with a very unique and impacting result: a pen that allows the blind to draw, enabling them to “see” designs through tactile means. LE MANI as a concept was a step-by-step process that somehow “appeared” in a moment of revelation. “LE MANI was hard work”, says the Italian designer, “First, I started reading about tattoos on Russian prisoners, US Navy troops, and symbolism in general. Then, I got really obsessed with designing. I could not stop designing. At that point I realized that if I wanted to do something meaningful with my Master’s thesis, which I was starting to develop at the time, it needed to be related with design”. A documentary about how Russian tattoos developed inspired the designer to take the first steps in building the pen for blind people. “For me it was very interesting to see how prisoners used the latest technology back then to improve their tattooing techniques. For example: the small engine of a Walkman helped them create more efficient tattoo guns. By using this small engine, the tattoo lines became more precise, and the designs were definitely more clear”.


In this photo: Frank


Although he did not have any specific purpose, he knew that his tattoo pen was not necessarily to design on human skin. “I built my own tattoo pen, and I started using it on unusual surfaces: the fridge, my skateboard, on walls, cotton, wood. I would try it on everything. I was having fun. One morning, I woke up and as usual I had some bananas for breakfast. That morning, my pen was lying right next to one of my bananas. I started designing on the banana, and realized that after 2 minutes the banana skin started turning black. It started oxidizing”. The next days Filippo bought many bananas. He thought it was a very cool way of making street art while leaving a message in an ecofriendly way. “I didn’t have to print out any flyer or poster to leave a message. I would put the bananas with different designs on different spots in the city to learn from people’s reaction. Some people ate the bananas. Others stopped and stared at them weirdly. There was even one guy at the supermarket that saw my designed bananas next to the “regular” bananas and told his colleague: “Hey dude, the Colombian graffitied bananas arrived!” After experimenting with bananas as a canvas, Filippo moved on to experimenting on harder surfaces. He realized that his battery-run pen could be a good tool for creating artistic designs with embossed patterns. The idea of using the pen for designing something that you could touch and feel with your hands, rather than just seeing it, became Filippo’s obsession.

In this photo: Filippo


“While I kept on working on my pen, trying to improve it, I started researching about blind people. I met Frank from Angola, who became blind at the age of 19. I got very close to him. We spent a lot of time together. He would come to my house to teach me how to read and write in Braille. At the same time, I would put some of the designs I had created with my pen in front of him to see if he would understand any of them. At the beginning, I designed very simple stuff so that Frank could get it right away: a triangle, a square. Then I moved on to more complex designs. I remember that I drew a human face, but I was skeptical about Frank recognizing it…” Surprisingly, Frank started recognizing the nose, mouth, and eyes, as his fingers were touching the drawing. “Even more unexpected, was when Frank grabbed the pen and started drawing! Just like that. I was the happiest person in the world. So was Frank!”

At that moment, Filippo understood that he had managed to create not just a tech tool that allows the visually impaired to make art, but also possibly an entire multi-sensorial artistic movement: art that you can see, touch, and feel. Artistic designs that go beyond what the eye can catch. Since the creation of the first pen, Filippo has developed new models and versions. He has improved it by making it lighter, faster, and more energy efficient. While he looks for private funding to bring the pen to the market and make it more accessible to the blind (and to the non-blind as well), he proactively looks for ways of expanding the idea of LE MANI and its multisensorial artistic concept. Ultimately, LE MANI’s message is very simple: “Use your hands more. Stop thinking. Start building. Build something unique and useful. If it is neither unique nor useful, you are not quite there yet. Think again. Build again”. ◆




AM Text by Charlotte Specht Collages by Swantje Hinrichsen


Swantje Hinrichsen (1980) is a Cologne-based freelance graphic designer and illustrator. She works in various fields of visual communication: conceptual, playful, and solution-oriented. Both her primary school arts teacher and her university design professor agreed on her lack of drawing skills. Ignoring their opinion, Swantje followed her passion anyway. Imagination and perseverance made her become the successful designer she is today. As part of an open and long-term project, Swantje creates collages dedicated to poetry, language, word, photography and Dadaism. Using photos shot by Fabian Stürtz at Cologne’s Poetry Slam Rhyme in Flames, she creates compositions of the speakers and their poetic pieces. Each collage depicts a slam poet and elements from their act, reproducing the words visually. Rhyme in Flames, the “most charming Poetry Slam of Cologne” takes place every last Tuesday of the month. All slam poets have 5 minutes to convince the audience with their lyrics and compete for the honor to be named “slam poet of the night”.

Photo by Fabian Stürtz



VEGAS 7512107 Photography by Stefanie Moshammer



Text & Photos by Robyn Landau


“Street art is really an important medium because it’s completely uncensored. It’s an environmental medium. Actually, you are using your environment. You are using the city as your medium. The street art scene is dialogue. It’s more than dialogue; it’s a whole forum for a discussion. And it has feedback. It’s the blueprint that social networking was based on – writing on your wall.” Stik’s distinctive black and white stick men splattered across East London have become somewhat of a London landmark in their own right. The beauty behind the art lies in its unassuming imagery. Simple figures rich with human emotion – a melancholy and gravitas that has an unspoken relatable quality to every passerby. They’re silent and therefore have no mouths and beyond a small curve here and an arc there, each figure is the same; a round head, black-dotted eyes, square bodies and simple lines to form the arms and legs. Detail is of lesser importance since Stik’s art is a representation of human body language. “Transitioning that to lines on a page or on a wall strikes directly to your heart,” he says. In the vast, hipster-filled city, it’s easy to feel a sense of closeness to Stik’s repetitive figures. Discovering a new piece can often feel like stumbling into an old friend.

“You know the whole world is really taken over by humans. Well, there are a lot of animals who manage to use it to their benefit. I’m really interested in the circle of life as something that most people see as something horrific. It can be something really beautiful.” Slumbering cranes, beavers, rabbits, hedgehogs and pigs are just a sampling of Roa’s distinct animals that can be seen across London. While he rose in popularity by creating giant murals on abandoned buildings in his hometown of Ghent, Belgium, he has emerged to become one of the most famous street artists in the scene, whose works can be found across Europe and North America. In his distinctive black and white style, he imparts a vivid sense of life to his creatures, often working with dimension and recycled objects to add a new layer of depth to the murals’ physique. There is often a feeling of unease transmitted by Roa’s unique large-scale urban wildlife, disquietly cohabiting city streets, amplified by their monstrous size. Like many of

his counterparts, part of the art lies in its location.You simply turn a corner, and a ten foot squirrel is suddenly before your eyes. As one of the most well known street artists, Roa has a strong support behind him, which has helped save his work many times from city council sanctions to have them painted over.

Eine is best known for his giant, vibrant typography that can be seen on shutters, doors and windows across East London over the past decade, spelling out often thought-provoking words like ‘Change’, ‘Calculate’ and ‘Scary’ that are now synonymous with certain shops. Arguably, his most famous work adorns the shutters of Middlesex Street in Shoredtich, now universally known as ‘Alphabet Street’, where he persuaded shop owners to let him create an entire alphabet along their street. Eine is now one of the most successful street artists in the world, most recently designing scarves for Louis Vuitton and working with Richard Branson having his work displayed to upper-class passengers of Virgin Atlantic flights.

submit your

For more info, visit



The Golden Girl Text by Magda Wallmont Photos by Larsen Soleto

SUSTAINABLE GOLD DIGGING BECAME A PART OF DESIGNER GISA GOLPIRA’S DNA FROM A VERY EARLY AGE. IT FOLLOWED HER THROUGH TO ADULTHOOD AND INSPIRED HER TO ESTABLISH GOLPIRA IN 2013, A JEWELRY BRAND SYNONYMOUS WITH THE “NO DIRTY GOLD” CREDO. Aimed at raising consumer awareness about the impacts of irresponsible gold mining, the campaign was launched a decade ago by the environmental group Earthworks. Today, it is a policy adhered to by renowned brands like Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Helzberg Diamonds, amongst a hundred others. Intentional or not, the sustainability concept for GOLPIRA is well-timed. It coincides with the implementation of European Union legislation, which wants to steer companies importing minerals such as tantalum, tungsten and gold away from volatile regions where their trade could fund or fuel violence. Originally from Germany, Gisa Golpira grew up watching her mother and partner dig for sustainable gold in the jungle of Peru. It was here, the 30-year old designer says, that her love and respect for nature nurtured her jewelry venture, which bears her last name. “For me, the jungle was a playground, but I had to learn quickly that you can only survive in nature if you respect nature,” she says, playfully adding that the first friend she made in the jungle was a monkey called Izauro. Gisa also interacted with and learned from indigenous

children in the jungle, the exact location of which she likes to maintain a secret. While she played hide and seek and learned how to catch fish, her custodians dug for gold nuggets in the area and sold them to collectors around the world. Gold nuggets, the brand’s specialty, are large masses of gold found in soil and stream beds, commonly known as alluvial deposits. How they form is a bit of a mystery, but it is believed they derive from quartz reefs and are exposed during erosion. The nuggets can be up to 97% pure. After a couple of years in the jungle, Gisa was sent back to Germany to attend elementary school and later carried on to study fashion management. Inevitably, her journey took her back to the gold nuggets of the Peruvian jungle and she came to realize the importance of consumers understanding the true back story of the gold industry. “During my travels as a model, I figured out that more and more people are becoming aware of textiles, food, and blood diamonds, for example. But I was wondering why nobody talked about the industrial gold digging process… so I decided to make it a subject.”

“Of course ecological gold costs a little bit more, but no one has to suffer for your ring. So I think that’s worth a lot.” Nowadays GOLPIRA sources its nuggets in Papua New Guinea in a process the brand calls “ecologically and socially correct.” No gold nugget resembles another and every piece is kept as it was found. They are handcrafted in Germany before being sold. But the main inspiration here is the rawness of nature preserved in each nugget as well as their sustainability. GOLPIRA is committed to extracting the metal without contaminating drinking water and land, and wants to avoid destroying local livelihoods. The designer’s mother and her partner are involved in the sourcing of the nuggets in Papua New Guinea firsthand. Gisa describes the collaboration process with the local population there as rather organic. After the indigenous people ask their “community of Gods” whether her mother and partner are good people, “they start work and share costs as well as profit 5050.” Gisa says the work in the jungle is high risk, but important enough. “Sustainable gold is important to me because I saw the impact industrial gold mining had on these people living there… it’s criminal. I wanted to work with my parents because I know they are really concerned about the environment and the people, so I can make sure that my gold nuggets are really ‘green’.”

Most of the world’s industrial gold is extracted from open pit mines, with mercury and cyanide being used to separate the gold from the rock. During this process, the waste containing these chemicals eventually makes its way into streams and rivers, contaminating marine ecosystems and drinking water, even affecting air quality. Ultimately the toxins enter the food chain after being picked up by fish, which then forces local populations into displacement. In addition, the pits create gaping cavities in some of the world’s most biodiverse and pristine environments. In the Peruvian rainforest, tens of thousands of acres of trees have been razed to make space for gold mines – more than caused by ranching or logging. And the trade is getting bigger and dirtier. The reports that the rate of deforestation in Peru increased sixfold between 2003 and 2009. Beyond merely ecological issues however, industrial gold mining brings further problems for companies, especially in geopolitically volatile areas. Conflict minerals, or “blood metals”, as they are also known, refer to the way through which the mining of resources can fund or fuel war in unstable areas where armed groups control mines, use forced labor or extort money from the trade. Tough legislation to prevent conflict minerals entering the United States is already in place, and Canada is about to vote on similar measures. Europe, now introducing its own legislation, is equally a big buyer of the most sensitive metals, importing around 15 percent of the global trade in gold.

For more info on the brand and to shop for GOLPIRA jewelry, check out:

The incentives to change the law, it appears, are as much about consumer rights as they are about corporate responsibility. GOLPIRA is testimony to the idea that a better, more responsible and sustainable supply chain is possible. Does it have a competitive advantage, though? “Which other gold jewelry company is doing the whole supply chain by themselves?” she asks. “We can guarantee that the gold nuggets by GOLPIRA are found ecologically and socially correct. Of course ecological gold costs a little bit more, but no one has to suffer for your ring. So I think that’s worth a lot.”

These values and the accompanying raw design, says the designer, is a “homage to the treasures of nature, dedicated to women in touch with their feminine power,” and those who care about what lies behind a product. It is a credo Gisa wants to continue spreading around the world by strengthening the presence of her brand in Germany and on the international jewelry market. But she doesn’t want people to “just buy my stuff.” “I want that my philosophy matters to them. I want them to believe in what I’m doing.” ◆

Okhaldhunga: Street art by Dishebh Raj Shrestha & Ujala Shrestha



NEPAL Text by Yuki Poudyal, Director of Kolor Kathmandu Photos by Kolor Kathmandu Kathmandu has been bombarded by the visual manifestation of political rivalries and the ubiquity of consumer culture. Big billboards preaching doctrines of consumerism engulf entire buildings, and loud political slogans leap out from the city’s walls espousing hollow rhetoric. The footprints of urbanization spread throughout the city, distancing Kathmandu from the realities of the rest of Nepal. We thus felt the need for an out-ofthe-box intervention that opens both the eyes and minds of the public to how our streets and neighborhoods can be reclaimed. Sattya stepped in to deliver this intervention using a “weapon of mass creation” in the form of Kolor Kathmandu. We believe that visual arts are powerful agents of change. When brushes blend with paint and artistic minds, we believe, the resulting splash of colors can evoke hope and inspiration. Using murals as our vehicle, we wanted to present an alternative side of Kathmandu and also address the disconnect between the city and the rest of the country. Murals are an art form that break the shackles of space and reach people directly because they are not confined to the closed doors of museums and art galleries. They challenge people to think and create their own interpretations. They set out to conquer minds and foster inquisitiveness.

By painting 75 murals inspired by Nepal’s 75 districts, we brought stories, lessons, and elements of different parts of the country to its capital. In the process, we fostered a positive and enabling environment where citizens can reflect on and witness the socio-political and cultural revival of Nepal and partake in the celebration of inclusion and diversity. While the country moves towards a new identity, we aimed to transform the face of the city with artistic hues that truly represent the new nation that Nepal is transforming into. Deeply rooted in the spirit of ‘activism’, Kolor Kathmandu worked with over 65 artists, including 25 from outside the country. We brought together a community that cares deeply about art and genuinely wants to learn about Nepal. We worked with people of various backgrounds – from professionals working in street art for over 15 years to closeted hobbyists brimming with talent but afraid of venturing beyond the domain of sketchbooks. We introduced a new language of mural art to Kathmandu hoping to highlight its impact on people. And the result has been incredible! What began as a small project envisioned by one individual has turned into an artistinitiated grassroots social movement fueled by a desire to claim the city. ◆

For more info on Kolor Kathmandu, check out:



1. Mahottari: Mural by Saran Tandukar 2. Bajura: Mural by Shraddha Shrestha 3. Illam: Mural by Marina Menuka Lama 4. Doti: Mural by DanaĂŠ Brisonnet 5. Tehrathum: Mural by Shramdip Purkoti


Kathmandu: Mural by Prabal Shrestha, Shramdip Purkoti & Shristi Shrestha


1. Bhaktapur: Mural by Bandana Tulachan 2. Parbat: Mural by Ricole Fedyna 3. Gorkha: Mural by Bathroom Painter (Shunnal Ligade)

Dadeldhura: Mural by Sabek


Text by Soryang Photos by Kaja Clara Joo


When I was a small child and listened to classical piano music, I thought that pianists were the happiest people on earth. All their life, they fight for beauty. Indeed, being a pianist is an ongoing fight with yourself. It requires endless discipline and determination to overcome the limits of your capabilities. But after a long process of struggle, another you is born, a you that speaks a language without words. Humans are profound beings but we don’t have many opportunities to allow our feelings to surface. Often, it’s difficult to express ourselves with words, so we find other ways to do so. Music is one of those ways. All kinds of music. But particularly classical music reminds us of how valuable we are. Beethoven once said, “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy”. I knew from the get-go that my dream was to become a professional concert pianist. Unfortunately, fate presented me with multiple obstacles, so I decided to start from the bottom. I decided to start playing piano on the streets. If I can’t give my concerts in a hall, I’ll simply take them to the streets. A concert pianist would probably never think to do this, as it’s regarded as relatively shameful to be ‘degraded’ to the level of a street musician. But my need of pursuing this experiment and of improving my skills while at the same time spreading music freely to others, was much stronger than any feelings of shame or embarrassment. In a short time, my idea of offering piano music on the streets spread to North America and Europe. A man in New York started doing the same after he saw one of my street concerts on YouTube. He sent me a thank you letter with an article about him as a ‘Real Piano Man’ in the New York Times. And he said that he was already the happiest person in the world. My street concerts have additional good purposes. Many people say they don’t like or don’t understand classical music. This gives me more conviction to spread beautiful classical music on city streets. My audience ranges from CEOs to bureaucrats to homeless people.

No one is denied my music. Many good surprises came from playing on the streets. A record company called Preiser Records contacted me to record an album. They even took the risk of recording it live on the street. I was invited to play in a concert hall in Vienna and I was interviewed alongside the opera queen Elīna Garanča. The interviewer introduced me as a true street pianist, saying that “sometimes you can hear even better music on the street than in a concert hall”. I was also invited to play at the great Musikverein Golden Hall with the Austrian-Korean Philharmonic Orchestra, which was created by Ban Ki Moon. I, as a Korean pianist, was presenting Viennese classical music to an Austrian audience. After this, many directors and individuals hired me to play for their events. Once, a loving husband hired me to play in a very nice hall as a surprise birthday gift to his wife, because she had seen my concert on the street and had loved it. Once, a homeless man shouted at some people that were making noise when I was playing, telling them to keep it down! Another person put Christmas cookies by my piano. My playing area became a pleasant space for anyone who didn’t have another place to go. For this reason, I also play during the winter months, until my fingers freeze. But even in the cold, people stay for hours to listen. I am very happy when teenagers stop to listen to my music and when I see small children that don’t want to leave and that cry when their parents want to continue their way in a hurry. So, in conclusion, my decision to play on the streets was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. So far, many amazing things have happened. I am happy to hear that someone has created a platform like Book a Street Artist to support and promote street artists. I am constantly seeking truth in life. I think that insisting on doing what you really love is a big part of that truth. ◆





Interview by Guille Lasarte


materialism, waste and chaos: these are the prevailing themes in the work of up-and-coming Portuguese artist Artur Silva, known artistically as Bordalo II. Working mainly with 3D large-scale installations, the artist is driven by the idea that everything in society – from the technological objects we possess to the industrial materials we work with – is disposable. Even individuality itself is disposable if our existence is essentially tied to an ongoing cycle of consuming and discarding over and over again. Whether it’s an installation on the street or in a gallery, Bordalo II presents the audience with a vigorous portrayal of the waste (literally) in which we live.


When did you decide you wanted to be an artist? Since I remember existing… since I was very young. My grandfather was an artist. I would go on holidays to his place and he’d always be working, and I used to play with his graphic art tools to try to make something… What kind of artist was your grandfather? He was a painter… watercolors, oil, and so forth. He painted Lisbon classics, like trams and this kind of stuff – but the original ones. Did you ever consider going down a different path, other than pursuing an artistic career? Or did you know from the beginning that you would dedicate your life to art? No, no, I didn’t expect it. Because when I was a teenager I was more focused on graffiti, and that’s not art for me… it’s just having fun, making trouble. But then, you grow up and you start looking for different things, and I started becoming interested in the idea of building something instead of destroying it. And after that of course, I destroy something to build something else. When did you start working with this 3D installation concept? I think maybe 3 or 4 years ago… it’s still something kind of new for me. I was just making new [artistic] experiments, I had a lot of garbage in my little studio so I started gluing pieces together to try different things and then I saw that there was potential in this idea so I started looking for larger materials. I think the first thing that really made me think about it was when I cut a fire extinguisher in half to see what I could do with it. And then I started looking for raw stuff, for materials that come from the streets, from the city… but not organic stuff; I was specifically looking for industrial materials. I discovered that the waste of the city is something so vast that you have a lot of different products that are supposedly trash but they’re not because you can reuse them… it’s not even recycling, it’s just about reusing them. Then I started building my ideas and developing my concept about the work I’m doing now… and it’s about using the waste of the city to recreate an image of the city – a chaotic image – and then mirror it back to society.


Where do you usually get your materials from? I know some companies that give me some materials, and of course I pick up a lot of stuff from the street because you can find some really interesting things that most people would just consider garbage. The whole idea of reusing materials… is it about transmitting an environmental message as well? Of course I care about the environment, but I think my message is something above that… it’s about consumerism and materialism and the incredible amount of waste that people create.

example. Animals that we say have bad qualities, but then the qualities that we attribute to these animals are human ones, like the idea of ‘behaving like a fox’ – what does it mean to behave like a fox? The people are the foxes… when they lie and deceive… not the animals themselves. What would be an installation that you’d really like to do that you haven’t yet? I want to build a boat made out of trash… something really big and put it on the water. And also I would really like to work with an airplane.

Yeah, everything is disposable. I guess we live in a disposable society… Yeah, it’s a vicious cycle that is merely a fruit of consumerism.

Do you prefer to work inside, like in a museum or particular location, or do you prefer to make installations on the streets? In fact, I prefer to work on a canvas. But it takes a lot of time, but in general I think I’m flexible, I can work anywhere. I just need time.

Do you have a favorite material that you work with? It depends… now I’m exploring different things, like copper and aluminum, I’m collecting a lot of that. Not to recycle them but to make new experiments with. What influences you? I’m influenced by everything I see and what we live… I think we are a product of what we live. There’s a lot of figures of animals in your work… do they have a specific meaning? Why animals and not humans, for example? The figures of animals are personifications of humans… there’s some different ideas behind it. One is that when I’m making a social critique, if I depict people literally, it wouldn’t have the same impact, since we’re not really good at criticizing ourselves. It’s more effective if you put a different character [of a different species] there so then you can recognize the message more clearly. I use rats specifically because we say that rats are plague, but for me that’s not true, I think that humans are plague. I think humans are the worst, most destructive species on earth. So I guess using rats is a joke. I also use different animals to personify different human qualities, like foxes, for

What do you think about the art scene here in Portugal, considering the current economic situation? I think that maybe the economic situation actually gives more possibilities to artists because normally, you think, ‘I’m not going to become an artist because it’s very difficult to succeed and become recognized.’ But now, it’s really difficult to succeed in any area! So, in that sense, if you want to be an artist, just go for it, it probably won’t be more difficult than other professions… because if you want to specialize in economics, for example, you’re also not sure that you’ll get a job! Would you ever leave Portugal to go live somewhere else? My idea is to always have a place here [in Lisbon] and work here… then maybe go somewhere else for 6 months, and back, and so forth. But I would say that Lisbon is a good place to live in, it’s just fucked up for working. Well of course now I can’t complain, but it is. ◆




Text by Mario Rueda Photo by Mine Gurzumar Mark Cain is a successful saxophone player from the UK with more than 20 years of experience. Among many gigs around the world, mainly in North America and Europe, he’s also been asked to do some crazy stuff. “Once, I was asked to play the sax while dressed up as a police man... I didn’t do it”, says Mark with a smile on his face. Mark enjoys performing on the streets because they teach him a lot: “You have no support. You have no back up. It is not easy, but satisfactory as you learn a lot!” he explains. The saxophone is the love of his life: “It vibrates in your body. You use your hands, legs, lungs. You don’t use your eyes, like with the guitar. The sax is more intimate. More sensorial.”



Text by Inês Santos Photos by Mine Gurzumar It all started about a year ago, when Ricardo ‘Dwelle’, Mário ‘Zombie’ and Rita ‘Madbrain’ gave life to the Boardbrothers. Dwelle and Zombie studied graphic design together. Both in love with urban culture and contemporary art, they decided to fuse their interests and passion, called Rita to join them, and began the project. At the end of the day, it was the best of both worlds, working with friends and doing what you love. Inspired by Jean Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso and mutually between themselves, their style is in constant motion. In the beginning, it was more about collages and painting, but later on the surfaces on which they worked (such as wood) also become an important factor in their art. If you ask the team what their favorite material to work with is, they will tell

you acrylic paint, without a doubt, which we can see in several of their works. Boardbrothers describe their work as reciprocity at all levels: not only between their team but also with the materials and their feelings, creating a transcendent bond with everything surrounding them. Racionalidade vs. Sensibilidade is the team’s favorite piece [shown on the opposite page], as it reflects the way they see society and all the noise surrounding them. Also, this piece depicts the beginning of the strong bond between the artists and the materials they work with. Their future is uncertain and the plan is to keep going with the flow. However, one thing is certain, and that is to be able to live from doing what they love: art.

PANTA Issue 3  

PANTA - Book a Street Artist Magazine - Issue 3 / June 2014