ARTREPUBLIC RETURNS TO DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE FOR YEAR 2
At the surface, street art is about filling an empty space with something beautiful. But the beating heart of the movement is centered around transformation. Street art invokes inspiration. Concepts develop in technicolor, ideas that stimulate growth and inspire change one bold stroke at a time. With street art, beautiful things can happen.
For the second year, ArtRepublic has curated a collection of the most prolific artists to participate in the 12-day exhibition November 1-12 in the Downtown Core. The lineup, as announced exclusively to EU Jacksonville, features artists Faith47, Hush, DALeast, Okuda, Bik Ismo, 2Alas, Dourone, Martin Ron, Bisco Smith, Oiterone, Ricky Lee Gordon, Francisco Bosoletti, Shaun Thurston, Cent, Nico, Halsi, David Petroni, Mario Mankey, and returning this year, Astro. (See individual artists’ works and bios below)
“I’m excited to see the ArtRepublic artists working in the city I grew up in,” says artist Shaun Thurston. “Having always dreamed of our walls being covered in monumental artwork I see that ArtRepublic is progressively helping to make these dreams come true. I’m honored to be included in the line-up of so many inspirational artists.”
ArtRepublic is the first privately-funded public art organization to offer artists the opportunities and resources to create boundary-pushing work and fill the void between gallery and museum. The festival pairs renowned artists with new, emerging artists to elevate the level of consciousness into cities with sparsely populated cultural landscapes.
“Having always dreamed of our walls being covered in monumental artwork I see that ArtRepublic is progressively helping to make these dreams come true. I’m honored to be included in the line-up of so many inspirational artists.” – Shaun Thurston
“This is why ArtRepublic is so significant. The organization differs from other street art festivals as it provides a platform for the world’s most prolific street artists to evolve to a higher level of production, enabling them to impact and influence the direction of our society’s progression more precisely. Art is the best medium for creating great change to any area or culture. Artists take us to places we can’t go ourselves. They are cultural luminaries and their artwork offers us a way of communicating to each other that opens the doors to innovation in all industries,” says founder and curator Jessica Santiago, who curates Wall Street Fine Art in the Downtown area.
ArtRepublic infuses art and culture to elevate and inspire communities, developing featured artists and thoughtful collaborations with the academic art world, brands and corporations. Among the collaborations is the pairing of Inka Kendzia with South African-based artist Faith47 with Inka Kendzia to create a new experimental work during ArtRepublic. “We are really excited to see the results that will unfold in this enchanted partnership”, says Faith47.
Jacksonville-based artist Toni Smailagic says he is grateful to be a part of a creative collective that is actively engaging the community to shift its perception of public art. “The biggest driving force in New York City for me was being surrounded by people who are continuously pushing and redefining the boundaries of what and how art is used in society,” says Smailagic. “The social pressure alone, forced me into creating each day, and I feared losing that drive in Jacksonville.”
Art, culture and entertainment are critical to community building and quality of life, helping to elevate the perception and branding of a city. Adding the elements of beauty, color and creativity attracts ambitious and creative people to a region and helps create a sense of place.
Santiago hopes ArtRepublic will help transform Jacksonville into an arts destination where citizens and tourists will come to tour the murals, sculptures, exhibits, artist’s studios, galleries and museums. Volunteers opportunities are open for those who want to be part of in the creative intervention of ArtRepublic. Businesses can sponsor the initiative and strengthen their brand through the platform.
EU Jacksonville is partnering with ArtRepublic to promote the exhibition and share up to date announcements and events. ArtRepublic has unveiled its new website which contains artist profiles and information about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities.
“Cities are fundamentally about people and where people go and where people meet are at the core of what makes a city work. Lively and enjoyable public spaces are the key to building a vibrant city. They are what makes it come alive. We can completely change the perception, energy and feeling of the downtown neighborhood without changing the structure of the city,” she says. “We must have purpose. We must make a difference.”
CONFIRMED 2017 PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Faith47 is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who has been applauded for her ability to resonate with people around the world. Through her work, Faith47 attempts to disarm the strategies of global realpolitik, in order to advance the expression of personal truth. In this way, her work is both an internal and spiritual release that speaks to the complexities of the human condition, its deviant histories and existential search. The seeds for Faith47’s works begin with a raw intimacy. Exploring the duality of human relationships, her imagery carries the profound weight of our interconnectedness. Channeling the international destinations that have been imprinted on her after two decades of interacting with urban environments as one of the most renowned and prolific muralists, she continues to examine our place in the world.
Location: South Africa
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Ricky Lee Gordon
Ricky is a self-taught artist born in Johannesburg South Africa in 1984. Having lived and worked in Cape Town he moved to LA in 2016 to study classical painting. He is well known for his large-scale murals that can be seen in cities all over the world, from New York to Istanbul and Madagascar to Kathmandu. Ricky has been inspired by his experiences in meditation and Buddhist Dharma (law of nature) and therefore now his paintings explore the nature of non-duality and interconnectedness focusing on bringing to light relevant social issues and universal truths. His intention with his murals is to create artwork that has a connection to the people and place in which he is painting. Ricky only started painting full time in 2014 having his first solo show in 2015. Before this he was focused on curatorial and creative activism; founding A WORD OF ART gallery and artist residency in addition to the Colour Ikamva school rejuvenation project. His studio work has become the antithesis of his public murals as it allows for a more meditative environment to create and allows for him to explore deeper into his ideas without compromise. Sometimes his work is abstract and deconstructed and sometimes straight forward and didactic; collaging two images together adding bold poetic text to create a union between the dreamlike stories. His achievements in public art have made it on CNN, Mail & Guardians 200 young people in SA who make a difference, Winner of the International Art and healing network award for 2011 and National Geographics list of 11 street art greats alongside the likes of Banksy.
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
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Website: Ricky Lee Gordon
Chinese-born DALeast is easily one of the most prolific street artists of our time, as well as an accomplished painter, sculptor, and digital artist.
The dark imagery found in DALeast’s art is undeniably captivating, woven with intricate detail while focusing on the simple subjects in his pieces. Each of his pieces of art is created using paint to look like thousands of metal shards are coming together to form beautiful shapes, often animals or humans. Within every piece of DALeast’s art, a pop of color observed in the background brings his subject to life. This allows him to focus on the intricacy of his technique while delivering his final product. The use of fractured imagery and contrasting backgrounds serve to give his art a breath of energy and soul that can sometimes be lost in art with a more somber subject matter.
A majority of DALeast’s art utilizes animals as the subject matter. In many of his works, less pronounced line work in the background serves as a shadowing effect for the images illustrated in the forefront. The overall artistic effect of utilizing a dark base while simultaneously highlighting in fragmented, brighter lines is to make the images appear to leap off the wall or canvas; It is the artist’s skillful layering of lines that leads the viewer to be able to visually interpret the image in many different ways.
DALeast is self-described as “currently a human being.” He has worked on a vast number of projects, starting in 2005, throughout Beijing, China, as well as South Africa, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Namibia, the United States, and many other countries throughout Europe and Africa. DALeast has also participated in many group art exhibitions over the years in London, New York, Spain, Canada, Austria, Milan, and Melbourne.
Location: Wuhan, China
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Creating a successful blend of old and new is always a risky business. And, if you add to it a surprising mixture of culture – the task is getting even harder. Apparently, that doesn’t apply to Hush, a British artist known for his mixed techniques of collage, graffiti, stencil, painting and drawing he uses to cover the streets and fill the galleries all around the world with his geisha inspired works. Japanese traditional female entertainers, depicted through their feminine beauty and sensuality, are created in traditional colors and modern graffiti style, synthesizes this artist’s affection for Street Art aesthetics and traditional art practices.
Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom
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Caseros, March 13, 1981 is an artist corresponding to the urban art movement. He is known as one of the ten best muralists in the world, co-founder of the program “Urban Beautification”, was the first to paint a large mural in the neighborhood of Villa Urquiza, Buenos Aires, and participated in numerous interventions in many stations of the Subway of Buenos Aires. With international acclaim, Ron has painted murals in cities like London, Tallin, Penang (Malasya), Brístol, Miami, Tenerife, Bremen and Glauchau, bringing color and life to the streets. His works on a large scale are characterized by the hyperrealistic style, with the use of strong colors, textures and elements of everyday life.
He has worked with 3D technique, realism and one of his personal seals is the use of the grid that is present in several of his murals. He is also a canvas artist, using the medium for the expression of another type of art, on a smaller scale, but with many of the elements that characterize it, such as textures and elements of everyday life.
He studied art and culture at the National University of Tres de Febrero, where he later taught as a teacher teaching Muralism courses. Currently, he continues to develop seminars and workshops independently.
Location: Buenos, Aires
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Website: Martin Ron
Muralist, graffiti artist and painter. Santos earned his BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas de San Juan, in which time he was chosen to participate in the Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo (ARCO) in Madrid. He has been the creator and organizer of two big events of urban art in Puerto Rico, Fuego a la Lata (2007) and Arecibo Street Art Project (2015), the latter an initiative to rehabilitate through art, abandoned buildings in the area of Arecibo. Additionally, he is ascribed for organizing the first exhibition of graffiti on canvas, Virtuosos del Aerosol at Galería Enlaces in San Juan (2002). He has shown in several group exhibitions in the United States, Japan, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain and Israel. His urban work is characterized by the symbol of a toaster and the phrase “Seguimos Tostando” (We’ll keep toasting). He is currently part of prestigious international groups of urban art such as FX, The Nasty Boys (TNB) and Master of Destruction (MAD).
Location: Arecibo, Puerto Rico
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Website: Bik Ismo
Bisco Smith (b.1980) is an American contemporary urban artist whose work is characterized as a blend of graffiti deconstruction, abstract gesturalism, action painting, and style writing. His technique involves energetic, expressive brushstrokes that reflect the flow of music and translates the consciousness of the moment into painted lyrics and abstract black and white works of art.Bisco has exhibited art, performed music, painted murals, and partnered with creative brands and live events worldwide. Bisco’s work is regularly exhibited in major markets and is collected by both national and international collectors. Bisco Smith currently resides in New York while working between Queens, NY and Venice, CA.
Location: New York, New York
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Website: Bisco Smith
David Petroni (1984) is an Argentine artist. He studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires (FADUand Visual Arts in National University of Arts (UNA). His practices included urban spaces (mural) and atelier work, covering from painting to engraving and three-dimensional volume. His semi-abstract aesthetic research is marked by a sensitive look at the universe around man, it is always the man who contemplates and who manifests the universe so using laws of composition exhibiting nature to reach the unifying point among living things .
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David Petroni (1984) is an Argentine artist. He studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires (FADU) and Visual Arts in National University of Arts (UNA). His practices include urban spaces (mural) and atelier work, covering from painting to engraving and three-dimensional volume. His semi-abstract aesthetic research is marked by a sensitive look at the universe around man, it is always the man who contemplates and who manifests the universe so using laws of composition exhibiting nature to reach the unifying point among living things.
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Website: David Petroni
The work of Mohamed is loaded with delicacy, influenced undoubtedly by Impressionism. Between classical painting and contemporary photography, Mohamed L’Ghacham’s style is characterized by a realism that clearly distinguishes him from other street artists of his generation. Originally from Morocco, this young and talented Barcelona-based painter combines his love for classical painting and his interest in street art in a subtle mix of genres, where figurative and impressionist styles meet urban art techniques and audience. In L’Ghacham’s work, memories seem to have a special place. Oiter, L’Ghacham’s street name, enjoys creating scenes from everyday life, because he believes in the idea of capturing scenes he and his audience can identify with.
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Nicole Holderbaum, more commonly referred to as “Nico,” is a Jacksonville based artist, muralist, and creative development enthusiast. After attending arts school for both middle and high school in West Palm Beach, she made the move to Jacksonville to attend the University of North Florida. Most recently, she’s been working as an independent artist and has been creating artwork on a larger scale. While working on personal collections and mural installations around the city, she is also focused on her latest project, the Jax Kid’s Mural Festival. This project came to life with the help of the Florida Blue SPARK Grant awarded to Holderbaum by The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Through this festival she has also established an outreach program in which she brings mural projects to schools and community centers in underprivileged areas of Jacksonville. Her ultimate goal as an artist working and living in this city, is to bring hope and inspiration to both the youth of our community as well as artists young and old.
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
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Shaun Thurston was born in 1979 in Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, he attended Florida School of the Arts in Palatka then transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia with a portfolio scholarship. But he left when a professor told him he didn’t need a degree and student loan debt to make a living with his art. He has completed more than fifty commissions since his early twenties, as well as hundreds of personal and public works. His artwork has been included in exhibitions at The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, MOCA Jacksonville, and Art Basel in Miami. His murals appear throughout Jacksonville and Atlanta.
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
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Website: Shaun Thurston
Mark “CENT” Ferreira is a Graffiti writer, Contemporary Artist and Graphic Designer based in Jacksonville,FL. His work is typography oriented with works of traditional graffiti and characters. Working prodominatly in aerosol he’s Inspired by Geometry, mid century design and comics.
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
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Halsi was born and raised in Orlando, Fl. From a young age he was embraced and cared for by some of the most talented and cultured artists in the Orlando scene. The creative experience and support he received from a young age truly shows in his lifestyle and personality today. His dedication to his craft is unbreakable, and his messages deeper than they seem at first glance. Over time, Halsi has developed a very iconic style, and one that is recognized all throughout Orlando and other parts of Florida. Using symbolism, simplistic design, and a character that he created he crosses the bridge between the message and the production. His artwork conveys various concepts pertaining to environmentalism, social inequality, and emotional distress, all the while maintaining a child like perspective. Through his style and messaging, Halsi strives to provide a simplistic perspective solutions for such worldly issues.
Location: Orlando, Florida[instanow name= secret.halsi info_pos= top info_layout= 1 shape= circle size= 70 window= 1 logo= 1 style= lite media= 18 link= file layout= grid columns= 6 lm= 1 lm_num= 6 ]
Francisco Bosoletti, born in Armstrong, Argentina in 1988, combines a classicist style mixed with a hint of social awareness. His chosen symbol is the, the tulip representing the world of ‘financial speculation’, a real issue in todays’s Argentina. With vigorous brushwork and a palette of earth tones, Bosoletti explores the feminine and masculine sides of his characters directed by the inevitable tulip elements interacting with the energetic line work that defines the composition. A work that not only is decorative, but that also express a deeper meaning, both his interior life and the society his is part of.
Location: Armstrong, Argentina
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Website: Francisco Bosoletti
Using the Mario Mankey name, I manifest the underlying contradictions between human and primate. I work on human behaviors I find disturbing. I focus mainly on the eternal contradictions of the modern individual because of their ambitions and limitations. The aesthetic is designed to introduce fun but also sarcasm. Thus, the works are addressed at a diverse, but also intimate audience, seeking to establish an artistic dialogue, be it arisen from a canvas, a street mural, a comic book or whichever new challenge brought in by this relationship.
Location: Berlin, Germany
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Website: Mario Mankey
Okuda San Miguel was born on November 19, 1980 in Santander, settled in Madrid since 2000 and graduated in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. From his beginnings in the year 1997, his work in abandoned buildings and factories of his native city were clearly recognizable. In parallel with his work on the street, Okuda also produced more intimate works in his studio, with which from 2009 he evolved towards a more personal way of working.
The geometric structures and multicolored prints are united with gray bodies and organic forms in artistic pieces that could be classified as Pop Surrealism with a clear essence of the street. His works often raise contradictions about existentialism, the universe, the infinite, the meaning of life, the false freedom of capitalism, and show a clear conflict between modernity and our roots; In short, between the human being and himself.
In his work, multicolored geometric architectures are merged with organic forms, bodies without identity, animals without head, a multitude of opposing symbols that incite reflection. A unique and very special iconographic language.
His works can be seen in streets and galleries around the world: India, Mali, Mozambique, United States, Japan, Chile, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Mexico and the whole European continent.
Location: Madrid, Spain
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2Alas, Andrew Antonaccio is known for his black and white linear portraits and colored geometric abstractions. While his brilliant murals have been placed in prominent South Florida hotels, restaurants and nightclubs in recent years, 2Alas has also traveled afar, painting all over the world in places such as Torino Italy, Montreal, and Puerto Rico. In addition to his travels, he has created installations at the Miami International Airport and been cover in the New York Times and Interior Design Magazine. He has also shown gallery work in exhibitions around the world and in large scale fairs such as the Scope Art Show. During Art Basel 2013 Andrew was commissioned by Ford to design the outside of one of their cars for the 2014 edition of the Miami International Auto Show.
Location: Puerto Rico
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French graffiti artist Astro comes from the northern parisian suburbs where he started graffiti painting 10 years ago. His style has evolved from elaborate graffiti writing to fatcap arabesques he masters like no one else. Astro has created his own world by exploiting the subtlety of light and shade, the strength of colours, and the perspective of depths.
Astro’s work fits equally well on walls and on canvas, but also on cellophane, thanks to a new technique called “CelloGraff” which he created in 2006 with the artist Kanos. His energy and his originality make Astro one of the major street artists, as shown by his presence at many international festivals.
Astro is now part of the CBS crew from Los Angeles.
Location: Paris, France
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