Archive for the ‘ U.S.A. ’ Category

Nick Stern, the photographer who breathes life into the most famous works of the elusive Banksy

The London-born 47-year-old, who revisits the stencils of the famous street artist, says: “I’ve always been intrigued by his work, I thought it would be fascinating to try and recreate some of his most famous images on camera”

In the Nick Stern‘s project “You are not Banksy”, the throwing flowers rioter, the kissing policemen, Jesus with the shopping bags, and many others graffiti’s characters signed by Banksy come to life through a reverse process respect to what happens with art. If normal, in fact, the latter with real life is reinterpreted, in the Stern ‘s work it becomes real, what merely was the result of stencils, spray, a clean wall, lots of imagination and a message to be transmitted.

Many people consider him as one of many imitators cause he copies and builds upon the works of the famous street artist Banksy but he, unlike others, including the Apulian Lino Bansky and Hansky from New York, which still remain in absolute anonymity just like their “inspirator”, about Nick Stern we know everything, who is, what he does and where he lives. The aura of deep mystery certainly contributes to spend many words to scholars or simple bloggers who gradually find out a new reinterpretation of the original graffiti. In fact, Lino Bansky from Andria recreates an irreverent parody of the Banksy’s stencil with the face and gags by the italian actor and his countryman Lino Banfi, while Hansky puts the face of the famous American actor Tom Hanks on the graffiti’s subjects.

Since 2007 Nick Stern lives in Los Angeles. Reading his profile on social networks, on his personal website and his interviews, we find out the profile of a professional photographer who has documented sensitive topics such as child prostitution and trafficking in human, and documented too difficult humanitarian situation in Haiti after the earthquake in the 2010. We can say he’s a purist who hates photo retouching on the computer, who discourages to use Apps like Instagram to report news stories. Instagram style filters are designed to make an image like a seventies style picture, and in different cases from simple hobby they could mislead the audience, adding more drama than real.

Stern said these touching words: “In Haiti, shortly after the 2010 earthquake, I took photos with tears running down my cheeks. It was only the camera held tightly to my face that meant my tears were not visible to those around me. I believe that emotion came through in my pictures. If it didn’t I failed in my job.” “The greatest photographs are created in the mind of the photographer and not in the workings of the camera.”

There are artists who go beyond simple street art, reprocessing it and contaminating it with the photograph: this is a Nick Stern’s tribute to most famous street artist of the moment cause, as the autor says: “Banksy’s work is pretty unique and inspiring, known the world over.” Stern said that was a long and careful work, where nothing was left to chance. For weeks he procured on ebay all the various objects that appear in images such as Jesus’s ring of thorns and the police helmets.

“I just hope Banksy likes what I have done” says Stern.

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Charging Bull, Arturo Di Modica, New York City, 1989

December 16, 1989 an Italian sculptor stood without authorization a huge statue of a charging bull in front of New Stock York Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York.
During the night, Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor, and thirty his friends and relatives, had managed to evade police surveillance, download the work from a rented truck and install it, in a period less than 8 minutes of the tour of the Watch.

Charging Bull - Arturo Di Modica

The same afternoon, the New York Stock Exchange rented a truck to remove the work. But the outcry initiative to ‘acclaim’ convinced the Parks Department Commissioner in New York to give a temporary site (currently in Bowling Green) the work ‘Charging Bull’ a few blocks away from the original location.

Arturo Di Modica, The Sculptor

Arturo Di Modica was born in in the small Sicilian city of Vittoria, in the province of Ragusa, January 26, 1941, the same city where the young jazz player Francesco Cafiso, the swimmer Luca Marin and Me were born. The bull, also known as the Wall Street Bull, has become the sculptor one of the most famous sculptors in the United States and operates a tourist attraction, second only to the Statue of Liberty now.

Di Modica said he created the gleaming, muscular sculpture after the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of the “strength, power and hope of the American people for the future.”

It has become a public symbol of American capitalism and of the historic Financial District. It is a good thing and a compelling piece of art. It cost the artist more than $300,000 to create, cast and install his beast. To recoup his expenses, he planned to sell other versions of the bull to cities around the world, and he has made some progress. In 2010, China was due to get its own reddish-colored charging bull in Shanghai’s financial square on the Bund.