Becki and I poked around Fort Tilden a week ago… although it’s not what it used to be, there’s still plenty of graffiti to be found.
My most recent trip to Berlin is already over a month in the past. A week is far too little time to capture it all, but this collection of favorites should give a pretty good indication of the level of graffiti saturation present in Berlin. Big, highly visible blockbuster rollers have been supplemented by an array of equally as impressive extinguisher pieces. A new addition to the visual landscape are colorful, vertical tags reminiscent of pixação, sprayed by rappeling down the sides of buildings. I finally had the opportunity to ride the Ringbahn once around the periphery of Berlin, an experience I recommend to anyone interested in the intersection of graffiti, architecture, and rail infrastructure. I’m itchin’ to go back.
If you ever find yourself wondering what the British born/Brooklyn based artist Jon Burgerman is up to, you are asking the wrong question. The real question should be what ISN’T he up to? In the last year alone, he has released a puzzle poster, a limited edition t-shirt for Azita, silk screens for 1xRun and Random Number, designed a Bathtime Favourites Tin for Lush, installed a flower bed outside of the Nottingham Castle Museum, penned the soon-to-be-released book “My American Summer”, released a CD and music video with his band Anxieteam…and that’s not even touching on his various projects, commissions, installations, performances, residencies and exhibitions throughout the world! Ahhhh, I need a nap just from writing about his life! I guess that may be why he occasionally shows up around town in various states of undress.
Even before meeting him it was easy to see why Burgerman is such a popular artist. His “doodling” often showcases his great sense of humor and enjoyment of the world, with all
the meals it has to offer. After meeting him it was easy to see how he maintains the viewer’s initial interest and has turned it into quite the rabid following: aside from said sense of humor, Burgerman is not someone who is afraid to experiment with his style, even if it risks alienating fans who want to see him produce variations of the same work over and over again.
During our studio visit, it was exciting to see how he experiments with different materials, colors, shapes, form, technique and scale. For some artists, once they have found success, it can be especially intimidating to mess with what can be viewed as a “winning formula”. It was interesting to hear Jon talk about his work and what appears to be a compulsion to continue moving artistically in order to keep his work interesting to himself.
And clearly, whatever he is doing is working. Burgerman currently has two street installations on display here in NYC: his own rendition of the Garden of Eden in the courtyard of Factory Fresh in Brooklyn and Groundbreak in Manhattan, along side artists Abe Lincoln Jr. and Ellis G. He is also set to head out to two European exhibitions later this month: Heitsch Galerie in Munich, opening on the 13th and Galerie Issue in Paris, opening on the 28th. While in Europe, Burgerman and his musical collaborator Jim Avignon will also be performing as Anxieteam in London and his hometown of Nottingham.
I hope that you all enjoyed this look into Jon Burgerman’s studio as much as I did! And if you need another fix before the next time we see him, just step into the Burgerplex.