Naima Morelli

Tag "graffiti"


The webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my article on the controversial Walled Off Hotel by graffiti artist Banksy with the title: “Playing with sand in a sandstorm: Palestinians on Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel”. I gathered a few opinions on the subject, by three Palestinians involved in different way with art and an art blogger, then drew my conclusions:

“Banksy’s hotel provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the role of art in sensitive contexts, such as the situation in occupied Palestine. What art needs is not to be more witty or ironic. It should neither become didactic nor necessarily take sides. Artists need to have a heart and some empathy; a capacity and willingness to listen. In order to do that, though, they need to break out from the cage that is their own narcissism. This won’t make the art necessarily cooler, but it would make it more meaningful. More human, in fact.”

Here is the link to the piece

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A few months ago I met Indonesian artist Farhan Siki for his show “Trace” at Banca Generali, in Milan. We spoke about the exhibition and his approach to art. Hong-Kong magazine CoBo has just published the interview, along with a short video of part of our conversation.

Here is the link to the piece + video



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A few weeks ago one of the coolest festivals in Rome took place at Forte Prenestino, an ex-jail turned occupied centro sociale. CRACK Fumetti Dirompenti is devoted to independent publications, comics, street art, zines, graphic work, art and books. This has been by far the more fun report for TeenPress; I have found so many friends joining the festival, each one looking for something different and getting a variety of inputs from the event. The theme this year was “The Capital”, alluding to the recent Italian scandal of Roma Capitale, but also to the relationship of artists with economic powers and dynamics. Enjoy the video (plus a couple of pictures below).

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My interview with Australian artist Reko Rennie has just been published on the webmagazine Global Comment with the title “Aboriginal Royalty at the Venice Biennale: Interview with artist Reko Rennie”. This interview is part part of my research about artists in Melbourne.

Here’s the link to the article

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A waterfall, tropical plants and artisan workshops. Who would ever guess to find all that straight out of the Laurentina metro station – the infamous Rome metro B terminal? Thanks to the art of young artist Alessandro Sabong – who painted Laurentina’s stairway – that is precisely what you will see. From his beginnings as a street artist, Alessandro attended two different painting courses before entering the prestigious Scuola d’Arte della Medaglia della Zecca dello Stato. In this third video realized with Roman news agency TeenPress, we talk to an everyday guy with a curiosity and willingness to experiment out of the norm. And now for the video (in Italian)

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I have been writing for magazines since 2007, but the excitement to see my articles out in the world never wears out! So here I am again on the Sunday edition of the Times of Malta. This piece is about Memorie Urbane, one of the biggest street art festivals in Europe, which takes place all over the Lazio region in Italy. I recently had a chat with Festival’s founder-curator and cultural entrepreneur Davide Rossillo.

Here’s the link to the article

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British webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my interview with Italian researcher Luce Lacquaniti, author of the upcoming book “I Muri di Tunisi: Segni di Rivolta” (The Walls of Tunis: Signs of Revolt). I walked away from interviewing Luce inspired and excited – she is extremely knowledgeable and passionate with her subject matter. Plus her research has all the elements that I’ve always loved – the people, the art and the revolution. I really can’t wait for her book to come out!

Here’s the link to the interview

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Muchlis Fachri is a young artist based in Jakarta, who is also part of the street artist’s crew called TAS – TAS and the artistic collective Aspaleho. We found each other on Facebook and I was amused by his cartoonish and ironically splatter style, with many references to punk aesthetics and popular culture.
Muchlis explained me that he wants to make art accessible to people. I find this conception resonating very strongly with young Indonesian artist in particular (I remember talking about that a couple of years ago with Agung Kurniawan of Kedai Kebun Forum, one of the first galleries to push forward the idea of accessible art, right in the middle of the painting boom in Yogyakarta).
With his practice Muchlis embodies this democratic idea of art, alternating his graffiti practice with conventional painting and the production of merchandise. Indeed, together with his girlfriend Puji Lestari, he also founded the company JUNK NOT DEAD, producing a range of edgy and offbeat products, from posters to bags and dolls – the patches are definitely on my shopping list next time I’ll pass by Jakarta. With a pulp and excessive imaginary, Muchlis Fachri’s art is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.

Did you have a moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist?

I did actually. In senior high school, I would often made unusual things that were different from the ones of the other students, like bags made of a cardboard or I’d decorate my sneakers with drawings. During my third year I visited an exhibition in the Galeri Nasional and I was stroked by the art exhibited – that show has been fundamental to arouse my interest in painting. When I came back home from the exhibition I was so excited that I started painting on canvases and researching about artists.

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The Australian magazine Trouble has  just published the interview I had in Melbourne with artist Two One (Hiroyasu Tsuri). The interview is part of my reportage about emerging artists in Melbourne.

Here the link to the interview

Here the link to the online version of the magazine

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“Incalzatrice della storia Freno del tempo Tu Bomba / Giocattolo dell’universo Massima rapinatrice di cieli Non posso odiarti”

Correndo giù per Via dei Mille nel caldo di un aprile napoletano del duemilaundici, cercando di arrivare al Molo Beverello in tempo per prendere l’Aliscafo dell’una e cinque, vale a dire essere a Sorrento per le due meno un quarto circa, ecco in questa corsa (perché si sa che il movimento fa arieggiare il cervello, purchè non vada in iperventilazione) le immagini della mostra di Zabetta si sovrappongono, si alternano in rima baciata, alternata, incrociata e slogata ai versi di “Bomb” di Gregory Corso.

Sulla rampa di legno vigilata dai Vucumprà, a fianco al Maschio Angioino, inevitabilmente parole e immagini sono già tutta una pappetta, sbatacchiate come un frullatore nella mia testa, non resta che sedersi sull’aliscafo e fare un po’ di ordine.
Dunque, Coda Zabetta non penso proprio che abbia scritto una lettera d’amore alla Bomba, quello è stato Corso. Piuttosto quello di Coda Z. si tratta di un lavoro ordinato che ha condotto a un risultato efficace, puntuale e profetico, come ci hanno tenuto tutti quanti a rimarcare con occhi da Cassandra color acque di Mergellina, alludendo chiaramente alla recentissima tragedia nucleare giapponese.

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I recently interviewed the artist Twoone  (Hiroyasu Tsuri) in his studio in Collingwood.
The studio was quite empty because he had brought all the paintings at the Backwoods gallery, for his upcoming solo show “Define Nothing”.
Twoone’s Japanese background is evident in his paintings’ balanced composition. His mystical-looking characters with animal heads, realized in his unique style, are his trademark in the Melbournian thriving street art culture.
The exhibition has been a success. I took some pictures of the Twoone’s artworks in the gallery, and then I followed him in a street nearby where he was painting a wall. 

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My understanding of Melbourne so far it that everything is about the lanes. The graffiti, the social life, the art exhibitions.
A week ago I was searching for this Trink Tank gallery and, guess what, I ended up in a blind alley. In a blind lane to be precise.

I asked a bunch of people in front of a bar if they know where this Trink Tank gallery was.
A guy with a chef hat smirked:”You just passed it. It’s there!” and he  guided me without fail to a shrine in the wall.
Inside the small shrine, like a Neapolitan Madonna, there was Marc Standing’s artwork “The Duchess Of Avon”.
I read the press release that you could take off from a stack of papers. Apparently the shape of the statuette was from a 1970s Avon perfume bottle, which ironically contained Sweet Honesty perfume: “Her tribal painted face is a stark contrast to her Eurocentric bridal ensemble. Coloured thread emanates from her bouquet, enfolding her in an almost suffocating embrace. However, her stoic stance is one of pride and reverence.'” stated the press release.

“So… that’s it!”
“Yeeee!” said proudly the guy “This is the gallery!”

Australia. You can have huge streets, kilometers of nothing just outside the city, the broadest spaces ever and at the same time, in a shady lane in Melbourne, the Trink Tank gallery, probably the one of the world’s smallest gallery.

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