MOCA's "Art In The Streets" Exhibit Continues With Some Special One-Off Events This Week

Posted by Billyjam, July 20, 2011 02:28pm | Post a Comment
WHOLETRAIN trailer (2010) the film screens Saturday @ MOCA as part of Art In The Streets

Art in the Streets - the engaging ongoing presentation of graffiti and street art on exhibit at Los Angeles' Museum Of Contemporary Art (aka MOCA) - that opened in April is drawing to a close in a couple of weeks but before its August 8th last day it still has some new special events planned, including some one-off events. These include an "art talk" by Chaz Bojorquez tomorrow only (July 21st) at 6:30 PM in which the legendary L.A. graffiti artist will discuss his rich body of work as he leads a group walk through MOCA where his art is currently on display. As he does will discuss his and LA's graffit in context of the overall global street art movement of the past several decades which is the theme of Art In The Streets which was fully previewed by the Amoeblog back in April. Bojorquez's lecture is free with general admission to the musuem and no reservations are required.

Then on Saturday (July 23) at 6:30 PM at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA there will be a screening of the entertaining European feature film about the trials and tribulations of four young graffiti artists WHOLETRAIN. The German film's director Florian Gaag (a former graffiti artist turned filmmaker), who was interviewed by the Amoeblog last November when the film was released on DVD (look for it at Amoeba), said that it took him six years (five years longer than projected) to complete the film due to constant opposition due to its illegal art subject matter.

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Interview with Florian Gaag, Director of Graffiti Feature Film Wholetrain

Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2010 06:15am | Post a Comment

Today both the DVD and the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed, award-winning and Florian Gaag directed fictional graffiti-feature film WHOLETRAIN are being released via RykoDisc. The film was shot in Poland and is in German with subtitles in English and 13 other languages. The English language hip-hop soundtrack includes all original songs (over beats produced by the film's director) from all American artists including KRS-One, Freddie Foxxx, O.C., Planet Asia, Afu-Ra, Grand Agent, Akrobatik, Tame One, and El Da Sensei. Both the film and its soundtrack are highly recommended for anyone, not just graffiti fans.

The film's title, WHOLETRAIN, comes from the graffiti writers' goal of spraypainting every inch of an entire train. Although the film's young cast will be totally unknown to American audiences, it is dramatically gripping, with a solid story-line, plus a most impressive display of all new graffiti art. Colorfully shot on the trains and walls, throughout the film this graffiti was all tirelessly commissioned by the first time director himself, who is clearly a major graffiti fan. For these beautiful pieces he brought in such established graffiti artists as NEON, PURE, CIEL, WON, and CEMNOZ to do the art work.
Back in February, when the film screened in LA and San Francisco at the Goethe-Institut in each city, I reviewed it for the Amoeblog. I also interviewed the director at that time. He told me about the challenging process of making this film, including the overwhelming obstacles he faced due to making a film that includes an illegal art form, and how WHOLETRAIN turned into a six year project. That interview with director Florian Gaag follows below.
Florian Gaag

WHOLETRAIN is a great film and what's most impressive is that it is your first full-length film. So had you done short films or videos before this?

Florian Gaag: Yes, I´ve done a couple of short films, mostly short documentaries though, because that´s where I´m coming from.


Posted by Billyjam, February 24, 2010 02:30pm | Post a Comment
Scene from the making of the film WHOLETRAIN, which was shot in Poland

Graffiti fans should make a point of attending the California screenings of the powerful new European graffiti themed feature film WHOLETRAIN that screens this evening (Feb 24) in San Francisco at the Goethe-Institut and on Monday (March 1st) at the same institution's center in Los Angeles. After the screenings in each city director Florian Gaag will be on hand for a Q&A session.

Gaag's first feature, WHOLETRAIN was shot in Poland, has English subtitles and has already been a film festival fave. It tells the story of a tight knit crew of graffiti writers, Tino, David, Elyas and Achim, who go through a lot of troubles (including run-ins with the law and a growing feud with a rival graf crew) in pursuit of their art.
WHOLETRAIN is full of wonderful, memorable scenes like the one where Tino (convincingly played by Florian Renner) is trying to persuade his friend and ever-frowning crew mate David (played by Mike Adler), who is on his last strike with the authorities, to go back out that night on an important train "bombing" mission in which they have a final opportunity to prove their worth against the rival graf crew.

If they miss this last chance, "We look like a finger painting group. Unless we do a wholetrain, we can battle housewives in the local drawing class," warns Tino. 

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