Sten and Lex at Rialto
I was reading a new issue of Zero magazine this weekend (great resource for events all over Italy) and saw the artists Sten and Lex had been commissioned to do a stencil on the centro sociale Rialto Sant’Ambrogio. A few years ago I used to go to Rialto all the time, but then it got too popular and too crowded and I stopped going very frequently. However, I was sad to hear that they’d been shut down a few months ago because they didn’t have the proper licenses to operate. For those that live here, you know that this is silly because they hadn’t had the proper license for years and no one cared. Now that the political tide is more right wing they all of a sudden decided to enforce the rules. It’s a shame because besides dj performances, they do a lot of interesting exhibitions and theater events as well. I’m a bit confused about what they’re now allowed and not allowed to do because they are partially open (I’m thinking they’re just not allowed the djs at night?).
In any case, I headed over on Monday to photograph the piece that Sten and Lex were doing and actually got to meet them, which was a nice surprise. They’d just finished a giant stencil of the Madonna inside the front entrance (sorry, saving those photos for another project!) and were really nice (plus they had a cute dog). It’s always fun to get to actually meet the artists you’ve been photographing. They had intended to do the stencil on the front of the building later that evening, but I couldn’t come back to see them in action, so I stopped by the other day to take some photos. Their portraits have an old-school 50s vibe to me, so I decided to do some black and whites. People will recognize the portrait as Putin. Sten and Lex really seem to be exploding even internationally, with their work recently sited on the very important street art blog Wooster Collective.
This particular piece was commissioned to launch the Box festival, which is running until May 31 at Teatro Vascello. This is the third edition in which 25 young artists come together to display video installations, art, performance, and theater.
By the way, if you can read Italian, check out the interesting interview on 06blog today with Andrea Ruggeri, a photographer who often collaborates with Sten.
Update: They were filming this interview when I was there! Great video of Lex and Sten working from 06blog.