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Sten and Lex at Rialto

Posted on May 28, 2009 | 20 comments



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.

20 Comments

  1. great pictures i would so love to vist those places. great bolg

  2. I must first complement on the amazing pictures. Makes you feel at times things we miss out in our mundane life!!

  3. Lovely pictures.
    They remind me of the wonderful summer I spent living in Rome…thanks for sharing these images.

  4. We’ve been to some things there this Spring. I think they’re open – I think they were closed just for a day or brief period…. more like a “show” closing than a real closing, it seems. Dianne http://www.romethesecondtime.com

  5. Congratulations on being selected Blog of Note. It’s well deserved.

  6. Mo, Abhi, and Lake – Thank you for you comments! I do try to capture some of the small things we often miss.

    Icastico – How nice you spent some time in Rome! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Dianne -I think they are definitely open but I get the sense they’re keeping things a bit more low key? Definitely these things are usually “show” closings…you are right about that!

  7. Mo, Abhi, and Lake – Thank you for you comments! I do try to capture some of the small things we often miss.

    Icastico – How nice you spent some time in Rome! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Dianne -I think they are definitely open but I get the sense they’re keeping things a bit more low key? Definitely these things are usually “show” closings…you are right about that!

  8. I don’t know how I can start again singing your most vernally smile and paint you as souvenir in frame of picture in corner of my hearts shell.
    http://www.sababoy.blogfa.com

  9. Those photos are amazing. I wish I was good at photography. I’m just a poet!
    -Sara

    the-poet-girl.blogspot.com

  10. So interesting to see contemporary art superimposed on old backgrounds.

  11. From your description, Rialto seems to be a very cool place! Wonderful b&w shots, Jessica!

  12. fantastic . i love your city and of course your photos …

  13. nice photos, one day im going to visit rome.

  14. Jessica, I really like your photos and your writings!
    I browsed on Imagekind and it looks quite interesting… I was just wondering whether it “works”? Have you been on it for a long time? Does it really sell? Please come to visit my Verona Daily Photo!

  15. i love Roma was there recently I miss the little side streets and cafes, have fun Rebecca

  16. Well, I found your blog by accident, heheh. Although I enjoyed my stay in Rome (there were so much stuff to enjoy), I think my heart will always remain in Florence! 🙂 Really great blog!

  17. Sara – Being a poet isn’t so shabby! It’s a whole artform itself.

    Snaps – Me too!

    JM – It is a cool place for sure and they’re always trying to do interesting events there.

    Anonymous – Thanks for the link to the interview!

    Parisan and Nina – Grazie, glad you like the photos and Rome.

    Valeria – I’ve been on Imagekind from almost the beginning but don’t get much from it. That’s my fault though because I never update the photos and really neglect it to be honest! If I were going to do it properly I’d get an upgraded account so I could put more pieces on there and really promote it but I just don’t have the time! I’ll definitely stop by and look at the blog.

    Rebecca – Thanks for stopping by. I love the little side streets too. Hope you’ll make it back some day.

    imsochady – hehe love your name! I do like Florence but must say I prefer Rome much more! However you couldn’t go wrong with either.

  18. I love your pics!

  19. Thank you Lori!

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