Artists in Conversation: Bluestreets

Speaking to the Street Photographers Behind a New Digital Platform for Street Art

Street photographers and street art aficionados Roberto Arroyo and Jakob von Fircks were disillusioned with the lack of viable platforms for their passions. Rather than bemoan the dearth of opportunities, they decided to create their own. And so Bluestreets was born. Bluestreets is an online platform for street artists and photographers to present their work, exchange ideas and hopefully connect with galleries and potential buyers.

Photographs by Jakob von Fircks:

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The project started off humbly enough at the start of the 2015, but already boasts work by 80 artists from around the world, from the town of Yerevan in Armenia to the streets of Tokyo or Kathmandu. The site also features an interactive map so users can see where each artist comes from.

Photographs by Roberto Arroyo:
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We spoke to Jakob and Roberto to learn more about this ambitious new platform:

The Plus: Can you tell us about your backgrounds and how you came to work together?
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Jakob von Fircks: We met in 2010 while studying in Marseille. We both fell in love with this unique city and started our first joint venture during our studies, a social business working with indigenous leather craftsmen from Ecuador. At that time we also started to develop a deep passion for photography which has evolved since then.

TP: What’s so special about street art as opposed to art you find in galleries?
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Roberto Arroyo: For us street art is a passion for and made by people from diverse backgrounds and origins without any kind of intellectual or social prejudice and without any discrimination. We want an art gallery free of bourgeois traditionalist norms where you have to be educated in a certain way and from a certain social class, with certain standards and accessible to only certain privileged people.

JVK: In many societies where we are working, media and art is highly oppressed and the street is the only space to produce and share a public message, often through art. For example, in Cairo Egypt street art played an immense role during and following the revolution and helped to shape a reality opposed to the propaganda of mass media. Unfortunately both photographers as well as street artists are often facing a lot of risks and even imprisonment.

Photographs by Ernesto Perez:
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TP: What are your long term ambitions for bluestreets?
In the long term we want to bring bluestreets from the virtual space into galleries, both through partnerships and exhibitions as well as opening our own outlets. We are planning to open our first gallery in Europe in Marseille, France and in South America in Quito, Ecuador. With these two big steps we will enforce our strategy of connecting artists from all over the world and entering two very different markets in Europe and South America. At the same time we will launch the bluestreets limited edition online shop, which will facilitate distribution of limited edition prints of curated work.

Photographs by Arek Rataj:
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Previous Artists in Conversation: Jain x Greg & Lio