Festivals in autumn have one big benefit: usually there are no tents involved and you don’t get sunburnt. That’s one good reason for liking the BLK River Festival so much, but of course not the only one. The rest you can probably file under Street Art, but don’t you dare think about rich kids doing stencils! The selection of this year’s artists is great and like every year it will make Vienna the heart of the global urban art community (for a short time). But what makes the festival so special is the variety of different art forms.
Take for example Erwin Wurm, born in Styria in 1954, an exceptional artist when it comes to sculptural work. He is most famous for his “One Minute Sculptures” and even the Red Hot Chilli Peppers mention him as a big influence for their music video ‘Can’t Stop’. OX on the other hand is a French artist who comes from a pop art background and stood in contact with Warhol’s factory, Jean Michel Basqiat and Keith Haring. Nowadays he does different kinds of interventions in public space. Then there is Voina Group, a Russian art collective that became known all over the Internet for their controversial and often very political projects, and of course because Banksy decided to raise money for the artists in response to the news that some members of the group are facing jail time.
So from September 15th to September 27th there is plenty of stuff going on in Vienna and it’s definitely a good reason to visit the city.
Published September 14, 2011.