The Bushwick Collective Turns 5

BSA has been promoting and supporting The Bushwick Collective and the artists who paint there from the very beginning.

Before The New York Times. Before Time Out. Before The Daily News and many other news or culture outlets. Before there were any videos of Joe Ficalora telling his story. Before Social Media turned every private act into an object for mass consumption. Before the street art tours. Before Street Art was a cottage industry in our borough.

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Case MaClaim (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As we celebrate five years of Bushwick Collective we have a question for you: Do you remember it’s original name before he changed it to Bushwick Collective? Joe contacted us out of the blue one day to ask us to curate some walls with him and to help him contact some artists and we immediately sensed a determination in Mr. Ficalora that was stellar. However, we never could have envisioned the huge daily festival it has become or how many people would celebrate or malign it.

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Case MaClaim (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bushwick Open Studios was already in full effect by that time – another artists’ effort we were among the first to support – and Manhattan art fans were beginning to make the trek a little further out on the L train to Bushwick now that Williamsburg had been clobbered by consumers by the late 2000s.

The first Bushwick Collective party had a DJ and 10 muralists. Jim Avignon, KLUB 7, and Gabriel Spector among them. Unofficially included was the huge “return” of COST, who slammed an entire defunct garage shop with posters and paint – a site that he often returned to in the months that followed to revise and expand.

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Case MaClaim (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s been a rollicking and sometimes rocky ride with the Collective, with mostly the voices of fans and few detractors, including silly art-school gentrifiers who bemoaned the gentrification that these murals brought to the neighborhood. Also local graff writers felt disrespected or overlooked by what they perceived as an invasion, and you can’t blame them for feeling that way.

Mostly, it has been a celebration of the creative spirit in these twenty-teens in Brooklyn and we all know that this too is a temporary era, as New York is continually reinventing itself. Enjoy these murals smacked cheek-by-jowl for block after block by an international train of talents running through Bushwick today, because they are here for you to enjoy in this moment. Like David Bowie wisely told us, “These are the golden years.”

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Nychos. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Celso (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sipros. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sipros (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Atomik (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FKDL (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BG183 . Tats Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NICER . DAZE . BIO . Tats Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CRUSH . Tats Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JMR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KLOPS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NEPO . CORO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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