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Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

Spring / Break 2017 : This Years’ Times Square Show in Corporate Office Space

Posted on March 1, 2017

Braving the crowds at the 2017 Spring/Break show means meandering the floor plan of former corporate offices and encountering the daydreams of artists who usually work as temps here. After traversing the un-grand lobby and showing your ID, this high-flying glass and steel Times Square fantasy flips the lights on the funhouse as soon as the doors open to Greg Haberny’s elevator bank installation of hundreds of rough wooden sculptures dangling overhead while a hardcore soundtrack rams you through the glass doors to the reception area.

Greg Haberny. Detail. Curated by Ambre Kelly . Andrew Gori . Catinca Tabacaru. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This curator-focused show never allows you to be bored, ensuring an alternate-world full of possibility, often delivering on its promise, sometimes fooling you. Like a beehive of compartmentalized activities and scenarios playing out in a fractured psyche, you find comedy, fluid sexuality, bejeweled fantasies, a satiric art-factory performance, D.I.Y. cardboard set design, light illusions in closets, wide photographic vistas, costumed performers, photo shopped hyperfantasy, Basquiat photos by his ex-roommate, and fully immersive environments like a live barbershop delivering dramatic haircuts with multi-screened secret surveillance in the backroom – tracking movements and conversations here and on the street below.

Alexis Adler’s photos of her room mate Jean-Michel Basquiat. Curated by Jane Kim. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo by Jaime Rojo)

While the aesthetic/mythic/pop culture influences are Diluvian and flattening our traditional hierarchies in this information age, shows like this also highlight our level of distraction – and test your ability to edit. It’s not as libertine or scummy as you would expect from a Times Square show in a what looks like a former den of lawyers, but then Times Square is not the flawed and blinkered glam and muck and whirl that it once was. Although who knows what lurks behind those brightly Disneyesque and moldy fur costumes…

Noah Scalin. Curated by Dawne Langford. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Noah Scalin. Curated by Dawne Langford. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ask Jane Dixon, whose “Male Nourished” paintings of men and their dicks fill an office and overlook the action on the street below. She says she is rather celebrating men’s continuous love affair with their genitalia and portrays them as nearly obsessive relationships.

Jane Dickson. Curated by Michelle Loh. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dixon knows these scenes better than most since she and husband Charlie Ahearn made their own Times Square home movies out the window and overlooking the street action in this famous nexus when gangs beset passersby, drugs were not delivered to your door via text message, arcades were dark  rooms full of pinball machines, and hookers and Johns were just “locals”. Dixon is also an alum of the famous “Times Square Show” mounted with 100 artists in 1980 in a massage parlor on 41st and 7th Avenue. The show later became regarded as a turning point in New York low/hi art and uptown/downtown culture with a list of young artists who became well known in certain circles; Tom Otterness, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kiki Smith, Jenny Holzer, Kenny Scharf, Nan Goldin.

Jane Dickson. Curated by Michelle Loh. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For a moment you can forget the high rents that have driven most of these artists out of Manhattan and into the crowded lofts of Brooklyn, Queens, even Jersey. Quirky, searching, forcefully unique and hoping for a break. The excitement among these 150 curators and 400 artists is palpable on opening night and you want these visionaries to succeed, and indeed they do through this dark lookingglass. Many themes continue out to the street, and for a few boisterous moments this chaotic labyrinthine in fluorescent glow mimics the streets below.

Lee Quinones takes a US propaganda ad which he salvaged from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and adds modern military bombing of Babylon as a backdrop. Curated by Sara Driver. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lee Quinones. Detail. Curated by Sara Driver. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A barbershop in the front, a surveillance room full of screens in the back. Curated by Eve Sussman . Simon Lee. Barbershop. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cate Giordano creates an apartment of papier mache. Curated by Suzanne Kim. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Michael Zelehoski. Curated by Che Morales. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

David Kramer. Curated by Ambre Kelly . Andrew Gori. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist, writer, publisher and jazz saxophonist Noah Becker does a self portrait against a backdrop of Basquiat. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curated by Carole Vobe playfully displays that great leveling force of death. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tamara Santibañez and a monochrome hand-drawn teen bedroom from the 1980s. Curated by Justin De Demko. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Check out Spring/Break 2017 March 1-6.

A “Secret Dinner” at the Nascent UN in Berlin

Posted on February 28, 2017

Since its explosion of pigment and hue on subway cars and in the streets of New York and Philadelphia a half century ago to its spread to the hundreds of cities worldwide, the truly grassroots movement of Urban Art refuses to be owned by any one city or one people, insisting upon making its own rules and traveling wherever the creative spirit leads.

As if to underscore that global nature of the Graffiti/Street Art/ Urban Art movements, Urban Nation (UN) Director Yasha Young named the origins of the guests who were attending last weeks “Secret Dinner” at the under-construction site of the museum that opens this fall.

Yasha Young, Director of Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art (UN) delivers her welcoming remarks to the invited guests. A painting by Word To Mother hangs in the background. The painting was originally created for Project M/8 and curated by Stolen Space Gallery in 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“You came from Spain, England, Los Angeles, New York City, China, France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, every neighborhood in Berlin, from Leipzig, Munich, all across Germany, France, Switzerland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and last but not least, Russia,” she said as she stood before a large canvas by the London-based artist Word To Mother and next to Hendrik Jellema, the Chairman of Berliner Leben.

After recounting the three years of accomplishments and aspirations of the new museum to date, Young showed an animated video tour, a somewhat flying birds-eye view of the new museum projected on the wall.

Yasha Young, Director of Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art being introduced by Mr. Hendrik Jellema Chairman at Berliner Leben. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

In two dimly lit street-level raw and cavernous rooms were mounted a number of selected canvasses from the 10 Project M shows that have been curated in the last 3 years announcing the coming museum, each directed and refined by gallerists and cultural experts of various stripes and featuring the work of over 200 artists.

Across the street and Bülowstraße here in the Schöneberg district at the temporary UN headquarters was the grand opening of PM/11. Featuring 16 German artists curated by 3 experts in their respective scenes from Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, “Radius” points to the vast and diverse urban art community here in a this famous street scene and artists and fans overflowed onto the sidewalk swelling even further when post-dinner guests arrived.

Celebrated photographer and ethnographer Martha Cooper attended the dinner. The library at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art will bear Ms. Cooper’s name and will house items and books from Ms. Cooper’s personal collection. In this photo Ms. Cooper is wearing a skirt created by the American Street Artist Buff Monster. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

With graffiti artists and street artists spread among the 4 long dinner tables a colorful mix of politicians, cultural ministers, academics, collectors, press, curators, ambassadors, philosophers, photographers, and friends shared dinner, drinks, opinions, and their respective knowledge about the scene and the aspirations of the nascent institution.

We don’t know what everybody said to each other, but we did talk about cooking for a family of five with one guest and the trade routes between South Africa and Cairo during the last century and the importance of fish in the Icelandic diet with another.

Case Maclaim dinner plate. Each invited guest went back home with a gift of a special edition of one plate created exclusively for the occasion by an impressive roster of international artists. One hundred plates were created by almost one hundred artists. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Young burst in the room mid-dinner, as she’s wont to do, with a microphone to show a video series of 4 street art projects showcasing artists engaged with community projects, rather dispersing the often-indulged perception that all graffiti and Street Art is transgressive and illegal. Of course a lot of the good stuff is, but most artists possess additional dimensions outside these stereotypical descriptors, including an interest in helping others.

Artists featured included Norwegian Martin Watson, the German duo Herakut, the Polish crochet artist OLEK, and the German born Brooklyn-based twins HowNosm. The projects highlighted were not necessarily UN sponsored but instead drew attention to overall goals of the museum to be engaged with communities outside the typical art-going crowd.

A Daleast dinner plate. Each invited guest went back home with a gift of a special edition of one plate created exclusively for the occasion by an impressive rooster of international artists. One hundred plates were created by almost one hundred artists. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And so now the UN buzz has begun in earnest, with a steady run toward the opening doors of the Museum and significant involvement of international and local contingents of participants in the new institution. If anyone pretends to know how it will all look inside and outside on opening day or the months that follow, they are brave and fantastic in their willingness to prophesy. We say that because despite the much-heralded organizational skills of this land, and they are amazing, you can be sure that a vibrant and alive contemporary scene like this will continue to surprise us.

During the dinner a few films were presented to introduce a new series still under development. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

A general view of one of the two rooms where guests sat for dinner. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“Urvanity” Fair Opens in Madrid, 68 Artists + Galleries + Walls + Panels

Posted on February 27, 2017

You may not realize upon first glance through the series of modular white walled temporary gallery rooms, but this fine art on display all has origins in street practice.

Over the past long weekend Madrid’s Urvanity fair at The Palacio Neptuno showcased a sweeping cross-selection of crisply framed names – many of which are being identified as Street Artists en route to “Contemporary Artists”.

Banksy. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Hung at eye level, carefully spaced, and illuminated under tracked lighting, the studio work of nearly 70 Graffiti/Street/Urban artists went on this weekend in one of the first fairs dedicated entirely to this evermore emerging category.

With fresh works from artists like JonOne, Fin DAC, Pixelpancho, Miss Van, Jef Aérosol, Sixe Art, L Atlas, Stikki Peaches, and Ben Eine, it is a mostly Eurocentric roster of galleries you’ve come to know in the last decade or so from places like Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Zurich, London, among others, and of course Madrid. Under the direction of Sergio Sancho, an advertising professional who has worked with major global brands, the fair calls the works on display New Contemporary Art and the program includes a companion mural campaign in Madrid streets featuring Eine, Jason Woodside, L’Atlas, PREF, MESA and Mohammed Lghacham.

Laurence Vallières. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

While receiving increasing support from serious press, museums, auctions, and festivals over the last decade and a half, it has been a great challenge for both commercial/social and historical/academic scholarship to agree on a moniker for these combined movements and makers – one that fairly encompasses the myriad motivations, styles of expression and intersecting cultures that have evolved from a half century of art on the streets.

Pro 176 . L’Atlas. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

With the inauguration of the Urvanity Mahou Talks Program during the fair, featuring again the artist Ben Eine and cultural curator Cedar Lewisohn, this topic and many more that continue to be raised can be examined and discussed in meaningful ways. At BSA we are finding that our participation in these panels, presentations, and discussions as well as being in the audience has furthered our understanding and appreciation for this natural and growing desire of scholarship.

The Urvanity program of conferences, debates and presentations here collect artists, curators and cultural managers with these purposes in mind and naturally will help collectors and fans contemplate these artists at the fair and better appreciate the bridge between the street and the fine art presented here. A strong first showing, you can expect to see Urvanity back again next year.

An outdoor mural from the Urvanity Instagram page. “We are excited to be able to be painting incredible murals in #Madrid. This one is by @oiterone on Calle de la Cebada!”

Miss Van . Peca. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Tilt . Moses & Taps. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Nano4814. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Vermibus . Jordan Seiler . OX. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Sixe Paredes . Suso33 Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

D*Face . Jason Woodside . Felipe Pantone . Pref . Okuda. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Sergio Sancho and the Urvanity team outside the inaugural exhibition Palacio Neptuno.
Check out their Instagram here.

For more information please visit:

URVANITY
Palacio de Neptuno
Calle de Cervantes, 42. Madrid
From February 23rd 26th, 2017
www.urvanity art.com

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.26.17

Posted on February 26, 2017

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Always good to get to Berlin to see what waves of text and pattern and outrage and snark and myriad metaphor are more-or-less relentlessly rippling across buildings and empty lots. The rippling effect was swelled by 4 days of rain, which makes windows streak with rivlets and wheat-pastes peel from the top, leaning forward and down and toward their demise, often sticking to themselves, halved and horrid in the process.

Nonetheless we got a lot of work done, seeing artists, urban gallerists, and of course the labyrinthine interior of the ‘secret’ project that is no secret any longer, the five floor Berlin HAUS, a former bank building in a well trafficked part of the city that is swarmed every day and nearly every night with graffiti writers, professional painters, Street Artists, illustrators, and the like – mainly, if not entirely, Germany based artists doing elaborate installations throughout.

Also checked out the new Project M show opening this week at Urban Nation “RADIUS” curated by Boris Niehaus (JUST), Christian Hundertmark (C100 and Art of Rebellion books) & Rudolf David Klöckner (URBANSHIT). The show runs for 6 weeks and again is exclusively German in its roster including names like Case Maclaim, Dave the Chimp, Flying Förtress, Formula 76, Low BrosMadCMoses & TapsNomadPatrick Hartl & C100Rocco and his brothersSatOneSweetunoVarious & GouldZelle AsphaltkulturXOOOOX, and Hatch Sticker Museum.

Across the street in the under-construction UN museum space the scene was a “secret dinner” for 100 thrown by Director Yasha Young to stir up the buzz for the inaugural exhibit in September as well as take stock of the hundreds of artist locally and internationally who have been part of the UN before the doors even open. In attendance were artists, graffiti writers, arts writers, photographers, academics, cultural organizers, supporters, elected officials, a spare ambassador or two, all lined up to hear of few speeches, a video or two about programming – and eat off plates designed by 100 or so artists.

But the real story of course was the stuff we found on the streets – legal and illegal, a bit of dashed text and time intensive murals. Berlin doesn’t stop surprising you, and regardless of rain that completely drenched us, we didn’t care frankly.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: 1Up, Alaniz, Berlin Kidz, BoxiTrixi, C215, Crisp, Damien Mitchell, Dave the Chimp, Don John, Eins92, Fink 22, Gilf!, Icy & Sot, K, Missing Girls, Priznu, Rinth-WLNY, Sozl35, Telmo & Miel, and Various & Gould.

Top image: Telmo & Miel. Detail. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. Detail. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. In collaboration with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dave The Chimp. In collaboration with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dave The Chimp. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alaniz and friends. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sozl35. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Priznu. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#missinggirls. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eins92. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don John. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fink 22. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rinth_WLNY. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BoxiTrixi. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

K. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We liked the composition between this Icy & Sot stencil and the Korn sticker. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crisp. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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