Brooklyn Street Art

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“Resistance is Female” Takes Over Phone Booths in New York

Posted on April 26, 2017

The decentralized Resistance, as it turns out, is a majority of Americans.

And leading the charge are women and girls.

So it makes perfect sense that a new grassroots takeover of telephone booth advertising in New York is a campaign called, “Resistance is Female”. Organizers and artists say that the ad takeover project is putting out a message that corporate controlled media seems to be quelling: keep fighting, keep speaking up, persevere.

The artists have put up a couple of dozen or so new art pieces in places where typecast women typically sell shampoo or fashions: a high-jacking of the advertising streetscape which the French and the Situationists would have called détournement in earlier decades.

Gigi Chen for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This act of “taking over” phone booth spots has become more popular in recent years as artists and activists seize the machinery and claim public space for public messages.

The Resistance is Female idea came about after the Women’s March in DC,” says Street Artist Abe Lincoln Jr, a contributing artist and one of the few men in the collective. A well known name in the New York Street Art scene, Abe says not all the artists typically come from Street Art but all are now using the streets to get out their visual missives.

“This is a direct message to women (anyone who self identifies as female) and their allies to keep fighting,” he says. “It’s a general message of encouragement to resist the current ‘status quo’ of intolerance. Whatever your battle is, do it! We want to support you in persevering, speaking up, and fighting.”

Participants say they have many more actions planned for the coming months, and they are in it for the long haul, so keep your eyes peeled for the “Resistance is Female” moniker to pop up while you are waiting to cross the street, or on your way to the nightclub, or to do the laundry.

Kim Osborne for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We asked Abe Lincoln Jr. and Gigi Chen, another artist in the collective, about the new campaign.

BSA: Why is it important to get this message out?
Abe Lincoln, Jr. : The Resistance is Female is a project of visual signposts to encourage continued resistance. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by our unhinged president and it’s easy to get pulled in a million different directions by life. These are here to give support to give support and reminders to women to keep fighting.

BSA: Are all the artists participating in this campaign women and what’s the allure of using the platform of phone booths for the message?
Abe Lincoln, Jr. : No, its predominantly self-identified females, but we want to make it open to everyone, and to be as inclusive as possible. We also are asking people who aren’t necessarily street artists to make work for the project. It brings new voices to the conversation.

Shalini Prasad for#resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Placing this message in a space usually reserved for advertising can take people by surprise. It’s a disconnect; they’re expecting to tune out an ad for booze or some TV show and they get a message that says “Hey, keep it up! It’s far from over, and we got work to do!”

BSA: How do you see feminism and art in this polarized political environment?
Gigi Chen: I never used to be interested in politics when I was younger even less so in artists who make political art who seemed more superficially interested in the topics for their visual shock value. In many ways, Americans are shielded from the actual brutality of war, famine and even the more severe forms of female persecution such as genital mutilation/female circumcision.

Artists are always the ones to really start a dialogue publicly. Feminism as a concept was debated so much in the follow up to the election. That term “Feminism” is something I have lately had to rethink and rediscover. This project “Resistance is Female” is part of that visual movement. If just taking a glance of a poster can start a debate, then indeed this “Feminist” art project is “Political.”

Dusty Rebel for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The poster project has become something that I have been thinking about everyday since my piece got put up. I wonder “Who am I even to make this poster and throw myself into this movement and debate?” And then I have to stop myself and wonder why I am questioning the validity of my own role in this dialogue to begin with.

I am after all, a hard working artist who has struggled and created and thrown herself into her own work for years. As artists, male and female, we have the capability to visualize and show our points of view in a way that one can understand and, hopefully, empathize with.

The HOPE poster by Shepard Fairy was a huge part of brand recognition for a blossoming Barack Obama campaign and the “WE CAN DO IT” posters  mobilized our country during WWII. Even with all these political arguments among friends and strangers, I wonder how much of us generally consider ourselves actually “Political”?

Jack Adam for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

According to organizers there are a number of participants from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines in Resistance Is Female so far, including  Abe Lincoln Jr., Sara Erenthal,  Maha Al Asaker, Jen Genotype, Kim Osborne, Valerie Lobasso, My Life in Yellow, Astrida Valigorsky, Gigi Chen, Shalini Prasad, Jack Adam, and The Dusty Rebel.

To learn more follow their Instagram page

Skulls Reign On the Street and In Art Shows, Threatening and Humble Reminders

Posted on April 25, 2017

Skulls. We see them on the streets and recently many at art fairs.

The Memento Mori of the streets, these skulls reminding us that one day we all will be dead. Every single one. These are occasional, unplanned in pattern, surprising in appearance on the public stage perhaps.

Andrew Schoultz at Volta New York 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But in a culture that glorifies violence and guns in movies, television, video games, rock and roll t-shirts, backpacks… the sight of the skull is old school. Here on the streets there are one or two skulls, not like the thousands in an ossuary underground in the Paris Catacombes.

Stephen Wilson at Scope New York 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Possibly these skulls appear in artworks on the street as an omen; meant to shock, or frighten, induce dread. Certainly uniforms have carried logos and insignia with skulls- from Nazis to US Marines to Pirates of Penzance to Cypress Hill the images of skulls are more of a threat, a promissory note, an invocation of warrior status.

Mexicans, on the other hand, eat them as sugar cookies for celebrations set aside every autumn called Day of the Dead, where people make peace with the loss of love ones.

Guy Richards Smit at Spring Break Art Show, New York 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the end, perhaps it is not the warlike associations. It may be the great leveling force of death, bringing every person to one level, that fascinates us. Regardless of where your body is buried, the rains will wash your bones into the oceans of time, and that is all you will be.

Maybe too it is healthy to keep these facts in mind despite all the drama, the tribulations, the wealth, the status, the suffering, the ignominy. Jim Morrison said no one here gets out alive, which is obvious, and funny as hell.

Here are some reminders of that fact on the street and elsewhere.

An unidentified artist in Hong Kong. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Scott Campbell at Scope New York 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Damien Hirst at Art Central Art Fair 2017 – Hong Kong. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Epic Uno on the streets of Brooklyn, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An MSK Crew member on the streets of Brooklyn, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An unidentified artist at Scope New York 2017 . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Henry Hussey at Volta New York 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Niloufar Banisdr at Scope New York 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marina Capdevila Brings Her Seniors to the Winery

Posted on April 24, 2017

When muralist Marina Capdevila is in Miami her senior ladies are in a convertible heading to the beach and when in Brooklyn they buy a hamburger and fries on the sidewalk.

Now visiting a winery cooperative just south of her native Barcelona, the illustrator chooses men and donkeys.

Marina Capdevila. Gratallops, Spain. April 2017. (photo © lluis Olive Bulbena)

“The mural commemorates the 100 years of the Gratallops Winery Cooperative,” says photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena, who shares some images of the new mural.

“Gratallops is a small municipality of 250 inhabitants about 180 km south of Barcelona, part of the famous wine region of Priorat.” Absent Capdevila’s typical on-point observations of seniors encountering the modern world with irony, the characters and action here are more typical and straightforward, but still with a sense of humor.

Marina Capdevila. Gratallops, Spain. April 2017. (photo © lluis Olive Bulbena)

Marina Capdevila. Gratallops, Spain. April 2017. (photo © lluis Olive Bulbena)

To learn more about the winery cooperative in Gratallops, click HERE.

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.23.17

Posted on April 23, 2017


Boom! There it is! This is springtime and there is a lot of new stuff popping up like tulips and out like cherry blossoms. If you didn’t get to the Martha Cooper opening at Steven Kasher gallery this week it is open during the week- a great cross section of her work during the last four decades or so. Additionally the Richard Hambleton film “Shadowman” debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival Friday night and is making a lot of waves and you can see works of his at Woodward Gallery right now.

Also this week a group of New York Street Artists officially are suing McDonalds for using their street work in long-form commercials without permission – a story we first brought to fore and we subsequently discussed – including giving one of the artists who was deeply affected a platform to speak. It remains to be seen who is directly responsible for this infringement but that doesn’t stop the fabulous loose talk and salacious assertions. Some people are lovin’ it.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Add Fuel, C3, Cash4, D7606, Cope, Don Rimx, Hardened Lock, Hervé, Immaker, Isaac Cordal, Jaune, Julien De Casabianca, Lunge Box, Okuda, Order55, Phil, and Queen Andrea.

Top image: Collaboration with Add Fuel and Jaune (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Add Fuel and Jaune collaboration in Aberdeen, Scotland. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Add Fuel and Jaune collaboration in Aberdeen, Scotland. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Raf Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#missingobama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Raf Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don Rimx drops the can… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cope and Okuda collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D7606 with Kafka is Famous in Aberdeen, Scotland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C3 in Aberdeen, Scotland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hervé in Aberdeen, Scotland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Queen Andrea and Cash4 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A stencil by an unidentified artist reminds us of Russian geometric modern art from the revolution. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal in Aberdeen, Scotland. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Phil (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hardened Lock (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lunge Box . Imamaker (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Order55 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Julien de Casabianca/Outings Project in Aberdeen, Scotland. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Spring 2017. Manhattan, NY. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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