Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

The London Police Arrest The Quin Hotel

Posted on August 25, 2016

Chaz and Bob, those lads from London, have come to 57th street in Manhattan to show some new and previously displayed artworks in the lobby of the Quin Hotel. Under the direction of curator DK Johnson, the lobby has been home to a number of brief exhibitions in the last couple of years by Street Artists and their ilk.


The London Police. Detail. At The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For a limited time you can see the precise handiwork of these two as The London Police takeover the welcoming area of the hotel, as well as adding to the shipping/receiving doors to the left of the entrance on the street.

In addition to the new collaborative black ink drawings by the The London Police, there are a few larger canvases featuring more expansive otherworldly scenes hinting at their global exploits, studies of space, architecture, robots, graffiti tags, favorite bands, assorted friends, and their iconic LAD characters.


The London Police, with special guest, Jane Fonda. Detail. At The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of particular note are the animated sequences of images floating gently across the multi-screened collage in the lofted lobby, a permanent digital display that has become part of the Quin gallery experience and provides a new way to appreciate the featured artist/s.

Don’t forget you can catch their huge wall at Coney Art Walls as we enter autumn and you can see this summer’s collection of walls by some of the best public/fine/street/urban artists in one dizzying maze.


The London Police. Detail. At The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police. Detail. At The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police. The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police. The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police. The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police. The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police. The Quin. Curated by DK Johnston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police Solo exhibition at The Quin in Manhattan is currently on view and open to the public. Click HERE for further information.


1UP in Berlin : “ ‘All City’ Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It ”

Posted on August 24, 2016

An amorphous shape-shifting consortium of Berlin-based aerosol hooligans named 1UP is one of those graffiti crews who eventually make the entry into graffiti street lore because of the scope and daring of their travails.

Primarily Berlin based, you’ll find their almost-commercial sounding name on roofs, walls, abandoned factories, and in tunnels in many cities around the globe. Without a clear idea of the exact number in their association nor precise membership these daredevils are most often described as white men in their twenties and early thirties reveling in the athleticism and sport of graffiti, in addition to style. The tag itself appears to be rather “open source” at times, with only insiders able to keep track of the distinct hand styles forming the ubiquitous name on thousands of surfaces.


1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spent a few days in Berlin recently and easily collected a handful of images here to share, but it the actual number one could capture would fill a bulky tome.

“1Up Crew…? ‘All City’ doesn’t even begin to cover it, these guys smash walls like sledgehammers,” says Roland Henry, managing editor and a journalist for VNA (Very Nearly Almost), the UK-based independent magazine that has featured interviews with some of the world’s top artists, illustrators and photographers from the urban art scene over the last 10 years. Living in Berlin this spring and summer after calling London home for many years, Mr. Henry says he still hasn’t stopped seeing new 1UP’s.

In a city famously permissive, even celebratory, toward graffiti culture like Berlin, once you notice one 1UP tag on a wall you can’t stop seeing them – like the time your brother started dating that Mexican girl in high school and suddenly you realized that there were hot tamales everywhere! – In the hallways, at the laundromat, in the park, at the corner grocery.


1UP in progress. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Spend any time in Berlin and one thing is immediately glaringly obvious: 1UP have their hometown on lockdown,” says photographer and graffiti expert Luna Park, whose forthcoming New York contemporary graffiti book (UN)Sanctioned will be released on Carpet Bombing Culture books in October.

“Take the time and dedication that your average all city bomber expends in getting their name out – now multiply that by 20. Maybe you’ll come close to grasping 1UP’s prodigious output. If there were an Olympic sport for team graffiti, surely 1UP would be gold medal contenders. Not only do they excel at all graffiti disciplines, they take what it means to push a crew to the most logical extreme.”


1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Park’s point about disciplines is well taken, as not one discernible specific style or medium is used by this one united power – throwies, bubble tags, wildstyle, rollers, juicy markers, sculptures, extinguisher tags.

But it is working as an organized crew covering multiple cars on trains that they are perhaps most well known for – covering cars top to bottom, end to end – in a few short minutes.

“Look up their legendary and brazen daytime whole-car missions on YouTube and you’ll begin to understand this is a crew that seriously rolls deep,” says Ms. Park. “Better yet, get your hands on their “One United Power” film and prepare to be inspired by their global exploits.”


1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now in their 13th year, at this point 1UP is a brand (sort of like its older cousin 7UP) – and it probably shows up on scatter charts in PowerPoint slides in advertising and marketing conference rooms – desired psychographics and demographics analyzed, sought after, targeted.

But keep the numbers in perspective – they can’t rival the millions of illegal logos plastered across our cities in violation of numerous regulations. You think graffiti is lawless? Hell, try advertising – it’s nearly completely unregulated in cities like New York and the very few laws that exist are rarely enforced. That Coke crew, for example, they are seriously worldwide with their bombing and tagging – taking over hectares of public space and millions of atoms of mindshare.


1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

World-traveling superstar urban art photographer Martha Cooper, who has been tracking graffiti since trains were first plastered with aerosol paint in the late 1970s and whose first namesake library will open next year with the inauguration of the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin, says she’s had some time to observe 1UP, and she acknowledges their status.

“This very active crew has sprayed the world with an impressive assortment of carefully-planned, well-executed tags, throwies and pieces above and below ground,” says Cooper. “Big Up to 1Up for helping to keep the original outlaw spirit of graffiti alive.”


1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)





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This article was also published on The Huffington Post.

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Skount “Tempus Fugit” : Time Waits for No Person

Posted on August 23, 2016

Spanish Skount in the Netherlands wonders today about the evaporation of time, ever slipping from your fingers.

He says his new mural, of which he has done perhaps a hundred that we know of over the last few years, is inspired by a quote about time by the poet Virgil, “Tempus Fugit”

“Sed fugit interea, irreparavile tempus fugit”

(But time is lost, which never will renew).


Skount. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. August 2016. (photo © Skount)

Somehow we have not mastered it, and time continues to wait for no one. “I painted this mural as a reflection of the time that eludes us,” the philosopher street artist tells us. “Living life as a pursuit of distant goals that can sometimes be a burden. Rather than live as a set of present moments, planned in the short term; time flies, time slips away, time is diluted and only leaves us memories in the memory.”


Skount. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. August 2016. (photo © Skount)


Skount. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. August 2016. (photo © Skount)


Skount. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. August 2016. (photo © Skount)


Skount. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. August 2016. (photo © Skount)

‘Homo Naledi’ in Baltimore Points to Our Modern De-Evolution

Posted on August 22, 2016

When you look at the corporate yellow journalism flashing across screens today, the shallow and sensational rhetoric may lead you to believe we are devolving as a race. In fact it is just the opposite in many quarters, so media literacy is more important now than ever to discern who is propagating this narrative, and to what ends?


Alfredo Segatori and Pablo Machioli (photo © Matt Fox-Tucker/BA Street Art)

Certainly many cultural observers deduct that man and woman have not progressed since prehistory and a new Baltimore mural by Street Artists Alfredo Segatori (Argentina) and Pablo Machioli (Uruguay) is a throw-back to our less-evolved selves. “I believe that cavemen still exist today and this mural is a like a mirror to look back at our roots,” says Segatori about the singular ‘Homo Naledi’ figure whose bones were discovered by anthropologists in South Africa in 2015  “We need to decide what future we want for our kids and if we want to move forward as a human race.”

The mural is part of a larger initiative including more than 20 street artists participating in a two continent cultural exchange between Baltimore and Buenos Aires, an outside component of a gallery show entitled “Roots”. The show is curated by Baltimores’ Richard Best of Section 1 Project and Matt Fox-Tucker of Buenos Aires Street Art along with local Gallery 788.


Alfredo Segatori and Pablo Machioli (photo © Matt Fox-Tucker/BA Street Art)

As Street Art and murals are continuing to bring more of the social and political themes to the streets in cities like Baltimore and Buenos Aires, traditional organizers of public art programming appear to be on the wane – perhaps because taxpayer funded initiatives have evaporated in most cities and more complex privately funded programs triangulate outcomes.

Actual grassroots organizers of programs like this, while still related to a gallery show, are more likely to respect intellectual rigor and are increasingly carving out their own curatorial niche. It is an interesting crack in the dialogue in public space where the final artworks often respond to society in more challenging ways, rather than producing only pleasing imagery and messages approved by committee or commercial interests.


Alfredo Segatori and Pablo Machioli (photo © Matt Fox-Tucker/BA Street Art)

For Segatori, this mural is a direct response to how we are behaving as a race – particularly toward one another. “I believe that in the world today there is still a lot of violence and intolerance so the idea of our mural is to show the reality of the society that we live in,” says Segatori of the new piece.

“There are people around us who are still forced to live in poverty, suffer from racism, discrimination and persecution due to the color of their skin.” Whether locals will take this message away from the mural is anyone’s guess, but the organizers of “Roots-Raices” say they hope to open the discussion between communities about how to assist in our collective evolution.


Alfredo Segatori and Pablo Machioli (photo © Matt Fox-Tucker/BA Street Art)


Alfredo Segatori and Pablo Machioli (photo © Matt Fox-Tucker/BA Street Art)

‘Roots’ brings together artworks by more than 20 street artists from Argentina and Baltimore exploring origins, cultural identities and social and racial history. Baltimore street artists who have created new artworks for the show include Gaia, Pablo Machioli, Paul Mericle, Billy Mode, Nether, Reed, Mas Paz, Ernest Shaw, Gregg Deal, Lee Nowell-Wilson and Toven plus photographs by Martha Cooper. Argentine artists represented are Alfredo Segatori are Nazza Stencil, El Marian, Luxor, Ice, Patxi Mazzoni Alonso, Maxi Bagnasco, Primo and Juan Zeballos.

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