Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

El Sol 25, an Original Mix Master and Street Collagist

Posted on April 16, 2014

Like spinning multiple vinyl platters at 78, 45, and 33 RPMs on old beige school library record players, this is a low-fi mixmaster whose visual style stands singularly, compelling and jarring. You have just bumped into a new El Sol 25 on the street.

Digging through the reference bin of your art history and popular culture signatures, you may want to decode where this compositional collision evolves from. Picking the pieces apart there appears to be little in common with the classical, the folk, the agrarian, the Egyptian tunics, the Greek marble, Sioux head dresses, sports trading cards, Depression Era glass, gilt frames and 50s TV depictions of svelte domesticity.

Perhaps it is the painted technique that lifts them to a common vernacular, creating an amber nostalgia for a time that never existed in the collaged paintings from Street Artist El Sol 25. Like crocuses and tulips they have recently appeared plastered around Brooklyn in a new spring campaign and while you never know when he’s coming, you sure know when he’s arrived.


El Sol 25. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After wading through stacks of books and magazines, cutting and pasting limbs and feathers and tobacco leaves and intersex torsos together, he then paints enlarged versions of them by hand on butcher paper. He’s said that they speak to him, and so do the walls and doorways where they are pasted, and we have no reason to doubt it.

While we draw up short of saying we are fans to maintain an air of professionalism, he did rather tip the scale this time when we discovered that he painted a tribute to BSA on a popular spot in BK, and we’re sort of embarrassed — but of course we’ve already taken multiple selfies in front of it so clearly not that embarrassed. So there’s that. Even so, if the work had not been so consistently risk-taking and experimental and authentic in a pool of copycats, El Sol 25’s work would not have caught our eye and kept it.


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

He once told us in an interview that his inspiration comes from a multitude of sources, “I get my inspiration from everything from walking to work or bad music or bad films or great films or good days or bad days. I get my inspiration from everything. I’m dependent on my work spiritually so I really like the idea of incorporating anything and everything into it. I take inspiration not just from what I’ve put on a pedestal – I enjoy everything.”

So for the gluttonous visual omnivores that are continuously pawing through images on your phone looking for a new sugar rush, this is your man. Because these are one-of-a-kind, labor intensive paintings on paper that decay in the wind and rain, catch them while you can. His pieces don’t usually get tagged over but the shelf life is probably a year at most.


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25. His tribute to BSA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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Prime Nipple and Faring Purth in St. Louis

Posted on April 15, 2014

As you pull yourself away from looking at the latest Kardashian thong photo shoot in Thailand, allow us to redirect you to the supremely offensive painted mural that features the outline of a nipple – right next to the “Nails 2000” sign in a St. Louis parking lot.  Perhaps the dollar store has a nipple cover we could purchase? Should we create a Kickstarter?

Artist Faring Purth has again provoked the public discourse with her painting, and we’ll let her tell you in her own words below about the outrage caused by her stylized female figure and its comportment.


Faring Purth “Prime” St. Louis , MO. February 2014. (photo © Faring Purth)

Presumably those so offended have also a lawsuit against the City of St. Louis for the horribly offensive titillation of La Rivière by Aristide Maillol – especially her wanton position as she spreads herself across the calm reflective pool by the café in Citygarden. And what about the chopped off woman’s head lying on its side, which this kid seems to have his hands up the nose of?

Listen, we all know about family values, since many of us have families – including the folks who shop at Family Dollar and rent movies at the kiosks there, where the covers of DVDs espouse a healthier image of women in a more wholesome respectful way than this mural, such as the fish net wearing gun toting teens of “Suckerpunch” and the pants-free fetal position of the actress on the cover of “Chained”. Obviously this is the case of an outside artist painting with callous insensitivity and disregard for context and norms of a community.


Faring Purth “Prime” St. Louis , MO. February 2014. (photo © Faring Purth)

As she talks about her new painting, Faring says, “It’s been an experience to say the least. Unlike anything I could have expected.”

She writes below:

When I landed in St. Louis, I was quickly put in contact with Jason Deem, a very ambitious and soulful  caretaker to many abandoned properties in the South End of the city. We became fast friends & I went on to create and complete “Prime” on the side of one of his buildings, in the growing Cherokee Art District.

“Prime” caught the attention of the community and local press very quickly. There was unexpected criticism of the vulnerable position of her silhouette and the color of her base coat began a rather shocking conversation of the racist and sexist connotations a few locals interpreted her as bearing. That was very quickly followed by legal threats made by Family Dollar towards Deem’s company, South Side Spaces, based on the mural’s inclusion of a nipple – or rather, the outline of a nipple. It was an outline they claimed was deterring costumers from their business.


Faring Purth “Prime” St. Louis , MO. February 2014. (photo © Faring Purth)

The ongoing conversation I have faced recently, regarding female nudity in my work, continues to surprise me. Here I have become, “a controversial artist,” without any intent or desire… whispering “keep soul” while trying my best to stay out of sight.

I’m continuing to take it all in though, as an ongoing story; Acknowledging and reflecting upon how powerful the female form has become (when expressed in public art) in contrast to highly sexualized, scantily clad, women in nationally broadcasted commercials. We are, after all, working within the American culture, where one can still be so desensitized to the soul resting within and reflecting through, our naked skin, nipples and all.


Faring Purth “Prime” St. Louis , MO. February 2014. (photo © Faring Purth)

I’m relieved to say that the gratitude and breathlessness of the locals (The murals’ actual audience,) however, greatly outweighed this. The Cherokee community has welcomed me with open arms which has been quite shocking to my system. The experience, overall, has been enlightening, heart-warming, and profoundly touching. We have undoubtably found ourselves in a city eager, hungry, and ready for a dialogue on public expression & the power of contemporary street art; One that I am proud to continue to build upon with the help of a few others.

~Faring Purth


A shot of the wall before the art went up. St. Louis , MO. February 2014. (photo © Faring Purth)


Faring Purth “Prime” on the back ground with Jason Deem on top of the truck. St. Louis , MO. February 2014. (photo © Faring Purth)


Faring Purth “Prime” St. Louis , MO. February 2014. (photo © Jason Deem)


Here are two items from The River Front Times about the before and after commentary while “Prime” was painted.



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!




Join BSA @Brooklynmuseum with SWOON April 24th (Open Late!)

Posted on April 14, 2014

| #BSAatBKM | @BKStreetArt | @Brooklynmuseum |

In Conversation: Brooklyn Street Art

Hello BSA Readers!

We’d like to invite you to join us at the Brooklyn Museum for “Street Art Stories”,
a presentation and conversation with Swoon on April 24th.
It’s going to be a scintillating, entertaining and fun night
and the museum is staying open late for us so you can see
the brand new Swoon: Submerged Motherlands installation
in person with other BSA friends and fans.

We look forward to meeting you there!


Along with Swoon we are excited to welcome as our guests photographer and graffiti/street art enthusiast Luna Park and curator Keith Schweitzer, who will lend us some of their expertise and insights for our “Street Art Stories” theme.  We are honored that our event will be moderated by none other than Sharon Matt Atkins, the Managing Curator of Exhibitions at The Brooklyn Museum and the curator of Swoon: Submerged Motherlands.

The reception will be regaled with the eclectically funky musical stylings of DJ Sleptember!

In Conversation: Brooklyn Street Art, April 24th

Brooklyn Street ARt
Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington,
Brooklyn Street Art Founders

On Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m. the Brooklyn Museum presents

In Conversation: Brooklyn Street Art. Brooklyn Street Art founders Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo lead a dynamic, multimedia conversation that explores the evolution of street art stories as told by the earliest graffiti writers to today’s D.I.Y. artists. They’ll reveal secret backgrounds, show what stylistic themes are recurring today, and hint at the future of street art in New York.
They are joined in conversation by artists Swoon and Luna Park, and curator Keith Schweitzer.
A reception with a DJ, cash bar, and a guest-inclusive art-making project will follow. Presented in conjunction with the site-specific installation Swoon: Submerged Motherlands, on view from April 11 to August 24 in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery on the 5th Floor.

Tickets are $12; include Museum general admission and can be purchased at Free for Museum Members; to reserve please email

About the participants

Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo are the Founders of the influential art blog Proud New Yorkers, artists, and cultural workers for more than twenty-five years, both are experts on the evolving street art scene in New York as well as globally. With daily postings on Brooklyn Street Art (BSA), over 175 articles on The Huffington Post, and tens of thousands of followers on social media, the two have shown and discussed street art, graffiti, murals, and public art in more than 100 cities over the last few years.

Swoon, born Caledonia Dance Curry, currently has an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, Swoon: Submerged Motherlands. Swoon studied at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn before bringing her art to the streets in 1999, wheat pasting her large linoleum and woodcuts on the sides of industrial buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Her art is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Tate Modern, among others.

Katherine Lorimer (aka Luna Park) is a Brooklyn-based graffiti and street art enthusiast, photographer, curator, librarian, and co-founder and regular contributor to The Street Spot blog. Her photographs have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago and have appeared in leading street art books and magazines.

Keith Schweitzer is the Co-Founder/Director of MaNY Project (Murals Around New York) and the Co-Founder/Director of The Lodge Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He is also Director of Public Art for Fourth Arts Block, the non-profit leadership organization for Manhattan’s officially designated Cultural District in the East Village.

Contribution $12; students with valid I.D. and seniors $8. Free to members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult. Group tours or visits must be arranged in advance by calling extension 234.
Subway: Seventh Avenue express (2 or 3) to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum stop; Lexington Avenue express (4 or 5) to Nevins Street, cross platform and transfer to the 2 or 3. Bus: B41, B69, B48.
On-site parking available.
Museum Hours:
Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; first Saturday of each month, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
200 Eastern Pkwy, New York, NY 11238

From BSA: “Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum


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