Brooklyn Street Art

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Jaybo Monk’s Maiden Voyage to The East Coast

Posted on July 8, 2014

Today we go to Boston to see a show at the Museum of Fine Arts, where painter and artist Jaybo Monk is painting live for the summer party benefit. The Berlin based Monk has deep roots in Street Art and graffiti but now describes himself primarily as a painter who loves the process even more than the end result. An artist who is not afraid of changing his style, many of his paintings feature a  shattering and fragmenting of reality, placing his dis-formed figures on planes and pulling them apart and recombining them, evoking for us the work of artists such as Francis Bacon, Anthony Lister, and even Egon Schiele.


Jaybo Monk. Working at a SoWa Studio in Boston. (photo © Todd Mazer)

While in Massachussetts he coordinated/collaborated/ worked with photographer Todd Mazer, who organized for him and El Mac to paint live at the fundraiser and both artists, along with Augustine Kofie, contributed works to be auctioned for MFA’s benefit.  You may recall the collaborative Conversations show that Monk did with Kofie in 2012 which truly enhanced the work of both artists.

While visiting The City on a Hill Monk also had a solo show Traces of Nothing at The Boston Button Factory and practiced his collaborative in-the-moment style with hosts and other artists on the scene for a couple of other events. “Since I moved to Boston it’s been very important to me to create a dialog here with artists I met in Los Angeles,” explains Mazer, who shares with BSA readers some images he shot of Jaybo’s visit and tells us about some of the activities and people on the scene.

“This was Jaybo’s first visit to the East Coast and I had been talking to him about coming out here and he was into it,” says Mazer. “It was also really important to us both that he got a chance to link up with the Boston art community so we got to spend time with artists like Caleb Neelon, Kems, and Dana Woulfe – and I was glad that he got a chance to collaborate with Kenji Nakayama.”


Jaybo Monk. Working at a SoWa Studio in Boston. (photo © Todd Mazer)

In addition to taking part in SOWA First Fridays, where people got a chance to see a room full of unfinished works in an open studio environment, Mazer helped organize a well attended pop-up solo show at Liquid Art House entitled Sole Delay. Mazer says Jaybo exhibited a few new works from his studio in Berlin as “quite a few pieces made completely in Boston.”

“Jaybo worked in the SOWA art studio of artist Adrienne Schlow who along with Matt Greer, Kenji Nakayama and my sister Allison Mazer helped make the day-to-day tasks, challenges and missions possible,” says Mazer. Listening to his descriptions and seeing the rhythmic poetry of the lighting and composition of his photos, you know that Mazer was at ease with his subject, perhaps because the subject is at ease with himself.


Jaybo Monk. Working at a SoWa Studio in Boston. (photo © Todd Mazer)

The pop-up show had a relatively short timeline for preparation and the team was working up until the opening bell to prepare the space. Luckily, Boston crowds are fashionably late to an opening so they could catch their breath. “It felt a little quiet and I was thinking ‘maybe I rushed things too much’ but then people kept coming and coming and coming and I was like ‘Yeah Boston!’” says Mazer.

The shows were a big success, but for Mazer, it was the collaborative open-studio environment that really showcased the qualities of this artist that he relished the most. “Witnessing Jaybo’s process has so often left me mesmerized, anguished and inspired by his fleeting envelopements, so it was really special to create an environment where others got to experience how much of a razors edge his work lives on,” he says.


Jaybo Monk. Working at a SoWa Studio in Boston. (photo © Todd Mazer)


Jaybo Monk. Working at a SoWa Studio in Boston. (photo © Todd Mazer)


Jaybo Monk. Solo exhibition “Traces of Nothing”. (photo © Todd Mazer)


Jaybo Monk. Solo exhibition “Traces of Nothing”. (photo © Todd Mazer)


Jaybo Monk. Solo exhibition “Traces of Nothing”. (photo © Todd Mazer)


Jaybo Monk. Solo exhibition “Traces of Nothing”. (photo © Todd Mazer)


Jaybo Monk. Solo exhibition “Traces of Nothing”. (photo © Todd Mazer)


Jaybo Monk. Live painting at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Summer Gala. (photo © Todd Mazer)


Jaybo Monk solo exhibition “Traces of Nothing” is currently on view at the Boston Button Company and will be up until July 14.


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