Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

Skiing Cities of Serenissima : Swoon Vessels in the Snowy Woods

Posted on January 28, 2015

Most art conservators and archivists make it their business to preserve a piece for posterity. Once art is created and collected it can be a vexing task for estates and institutions to make provisions enabling art to outlive the artist and it’s caretakers for decades, generations, even centuries.

Swoon has sent hers out the countryside to reunite with the soil and trees.


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Her iconic rafts, or boats, or ships, or vessels of fantasy, however you may call them – these floating statues created for communal waterfaring made of discarded materials, cut paper, hand paint, gossamer sails and dreams are now completing their mission here in the snowy foothills, their recycled lives continuing their voyage back into the earth, not preserved for the ages.

Only last summer you could see these vessels in Submerged Motherlands, a record-setting exhibition at Brooklyn Museum that featured these rafts made of salvaged materials that once sailed on the direction of a rotating crew of captains and dreamers down the Missippi from Minneapolis to New Orleans, down the Hudson River and East River in New York, across the Adriatic from Slovenia to Italy to arrive shimmering and victorious at the Venice Biennial at night.


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maybe it is because most people don’t have space enough to store a once-sea-worth D.I.Y. raft, maybe it’s because Street Artists are accustomed to their work being worn down and destroyed by the elements, or perhaps it is a philosophical outlook that recognizes that life and death are part of one cycle.

Swoon decided the final docking place for these vessels would be this wooded area away from the city and nested in by birds, trod upon by deer, eventually covered by moss. On the day we hiked here the smallest field mouse, no bigger than the palm of your hand, darted out from under a rudder onto the snow for a few feet, looked at us and quickly ran back into a hole so small as to be nearly imperceptible, submerged.


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When they were in use, these were near mythical conglomerations of sculpture, performance, shelter, community, fantasy, inner-fighting, lovemaking, maritime exploring, … untethered and in a sort of extended state of disbelief apart from the codified rhythms of a time-obsessed age on land.

When they stood still in the museum, stately and under-lit by a wallowing blinkering light meant to emulate water and moonlight, they began to take on a certain sense of lore and fantasy, a rallying point for the eclectic alumni who gathered there for music and word performances, reunion, reflecting and revisiting their common history.


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here in these snow-quieted woods these rafts are at peace, still showing the signs of human activity but instead of exploring they are ready to be explored, open fantasies discovered in children’s play, inviting sparrows and chicadees and finches to fly through, an inhabitant of the terrestrial, each year more a part of it.

If there is a cycle that Swoon is honoring by allowing these vessels to float back to the land, she will tell us in due time, or not. Like many artists she is not going to ruin some stories that you’ll make but allow individual interpretation of her art in context, and here is a new one.


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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Don Rimx and BSA at Brooklyn Museum : You With Markers in Hand (VIDEO)

Posted on January 27, 2015

BSA continues to bring artists to the street wall, to the gallery, and to the museum whenever we can. The video here today captures one of the recent opportunities we had to help bring together Brooklyn Museum goers with one of Brooklyn’s hometown graffiti & street artists Don Rimx.

Just for one night in the grand ballroom of the museum, Rimx invited anyone with a marker to help fill in the color on his new kneeling figure on the temporary wall. Comprised of a complex series of trussing, supports, and various architectural abutments Rimx explained that the materials depicted represented both those he has seen in Brooklyn and Puerto Rico, places close to his heart and personal history.

(Check out the new video by Alex Seel at the end of these photos.)


Don Rimx. Still from the video. (Video © Alex Seel)

We helped with the markers, initially to color in some of the paper mural ourselves, then to hand them out to guests of all sorts – moms, dads, grandparents, teens, students, graff writers, professionals, workers, – basically everyone who makes up the community here, even New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and the Brooklyn Museum’s Managing Curator of Exhibitions, Sharon Matt Atkins.

It was excellent to see people accessing their inner artist and participating in the interactive piece while just behind it hung more classical examples of oil paintings and before us were couples taking live salsa lessons across the ballrooms’ glass and marble floor (it was Latino Heritage and Culture night after all).  We always say that Street Art is just one part of a conversation on the street. Seeing our neighbors taking an active role in creating art with one of New York’s talented street artists is just a confirmation that the creative spirit is alive and well to anyone who wants to access it.


Don Rimx. Still from the video. (Video © Alex Seel)


Don Rimx. Still from the video. (Video © Alex Seel)


Don Rimx. Still from the video. (Video © Alex Seel)


Don Rimx. Still from the video. (Video © Alex Seel)


Don Rimx. Still from the video. (Video © Alex Seel)


Don Rimx. Still from the video. (Video © Alex Seel)


Don Rimx. Still from the video. (Video © Alex Seel)

Don Rimx at The Brooklyn Museum. Video by Alex Seel


We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Brooklyn Museum, Alex Seel and of course to Don Rimx.





Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Posted on January 26, 2015

Curator and artist Ryan Seslow has pulled off an overview of art on the streets and the practices employed, minus the drama. So much discussion of graffiti, Street Art, and public art practice can concentrate on lore and turf war, intersections with illegality, the nature of the “scene”, shades of xenophobia and class structures; all crucial for one’s understanding from a sociological/anthropological perspective.

“Concrete to Data”, opening this week at the Steinberg Museum of Art on Long Island, gives more of the spotlight to the historical methods and media that are used to disseminate a message, attempting to forecast about future ways of communicating that may effectively bridge the gap between the physical and the virtual.


Joe Iurato. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seslow has assembled an impressive cross section of artists, practitioners, photographers, academics, theorists, and street culture observers over a five-decade span. Rather than overreaching to exhaustion, it can give a representative overview of how each are adding to this conversation, quickly presenting this genre’s complexity by primarily discussing its methods alone.

Here is a sneak peek of the the concrete (now transmitted digitally); a few of the pieces for the group exhibition that have gone up in the last week in the museum as the show is being installed.


Chris Stain. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cake. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Lady Pink at work on her mural. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


John Fekner. Detail of his stencils in place and ready to be sprayed on. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Henry Chalfant. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Billy Mode. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Oyama Enrico. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Col Wallnuts. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


CONCRETE to DATA will be exhibited at the Steinberg Museum of Art, Brookville, NY January 26th 2015 – March 21st 2015.

Opening Reception – Friday, February 6th  2015 6PM -9 PM 

Follow the news and events via –

Follow @concretetodata on Instagram – #concretetodata

Curated by Ryan Seslow@ryanseslow

Museum Director – Barbara Appelgate

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