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Brooklyn Street Art

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BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2017

Posted on December 11, 2017

Documenting the Street Art scene has always been important to BSA and we know it is important to many of our readers as well. This year BSA brought you a number of reviews of Street Art related books that we have run across during the year. It’s not an exhaustive list but now that it is Christmas / Hannukah / Kwaanza / Solstice / New Year time we thought you would like our brief roundup of some of the best books of 2017. Enjoy!


“Street Art World”, Alison Young.

From BSA:

Alison Young Examines and Presents the “Street Art World”

Contested space is a term accurately describing the Street Artists’ relationship with the world outside your door; a place where the aesthetics are up for grabs, autonomously determined, willfully exploited.

Drawing upon twenty years of empirical observation, scholarly study, and interviews with artists and experts throughout a constellation of cities where this art-making has flourished, “Street Art World” by Alison Young examines this contested space from every angle to present a balanced assessment for understanding our moment.

A professor of criminology at University of Melbourne, Young delivers her fourth volume on the topic of Street Art with a confidence and unique perspective that few can claim thanks to extensive travel and periodic, repeated and ongoing tracking of an evolving family of practice.

Alison Young Street Art World was published by Reaktion Books Ltd. London, UK. 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Shoe Is My Middle Name”, Niels Shoe Meulman

From BSA:

“Shoe” is His Middle Name: New Book by Niels Shoe Meulman

Carlo McCormick writes in his essay, “We honor Shoe as the great cross-pollinator who came to New York City as a kid to meet the graffiti master Dondi and brought Wild Style back to Europe, but his strength remains just how far he can still can carry this immoderate load.” Based on his path and his evolution, we’ll consider this beautiful monster to be in a mid-career retrospective and some of his most masterful work is yet to come.

Niels Shoe Meulman “Shoe Is My Middle Name” was published by Lebowski Publishers / Overamstel. Amsterdam, 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Time Traveller Artist Man”, Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN

From BSA:

RUN: “Time Traveller Artist Man” Tells All With His Hands

The founder of analytical psychology would have looked at the hands of RUN and perhaps understood more about his lifelong psychological process than the average intellect, and yet seeing RUN’s carefully formed people on the street captivates your imagination as well.

These are the dreams he creates with his expressive hands, conscious or unconscious features that over time have developed into archetypes to be combined, adorned, alone, and recombined. Not surprisingly, his people often have a grasp, a hold, a flair for the five fingered gesture as well.

RUN Time Traveller Artist Man is published by Unicorn Publishing Group. London, UK. 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Street Art”, Ed Bartlett

From BSA:

“Street Art” by Ed Bartlett: A Quick Primer for the World Traveler

Since the early 70s Lonely Planet publishing has made guidebooks for travelers of the world, enabling people to gain a greater understanding and to appreciate localities, cultures, and histories. Ed Bartlett now adds to this vast compendium of understanding a concise and varied survey of Street Art from his vantage point as an avid bicyclist, traveler, and expert on Street Art.

Ed Bartlett’s “Street Art” Was published by Lonely Planet Publishers. UK, April 2017.  Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Happily Ever After”, Jeremy Fish

From BSA:

Jeremy Fish and “Happily Ever After”

It’s unusual to see his work in New York (or in this case New Jersey) since after leaving Upstate New York nearly two decades ago this fine artist/commercial illustrator has been dancing in the arms of San Francisco. You think we’re being poetic about his West Coast cred, but he literally illustrated 100 drawings in SF City Hall over 100 days, was awarded with his own “Jeremy Fish” day by the city, might have the record for the most shows at Upper Playground Gallery, and has even collaborated with a cannabis company to create a branded oil and vape pen.

Jeremy Fish “Happily Ever After: The Artwork of Jeremy Fish”. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“The Art Of Writing Your Name”, Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark

From BSA:

“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.

The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Saturday Mornings”, Jerkface

From BSA:

Jerkface: “Saturday Mornings” Deconstructed, Reconstructed, Repeated

A direct link to his childhood and the televised cartoons of Saturday morning, where the majority of cartoons were relegated to appear in the 1970s and 1980s, Street Artist Jerkface recreates and multiplies his associations of happy times full of adventure, mysteries easily solved, crimes categorically punished.

His new book “Saturday Morning” collects the recognizable works of other artists and removes the emotional expressions found in facial features, recombining their other characteristics and playing with their associated resonance.

Jerface “Saturday Morning”. Published by Over The Influence. December 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Street Art In Sicilia”, Mauro Filippi, Marco Mondino & Luisa Tuttolomondo

From BSA:

“Street Art In Sicilia” Tours You Through 31 Cities and 200 Artists

A serious undertaking that documents 31 urban centers that vary widely in distinctive personality, more than two hundred artists are captured and carefully, succinctly described for a wide audience of tourists, Street Art fans, students, even academics. With three authors who collectively have studied architecture, semiotics, sociology and photography, you get a mapping that reveals not only physical location but a describes a cultural one as well.

Street Art in Sicilia – Guida ai luoghi e alle opere
Mauro Filippi, Marco Mondino, Luisa Tuttolomondo
Dario Flaccovio Editore, 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Metamorphosis”, Tavar Zawacki

From BSA:

Tavar Zawacki: Being Fearless and “Metamorphosis” with Urban Spree

“The whole thing is a metaphor,” he says at one point when describing a particular piece, but you realize that the statement applies to the show as well. A metaphor for the evolutions that an artist must go through to keep alive; a recreation, a metamorphosis, however bold or subtle, that can push him or her into a new direction.

He sits on a window sill and pulls back the sleeve of his t-shirt to reveal a tattooed sleeve that moves from densely inked pattern to bare skin. The finespun graduated marking is repeated on the books’ cover, designed by Kelly Jewell.
“I’m really interested in gradients as well because it’s a slow transition – when you can see the tattoo and the cover of the book; it’s like with each circle, if you look at it compared to the neighboring one, you won’t see a big difference. But over time and with effort you can keep going forward, day by day.”

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Published by Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.10.17

Posted on December 10, 2017

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

New York is resting pleasantly under a nice blanket of our first snow this morning. Your moaning Uncle Norman is lying on the living room rug next to the radiator with an icepack on his back from shoveling the sidewalk. “Just keep the dog away from him for a few minutes please,” says your cousin Hedda as she pulls a roast out of the oven. “At least until the Flexeril kicks in.”

Yo! Check out the new fence piece Icy & Sot did at the top of this weeks BSA Images of the Week! It’s in the same style as the piece they did for the Urban Nation Museum opening with us this September – that one featured a silhouette of an immigrant family running. Instead of participating in the Ambivalence Festival called Miami Basel/Wynwood this week, the brothers decided to throw their own party this weekend to unveil the piece and at The LOT radio station in Williamsburg, BK. Brothers and sisters, check out this station afloat on a little slip of land that generates some killer sets!

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Ai WeiWei, Appleton Pictures, Dede, Icy & Sot, Keyatama, LMNOPI, Nina Chanel Abney, Vladimir Gluten, and Xavi Cerre.

Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vladimir Gluten (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ai Weiwei (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ai Weiwei (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nina Chanel Abney (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Keyatama for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Keyatama for The Bushwick Collective. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Keyatama for The Bushwick Collective. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist bus shelter take over. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Appleton Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Xavi Cerre (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dede (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Milamores and El Flaco from @lalinea in Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. China Town. NYC. December, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

StrayOnes Studio Visit : Seeing Fellow New Yorkers As Stray Cats

Posted on December 9, 2017

“I’m flat broke but I don’t care
I strut right by with my tail in the air.”

“Stray Cat Strut” by The Stray Cats, 1981


The lyric invokes an image of New Yorkers of all stripes whom you’ve seen working the sidewalk in neighborhoods across this city, including presumably Manhattan’s Washington Heights, where Street Artist and sculptor StrayOnes grew up at the turn of the century.

His wire and steel felines have a certain sassy, scrappy, savoir faire that tells passersby that you can have a sense of class no matter the situation you may find yourself in; like catwalking along the top of fence for instance.

“Stray cats are wild. They live free on the streets,” StrayOnes tells us.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I remember where I grew up seeing tons of stray cats,” says the mid-20s street sculptor who got his start doing graffiti for a decade or so before his game moved to installing these crafty cats with a high tensile strength high on window ledges, fences, and telephone poles throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan over the last few years.

“Everyone can relate to the struggle of a stray animal,” he says in his well-ordered studio in a railroad space on the top of a Brownstone in Bushwick, “So that’s where the name came from; StrayOnes.”

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

His is a uniquely practical and poetic point of view that makes a great deal of sense considering the sleekly sensible manner that one often has to navigate through situations, opportunities, threats, obstacles, and relationships in the city, particularly on the street. “I also think that cats are like humans in a way – the way they act and move. Plus when you understand animals you understand people. If you understand a stray cat you understand a person.”

The cats he was digging on the street in the 2000s are true heads in the graff game and he rocked aerosol and markers long before these fully formed characters. “I was very much a graffiti artist for a long time. I love all the big heads like Noxer, Cope2, Cost,” he says. “I like lettering a lot but then when I got into sculpture, something about a 3D. It’s so alive to me. So I wondered why not put 3D work on the street which I love so much? I also love graffiti but it started to look flat to me. I wanted to work more on something that ‘pops.’ ”

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You’ll see his cats and other characters more now than before as he is seriously dedicating himself to conceiving storylines and sculptures regularly – even though he has a straight 9 to 5 that takes up his time when not in the studio or on the street. And of course, there has to be time for prowling…

“Stray cat strut, I’m a ladies cat
I’m a feline Casanova, hey man that’s that
Get a shoe thrown at me from a mean old man
Get my dinner from a garbage can.”

This 1980s rockabilly song is not the only thing from that period that we are reminded of when talking to this guy born in the 90s. A fine arts grad from FIT in 2014, many of his artistic inspirations from the street come from that first wave of renegades, as well as a few from this century.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’m inspired by Keith Haring, Basquiat, Andy Warhol, a lot of the graffiti legends – Lee (Quinones) I like a lot. Banksy, especially during my graffiti teenage years.” Perhaps surprising is his mention of Lucian Freud, the British painter and draftsman, until you think of the rendered full forms in his portraits with figures almost appearing to have been modeled in clay.

Anonymous and largely unknown personally to many artists whom you meet on the New York scene, StrayOnes couldn’t be more enthusiastic or committed to it.

“NYC is the Street Art Capital and I’m happy to be a part of it. I always felt that with Street Art and graffiti you are just born loving it and I wanted do it. That’s how I grew up and the people who I grew up with – they all feel like that,” he says.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“So I’m happy to be a part of the Street Art scene. Actually nothing makes me happier. I feel like a rush, being involved in it. And I feel like it is very much alive and so is graffiti. They are not going anywhere. I’m an innovative street artists and I feel like more people are starting being innovative. I love it all.

BSA talked to StrayOnes about his pensive and inquisitive movements around the block, his affinity for sculpture, his interactions with police, Pokémon, and what he’s been reading lately.

BSA: Why do you sculpt cats and put them on the street?
StrayOnes: After graffiti a got into sculpting and I wanted to put people on the street. Life-size figures. But I realized that they were kind of big. They were cool, some people were a bit creeped out about them. But then I moved to Brooklyn and I got inspired by my roommate’s cat; By the way it moved so I thought about putting a cat sculpture on the streets.

I still wanted to continue doing graffiti but at the same time I wanted to try something new. A cat sculpture always fits perfectly in the little niches and spaces on the street. Unlike my people sculptures that are always very big. The other element is the fact that they are stray cats. I feel like strays represent New Yorkers in a way.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Why did you transition from graffiti to sculptures?
StrayOnes: Part of it started with the spray paint; I don’t really like the fumes that much. But I still love graffiti, typography and love doing tags with markers. I do use spray with the sculptures but now I use a mask. But something about the sculptures that is so alive. It is like when you see it it looks like a real thing and to me that’s what drew me to sculpting.

I also wanted to be unique and do something new. I also really understand the material and have figured out how to get it out on the street. I use chicken wire and it’s pretty cheap. The material is pretty hardy but it’s also light. So switching to sculptures to me is doable. It’s manageable. It isn’t a crazy process.

 

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Do you have a cat?
StrayOnes: I used to have a cat but it passed away. But that was the cat that inspired all of it in a way. It made very much realize how much I remember every stray cat interaction I had.

BSA: I like the transparency of the material and how it perfectly camouflages on the streets.
StrayOnes: Yes that’s before I used to paint them. But you caught a very early one.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: How do you choose the spots for your cats?
StrayOnes: I usually pick a high foot-traffic block. That’s my goal. Then I look for a steel fence or grate that is a cool distance away so people can’t snatch them, but not too high that people won’t be able to see them. Lately I’ve trying to get a good contrast. My last one was a yellow cat and I place it on a bright red background so it pops more.

I really wanted people to see them actually. I didn’t intend for them to be super subtle. So I began painting them. So I went for bright colors.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: When they are painted bright colors people see them and sometimes they take them. Do you care when that happens?
StrayOnes: At first it pissed me off a lot. Like now it doesn’t piss me off as much. When I used to do graffiti people get buffed all the time. It is part of the game. The art is in the wild. Like leaving something in the jungle.

BSA: With your work sometimes I think that a certain piece is not going to run for a long time and others I think they will run for a long time and I’m often wrong. Do you know why?
StrayOnes: I’ve gotten much better about knowing which piece will run for a long time. My intention is for a piece to run for as much as it could be possible. Of course they are on the street and it is what it is. But that’s my intention. Blocks that are covered with Street Art already they are usually good spots.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Do you feel like they are the anti-heroes on the streets; The badass actors of the streets? I’ve seen a couple of your sculptures where the cats are going after mice or birds.
StrayOnes: I feel like cats represent us in a way – like strays are us. And for the bird piece you mentioned I feel like the bird was looking at the enemy on the face. Most of the time rats run away from the strays. They just don’t stop to look at cat on their face. So on the bird piece the pray is very aggressively looking back. That’s the subtle commentary running trough my work right now.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: You have also sculpted other animals besides cats. I saw a raccoon recently and a Pokémon too! Are you getting bored with the cats?
StrayOnes: I just wanted to have more variety. Then I got to the point where I was also getting inspired by things. Like I saw a hawk that landed on top of the ledge so I decided to do a hawk. I also see tons of raccoons in the Heights. Raccoons are really cool. It is like the animals I see in New York.

BSA: Yes many New Yorkers don’t even realize how much wildlife there’s in the city but you are bringing the wildlife to their doorsteps, or their window sills, if you will.
StrayOnes: Yes stray cats are wild. They live free on the streets.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Do you have a specific time to put your work up on the street?
StrayOnes: I usually go alone during the day. When it’s very sunny and everyone is in a good mood. Two o’clock in the afternoon. I used to do it at night but then I had to hop up ladders and people might have thought I was robbing their apartments. So when I do it during the day I sort of look the part and people don’t bother me. I mean people watch me doing it but they don’t have issues because they think it is cool.

BSA: How about the police? Do they bother you?
StrayOnes: I haven’t dealt with the police yet. I have been stopped by park rangers. I tried to put one up in a park but they were very chill about it. They just told me to take it down. So it wasn’t a big deal. With the police you just don’t act suspiciously when you are putting the work up. It takes a lot of time do it. I tie the sculptures with wire. Sometimes I use screws and tie the sculptures to the screws. I don’t use nails. And it really isn’t easy to take them down. If they take them down they will damage the sculptures in the process. I do the same thing with the plaques.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Are you currently reading any books? Short stories?
StrayOnes: Right now I am reading “King Leopold’s Ghost”. Is a historical book about the King of Belgium who made a colony in the Congo and killed millions of people. This is pretty much unspoken about in the history books. I didn’t know about it until I began reading this book. It actually explains a lot about American history. This books describe Americans from a European eyes and different points of view of the world and Africa from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. A co-worker recommended it to me.

I’ve been into history lately and with all the conflicts we are seeing today I’m trying to understand how we got to where we are. Currently the world is a mess and there’s a reason why. When I’m reading this book I see why people act the way they do now. This book was written in 1998 describes events from 150 years ago and many of the same things are still happening in today’s world. The way they teach history in America is way too American. There are all these other countries to consider and the histories can be complex.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: How often do you put work up?
StrayOnes: Every two or three weeks I’m working on a new sculpture. But I have also started making wood pieces.

BSA: Do you get cut a lot? Sometimes it isn’t easy to work with gloves.
StrayOnes: Yes a lot. I usually start with gloves and about the time I’m done sculpting they gloves are off to do the finer work.

BSA: Have you met some of your peers in NYC? Some other Street Artists?
StrayOnes: I’ve only met a couple of them but I’d like to start meeting more. I’d like to meet as many people as possible.

BSA: Is this one going outside?
StrayOnes: That one has been on the street already. But it is the first one I ever did so I kept it to myself. I just sprayed it with color but underneath the layers you can see the original wire. He was going on a catwalk.

StrayOnes (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BSA Film Friday: 12.08.17

Posted on December 8, 2017

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. Jumping Rooftops with Ilko Iliev & Marin Kafedjiiski in Bulgaria
2. Urban Art Festival Basel/Switzerland 2017
3. Three in a Row from Grenoble Street Art Fest 2017: Seth, How Nosm, Monkey Bird
4.”Sky Is The Limit” by Jérome Thomas

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Jumping Rooftops with Ilko Iliev & Marin Kafedjiiski in Bulgaria

To get your heart racing on Friday here’s free-runner and stunt person Ilko Iliev jumping over obstacles, across rooftops, and scaling buildings across Bulgaria. No doubt it gives you a taste of the daring feats done in darkness by many a graffiti writer and Street Artist as acts of athleticism and adrenaline-pushing cat and mouse scenarios.

Winner of this years Best Drone Film at the Drone Film Festival for Australia + New Zealand, Director of Photography Marin Kafedjiiski takes you along with the action as seen from above and almost makes you catch your breath.

Urban Art Festival Basel/Switzerland 2017

Right now Art Basel is in Miami but last month it was in Switzerland where the Urban Art Festival was held indoors in the Messe Basel exhibition area. Well organized and really engaging for an attentive audience, the show had all the elements – combining graffiti bombers alongside Street Artists bombing large walls inside the exhibition space while curious fans checked them out. With Bustart at the helm as founder, he says that, “The main goal was and is to support the urban art in Switzerland and help artists.”

The 16 artist event drew over 70,000 visitors according to organizers, and we’re please to debut the re-cap video here on BSA Film Friday.

3 in a Row from Grenoble Street Art Fest 2017.

The 3rd iteration of the French festival was held in June and the whole city is involved – with murals, a conference, a film festival, classes, tours… Here are three brief videos of the murals from Seth, How Nosm, and Monkey Bird from this summer.

SETH

 

How & Nosm

 

Monkey Bird

 

“Sky Is The Limit” by Jérome Thomas

Here’s a trailer for new documentary following artists as they paint large-scale murals worldwide. It’s called “Sky Is The Limit”. True.

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