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Brooklyn Street Art

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Skulls, Death and “Memento Mori” on the Street Art Scene

Posted on May 20, 2015

Oh death, the world simply brims with it.

Naturally so do the streets.

We’ve been able to cheat it, cavort and dance with it, even bargain with it but so far we have been unable to win the fight. Everyone succumbs.

“Remember you shall die”, or Memento mori, is the medieval Latin theory that we come face to face with, or skull to skull.

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Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artists have been doing the danse macabre for centuries and one cerebral motif appears throughout every medium: the skull. From traditional African masks with skull faces to Shakespeare’s exhumed Yorick in Hamlet to 16th and 17th century European paintings featuring the skull as a motif in portraiture. The Mexicans make sugar candy with skulls, Warhol did multiples with them, Bowie sang to one, Tattoo culture covers skins with them, Damien Hirst encrusts them with diamonds, Game of Thrones has the Lord of Bones, they’re featured at the Museum of Morbid Anatomy, and Korean rapper Jay Park is styled as one on his video.

Even current Street Artists have a fascination with skulls, with Swoon in a show called Memento Mori and the Italian Street Artist Borondo’s named his new book after it. Today we wander out into the street with your hand in ours to look at death, as interpreted by artists of the street right now.

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Sweet Toof (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nick Walker (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zach Meyer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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QRST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexis Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Katsu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dennis McNett (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Niño de las Pinturas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eurotrash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Balu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Code (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Damon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!

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Hot Tea Creates a Swimming “Asylum” on Roosevelt Island

Posted on May 19, 2015

Street Artist and installation artist Hot Tea is back in New York and getting ready for summer by blending his color palette into concrete rather than suspending it strand-by-strand in the air.

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Minneapolis based yarn artist very possibly has some Mexican blood because this private pool commission is strikingly washed in color that plays with the structural geometry in a way reminiscent of work by the architect Luis Barragan and his disciple Ricardo Legorreta. The Spanish conquerors were reportedly impressed with the colorfully painted buildings as well as the advanced architecture they found when they invaded the Aztec City of Tenochtitlan, now known as Mexico City and here on Roosevelt Island Hot Tea embraces jubilant color with the same passion that the two Mexican Masters did in their public and private projects.

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In his large scale yarn installations the gradient fade from one color to another in three dimensional circumstances can evoke deeper emotional/psychological responses than one may expect: likely because of the gradual shifts and bending light waves and your own associations that are triggered by color. Now using paint instead of yarn, Hot Tea says that the desired effect is the same.

“This piece is inspired by my color field installations that take up both private and public spaces.  I love introducing color to spaces that seem neglected or forgotten.”

Once the home of an asylum, the island is still a quasi secret getaway that just happens to lie in the plain view of Manhattan and Queens. Because of its location and its history, the artist says he has felt that the pool project has summoned both associations of a place to escape to and a place where mental states are out of balance.

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I entitled this piece “Asylum” because the act of creating it pushed my mental and physical endurance so far that I wasn’t sure I could complete the task,” he says of the challenge. Painting by himself such a large expanse in only a few days may have been more difficult than he had estimated, but he is satisfied with the otherworldly effect the result is summoning.

“When people experience my installations I hope that they will remember the experience far after the moment is gone.  My goal for people who are viewing my work is to evoke subconscious feelings one may have forgotten.”

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea, perfectly framed by his own creation, takes a lap in your imagination. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!

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The Adventures Of Anthony Lister

Posted on May 18, 2015

Superhero and Street Artist/painter/contemporary artist Anthony Lister still crushes walls thank you very much. He never left the street actually – he just opened the door to the studio as well. And he lit things on fire in both.

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Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Formally trained, he is one of the few of those much maligned art school kids painting on the street whom some graff heads allow themselves to admire, mostly because he doesn’t seem to give a good f**k. Don’t be mislead – he is a superhero as well as a villain, aesthete as much as vandal, respectful of convention even while shredding it. Anyone watching him work over the last decade will tell you that he cares very much and he is willing to do the heavy intellectual/emotional/physical labor to bring it to another level.

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Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Not-quite “mid-career” this collection none-the-less sets him up for it and a smart museum would be reading these pages carefully, pouring over the tags, Lister family tour stickers, inflateables, masks, installations, performances,  as well as the more formal canvasses and supercharged murals  and considering where this child/adult paradox fits into the record of art history.

It’s the poetic movement of Degas ballerinas as much as the busty cellulite-free duct taped anti-heroines that captivate and denigrate. His slouching insouciance belies a rabid unglued ferocity that will mock mass consumer culture and then smother you in pink frosting and rainbows, stubbing his cigarette in the mountain of sugar and Crisco like it is the final candied cherry.

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Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adventure Painter, the mid-sized Lister tome released last year on Gingko, lets you see the rage and the release all at once. He’s furious because he’s paying attention – well thank God somebody is.

With figures that are alive, gestural, stylish and taunting, these beauties will save, lay, or kill you – perhaps all three. The  portraits are full of quixotic personality, angst and revulsion. We imagine Listers’ people lustily self-mocking and fantastic while jumping off dangerous cliffs and sleekly folding into a roll out of it without suffering the crash. From their perch below they look up to you standing on the ledge and beckon, “Okay, your turn!”

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Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” is published by Gingko Press and available at book stores worldwide.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!

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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.17.15

Posted on May 17, 2015

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Shout out to all the great Swoon fans we met last night during the artists talk with her. All the seats were filled so it was standing room only in the back but yet it felt so intimate. Ya’ll are stupendous and smart and handsome and beautiful and we were honored to be with you.

Shout out to the family of American blues institution BB King who passed on this week. His music and talent influenced so many. Sending love and condolences to his family and friends.

Let’s see what Jeffery Deitch has in store for Smorgasburg Coney Island starting this week in preparation for the Memorial Day weekend opening – published reports have the roster of street artists at 15 but we’re hearing closer to 25 will be hitting up temporary concrete walls in this outdoor gallery he is doing in partnership with a large real estate firm to promote the new Coney Island.  Some names you’ll recognize are old skool 70s-80s train writers like Lee Quinones, Crash, Daze, Lady Pink, Futura, and new people he has been reaching out to from the 2000s and 2010s scene who we bring you regularly like How & Nosm, Skewville, Steve Powers, possibly even ROA . This list will surely grow as word gets out and artists besiege Mr. Deitch to participate. The full installation is to last a month and will be surely caught on film and timelapse video.

Meanwhile, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alexis Diaz, Alka Murat, Appleton, Marco Berta, Blaqk Blaqk, City Kitty, Creepy Creep, Dain, Dasic Fernandez, Duke A. Barnstable, Elsa Sauguet, Eva & Adele, Ever, Goldman Rats, Ines Maas, JR, Penny Gaff, Robert Janz, Sebastian Reinoso Salinas, Seikon Stav6, and Swoon.

Top Image: Alexis Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic for Welling Court in LIC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Appleton (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An unknown artist created this installation of a suspension bridge in Chelsea and we dig it! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Front view of the suspension bridge in Chelsea by an unknown artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A scene from Nicolas Romero AKA Ever in Buenos Aires, Argentina in collaboration with performers Elsa Sauguet, Sebastian Reinoso Salinas y Ines Maas and sculptor Marcos Berta (photo © Ever)

About the show, from Ever:

” ‘头部 (The Head)’ is an art installation based on the analysis of Chinese Communist posters. When the posters represent the ‘idea’, people are always down the picture and the Mao Tse Tung portrait always floating in heaven, protecting that theory founded in the Russian winters. When they want to describe the pragmatics, Mao is cultivating flowers, going to visit schools, etc.

The idea with ‘The Head’ is to think why the “communist theory” fails in its application to reality, and this is because many times the idea has to be corresponded o taken through a body, a body that exercises the idea, that exercises power. That’s why, part of the installation that we present here, invites people to get into the head, so we all can have the feeling that we are not loyal to the theory; the idealization is as dangerous as it is obsessive.”

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stav6 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Creepy Creep (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blaqk Blaqk in collaboration with Seikon in Greece. (photo © Alka Murat)

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JR from his Walking New York series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Penny Gaff must be warming up for the Faile arcade show coming to Brooklyn Museum in July. War games…lethal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Janz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Goldman Rats already has selected the next president. You may now return to your regular scheduled programming. Enjoy! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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It’s lilac season! Duke A Barnstable is feeling poetic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Art in the streets as Berlin based performance artists and fine artists Eva & Adele are seen here “performing” some  last minute ensemble adjustments before hitting the art fairs – as is their wont. Chelsea, New York City. May 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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