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Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

Stik : His First Collected Volume of Work

Posted on June 21, 2016

An unusual little tall man, this Stik man.

Deceptively simple, he expresses profound truths that are anything but. Since the turn of this century in his hometown of Hackney, the formerly homeless Stik has been bringing his unassuming line drawn character out to the streets of northeast London, often Shoreditch. With few details and is as uncluttered as a logo, Stik towers above on the side of a housing behemoth, or a water tower, or a doorway.

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Now comes a handsome tome in red canvas that tells more about this artist who has been staying mum for so long. Like the unflashy Stik man, Stik is not malicious but thoughtfully quietly present, giving modest and monumental witness to the street – as well as social issues common to the street. While he does many authorized projects for human rights, social equality, and issues addressing immigration, homelessness, and family, Stik is largely and quietly advocating for an equitable view where each one is treated fairly.

Simple enough, right?

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STIK. Published by Penguin Books – Random House. New York City. 2016

 

Photos of the book plates by © Jaime Rojo

 

Greetings From Berlin – Soaring Walls from HowNosm, London Police Borondo, Van Der Sluijs, Super A

Posted on June 20, 2016

Traveling around Berlin this weekend we took a couple of trains and an unexpectedly looooong walk into the neighborhood of Tegel in search of Urban Nation’s huge One Wall installations that we haven’t been able to catch in person. The gentle breezes, smells of leafy trees, and unending barrage of mocking birds was punctuated by the excited fans of German football yelling out car windows and waving flags.

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Collin Van Der Sluijs . Super A.  Detail. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here in this semi-suburban breezy summer bliss far from the Kreuzburg artists enclave that Street Art and graffiti fans think of Berlin for, you’ll find Tegel boasts these four towering pieces by How & Nosm, The London Police, Borondo, and a collaboration between Collin Van Der Sluijs and Super A. Singularly, each one impresses. Seeing the quartet of soaring murals all at once; let’s just say it is well worth the trip.

After that, we figured out how to take the double decker public bus back to the U6 train line. Berlin has this public transportation thing nailed.

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Collin Van Der Sluijs. Super A. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Borondo. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Borondo.  Detail. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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How & Nosm. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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How & Nosm. Urban Nation Berlin. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

BSA Images Of The Week 06.19.16

Posted on June 19, 2016

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No we’re not worried about Donald Trump falling from grace, as in the new piece by Ron English leading the show this week. That’s not the point, people. It’s that we have fallen so far that a guy like this can get so close to the White House.

By the way, Nychos is killing it in New York right now. Pieces in Coney Island, Bushwick, a truck side, a Freud sculpture at the Flat Iron, a new show at Jonathan Levine this week, a couple other walls planned including one at MANA.  He’s very impressive in technique and work ethic. A shout out to the fellas who are capturing the action at Chop’em Down films. Top notch!

Meanwhile, we have a LOT of summer to enjoy. Get going!!!

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 18ism, AskewOne, Balu, CDRE, Dabs & Myla, GIZ, KAS, City Kitty, Myth, Nekst, Nychos, OG23, Rime MSK, Ron English, and Vik.

Our top image: Ron English brings Donald Trump as Humpty Dumpty on a wall – in collaboration with The Bushwick Collective and Mana Urban Art Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Giz and Bart kick it with the Smurf next door for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dabs & Myla for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vik for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AskewOne MSK for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RIME MSK for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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OG23 for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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18ism for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indelible Funk  for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AskewOne. Nekst tribute for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos “Translucent Heart Attack” for The Bushwick Collective and Mana Urban Art Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos. Dissection Of Sigmund Freud Flatiron Plaza. NYC. Vienna Therapy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos. Dissection Of Sigmund Freud Flatiron Plaza. NYC. Vienna Therapy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos. Dissection Of Sigmund Freud Flatiron Plaza. NYC. Vienna Therapy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kitty City with Balu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CDRE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CDRE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CDRE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kas. Brussels, Belgium. June 2016. (photo © KAS)

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Untitled. Manhattan. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Who is That Masked King? Olek and Virginia MOCA Disrobe Neptune

Posted on June 18, 2016

Troubled waters here just off Virginia Beach as the tourist season kicks into high gear and families spend the day collecting seashells and the random plastic bottle cap that washes up on the sand.

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

Street Artist Olek ran into a snag this week here as she and a team of volunteers made and installed a crocheted covering for Paul DiPasquale’s original statue of King Neptune that has been here a little over a decade. The two year process for the project with Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the New York based artist came to an inauspicious halt during the installation Wednesday when the inclusion of a rubberized gas mask caused a dispute that ended with King Neptune left to brave the elements in his raw mid-prime once again.

“Art is intended to be controversial. To some degree it’s intended to spark dialog,” MOCA executive director Debi Gray was quoted just last month when defending a couple of challenging artworks by artist Mark Ryden in “Turn the Page”, the museums’ Hi-Fructose 10th Anniversary exhibition, a show Olek is also a part of.

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

Whether it was the prospect of another potential controversy so soon, an unapproved design change, or some other perturbed local gadfly whispering in her ear, the director and the museum were not letting the rubber mask go forward during the installation. With only about 60% of the installation completed, all of it came down, leaving the volunteers from the middle and high school and other local artists without the satisfaction of seeing the completed project for this week’s ArtWalk.

In terms of the interstitial approach to documentation that exists on The Internet, it doesn’t matter of course that the project was only partially up for part of one day because there were many good photos captured before it was disassembled, leaving the impression that Olek’s project was a success. Coming from the graffiti and Street Art milieu, we are all accustomed to the ethereal nature of art and our chance encounters with it. Not that this is much conciliation to those who had contributed toward the project.

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

According to statements from the artist and the museum, it appears that the mask would have been allowed to go forward if it had been entirely crocheted – at least that is our reading of the situation. We asked Olek why the monarch of the waters was wearing a mask in the first place, she told us that it was a commentary on our collective responsibility for dumping all kinds of waste into the oceans.

“My mission was to deliver the strongest work that would bring awareness to Mother Nature’s current disturbing situation; namely, the alarming state of our oceans. I added the mask because it was made a strong point. Everyone including the executive director, Debi Gray, and both curators, Alison Byrne and Heather Hakimzadeh agreed that it was a brilliant idea.”

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Aaron McLellan)

“We placed a lot of trust in her and are dismayed that she would take advantage of that,” says Ms. Gray of the museum in an interview with local website WAVY.com. “Although MOCA and the city embraced her message of ocean conservation, the addition was not part of the approved proposal,” a statement from the museum said.

Comments sections on local website stories are mixed with anger at both parties, regret, indifference and naturally, some comments are unhinged, misinformed and completely hilariously unrelated. From our perspective, we’re sorry that an agreement could not be reached and it didn’t work out because we know what the power of art can be. That said, maybe there is a solution yet to be discovered! The summer has just commenced and the future is unwritten.

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

Olek spoke with us about the situation and answered a few questions as well.

Brooklyn Street Art: Did the artist of the sculpture embrace your vision?
OLEK: The first person I contacted regarding the project, and then subsequently the Mask idea was of course the artist, Paul DiPasquale. He loved the idea of crocheting Neptune and agreed that the mask would make a stronger statement.

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you have an agreement with the museum that was changed?
OLEK: I had an agreement with the museum and the only real issue that arose was the addition of a huge uncrocheted rubber mask. Initially the museum didn’t want the rubber mask to be included. However, after a number of meetings a compromise was made. The museum and I agreed that if the mask was crocheted, it would be acceptable.

Brooklyn Street Art: Aside from the difficulty of the events, do you feel disappointed that the piece will not be on display?
OLEK: The work created a dialog so I think the piece accomplished something. I hope art in general can inspire and initiate change. As I said in my statement:

“My work is never finished – the continuous response of the viewers makes the art.  My contribution is the tool that helps people realize their own expressions.  I hope that it proves that all things are interconnected.”

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Aaron McLellan)

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

De-installation begins with the mask coming off as shown in the above picture.

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. (photo © Olek)

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Olek. King Neptune Intervention for Virginia MOCA. Virginia Beach. June 2016. The Team. (photo © Olek)

 

Our special thanks to Aaron McLellan and his company North End Bag Co. for additional images of them fabricating the mask. The rubber and the aluminum part was provided by Geoff Long.

Also included in Olek’s commentary to us about the project and related events:
This was not completed by the artist alone. MOCA and Olek would like to thank the many volunteers including students from The Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School and art students from Virginia Beach Middle School. They have spent countless hours to help create this work. They all came and crocheted without knowing what the final project would be. They lent their talent and trust in both MOCA and the artist, knowing that they were spreading a positive message of hope to our community and beyond.

 

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