April 2009

“The Great OutDoors” with Luna Park at ArtBreak Gallery

“The Great OutDoors” with Luna Park at ArtBreak Gallery

A true street art Opening in Brooklyn, with shutters open wide and many doorways to contemplate.

A collection of 30 artists on the street art scene are contributing to the vision of the adoorable Luna Park and her co-curator Billi Kid.  Ms. Park, a well-travelled street art photographer who calls Brooklyn home, is among a very select group of intrepid souls cris-crossing the borough by any means possible to get the right shot.

Well regarded and always smartly outfitted, Ms. Park and Mr. Kid have added a bit of poetry to the street art oeuvre by decorating the departure, edifying the entrance, festooning the frontage, and gilding the gateway!

Image by Luna Park featuring a Celso in the doorway.

Image by Luna Park featuring a Celso in the doorway.

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you and Billi Kid conjure a show using doors as canvas?

Luna Park: Last year, Billi Kid, Jim and Karla Murray, Cern and Elisha Cook Jr. decorated a room at the Carlton Arms Hotel, which is known for it’s fabulous, one-of-a-kind, artist-decorated rooms. I highly recommend it as an affordable place to send your arty guests. To capitalize on the network of artists they’d built through the hotel, in March 2008 the owners opened Artbreak Gallery in Williamsburg. When Billi Kid contacted them about the possibility of doing a doors-themed street art show, they were immediately on board. I agreed to participate last December and the rest, as they say, was a matter of logistics, logistics, logistics.

Brooklyn Street Art: As you march across the city looking for great shots, have you found that some artists gravitate to doorways?

Luna Park: Definitely! I’d even go so far as to say not only SOME, but MANY. Your average urban door is the perfect gateway to graffiti – pardon the pun – it provides a smooth, even surface, accessible to all and, most importantly, visible to all. Although I don’t subscribe to the so-called “broken windows” theory of graffiti leading to crime, I do think it holds true for doors in the sense that graffiti on doors DOES attract more graffiti. It generally starts with a lone tag and – provided that tag isn’t buffed – the tags soon multiply. Before you know it, stickers get in on the action, the odd wheatpaste sticks around and, voila, suddenly you have a proper door!

Brooklyn Street Art: Why would a doorway be better than, say, a wall?

Luna Park: I’m not saying doors are better than walls, but as a surface on which to write or stick, a doorway offers a certain degree of protection from prying eyes. No one looks twice at someone who is ostensibly fumbling for keys in front of a doorway, but that same person loitering by a wall…


Cake from “The Great Outdoors” (photo Luna Park)

Brooklyn Street Art: Where did all of these come from? Have you been dumpster diving?

Luna Park: Well, I’m certainly not one to condone any kind of illegal activity, ahem, so I’m assuming the doors were all acquired legally, perhaps through a fine, neighborhood purveyor of sundry household items.

I personally salvaged two doors from the curb down the street from my house. Billi Kid acquired his door and several others at a farmhouse sale in rural Connecticut.  A few people must have visited demolition sites, as there are a number of extraordinarily heavy fire doors as well. The doors really run the gamut of everything from vintage to factory fresh.

Brooklyn Street Art: Are most of the pieces in this show made specifically for “The Great Outdoors?”

Luna Park: Yep, with one notable exception, all of the pieces for this show are brand spanking new!

“Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

The Dude Company

The Dude Company for “The Great Outdoors” (photo Luna Park)

Brooklyn Street Art: Every door has two sides; has anybody addressed both for the show?

Luna Park: We asked the artists to decorate only one side of the door – to make hanging them all the easier – but Celso and LA2 collaborated on one side of a door that already had a piece on the other side. I’d mention who, but that would spoil the surprise.

Brooklyn Street Art: It’s not the same as painting ox blood over the doorway, but do you think there is any symbolism to the act of decorating a door?

Street art and graffiti covered doors aside, I think the decorated door functions as a marker, defining the threshold between the private and the public spheres. There are certainly any number of cultures around the world that place markings on doors to celebrate rites of passage: in the part of northern Germany from which my mother comes from, it is not uncommon to see important family dates chalked onto doors, presumably in conjunction with some kind of religious blessing.

“we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Feral for "The Great Outdoors" (photo Luna Park)

Feral for “The Great Outdoors” (photo Luna Park)

Brooklyn Street Art: On a grander scale, this show could be a commentary about the times we’re in, with many doors slamming shut, while others that we scarcely imagined only two years ago are opening wide.  Do you care to philosophize?

Luna Park: I’m an optimist at heart and a pragmatist by nature, as such, I believe very much in silver linings and unforeseen occurrences. Especially in times of crisis, one has to embrace change, because only by accepting change can one move forward. When Billi Kid approached me with the opportunity to co-curate this show, you better believe I opened that door, despite initial misgivings about never having organized anything of this magnitude before.

I can only speak for myself, but having this show – something I’ve come to see as an incredibly positive force in my life – to occupy me and to look forward to has made the struggles I endure at work all the more bearable. I am slowly realizing that this show has opened doors for others, and that has made this experience all the more meaningful to me. By the same token, the outpouring of support from the street art community – BSA included – has been enormous and for that I am very grateful.

Brooklyn Street Art: Given their past locations and your personal experience shooting the streets, what does it feel like to see these doors lined up in a spare white box gallery space?

Luna Park: There is often critique of street art and graffiti work in galleries, in many cases justified in that some work simply does not translate well onto canvas. But in this case, we’re literally bringing doors in off the street and taking them to the next level (the gallery’s on the 2nd floor). Because the doors are relatively large and heavily decorated, being surrounded by a clean, white gallery wall gives each piece space to breathe. Above and beyond that, it’s nice to see the humble door elevated to a place of honor.

“Listen; there’s a hell of a good universe next door: let’s go.” – e.e. cummings

His holiness Blanco for "The Great Outdoors" (photo Luna Park)


Brooklyn Street Art: What door surprised you the most?

Luna Park: Without a doubt, Blanco! I’ve been following his stencils since he first started putting them out, seeing his progression with each, more intricate piece. When we invited him to be part of the show, I had high hopes, but he’s really exceeded all expectations and then some! Bravo, J!

That having been said, I’m very pleased by the quality of ALL the work and am super proud of everyone’s efforts. My sincerest thanks to everyone that helped make this show possible.

Brooklyn Street Art: What time do doors open on Saturday?

Luna Park: Doors open at 6pm. I for one can’t wait to find out if it’s Bachelor #1, #2 or #3 behind my favorite door! ;p

“Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I’m tired.”  Brooklyn’s own Mae West

MAY 2 – 29, 2009

Art Break Gallery
195 Grand Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Thursday through Sunday, 1-7 pm.

Opening Reception Saturday May 2, 6-10 pm

At the opening Saturday you’ll also get to see a projection show of Luna Park’s photography, specifically images of doors on Brooklyn streets and elsewhere.

Billi Kid

Luna Park

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Images of the Week 04.26.09

Images of the Week 04.26.09

Chris Cole

Col from Robots Will Kill (photo Jaime Rojo)

donkey skin

Donkey Skin (photo Jaime Rojo)

green dragon

Green Dragon (photo Jaime Rojo)


My therapist told me it is so important to just give myself permission to have fun. (Katz) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Matt Siren

The Condom Death Princess and her mushroom stormtroopers (Matt Siren) (photo Jaime Rojo)


Tonight on Larry King, makeup tips with RuPaul! (MBW) (photo Jaime Rojo)


Monster Shield (photo Jaime Rojo)

(Chris from Robots Will Kill) (Photo Jaime Rojo)

There's hole where my heart was. (Chris from Robots Will Kill) (Photo Jaime Rojo)

numb nuts

Yo! Nice goin' numb nuts (numb nuts) (photo Jaime Rojo)

red dragon

And now the red dragon (photo Jaime Rojo)


Rednose makes an example of AIG (Tazmat Rednose) (photo Jaime Rojo)


Stikman feeling a bit green (Stikman) (photo Jaime Rojo)

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Monsters and Coppers and Snot on a Doornob; Bortusk Leer

Slightly creepy, joyful, energetic and mischievous like the kid who pushed your sister off the monkey bars in 5th grade, Bortusk Leer’s street monsters don’t give a toot about your deep dark thoughts and ruminations, as they run past you and smack you on the fanny.  

The nursery class primary colors and the bold surprised faces on his monsters show up in the oddest places.  Or maybe the places weren’t odd until they popped up looking all belligerent, daring you to stick your tongue in that socket.  Go ahead!  It will make you Super Duper Powerful!!  I’ll do it too, but you go first.

His creatures and characters are disproportionately fantastical and multi-limbed; sometimes conjoined, sometimes deranged, and unnervingly happy-zesty-pesky and ready to steal your lunch, preferably with you chasing wildly after them, arms-a-flailing, screeching like like a chimp.  

Bortusk stays in the moment; and that moment is the day you plugged both your nostrils with modeling clay.  Or that moment when you made Bobby drink the rest of the cough syrup.  Or that moment when you licked all your mom’s stamps and spelled out your name on the paneling over the T.V. in the living room. That moment.


You leerin' at me?  (Bortusk Leer) (photo Jaime Rojo)

You leerin at Me? (Bortusk Leer) (photo Jaime Rojo)



Bortusk Leer

I'm so happy I could pee right here (Bortusk Leer) (photo unusualimage)

 Creative Commons License photo credit: unusualimage

What do I spy with my little eye? (Bortusk Leer) (photo Jaime Rojo)

What do I spy with my little eye? (Bortusk Leer) (photo Jaime Rojo)

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Portrait of a First Lady:  Billi Kid and Sticker Collabs

Portrait of a First Lady: Billi Kid and Sticker Collabs

Maybe it’s history in the making, or myth-making, maybe it’s unending fascination with celebrity, but many artists, street artists included,

have produced art about Obama in the last 12 months. The new administration is a machine in motion this spring, and while the haterz are looking for ways to play down Obama’s successes, his missus is not missing an opportunity to engage the press with her Harvard Law School graduate brain, her support of military families, her commitment to volunteering, and (oh yes) her fashion statements at the G20 meetings and Personal Displays of Affection toward the British Royal Family (PDABRF).  More popular in polls than her husband, Mrs. Obama’s personal and professional history are being fleshed out daily, and her place as a cultural icon is happening before our jaded eyes.

Brooklyn street artist Billi Kid is no stranger to “Obamart”, having shown his own portrait work of Barack when he participated in a group show in Washington, DC in the days preceding the Presidential Inauguration called “Manifest Hope:DC” with 150 artists including Shepard Fairey and Ron English. Truth told, Billi has done quite a few versions of the president over the past year, feeling like it was a good way for him to participate in the public discussion about the political landscape.  His sticker collaboration collage work has been slapping up in magazines here and abroad, and it’s helping his fellow artists get exposure along the way, which he loves.

Preparing for a new show at ArtBreak Gallery in Brooklyn May 2nd, (this time as a curator), Mr. Kid talks to BSA about his engagement with the political as personal and his experience with his recent Michelle Obama piece;

Street artist Billi Kid scored big with his recent illustration of Michele Obama in New York magazine.

Street artist Billi Kid scored big with his recent illustration of Michele Obama in New York magazine.

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you score a full page in the New York magazine article?
Billi Kid: Luck had a lot to do with it. I pasted a recent piece titled “Greed i$ Good” on the wall of one of my favorite spots on 22nd street, outside of Comme des Garçons. It happened to be right in front of where the photo editor (Jody Quon) of New York magazine lives. One thing led to another.

Wall Street robber amid a chorus of FKDL, KH1, Judith Supine, and more (courtesy Billi Kid)

“Greed i$ Good”; a Wall Street robber amid a chorus of FKDL, KH1, Judith Supine, Peru Ana and more (courtesy Billi Kid)

Brooklyn Street Art: Hundreds of artists made portraits of Obama. Do you think we look to artists to help us understand these people?

Billi Kid: I can’t speak for anyone else, but as a registered independent, I became completely engrossed with the campaign our current president was running in 2008 and immediately re-registered as a Democrat for the occasion. Adding my voice to the streets became a natural extension (of that).

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about the technique you used to produce this?

Billi Kid: I’m known for my combo slaps and had labored during the campaign to get everyone I trade stickers with into the mix. In particular, boards using the epic Obama for President poster by Zoltron as a centerpiece. It simply involves collage techniques and composition. One of these boards made it into Time magazine’s man of the year issue with a Shepard Fairey portrait on the cover.

Billi Kid's sticker combo made it into the Person of the Year issue of Time Magazine in December. (courtesy Billi Kid)

One of Billi Kid’s sticker collaboration pieces in the Person of the Year issue of Time magazine this past December (courtesy Bill Kid)

The Michelle portrait involved a breakdown of her likeness into a two-layer stencil. The actual portrait used in the magazine was a print pasted on the collage board, but this would be same technique used to execute my stencils. I plan some stencil boards of this in the near future. Look for it on the streets.

Brooklyn Street Art: Your work typically employs a lot of color, why did you chose simple black and white?

Billi Kid: So far all of my stencil boards are colored backgrounds with black and white stenciled layers on top. I was planning to do a stencil originally, but time did not allow it. Besides that, stickers became a factor.

Is it all black and white? (courtesy Billi Kid)

Is it all black and white? (courtesy Billi Kid)

Brooklyn Street Art: What is the significance of placing her head on a bed of stickers?

Billi Kid: In conversation with the magazine, I understood they wanted artists to interpret their ideas about Michelle into their portrait. For me, it became clear that I had to use stickers because they represented community and inclusion to me. Precisely what the Obamas are about. It felt right to get all of my brothers and sisters from around the country and the world into the magazine. Kind of a one-world point of view.

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you heard from the other sticker artists who are in the piece? Were they excited?

Billi Kid: Yeah!!! They love this about my work. They trust that the work goes up, instead of into a private little black book. That they get published is icing on the cake. This approach pays ample dividends for me. What goes around comes around.

Brooklyn Street Art: A lot of artists want to be published but aren’t familiar with the process that happens during editing. Was your piece altered at all by the editors? Was there a lot of back and forth discussion?

Billi Kid: We discussed my idea at length and fortunately I had plenty of samples to illustrate my intent. The only discouraging edit was the fact that they cropped the image so tight. The board went temporarily up somewhere in the Bronx and I wanted the environment to be part of the final cut. Unfortunately, this did not happen – for good reason – it was about Michelle after all, lol.

The original piece by Billi Kid

The original piece by Billi Kid

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you have any special connection to the first lady, her personal story?

Billi Kid: Only in so far as what we all have heard about her. Like her husband; a self-made independent person who picked herself up by the straps of her boots and carved a place for herself in the American landscape. Precisely what Republicans always say about their vision for America, no handouts, just the courage to move forward with the gifts given to you by our creator.

Brooklyn Street Art: What role do you think Street Artists play in the public discourse of politics or social issues?

Billi Kid: The same role graffiti has always played on the word stage throughout history; to give voice to opinions not paid for by the ruling parties. Until recently, it had always been about politics, not just pissing on the wall.

Brooklyn Street Art: What project are you working on right now?

Billi Kid: I just completed four canvases commission by the Ace hotel opening in NYC and am now co-curating, with the incomparable Luna Park, an exiting new exhibition, theGREAToutDOORS opening at Artbreak Gallery in Williamsburg May 2nd.

Ultimate Collabo (courtesy Billi Kid)

Ultimate Collabo; Billy and Luna  (courtesy Billi Kid)

Luna Park

Billi Kid

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Images of the Week 04.19.09

Images of the Week 04.19.09

The Army of the Creative Spirit must be continuously on guard for the minions of mediocrity! (Nomade ) (photo Jaime Rojo)

General Howe
“Where’s that durn Tea Party?” (General Howe) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Agony and the Exstacy
A stunning carved piece of Totemic import! “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (Faile) (photo Jaime Rojo)

The spinning tale of Faile (Faile) (photo Jaime Rojo)

“The Agony and the Ecstasy” (Faile) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Spring is Here
The magnolia trees are in bloom in BKLN (photo Jaime Rojo)

Looking for a lodge perhaps. (Mosstika) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Echoes of Easter on the street. (Mosstika) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Insidious corporate branding? (Mosstika) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Smells nice out here (Mosstika ) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Vietnamese Punk
Generation Gap (photo Jaime Rojo)

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Aiko at Joshua Liner Gallery Tonight

A growing force to reckon with, Aiko Nakagawa puts the Pow! in pretty things.

Months in the making, the solo show “Love Monster” opens at Joshua Liner with vast collage pieces, poppy colors and bold black&white, bunnies, silkscreens, silk stockings, symbols and sex kittens as collected and arranged by Aiko, artist and street artist.

Frequently she’s mentioned as a former member of the Brooklyn street art collective Faile but we can probably drop that reference and just talk about this dynamic talent on her own merits from now on, as Aiko continues to push her women past the simple gimmick to a position that asserts it’s own power. Mining many of the same cultural reference points as her street art contemporaries, she figures out how to free them from camp and irony. “In your face” isn’t a pose, it’s the posture.


"Madam Butterfly" Aiko courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery

Aiko at Joshua Liner Gallery (photo courtesy theworldsbestever.com)

"Welcome to the planet of Lady A" Aiko courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery


"Wet Dreams 2" Aiko courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery


"Lady Kill" Aiko courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery

‘Love Monster’
Solo Exhibition in Galleries I and II
April 18 to May 16, 2009
Reception: Saturday April 18th from 6-9 pm


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Willoughby Windows presented by Ad Hoc

Ad Hoc Art presents Willoughby Windows

Friday, July 10th, 2 – 7pm = Ad Hoc Art presents “Willoughby Windows”

An ambitious creative venture featuring 14 storefronts on an entire block of downtown Brooklyn which will highlight installations by 15+ artists. The opening will be a street party on Friday, June 19th, from 2-7pm. Some of New York’s artistic finest will be representing to the fullest.

Confirmed participating artists include:

Cannonball Press (Mike Houston & Martin Mazorra)
Chris Stain
Dennis McNett
Ellis G
Greg Lamarche
John Ahearn
Josh MacPhee
Lady Pink
Logan Hicks
Carlos Rodriguez {Mare139}
Michael De Feo
Morning Breath
Nathan Lee Pickett
Tom Beale

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Images of the Week 04.05.09

Images of the Week 04.05.09

All tapped out (Aakash Nihalani and ?) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Skewville leads the way (Skewville) (photo Jaime Rojo)
And where was this one taken? (Skewville) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Pistolero (photo Jaime Rojo)Erika and the 4 handed Pistolero (The Dude Company, Pistolero) (photo Jaime Rojo)

That Dali is always trying to get your attention (Joe Black) (photo Jaime Rojo)
That Dali is always trying hog the camera (Joe Black) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Col from Robots Will Kill (photo Jaime Rojo)
Col from Robots Will Kill (photo Jaime Rojo)

Yo, son, she is Tree Chic! (photo Jaime Rojo)
OMG, she is Tree Chic! (photo Jaime Rojo)

Miss Bugs (photo Jaime Rojo)
The Ears Just Scream Mickey (Miss Bugs) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Bishop 203
I love me some good down-home old-timey organ music! (Imminent Disaster, Bishop 203) (photo Jaime Rojo)

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Posterboy! Posterboy! Oh and there were four other artists next door.

April showers only slightly dampened the mood in Bushwick Brooklyn

at two openings Friday night. AdHoc featured 4 fine artists from outside New York in their various gallery spaces, while Eastern District devoted their room entirely to the first solo show of Posterboy that drew an excited inquisitive crowd.

Ekundayo & Joshua Clay shared the front gallery, where their complimentary illustration styles and sordid-themed murals easily took over and called the space home.

Hawaiin born L.A. native Ekundayo’s contorted curmugeons and malformed miscreants sang a song of sixpence, saliva, and silly – in a well formed cast of characters that could be called a family (but you may want to pack a crucifix in your picnic basket on reunion day). In fact one looks kind of like my Aunt Marge.

Lookout, Cannonball! (Ekundayo at AdHoc Art) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Lookout, Cannonball! (Ekundayo courtesy AdHoc Art) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

A well regarded talent in the current post-pop L.A. scene, Joshua Clay, easily opens the door to dark dens of iniquity with playful flair.

Whisky and wayward women are a sure way to run afoul of the church. One of the murals in the gallery (Joshua Clay courtesy AdHoc Art) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Elisabeth Timpone held down the alcove with her own mini-show called “Tails of the North”. The collection of finely inked animals and creatures read like shaker drawings, but closer my dear pretty, come closer, and see friendship, fear, and feral savagery.

Elizabeth Timpone courtesy of AdHoc Gallery (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Elizabeth Timpone courtesy of AdHoc Gallery (photo Steven P. Harrington)

To curvaceously round out the show with 60’s pop poster colors and buxom babes was TheDirtyFabulous. A sort of cherry on top, you might say.

TheDirtyFabulous courtesy Ad Hoc Art (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Peter Max, the Grateful Dead, & Juggs Magazine all Come Together Over Me (TheDirtyFabulous courtesy Ad Hoc Art) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

And just steps away, the subway slicing superhero/s stirred the minions of inquisitive fans into Eastern District Gallery for Posterboy‘s first solo show.

Adbusters all (courtesy Eastern District) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Adbusters all (courtesy Eastern District) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

The show consisted of two very large expanses of billboard grade vinyl stretched along facing long walls and loosely affixed pieces creating a new story with the same material.

From the vinal were cut familiar shapes from Picasso paintings and a troubled-looking Obama under the lettered banner “Hype?”. Tongues wagged about meanings, motives, and make-believe, as gallery goers read into the wall pieces and donated $5 for a sticker stencilled with “Posterboy ?”.

Don't believe it (Posterboy courtesy of Eastern District) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Don’t Believe It (Posterboy courtesy Eastern District) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

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Miss Bugs and Joe Black at Brooklynite Tonite

Miss Bugs and Joe Black at Brooklynite Tonite

They’re calling it “2 Many Artists”, as if there were such a thing.

While the Queen is back home poking tentatively at her new iPod wheelie, Miss Bugs and Joe Black crossed the ocean to come here and mash up the cultural icons and clip art and whatever else is handy on the Kings Highway.ssbugs

And to round out the Royal Family references, it’s Prince Paul on the wheels of deal.

That will be all.

Brooklynite Gallery

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Aiko at Joshua Liner Gallery

Opening April 18, 2009

April 18 – May 16, 2009

Love Monster by Aiko (courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery)

Love Monster by Aiko (courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery)

Born in Tokyo and living in NYC since 1996, well known as founding member of art collective FAILE. In 2006 she started her solo career and has been exhibiting her stencil/silk screen paintings in major cities such as NY, LA, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Barcelona.

Artist Statement

Aiko finds her inspiration in the streets, Kawaii culture, and the energy and sexuality of women everywhere. Brought stateside to study film, she found she could hide in plain-sight by plastering her images anonymously throughout the city. Street-steam accompanies the exploration of the female form and character. Playing between childhood flashbacks and future visions, snapshots of memories peer from the gentle decay of their surroundings, and read like an autobiography. Her now iconic visions of fairy tale nightmare’s and pulp-fiction seduction are free to explore the themes of romance, morality, and religion that were only glimmers within her earlier work. Combing her stenciling, with brushwork and spray paint to recreate the urban decay of her work on the city streets, vixens and virgins with pop-culture sensibilities embody all the sexuality that fuels its spirit.

Joshua Liner Gallery

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