C215: Piercing Gazes, Storied Lines, and Stunning Stencil Work

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Stencil artist C215 creates portraits of humanity; family, friends, and people who live on the street.

His clarity of detail and multi-lined visages can even give the impression that something more is employed than simple stencilling, but that’s why the word “master” enters the conversation sometimes when people discuss his work.

C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

This street artist has shown in Brooklyn galleries as well as most of the world (most recently in Toronto), and he receives regular invitations to participate in exhibitions.

He’s also partial to running art workshops for local kids and counts Brazil, Morocco, even Senegal among the places he’s had the pleasure of playing art teacher. This love for kids is easy to see in the many depictions of nearly glowing children.

C215 (detail)
C215 (detail) (© Jaime Rojo)

We don’t know when he is coming to New York, but we always know when he has been here.Suddenly these new faces are peering from the sides of dumpsters, doorways, and de-commisioned fire boxes.

C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

His images are often portraits of fellow humans of all ages and genders. He captures his models’ character with compassion – You can almost feel the emotions of his models just by looking at their portraits: pain, sorrow, happiness, peace, longing and loneliness seep through the rivers of creases and wrinkles on their faces.

C215 Bank
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

Tickets please C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

The intensity of gaze and the way in which he draws their eyes is a captivating invitation to go inside their souls and glimpse their lives. It can be difficult to draw yourself away from their piercing and sometimes furious gaze.

C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

C215 (detail)
C215 (detail) (© Jaime Rojo)

C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

His portraits of children in particular are always inspiring and reassuring.  With those images he manages to convey a sense of hope and innocence that we hope is no lost yet. By his own account, he makes a new stencil every week of his daughter to remind her that she is on his mind. In that way, every new stencil is really a snapshot.

C215 (detail)
The sihouetted form among telephone wires is such a powerful evocation that the viewer wants to know the story.   C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

The technique of using multiple pieces  in one stencil means that he can achieve effects that few stencil artists do, and the details – facial hair, folds in fabric, wrinkles… all transcend the pedestrian act of cutting and spraying.

C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

C215 is reported to makes stencils of people in the particular city he is visiting at that time.  It is quite possible that some of these stencils are only found here in Brooklyn.

C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

These images are just a few of C215’s work in Brooklyn as well as a couple of old pieces that have not yet been published here before.  Hope you like looking at them.

C215
C215 (© Jaime Rojo)

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