The country is in the grip of a COLD SNAP! Forecasters are predicting a wind chill of -50 degrees in the Dakotas tonight.
Good thing M-City has his orange pants!
Those insulated winterized dungarees kept M-City warm in December when he was doing a one-man factory-cityscape with Ad Hoc in Queens, and right now as he finishes a collaboration with Gaia in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. Here’s some pictures and comments from both installations and both Street Artists.
This panorama shot shows the whole installation like it hasn’t been seen before. (courtesy the artist)
Brooklyn Street Art: How did you get involved with this project?
M-City: I’m on holidays in NYC. I love to travel and paint in different places, so it’s good to be here and leave my work on the streets of NYC. I asked before my trip some friend about how to get some walls to paint. They found me this space via Ad Hoc Gallery. It took me three and a half days to do this wall with snow and really bad weather.
Brooklyn Street Art: What is the inspiration behind the piece?
M-City: It’s a story about the industrial city jungle. There are some factories that look like an animal. I chose bulls and elephants. They are very strong like engines in factories. In the background it’s a city landscape and leaves. Of course as always in all my works everything is black and white.
Brooklyn Street Art: Is it hard to do this work in cold weather conditions?
M-City: Not really, of course summer is much better to paint. In my country at this time is the same weather. If you use stencils, it’s only one problem … wind. If you use one it’s easy, but I use sometimes 100-200 stencils for one piece. And if the wind is coming you must have a lots hand to catch them all.
Brooklyn Street Art: What is your wish for 2010?
M-City: Nothing special, keep all good waves from 2009, and create more good waves in the new year…
Last night in Brooklyn M-City and Gaia worked together on a collaboration, a city scape of hundreds of buildings with two large screaming starling heads emerging from the clutter – a wall scored by Brooklynite Gallery just for the installation.
During the roughly 6 hours in 25 degree weather, many people walking by stopped to say hello and ask questions about what the art was, how it was created, and if it had anything to do with the Martin Scorcese film that is happening a couple blocks away. Two spritely teen-age girls wanted to know if we were shooting a video, because, if so, they would like to be in it. One woman inquired about how she could get her work up on the wall sometime. Two school boys asked about 30 questions in quick succession. The questions kept everyone entertained and distracted from the cold, which caused toes and brains to freeze. Unfortunately, the source of electricity (a beauty shop) had to go home after their last hair-do, and the artists will have to finish the mural soon.
Brooklyn Street Art: How many stencils did you use this time?
M-City: For this piece I used 3 sizes of buildings. About 50 of the small size, the medium size about 50, and the large size maybe 10 or 12. I don’t know how many stencils I have, I never count. I probably have about 200 today.
Brooklyn Street Art: Are you very cold?
M-City: No. For me, no. In Poland now it’s winter. It’s more cold than here. It’s not a perfect time, but it’s okay. This is better for stencils because if it is too hot, the paint is sticky. And it is not windy, so I don’t need 20 hands to keep hold of all my stencils.
While M-City took a break to warm his hands on the projector light-bulb and block Gaia’s view, we asked Gaia a couple of questions:
Brooklyn Street Art: Tell me about this bird you are doing.
Gaia: I made this starling for a show in L.A. that’s opening this Friday. It’s about endangered species. So I decided it would be an interesting perspective to take a species that is, in fact, endangering other species. The starling is an invasive animal that ravages crops and out-competes. So this is a screaming starling head. I’m going to do two.
Brooklyn Street Art: When they scream, what does that signify?
Gaia: It’s more just a frightening gesture. Especially when I put two of them together it forms a tarantula, kind of scary, kind of tough. People have told me that my most successful work is stuff that’s not effeminate. And this spot is interesting to paint because it’s totally dilapidated but with the projector, no matter how textured or dis-assembled the surface is… it works. It’s a pretty sh*tty looking building so once you cover it over with art work it looks better.
Brooklyn Street Art: Well, there was a local minister that just stopped by who’s building a new church in the neighborhood, and stopped by to say “Thank you” and how happy he was that this art was going up.
Gaia: Yeah that is super dope, that is so awesome. He seemed like a very nice guy.
Brooklyn Street Art: This hot chocolate is not very good – they just dumped that Swiss Miss mix into this cup – it’s supposed to have half this much water.
Gaia: It’s hot, that’s all that matters. You know it’s probably all at the bottom, you have to swirl it around. (swings the cup around) Oh, yeah, that totally made a difference. Actually, not that much of a difference.