Chris Stain and Billy Mode “For Martha”

This weekend for BSA was a little bit of street art and graffiti history alchemy, transmuted by the presence of the lady we were all doing it for, Martha Cooper. To celebrate her birthday and the soon to be unveiled “Martha Cooper: Remix” show at Carmichael Gallery in Culver City, CA, Street Artists Chris Stain and Billy Mode sprayed aerosol into gold using imagery from her photography as base inspiration.

brooklyn-street-art-chris-stain-billy-mode-for-martha-jaime-rojo-03-11-web- 2Chris Stain and Billy Mode (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On this bitterly cold and windy Brooklyn night, the good humored boys were blowing through cans on tops of shaking ladders, continuously working against the elements for what Chris called “some xtreme painting”. While taking a break to warm up inside, everybody had some chocolate birthday cake and Martha flipped through Subway Art with Chris and Billy, answering questions and relating stories about what it was like for her to capture graffiti on trains in New York in the 1970s and what it’s like to see Street Artists like Chris Stain interpreting her photographs today. 

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode in the reflection of rainwater pooled  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our first conversations in September ’09 with Martha for a posting on BSA that discussed art inspired by her work evolved into a 50-artist “remix” show featuring old-school graff writers and new guard street artists next month.

“I thought about what we had done, what you had done in that blog post. We talked about how artists had used my work and I thought, ‘Why don’t I do that?’ ,” Martha remarks on the formation of her show plan.

It has been a genuine honor to be a part of the process and to see the pieces coming in to Ms. Cooper’s studio for the show. It’s also been intoxicating to imagine the relationships and personal paths that have intersected in the pursuit of artistic expression. Each invited artist has a very personal take on the influence of her photographs from a 40 year span, and the directions they take the work are myriad. Watching Chris and Billy create this large scale wall tribute in Brooklyn reminds us of the interconnected worlds of Graffiti Art and Street Art and how Ms. Coopers’ photography has contributed to the history and artistry of both.

Here are a few shots by Jaime Rojo of the installation for a sneak peek of this great experience – with a full length feature interview with Martha and commentary about the nature of the image from Chris and many more images coming this week.

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo © Jaime Rojo


BSA…………..BSA…………..BSA……………

Martha Cooper : Remix
Featuring original photography from Martha Cooper and original remixes from Aeon, Anton van Dalen, Aiko, Barry McGee, Bio, Nicer, B-Gee, Blade, Blanco, BurningCandy Crew, Cey, Cekis, Chris Stain, Claw, Cosbe, Crash, Dabs & Myla, Daze, DEARRAINDROP, FAUST, Flying Fortress, Freedom, Fumakaka World Dominator, Futura, Gaia, How & Nosm, Jane Dickson, John Ahearn, Jose Parla, Kenny Scharf, LA II, Lady Pink, Lee Quinones, Anthony Lister, Logan Hicks, The London Police, Mark Bode, Nazzareno Stencil, Nunca, Mare, Quik, Evil Dr. Revolt, Shepard Fairey, Skewville, Subway Art History, Swoon, T-Kid, Terror161 and Victor Castillo.

Coming to Carmichael Gallery April 9.

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