May 2011

Over Under “Building on Building” at XY and Z Gallery (PLUS NEW VIDEO)

Brooklyn based Street Artist Over Under opens his first solo show in “Building on Building” opening at XYandZ Gallery in Minneapolis, transporting his architectural fever dreams to Minnesota for a hot minute.  It’s all about relationships.

brooklyn-street-art-overunder-xyandz-gallery-3-webOver Under (detail of a piece for “Building on Building”) (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Artists who run in the streets of dense cities have a special relationship with buildings, seeing them as potential canvas, laboratory, love affair, and sometimes their perdition. In Over Under’s case, the very structures he was painting and pasting upon got recycled through his mind as worthy of caricature and portrait.

Approximately a year ago when the artist’s prolific output was hard to miss, his fascination with our built environment went on a full REM cycle with a continual metamorphose of architectural elements bending and bundled together with lyrically disembodied limbs. During his nearly two weeks in Minneapolis making work with his buddies Broken Crow, the arms and legs continue to poke into and out of roofs, windows and walls like so many orifices and protuberances entangled in one stately mass.


Over Under (detail of a piece for “Building on Building”) features a painting of a figure spraying across the door way, clearly under a watchful eye. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Passersby here are sometimes astonished, and filled with questions. Is he exploring the relationship between space and personal relationships or is he examining the construct/construction that creates inside and outside, or is he reacting to the ongoing overtaking of Williamsburg and Bushwick real estate by dullard developers? Or is he just in love?

And what about this iconic flying plane with a stream-of-consciousness line of haiku diary entry arching over it? Is it a bird? Is it graffiti, a tag, Street Art or vandalism? Maybe these questions are at play because Over Under is still playing with them, or maybe because there are not clear answers.  To us it’s all part of the conversation on the street, which never stops. Tonight, however, the conversation goes in through the doors as Over Under brings the buildings and bridges and foundations and superstructures and rolldown gates and lithe limbs inside for the night. We’ll see what sticks out.


A recently completed large scale wall in Bushwick, Brooklyn by Over Under (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Over Under (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Over Under (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Over Under (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Video Completed Yesterday by Over Under


Opening Reception Saturday May 28th 6p-10p
Runs through June 18th

XYandZ Gallery
3258 Minnehaha Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55406

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Fun Friday 05.27.11


If you decide to stay in the city this holiday weekend you can incite your imagination and feed your intellectual curiosity by walking the streets for the great out door gallery, or go inside to see great new stuff.

1. Happy 70th Birthday Bob Dylan (a couple of days ago)
2. “Paint It Now” Tonight in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
3. Miss Van and Gaia Double Bill at Jonathan Levine
4. Shai Dahan Solo Show in Gothenburg, Sweden
5. Melrose & Fairfax Saturday “What Graffiti is to New York, Street Art is to Los Angeles”
6. FAILE SAYZ: PLAY WITH YOUR ART! Release Puzzle Boxes
7. DJ Mayonaise Hands Insightful Review of ELIK at Brooklynite
8. Narcelio Grud
9. FEIK in Brazil by Sampa Graffiti

Happy 70th Birthday Bob Dylan (a couple of days ago)

“Paint It Now” Tonight in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Paint It Now makes its NYC debut in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood (just north of Williamsburg). The show’s curators, Thomas Buildmore and Scott Chasse partner with Fowler Arts Collective for this Brooklyn-centric show, although Philadelphia and Boston represent.


FEATURED ARTISTS: Morgan Thomas Anderson, Royce Bannon, Thomas Buildmore, Scott Chasse, Darkclouds, Robert daVies, El Celso, Martin Esteves, Veronica Hanssens, Jessica Hess, Keely, Kenji Nakayama, Nineta, Nose Go,
Cense, Damion Silver, John Skibo, Ben Woodward

Fowler Arts, 67 West Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11222.

Miss Van and Gaia Double Bill at Jonathan Levine

Miss Van “Bailarinas” and Gaia “Succession” opened last night at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea in Manhattan. Miss Van has been painting since her teenage years in France and in Europe and Gaia is celebrating his recent graduation from MICA in Baltimore. Congratulations GAIA!


(images courtesy of the Gallery)

For more details on this show, times and address click on the link below”

Shai Dahan Solo Show in Gothenburg, Sweden

Shai Dahan moved to Sweden last year and, wasting no time, he set up to work on his new art  projects as soon as the plane touched ground. Today he invites all people that happen to be in Gothenburg , Sweden to come to the opening of his solo show “Things Come Undone” at the Artspace + Us Gallery.


Shai Dahan “To catch a thief”. Detail (photo © Shai Dahan)

To read more details, time and location for this show go to:

Melrose & Fairfax Saturday “What Graffiti is to New York, Street Art is to Los Angeles”


On Saturday the West Coast Street Art site Melrose&Fairfax invites you to attend the opening reception of their curatorial debut “What Graffiti is to New York, Street Art is to Los Angeles” at the Maximillian Gallery in West Hollywood, CA.


Desire Obtain Cherish (photo © Birdman). Desire Obtain Cherish collective is included in this show and they are based in Los Angeles, CA. This is their most recent billboard takeover.  Click on their name above to go their site for more information about this project.

Participating artists include: Alec Monopoly, Free Humanity, Smog City, Bankrupt Slut, DeeKay, Bod Bod, 2twenty, Snyder, Gregory Stiff, KH no. 7, Desire Obtain Cherish, CYRCLE. & DD$, Leba and Homo Riot.

For more details on this show, time and address click below:


Brooklyn Street Art: You know I was just thinking about the blocks and interactivity. I wonder if you could make a piece where some of the blocks were free and the person who buys it could play with the blocks.

Patrick Miller: Hey, you’re really onto something!

Patrick McNeil: Let’s go upstairs.

Brooklyn Street Art: You’ve already thought of this!

(from FAILE Studio Visit on BSA last fall)

Street Art Collective Faile have released a set of six different Puzzleboxes to the public. When we visited their studio last year they were in the process of creating these fun, interactive fine art pieces and now they are available, with an app on Itunes to boot.

brooklyn-street-art-faile-puzzle-boxesbrooklyn-street-art-faile-puzzle-boxesFor information about the Puzzleboxes and to purchase go to:

DJ Mayonaise Hands Insightful Review of ELIK at Brooklynite

Narcelio Grud

Brazilian artist Narcelio Grud was filmed getting up all day in Manhester, UK where the only thing that really got in his way was a flock of adorable baby geese crossing his path.

FEIK in Brazil by Sampa Graffiti

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Jonathan Levine Gallery Presents: Miss Van “Bailarinas” and Gaia “Succession” (Manhattan, NY)


brooklyn-street-art-Miss-Van_Bailarinas-jonathan-levine-galleryMiss Van “Bailarinas 5” (image courtesy of the Gallery)


Gaia “Incredulity of Redevelopment” (image courtesy of the Gallery

Miss Van

Gallery I
Solo Exhibition

May 26, 2011 through June 25, 2011

NEW YORK, NY (May 3, 2011) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce Bailarinas, new works by French-born, Barcelona-based artist Miss Van, in what will be her second solo exhibition at the gallery and first solo show in New York in six years.

Miss Van’s signature aesthetic revolves around sultry female subjects, which she refers to as poupées (or dolls, in French), alluding to elements of fantasy and narrative in her work. Their direct gaze, pouty lips, voluptuous curves and erotic gestures have a provocative appeal—some playful, others dark—emotionally charged and empowered by uninhibited sexuality. ?Miss Van began painting these alluring figures in the streets of Toulouse, France, as a teenager nearly twenty years ago. The characters have since matured along with the artist who now works mainly in the studio, allowing time to refine her imagery through delicate pencil renderings on paper and loose brush strokes on canvas and wood. Recently, Miss Van was invited to participate in Art in the Streets, a major group exhibition currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, California.

Along with her ultra-feminine figures, Miss Van has been known to incorporate animal familiars such as deer, rabbits and foxes. These creatures have a pet-like relationship with the mysterious temptresses who wear doll-like princess dresses or ballerina-tulle skirts with hints of lingerie textures such as corsets, ruffles, lace and fishnet. The women frequently appear topless and often wear masquerade-style masks, as well. Recently, the masks have become less decorative and increasingly more animal-like, adding significance to the dialogue created by the character’s human-animal relationships by amplifying themes of identity, role-play, fetish, and freedom to express the wild (animalistic) side of natural human instinct.

The joie de vivre pleasure principle, innate in French culture, informs much of Miss Van’s body of work. In Bailarinas, a series of pastel works on paper portray isolated figures in nostalgic poses inspired by vintage erotic portraiture. Additional acrylic and mixed media works on canvas and wood panel feature subjects inspired by dancers, driven by the sensually liberating experience of self-expression through physical control and movement of the body. The performance aspect of dance and the act of putting on a seductive show for a viewer or audience reinforces themes of fantasy and desire while also offering an interesting parallel to the artist’s craft, as both are forms of visual storytelling.

Miss Van was born in 1973 in Toulouse, France and is currently based in Barcelona, Spain. In 1991, at the age of 18, the artist started painting the streets of Toulouse as one of the first female artists in the European street art scene. In 1993, Miss Van began to include poupée (doll) figures in her work, her own stylized interpretation of pin-up posed Manga-inspired characters, which would become her signature imagery. In 2003, she left France, re-locating to her current home in Barcelona, Spain. In the years since, her work has been widely published and exhibited in galleries and museums, worldwide.


Project Room
Solo Exhibition

May 26, 2011 through June 25, 2011

NEW YORK, NY (May 9, 2011) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Succession, new works by Gaia, in what will be the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. ?Works in Succession—comprised of drawing, painting and various relief-cut printmaking techniques—will be incorporated into a site-specific installation in the gallery’s project room. Re-creating street scenes as a background setting for his work, Gaia will transform the space, bringing the texture and energy of his urban interventions into the white box environment.

The artist’s chosen pseudonym, Gaia, is a name taken from the primordial Greek goddess personifying the Earth, more universally referred to as Mother Earth or Mother Nature. While he has been known to create portraits of human faces, Gaia’s ambiguous imagery most often depicts totemic creatures with animal heads and human bodies as well as expressive hand gestures. He occasionally fuses the features of different animals together, forming imagined, amalgamated hybrids. These chimeric subjects are filled with Art History references, inspired by various sources including biblical figures, ancient mythology and mystical folklore.

Additional layers of symbolism and interpretation emerge as Gaia’s works are encountered within the context of the urban landscape. Like apparitions, they confront the viewer as oracles with a powerful capacity to address contemporary social and environmental issues concerning consumer culture, consumption and sustainability. The juxtaposition of wild animal imagery pasted onto man-made architecture was a significant choice for the artist because, in his own words: “Having lived most of my life in New York City, I personally felt like I never had a connection to nature; it was so distant and idealistic.”

Born in 1988 in New York City, Gaia currently divides his time between Brooklyn, New York and Baltimore, Maryland. In 2007, as a senior in High School, Gaia became interested in the growing global street art movement. Drawing influence from contemporary artists such as Swoon and Elbow-toe, he began to paste his artwork on the streets of his native New York. After experimenting locally, it was only a few years before he would expand his imagery to urban spaces in other U.S. cities as well as International locations. In May 2011, Gaia received a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, with a concentration in printmaking and sculpture. With sophistication beyond his years, the promising young artist’s studio work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. His street art has been documented, followed widely online and published in a number of recent publications including Beyond the Street: The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art.

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New Work from Specter in Chicago

New work from Specter speaks of his desire to not repeat himself, a quality distinguishing the New Guard of street artists, whose work is highly individual and hand made, from those of the recent past.

The Brooklyn based Street Artist generally denounces the culture of repetition in street art, and takes the practice of making multiples under careful consideration. His precise handmade wheat-pastes and paintings often highlight the individual, many of them regular folks he’s met on the street – and you will usually only see one of them.

brooklyn-street-art-specter-chicago-05-11-1-webSpecter. From “If I Saw You in Heaven” (photo courtesy © of the Artist)

Right now he’s been toying with retooling his work and recently in Chicago he created new stuff that appears to be a repetition of himself without really putting up the same piece twice.  The first piece is from his “If I Saw You in Heaven” series, and the second is from his “Window Project”. Says the artist “It plays with repetition in multiple ways, but on my own terms.”

To expand on the theme, his new show “Repeat Offender” at Pawn Works in Chicago continues the repetition, where he’s showing his work in new tints and configurations, sort of sidebusting himself.


Specter. From “If I Saw You in Heaven” (photo courtesy © of the Artist)


“99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beeeeeeer!  You take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of beeeeeer! ” Specter. From “Window Project” (photo courtesy © of the Artist)


Specter. From “Window Project” (photo courtesy © of the Artist)


Specter. From “Window Project” (photo courtesy © of the Artist)

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Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld and Andy Valmorbida Present: RETNA: The Hallelujah World Tour at the Old Dairy (London, UK)


brooklyn-street-art-retna-jaime-rojo-02-11-web-6RETNA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RETNA: The Hallelujah World Tour

The Old Dairy, 7 Wakefield St, London, WC1N 1PB

9 June – 27 June 2011

Preview: Wednesday 8 June 2011, 6-9pm

An exhibition of new works by Los Angeles based artist RETNA will be presented by Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld and Andy Valmorbida at the Old Dairy, London, from 9 June until 27 June 2011. The Hallelujah World Tour represents RETNA’s first solo UK exhibition.

RETNA’s work draws on an array of influences including Asian calligraphy, Incan and Egyptian hieroglyphics, Hebrew and Arabic script, traditional UK gang style graffiti writings and the tagging and graffiti seen in Los Angeles since the 1970’s . Within these traditions he has created a distinct and innovative style. RETNA presents 30 new works fusing a variety of different mediums including drawing, painting and poetry.

Yielding an unmistakable aesthetic, he has emerged as one of the most prolific graffiti artists in the contemporary art world.  Since the mid-1990s RETNA has participated in over 30 international exhibitions, and his work was recently selected to feature in ‘Art in the Streets’, a major retrospective of street art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA. Gallery Director Jeffrey Deitch commented, ‘The approach to his work is so internalized that Retna doesn’t have to agonize, and think, what do I do next? He just starts in the upper left corner and moves across a surface. The only other artist that I know who was able to do that was Keith Haring.’

Retna was introduced to L.A.’s mural culture from an early age, and whilst still at school led one of the largest and most innovative graffiti art collectives in the city. He is best known for appropriating fashion advertisements and amplifying them with his unique layering, intricate line work, text-based style and incandescent color palette reflecting an eclectic artistic tradition.

Recent projects have included a solo exhibition, ‘Silver Lining’, during Art Basel Miami Beach at Primary Projects (2010); the world’s largest street level mural Installation, ‘Primary Flight’ (2010); a solo exhibition, ‘Desaturated’, at New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles (2010); a mural for the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Miami, Florida (2009); and ‘Vagos y Reinas’ at Robert Berman Gallery (2009).

This exhibition represents the second part of a three stop world tour of RETNA’s work, in collaboration with Bombardier Business Aircraft and VistaJet. As part of the project, RETNA will create a unique work on the tail of one of VistaJet’s Global Express XRS aircraft. The tour began in New York in February 2011 and will conclude with an exhibition in Hong Kong later this year.

Andy Valmorbida comments, ‘At the age of 31, Retna is able to identify himself as a rising star within the international contemporary art world, and is one of the very few artists I have seen who is able to stand next to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean Michel-Basquiat in terms of identity, stroke and gesture and will hold a key place as one of the major forces in the new movement of fine Street Artists.’

The Old Dairy is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm. Admission is free.

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Derek Dipietro Re-Imagines C215

College student Derek Dipietro fell for some stencils by French Street Artist C215 on his recent trip to Amsterdam. The stenciled images are most likely of people who live in the area, as C215 likes to photograph neighborhoods’ residents, frequently the marginalized among them.  The artist considers his stencils to be a gift to the community, and a way for a locality to retain its individual character. Dipietro was so impressed by what he found that he began to play with and alter his photos using image software called Aperture, and in the process began to create new interpretations.

brooklyn-street-art-c215-derek-Dipietro-amsterdam-3-webDerek’s orginal photo of some stencils by Street Artist C215. Below are two re-interpretations of the boy stencil he made using Aperture. (photo © Derek Dipietro)

From working with C215 to create his most recent monograph, we know that the artist encourages photographers to interpret his work in any way they wish, so he no doubt would be pleased to see this youth from North Carolina State University learning how to tweak photos of his work.  Since we like to celebrate the creative spirit, we’re excited anytime somebody wants to share his or her creations too.


C215 (photo © Derek Dipietro)

It’s also part of technological and cultural literacy for us all to understand the new tools that are employed to alter imagery throughout the world today, and to appreciate and respect the power that we all wield with creative mouse clicking. Similarly, we have to consider our responsibility to attribute authorship and how to protect it, and when. In the wrong hands, an artist’s work can be abused or appropriated for profit, which is where the grey areas get defined.

Keep up your studies Derek and thanks for sharing your work and your interpretations of the work of C215.


C215 (photo © Derek Dipietro)


Dipietro’s original photo above and his re-interpretation of the image below.  (photo © Derek Dipietro)


C215 (photo © Derek Dipietro)


Derek also sent this photo of a house he took in Santa Cruz, CA. By using the same process he used for the C215 images, the house is quickly transformed. © Derek Dipietro

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Collaborative Individuality : Robots Will Kill, Plus Friends

Veng and Chris of RWK Plus Overunder, Never, Peeta and ECB Finish a Wall in Bushwick

Sometime in April we brought you a wall in progress with the tireless Veng and Chris of RWK in collaboration with Overunder, Never, Peeta and ECB for good measure. The guys finished their work a while ago and finally last week we had time to go and check it out. Not surprisingly, each member continues to tighten their individual visions and the wall is richly painted with beautiful details, vivid imagination and a mastery of the can.

Brooklyn-street-art-overunder-RWK-veng-chris-ecb-never-peeta-jaime-rojo-05-11-web-1ECB corner (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The walls of Robots Will Kill and friends can sometimes resemble an open sketchbook of imagination, predilection and pursuit; with Western and urban styles that coexist and interact, if not merge. A 90s 3-D wild style meets 2-D cartoon while a molten white man’s dinosaur heads floats nearby ominously. An ever evolving collective of painters, these friends have worked together often, watching their individual interests and styles develop and articulate.


Veng and Chris of RWK and Overunder (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In this fresh spring collection, the new element of an absurdist nature comes from the mind of Overunder, who sweeps up Veng’s 15th century oil portraits with the roll down gates of city bodegas, depositing them in a ramshackle pile of human limbs and signage like a receding tornado. Another subtle humorist, Overunder gives his gates appropriate adornment; graffiti throwups, tags, a robot from Chris RWK and the time honored graff dis – “Toy” sprayed across a Nike logo.


Veng and Chris of RWK, Overunder, Peeta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Somehow Veng’s formalist portrait retains its character and remains drolly poker-faced and disinterested among the debris, and Chris RWK’s robot rises above quizzically in a Shakespearian robe from the Costume Department. The crowning achievement is the deli-canopied cladding Veng’s character head gets – a surreal Star Wars / Escape From New York helmet that flies him here from a Van Ecykian past.


Chris of RWK and Peeta (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris of RWK, Peeta and Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris of RWK, Peeta and Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Veng of RWK and Overunder (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Overunder and Chris of RWK (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Peeta and Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Veng and Chris of RWK, Overunder, Peeta and Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Veng and Chris of RWK, Overunder, Peeta, Never and ECB  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Veng and Chris of RWK, Overunder, Peeta, Never and ECB  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Manhattan Gets It Up : Beast Fools With Subway Map

brooklyn-street-art-Beast -NYC-subway-map-05-11-5-web

You ever notice how train lines look like veins on the subway map?

A couple of weeks ago we featured the work of street artist Beast on benches at bus stops in Los Angeles where he caught our beloved super heroes standing in the unemployment line.

This weekend he played with the NYC subway map and put it out for public inspection with a project titled “Unexpected Improvements”.  Getting this outcome is not as hard as it looks, rather it’s the angle.  Beast simply rotated the typical subway map 90 degrees. Tourists gladly pointed to it’s features while some quizzical old timers took a little while more to gander at it, wondering what seemed different about the new map.

Luckily we have photos to show you because almost all of them are down now. Guess even the Beast can’t keep it up forever.

brooklyn-street-art-Beast -NYC-subway-map-05-11-webBeast (Image courtesy © Beast)

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Beast (Image courtesy © Beast)

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Beast (Image courtesy © Beast)

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Beast (Image courtesy © Beast)

brooklyn-street-art-Beast -NYC-subway-map-05-11-4-web

Beast (Image courtesy © Beast)

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Beast (Image courtesy © Beast)

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Beast (Image courtesy © Beast)

Click here for more BEAST

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