El Sol 25 – New Figurative and “Ransom Note” Style Wheatpastes

El Sol 25 has appeared again suddenly with a handful of the collage style paintings in two distinct styles that have distinguished his work from many others on the New York scene for the last handful of years.

We are now getting accustomed to the ransom letter style phrases that he began over the last year or so – bringing to mind other font fans on the street like D*Face, Eine, and Greg Lamarche. The difference here is the technique where El Sol 25 hand paints each collaged message on paper in studio and then wheatpastes the one-of-kind piece on the street.


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The figurative works that you are more familiar with are also back, a product of mixing and matching limbs, torsos, and heads from myriad sources that result in unusual, nearly incongruous compositions stretching your area of acceptance and narrative comprehension ever further to consider what is harmony, and what is chaos. Again you may see similarities to others on the street – most notably the sort of slash and slice and recollecting collage work currently on the street by practitioners like Judith Supine, Dain, and more recently, Dee Dee. Not surprisingly, El Sol 25 takes it in a more painterly direction again by hand painting with brushes the entire collaged figure on butcher paper (or similar) and pasting the one-off composition on a wall.


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is perhaps because of this highly labor intensive one-off process that you do not see the former graffiti bomber on the street very often. If he had made multiples and repeatedly placed them all over the city like taggers in the graffiti tradition, the name would be possibly be more ubiquitous. But as it turns out, these one-of-a-kind pieces appear quietly and loudly and singularly and standing in a doorway or on a wall for a few months, then fading and decaying and disappearing without a lot of fanfare.


Not sure if this panda in a suit is part of the piece from El Sol 25, but it probably is. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The pileup manner that the pieces are placed on walls that are sometimes already heavily bombed has also brought attention to the artist from writers and other Street Artists because it sometimes is interpreted as being too close to other works or placed directly over works that may not be considered to have had their full run or to have fallen far enough into disrepair.  That is probably why you see new tags or works appearing quickly over El Sol’s sometimes. Other times the painted paste ups lay amidst the visual chaos untouched as if the new composition/collaboration/conversation has been deemed amenable to all parties.

To the majority of passersby who are not tuned into the conversation among artists or even the concept of it, El Sol 25 is an unusual and puzzling and usually gratifying discovery. Like so much Street Art and graffiti, you are welcomed to make your own storyline to accompany it.


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)




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