February 2014

BSA Film Friday 02.28.14

BSA Film Friday 02.28.14



Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. Roti “To the New Ukraine”
2. Getting “GREASY” with Narcelio Grud
3. Mr. Toll from DEGA Films
4. NDA from DEGA Films
5. “I Can See You” in Iraq

6. Experimenting with Projection Mapping

BSA Special Feature:Roti “To the New Ukraine”

From Chris Cunnigham comes  this short version of a documentary that follows French Grafiti artist ‘Roti’ as he works on his most ambitious project to date, we get a glimpse of an untold side story in Ukraine’s revolutionary struggle.”

Read more about it on BSA here. A ‘New Ukraine’ Sculpture in Independence Square by Roti

Getting “GREASY” with Narcelio Grud

From the man who showed us how to paint with discarded fruits and vegetables, we see a sweetly crude painting with the one thing that is keeping the world running while simultaneously killing it. Narcelio takes on the sticky stuff and gets greasy.

Mr. Toll from DEGA Films

In a category all his own, Mr. Toll sculpts with his fingers the ironic and the naturally beautific (warning: may not be a word). Over the last 3 or 4 years, you could say prolific. The 3-D is a welcome variation, and surprisingly easy to overlook as a possible adornment deliberately placed there by a building owner.


N’DA from DEGA Films

Hard won street cred can sometimes be achieved one character at a time, no matter how brutishly plain or comically pequeno. What a character N’DA is! Painter, wheatpaster, illustrator, idiosyncratic outside artist – don’t underestimate and don’t overlook this one.


“I Can See You” in Iraq – A film by Sajjad Abbas

Translated as “I can see you” the giant eye placed on the top of this building is a way that was Street Artist Sajjad Abbas wanted to keep Iraqi politics on their best behavior. Even though he got permission from the government to install it, soon enough it had to come down because some people thought it had to do with the Freemasons. Here he offers an unvarnished direct recording of the installation and de-installation, less documentary than document.

Experimenting with Projection Mapping

From computational designer Lukas Z here is a fun example how much you can do with projection mapping and some pin tape these days on the street. Our forays into the projection world over the last 5 years tell us that this is one small example of the possible, but this is well realized.

File under
1. tape-art.
2. projection mapping.
3. audio responsive generative visuals.
4. openframeworks

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MP5 in Italy : Stressed Out Magpies and Carrot-Chasing Rabbits

MP5 in Italy : Stressed Out Magpies and Carrot-Chasing Rabbits

A big spoon full of sugar – that’s what keeps the sweetness in the appearance of these two public art bus stop pieces from MP5 in Italy. Once assessed, you may see the bitter critique of modern norms that are portrayed in festive sunny tones.


MP5 . For Arte Inattesa. Detail. Gaeta, Italy (photo © Flavia Fiengo)

First is the frantic anxiety ridden magpie who is waiting nervously for the bus, so terrorized by time, so worried of missing the worm, so fearful of being pecked by an angry bird boss.

Below is the second pleasantly bright and flat scene of the mask-wearing role-playing go-getting company man. Sadly, he is so conditioned to react to reward that unless he dons his fake façade and dangles his own carrot he cannot rapidly chase those highly valued results.

And what are those results, exactly?

MP5 says the title of the the project is TEMPUS FUGIT, which is meant to reflect on the precariousness of our lives, liberty and the meaning we give to time.


MP5 . For Arte Inattesa. Detail. Gaeta, Italy (photo © Flavia Fiengo)


MP5 . For Arte Inattesa. Gaeta, Italy (photo © Flavia Fiengo)


MP5 . For Arte Inattesa. Gaeta, Italy (photo © Flavia Fiengo)


MP5  at work on a second bus shelter for Arte Inattesa this time in Formia, Italy. (photo © Flavia Fiengo)


MP5 . For Arte Inattesa. Detail. Formia, Italy (photo © Flavia Fiengo)


MP5 . For Arte Inattesa. Formia, Italy (photo © Flavia Fiengo)

For more information about the whole program of artists for “Arte Inattesa” click HERE

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Kabul to Brooklyn, Street Art and Graffiti as Common Ground

Kabul to Brooklyn, Street Art and Graffiti as Common Ground

Afghanistan is not the first place you think of when someone says Street Art scene and Kabul would certainly be sort of low on your list of urban art festivals to check out, but surprisingly it has both. These are a couple of the revelations we had earlier this month when BSA welcomed three 20-something artists to tour the streets of Brooklyn – and meet one of our own homegrown Street Art duos in their studio.

Abul Qasem Foushanji, Ommolbanin Samshia Hassani, and Sayed Mohebullah Ramin Naqshbandi were all good sports despite the brutishly cold February day – in fact Sayed had a fairly light jacket on because he said it gets as cold or colder back home in Mazar-i Sharif where he is a painter and student who has tried his hand at stencil work.


From left to right Qasem, Shamsia and Sayed in front of an Icy & Sot mural in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Qasem and Samshia both grew up in Iran, so it made sense that they were excited when we began the tour by checking out the large mural done by Iranian émigrés and brothers Icy & Sot, who now live in Brooklyn. While Arthur, our astutely amiable co-host from the State Department, helped keep the mini-van warm and free of parking tickets, their escort/interpreter Mr. Aziz walked up and over the snowbanks with us while we checked out works by a number of graffiti and Street Artists all around the North Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint.


Shamsia, Qasem and Sayed in front of ROA’s squirrel mural in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Central Asian country of Afghanistan has historically eschewed modern art as being unacceptable and much art was destroyed by the Taliban in the last few decades for being un-Islamic.

With such a restrictive atmosphere it was good to learn that Qasem plays bass in a thrash metal band, does sound installations and has experimented with abstract expressionism – something that would have been unheard of in the 90s. “In the early 2000s when the Taliban left the country, there was nothing,” he says as he observes a gradual building of hope in the creative community.


Shamsia in front of Galo’s mural in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the sun went down we were welcomed into the vast office and studio of Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeal, who together comprise the Brooklyn based Street Art collective better known as Faile. Having just walked the same streets where the Patricks began many of their experiments at the turn of the century, it was a great opportunity for the guests to see what a world-class art making studio looks like, to ask questions, and to share some stories about how the scenes on streets of Brooklyn and Kabul differ.

brooklyn-street-art-740-Mr-Aziz-C215-Feb-2014-webMr. Aziz takes a cell phone snap of a rusted C215 piece while Sayed looks on. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Speaking about their early days of illicit art posting, McNeal explains “You’d go out and you get to the wall and it’s quick,” he says with a snap of the fingers. “You’re not taking the time, necessarily, to think. And then you finish it up and get away from it and you came back to see it the next day. There was something loose in it, where now everything gets very tight and refined,” he says as he gestures to the large artworks in progress across the tables and the floor of the studio.


Qasem takes Shamsia’s portrait in front of Nelson Mandela’s portrait by Jason Coatney in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Yeah, it’s changed a lot over time,” says Miller about the street art scene, especially in the area of Williamsburg that has become a high-rent playground for professionals and well-heeled college kids. “Real estate, gentrification, a lot of those things have played into it in a lot of places like here and Barcelona where you used to see a lot more things on the street, it doesn’t really exist.”


Sayed, Qasem and Shamsia in front of a Faile wheatpaste in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One thing we learned is that Shamsia doesn’t even usually feel that she can go on the street in Kabul to create her work because she fears berating words, insults and possibly worse from people who don’t think a woman should be doing such a thing.  And would never go out after dark. “It’s for the boys to go out at night. I wish to do so also but I am a girl. It is dangerous,” she says with regret, but is determined to use her art to advocate for the rights of girls and women in whatever way that she can.

One project she calls “Graffiti Dreams” is comprised entirely in her imagination and on her computer – where she creates virtual street art scenes on buildings she has photographed as a way to at least paint walls in her mind. “That’s nothing, but for me it is everything because I can do graffiti somehow.” She took out her iPad to show McNeal some of her renderings.


Shamsia poses in front of the same Faile piece she just saw in the street, but this time it’s at Faile’s studio. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After British graffiti artist Chu held a one-week graffiti workshop for nine artists in Kabul in 2010 where the concept of graffiti and street art was introduced from a Western perspective, Shamsia and other young artists took the art form to heart.

She has traveled internationally in the last few years meeting other artists and sometimes collaborating with them like Tika from Zürich, Berlin’s Klub 7, and the well known Los Angelelino Street Artist El Mac, with whom she did two collaborations now on display in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and in Brisbane, Australia.


The Afghani artists pose with Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil of Faile at their studio. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

McNeal asked Samshia, “How did you get exposed to graffiti?,” and Samshia talked about the workshop with Chu and how it affected her.

“I thought if I did graffiti then I could introduce art to the people,” she says, “Because no one goes to exhibitions and galleries – only some very important people are invited to exhibits. And I thought that I could put art in the street for all people and maybe they have never seen that there is this art.”


Qasem and Patrick Miller. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“How do you get spray paint there?” he followed up.

“There are very bad quality spray paint there,” she replies with a smile. “These are just for color to put somewhere. It’s not really for painting. The color drops a lot, and I’m not changing the size of the caps. Sometimes I do the small details with small brushes because the spray can is not able to do very thin lines.”

“That’s cool though,” McNeal encouraged, “ because that will inform your style and the way that you work.”


Shamsia and Patrick McNeil. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As one of the first graffiti artists in Kabul, Shamsia is also unusual because most practicing artists of any discipline are men – and women face resistance to their participation in many roles, including as an artist on the street. Now an associate professor at Kabul University where she leads workshops to teach students how to use aerosol spray to create art, Ms. Hassani created a festival this December to highlight graffiti and Street Art as an art practice.

Her own work features stylized women in blue burqas, fish, and calligraphy that references poetry.  As often happens, the definition of graffiti and street art are slightly different in Afghanistan than they would be in western cities like London and New York, often closer to what might be called murals or community walls.


Qasem and Patrick look through some Faile gems. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

For now she is planning a new program when she returns to Kabul University in the spring.

“Another graffiti workshop is coming too for some children who have no parents. They are often very small girls and they have no parents and I want to help them and have a workshop for them,” she explains about her desire to provide restorative healing through art in a city torn by war. “I will start to teach a new subject, making characters, because there is nothing like that right now. I would like to add characters, because everyone likes characters. I would like to teach some technical steps, some secrets of how to make them.”


Artists talk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The night ends with tea, cookies, and conversation in a warm living room and the artists talk about some of their projects, internet service, social media, and other ways that society is evolving and what they hope for art in Afghanistan. As he describes his work future projects Sayed says would like to create politically themed messages for the street. Qasem talks about a culture-jamming project creating a false college course advertisement that may also be humorous. Then in a flash, the visit is over, numbers and emails are exchanged and they get ready to go back out in the cold.

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BSA <<>>><<<>>BSA <<<>>><>>>>

In 2012 Shamsia collaborated with Los Angeles based Street Artist El Mac on two murals in Sai Gon, Vietnam. The first mural was painted in September of 2012 in front of Sàn Art, an artist non-profit contemporary art organization in Sai Gon. The second mural, also painted in Sai Gon was unveiled in Brisbane, Australia at the Asia Pacific Triennial in December 2012.


An El Mac and Shamsia collaboration in front of Sàn Art. Sai Gon,Vietnam. September, 2012. (photo © courtesy of Sàn Art)


El Mac and Shamsia “Birds of a Nation” collaboration. Brisbane, Australia. December 2012. (photo © courtesy of Viet Nam The World Tour)

The figure in the center is a portrait of Shamsia by El Mac from photographs that he took of her. The writing that surrounds the portrait is a poem by Ms. Hassani which she integrated with her own designs. The poem reads:

پرنده های بی وطن ،همه اسیرن مثل من ،صدای خواندن ندارن

Birds of no nation
Are all captive
Like me
With no voice for singing

Ommolbanin Shamsia Hassan: Afghanistan Graffiti


Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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More Pow! Wow! Hits as Picked by Martha in Hawaii (Part II)

More Pow! Wow! Hits as Picked by Martha in Hawaii (Part II)

Today we jump right in to the warm Honolulu waters for a swim before padding barefoot up to the painted walls of Pow! Wow! where photographer Martha Cooper is waiting camera in hand and looking for a fly swatter to smack down a camera drone that is buzzing around her head and getting in the way of her shots.

Here’s part deux of some of Ms. Cooper’s pics from PW 2014, beginning with an aquatic version of the sort of poker-playing canines popularized by illustrationist and painter Cassius Marcellus Coolidge about a hundred years ago that still persist in the offices of law firms and investment banks today. This large scale variation is by street humorist Ron English. brooklyn-street-art-martha-Cooper-ron-english-pow-wow-2014-web

High stakes in Hawaii. Ron English takes a gamble at Pow! Wow!  (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Ron English painted marine animals playing poker. His brother-in-law who lives in Hawaii (I think) had been begging for this wall for a long time so Ron finally did it,” says Martha.


Trav MSK at work on his wall. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Wayne White working on his sculpture/mask. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Wayne White in his Elvis mask with Trav MSK doing the backup singing. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Know Hope has painted himself into a corner (photo © Martha Cooper)


123 Klan in action. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Brenden Monroe (photo © Martha Cooper)


We think it is possible that REKA was really influenced by his wardrobe when choosing the palette for his wall. (photo © Martha Cooper)


REKA at work on his wall. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Tristan Eaton before. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Tristan Eaton after. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Remi Mead at work on her wall. Detail. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Remi Mead and an unidentified artist on the right. (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO (photo © Martha Cooper)


Reach in action. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Jessie and Katey (photo © Martha Cooper)


INTI in action. (photo © Martha Cooper)


James Jean in action. A detail of Rone and Wonder on the right from last year’s edition. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Lars Pedersen really getting up. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Apex in action. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Dabs & Myla with Misery. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Dabs & Myla with Misery. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Dabs & Myla with Misery. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Drones in action. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“One of the craziest things I saw was the use of camera drones operated by remote control. There were a couple and they could fly high or swoop down to shoot.” -MC


“Not everyone loves Pow!Wow!–an anti-PW poster here: Although it is not clear what the specific objections are”- MC (photo © Martha Cooper)


Our special thanks to Martha Cooper for sharing her images with BSA readers.



Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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Martha Picks Some Hits from Pow! Wow! Hawaii (Part I)

Martha Picks Some Hits from Pow! Wow! Hawaii (Part I)

Photographer Martha Cooper just returned to New York from Hawaiian paradise and the 5th Pow! Wow! Festival, which this year featured an unprecedented number of artist that some estimate at 100.

Naturally with a herd that big, you’d have to be a regular cattle hand with a camera to capture all of the action, but the fast moving Cooper collected a number of images that we can share here with BSA readers over the next couple of days, along with her notes on the experience.


Gaia’s portraits of Queen Lili’uokalini and King Kalakaua. Solomon Enos and Prime collaborated on the rest of the wall. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Kaka’ako is the name of the neighborhood where most of the murals are located and Ms. Cooper compares it to the Miami site that also has hosted a large number of legal walls for the last few years. “It’s a Wynwood-type neighborhood but with a longer, more esteemed history,” she says, and “Like Wynwood it’s slated for development.” For example a library that many of the local Hawaiian artists painted will soon be torn down to make space for condos. Good thing Street Artist Gaia and Vhils were  there to bring some of the local historical and mythological elements, including portraits of Hawaiian royalty.


VHILS portrait of King Lunalilo. (photo © Martha Cooper)

An interesting aspect of this event, and there were many, was the pairing of many artists on walls to combine and merge  their styles to create new works. “There were a surprising number of unusual collaborations at Pow! Wow!,” says Martha. “Some were odd mashups like Tatiana Suarez and Woes, and Buff Monster and Nychos seemed like a good match. I think it must have been challenging for the artists. Cope & Indie also asked Buff Monster and 123Klan to collaborate on their wall.”


Tatiana (photo © Martha Cooper)


Tatiana and Woes collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Cope2 and Indi184 with Buff Monster and 123Klan. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Cope2 and Indi184 getting a few pointers from daughters Samara and Samira (photo © Martha Cooper)


Cope2 and Indi184 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Another trend this year: Elvis. “Elvis is big in Hawaii,” Martha remarks, and she says it is because of his celluloid records in addition to his vinyl ones. “He made three movies in Hawaii,” and she mentions the Elvis mask that Wayne White made as a good example of Presley magic on the tropical island of Honolulu. “I especially liked the way Madsteez incorporated existing graffiti into his wall because he made good use of the corrugated iron surface which was difficult to paint on but it had a nice patina when finished.” Interestingly, Madsteez gave his blue Elvis an eye patch that mimics the artist’s own worldview.


Madsteez (photo © Martha Cooper)


INSA and Roid (photo © Martha Cooper)

Insa is one of the first GIFFITTI artists – and his wall with ROID for Pow! Wow” recalls the typography and graphic style of commercial 1980s TV shows like Miami Vice and the New Wave as interpreted by MTV. The resulting GIF is a funny simple animation that somehow brings the nostalgia alive.  Looks like paradise from here!


INSA and Roid (photo © Martha Cooper)


Seth working on his wall on the left.  ZesMSK, Askew and Reyes wall on the right. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Katch (photo © Martha Cooper)

Katch did a lil’ animation to go with his wall also, which you can see HERE.


Katch (photo © Martha Cooper)


Meggs and Bask collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Yoshi and Estria collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Buff Monster and Nychos collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Andrew Shoultz (photo © Martha Cooper)


Kawaisan and Maozhidong collaboration and commentary on the Honolulu traffic. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Meanshaka (photo © Martha Cooper)



Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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Images Of The Week: 02.23.14

Images Of The Week: 02.23.14



Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 1up, Bishop203, Bradley Theodore, Cash4, Deekers, El Sol 25, Hiss Keeley, Kevin Cyr, King Amsterdam, Ludo, Mosco Clandestino, Not Art, ROA, Royce Bannon, Smells, Sweet Toof, Trap Art, and Zimer.

Top Image >> Sweet Toof joins Deekers, 1UP, Roa and Keely on this little wall of horrors. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sweet Toof and Smells collab on a roof top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bradley Theodore gives Anna and Karl a face lift. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hiss (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cash4 . Smells (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Clearly this is Not Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Trap Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Padlock Menagerie (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo up close at the show “Fruit of the Doom”. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


An unusual thing for Ludo – a sculptural reprise of his recurring image “Fruit of the Doom” from his solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo “Fruit of the Doom” solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25, Bishop 203 and Royce Bannon adorn the facade of 17 Frost Gallery for  the “Outdoor Gallery NYC” show. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kevin Cyr “Right Place, Right Time” solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kevin Cyr “Right Place, Right Time” solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


King Amsterdam (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Zimer (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mosco Clandestino (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Central Park, Manhattan. 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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Joereal Takes Painting to the Roof top and Beyond (Video)

Joereal Takes Painting to the Roof top and Beyond (Video)

Joereal in Los Angeles likes to paint up on his roof and think about yoga and the spiritual life. He sends this brief video for you to contemplate many such things as you travel through this Saturday.


Joerael. Rooftop piece in Los Angeles, CA. February 2014. (photo © Joerael)


“This ia a southwest inspired Earth spirit,” he tells us. ” The spirit is holding a burning sage , and in the place of smoke a rainbow is emerging. It is said when we burn sage, cedar, sweetgrass etcetra, it gives shape and color to our prayers and intentions. This is an Earth prayer made with vapors and raw energy under an intriguing Los Angeles sky.”

We’ve got the bundle of sagebrush smoking already and it is turning the whole building into once clerestory of peace.  Happy Saturday everybody.



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BSA Film Friday: 02.21.14

BSA Film Friday: 02.21.14



Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. TOOFLY in Miami
2. 8 Artists, One Day in La Perla
3. UNO in Bolonga, Italy
4. Phlegm / Run / Christiaan Nagel in London
5. Surplus Candy

BSA Special Feature: TOOFLY in Miami

“There is a different dynamic that takes place when women get together and paint or build or create something,” explains Queens born Toofly as she scales the ladder in Miami during Art Basel this year. The short by Alexandra Henry gives voice to the artist, designer and organizer as she describes coming up in the 1990s wall painting surrounded primarily by dudes. Now as she moves to a different stage and embraces her Ecuadorean roots, Toofly is joined by a new generation of women who are laying claim to the street and adding their voices to the conversation.

8 Artists, One Day in La Perla

An overcast day in Old San Juan is still better than a sunny one inside an office cubicle, ya herd? Here’s a gently rolling survey of a community called La Perla, who in one day received new gifts bestowed from Alexis Diaz, Faith47, Axel Void, Filio, Inti, Conor Harrington, Poteleche, and Franco Jaz. Captured by Tost Fims, it is free of so many of the video making conventions of Street Art film-making that it may be pulling the genre in a new direction.

UNO in Bolonga, Italy

UNO and Matteo Talone take wheatpasting to a new very long expanse in Bologna, hand coloring meters and meters of pop inspired black and white image/text patterning for the Cheap Festival.

Phlegm / Run / Christiaan Nagel in London

A teaser for a series of films (Last Breath) that will be made documenting the beautification of soon-to-be demolished buildings in London. Touring the remains of structural decrepitude is not new, but doing so artfully like this is.


Surplus Candy

A new video from Nick Heller features a tour from the recent abandoned house takeover on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

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“Outdoor Gallery” Surveys Current Street Art Scene in NYC

“Outdoor Gallery” Surveys Current Street Art Scene in NYC


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin

The outdoor gallery is the one we visit most and NYC is always front and center in our heart even as we branched out to about 100 other cities and towns last year.  Outdoor Gallery – New York City is also the name of the brand new book by photographer and writer Yoav Litvin, who has spent the last couple of years shooting New York streets and meeting many of the artists who make the painting and wheat pasting that characterizes the class of 2014.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Chris Stain.

Published by Ginko Press, the large 235 page hardcover features nearly 50 street artists / graffiti artists whose work you see here regularly (with the exception of two or three) along with comments and observations from the artists about their practice, their experiences, and the current Street Art scene primarily in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

When Yoav told us of his hope to publish a book last year we offered whatever advice we could – but primarily we advised him to stick to his vision and not to let anyone discourage him. A true fan of the scene, he has worked tirelessly to do just that and now he can share with you a personal survey and record of many of the artists who are getting up today in New York.


Outdoor Gallery. New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Joe Iurato.

Outdoor Gallery – New York City grew organically to embody my process of exploration and discovery on the streets of New York City. It is a creation that was born out of love for New York City streets and their people, and focuses on artists as leaders with a unique and necessary role in a society that aspires for freedom and change,” says Litvin in his introduction, and throughout the book you can sense the respect he has for the art and the dedication he has put into this project.

Careful to let the artists speak for themselves, he presents their work without commentary and with ample space given for expression. Using primarily his own photos, it is carefully edited and presented as an uncluttered and measured overview of each artists work.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Jilly Ballistic.

For us it is a proud moment to see someone’s dream realized after so much effort and dogged determination – especially in a scene whose challenges we are well familiar with.  No one knows how hard it is to make something happen unless they do it themselves. So congratulations to Yoav for sticking to his vision and having the fortitude to finish this and thanks to him on the behalf of the artists whom he is helping to receive recognition for their work as well.

To that end, you are invited to the big launch party this Saturday at 17 Frost in Williamsburg. We’ll be there and we hope you can make it out for a great New York Street Art family reunion. You can’t miss the entrance, it’s been newly smashed by El Sol 25, Bishop 203, Royce and some other people we can’t remember right now but who will remind us as soon as this goes up ; ) .


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Gilf!

You can find out more about it on the Facebook Event Page, but we understand there will be a newly debuted video from Dega Films, a special tribute to Army of One, and a full show of new works from many of the artists in the book, including;

Adam Dare, Alice Mizrachi, Army of One / JC2, Astrodub, ASVP, Billy Mode, Bisho203, Bunny M, Cern, Chris RWK, Chris Stain, Cope2, Dain, Dirty Bandits, El Sol 25, Elle Deadsex, Enzo and Nio, Free5, Fumero, Gaia, Gilf!, Hellbent, Icy and Sot, Indie 184, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, Kram, Lillian Lorraine, LNY (Lunar New Year), Miyok, ND’A, OCMC, OverUnder, Phetus88, QRST, Russell King, Shin Shin, Shiro, Sofia Maldonaldo, The Yok, Toofly, and Veng RWK.



Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Icy & Sot.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Hellbent.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by QRST.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Front and back cover art by Bishop203, LNY, Alice Mizrachi, QRST, Gilf!, Cern and Icy & Sot.

Below is a look at behind-the-scenes of the making of the mural for the cover of the book.


Bishop 203. (photo © Yoav Litvin)


Icy & Sot balancing a stencil. (photo © Yoav Litvin)


Taking a step back to assess the progress. (photo © Yoav Litvin)


The final piece. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Outdoor Gallery – New York City will be launched in conjunction with an art exhibition this Saturday, February 22nd at 17 Frost Art Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Click HERE for more details.


Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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Tagging Somebody’s Painting : Two Walls Interrupted

Tagging Somebody’s Painting : Two Walls Interrupted

Whose voice gets to be heard, and at what cost? It’s an ongoing battle with companies and politicians and citizens fighting to control the radio airwaves, broadcast television, cable providers, news outlets, the Internet. In the conversations that take place on walls in public, the struggle is just as strong and often as vehement. We just aren’t happy when somebody else gets the mic if we can’t grab it and rock it too.


Maya Hayuk. Detail. Houston Wall, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A couple of recent visual disruptions of Street Art installations have us thinking about the need to be heard at the expense of an artist’s work mostly because we learned about them both within a few days of each other.  Maybe it was the amount of time and labor that went into the walls, or maybe it’s because it can still be shocking even when you know it goes along with the rules of the street.

It’s always been part of the game; once you put it on the street you must be prepared to let it go, even though you secretly hope it will ride a while. Without doubt it will be buffed, slashed, ripped, taken, crossed out, tagged over, and deteriorated by the elements. If you’re going to play, you might get played and most artists know it and accept it.


Maya Hayuk. Houston Wall tagged while the artist was in the process of completing her work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Houston Street wall in Manhattan has become a touchstone for many a graffiti and Street Artist over the last few decades thanks to its early beginnings as a canvas for artists like Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf and because as Soho and the Bowery gentrified most available walls disappeared. Now its an honor to get chosen to do your thing on the wall, even as it often provides a stage for the the still breathing battle between some graffiti writers and the rest of the Street Art making world.

Before the latest painter finished her piece last week, Maya Hayuk found her eye crossing color jam geometry had some unexpected collaboration. It’s not the first time Street Artists have been hit by graffiti on this wall; Shepard Fairey’s installation famously got hit so heavily that holes were literally punched into the wall, and Swoon’s community collabo with the Groundswell kids got wrapped with a thick belt of throwies last fall.


Maya Hayuk. Completed and restored. Houston Wall. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hayuk tried to shrug it off like a champ and uttered a few terse words – but ultimately recovered her poppy patterning and finished the wall victorious.

The new tagging on Hayuk’s wall brought a fussilade of opinions, wizened philosophical observastions and bromides on social media, including this sampling from Instagram:

“Ever since Banksy month these toys having been running rampant” @phillip_s

“We love your work. Forget the jealous ones” @christianguemy

“It sucks that the work wasn’t even finished buuuut you paint something on the street you run the risk of it getting dissed/painted over. End of story” @jaackthebeard

“That’s too bad, but sadly part of the life of a work on the street. Still an absolutely beautiful piece though.” @denverstreetart

“Someone who wants pristine work that persists is always free to paint privately on canvas. The chaos and struggle of the image on the street is part of what makes graffiti awesome. This doesn’t strike me as a spoiler bomber and their throwie looks great on the piece. There are no tears in street art. I know what its like to have someone hit up your piece. You can get good with it, go over it, or move on.” @zoharpublishing

“Wow. What is wrong with people” @erromualdo

“So rude! It’s just takes one a/hole. Looking great anyway” @lisakimlisakim

After completing the new wall and taking a bow, it was hit again. This time harder.

The tags are mostly unreadable to the average public passerby, but it is not those people who these additions are usually speaking to but rather to their peers. So the collaboration is insistent, and in some way perfectly New York.


Maya Hayuk. Houston Wall tagged once more after the original was restored and completed. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The other sanctioned wall we’ve been thinking about is in Rochester – still in New York State, but close to the border of Canada and near Lake Ontario. Faring Purth took a long time to finish this long limbed lady throughout the autumn months, enduring wayward comments, praise and  sometimes harsh words from this upstate community who liked yelling things out their car (and school bus) windows as they drove by. “I received equally supportive and hostile attention from the public while I was painting her. It was a new experience in more ways than I can count,” she says of the mural that measures 12 feet high by 125 feet long,


Faring Purth. Detail. Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY. (photo © Faring Purth)

Ultimately the religious contingent who had badgered previous visiting artists in Rochester over perceived thematic threats to family values tagged the face of her “Etty” and put a rudimentary cross in her hand when Faring had gone a way. This was a different sort of diss. It wasn’t a turf battle, it was a theological one and more broadly, it was about community norms. As in the case of Hayuk, the aerosol writer may not even have been addressing the artist or even known who she was. They may have been just striking a victory for the Lord against the evil of the art. Who knows?

Also like Hayuk, Ms. Purth decided to repair her work.

“I fixed her. Or rather, changed her, before hitting the road. She’s different now, it taught me a great deal. So finally, stitches and all, here she is.”


Faring Purth. Restored. Detail. Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY. (photo © Faring Purth)

There is no real end or summation to this story and these two recent examples are merely a fraction of the works that get tagged or crossed out every day. It is interesting to note that although the motivations were different for the people who defaced the mural art, the aerosol tool used to express their opinion was the same.  Additionally let’s all recognize the sublime irony that we are perilously close to using the word “vandalism” in this article.

But in a way, it is still about having a voice and using it, however edifying or injurious. The continuous cycle of constructive and destructive, adorning and scarring, speaking and silencing, is likely to continue as long as artists create in the street.  As long as people have a need to be heard, they are going to find a way to get their voice out there.


Faring Purth. Detail. Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY. (photo © Faring Purth)


Faring Purth. Restored. Detail. Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY. (photo © Faring Purth)


The complete piece Faring Purth for Wall Therapy in Rochester, NY. (photo © Faring Purth)

For more on Faring’s wall please see

Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
This article also appears on The Huffington Post



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Ludo says “Enjoy the Violence”

Ludo says “Enjoy the Violence”

Ludo is on the street right now in New York putting up his combinations of pretty and violent work, and he’s happy to be here. Thursday he will be ready to welcome you at his show at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea entitled “Fruit of the Doom”, which he says is sold out. We caught him putting up his newest pieces in Little Italy and in Bushwick that present the oppositional sides of man’s darker nature with natures generous beauty.


Ludo in Soho (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“People either love my work or hate it,” said Ludo yesterday about the images of nature perverted by weaponry and the growing militarism of society.

“I like this,” he declares.

It’s good to see that after many campaigns of culture jamming in cities around the world and despite his gradual climb to popularity and commercial success, Ludo has the same attitude he had when wheat pasting with us one windy day in 2010. “Certainly street art is a bit of sociology,” he told us then, “I mean you try to grab what you can from the society and incorporate it into your work and then take it back out to the streets with your personality in it.”

So that is why you see brass knuckles growing from a rose, and a lime cockpit that has morphed into a hellfire missile launching helicopter, “It’s more about everything that stupidly rules the world… guns, technology, humans, new gadgets – That is what I like to take and remix and give a message,” he told us.


Ludo for the L.I.S.A Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The new wheat paste in Little Italy is a reprise of the piece just sold at auction in Paris about 10 days ago entitled “Enjoy the Violence”. Ludo for the L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for the L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for the L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for the L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for the L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ludo for The Bushwick Collective. The art in the background is by Street Artist Sonni whose time on this wall had already run out, according to the organizer who rotates the artwork. Artists are given the opportunity to paint in this Brooklyn neighborhood and he advises the artists that their art will run only for six months. In this case due to weather and logistics the wall wasn’t buffed prior to Ludo’s arrival, and Ludo’s piece is pasted directly on top of it. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LUDO’s first USA solo show “Fruit of the Doom” opens this Thursday, February 2o at the Jonathan Levine Gallery. Click HERE for details.


A previous version of this posting characterized this show as “sold-out” without attribution to the artist. We apologize for the omission.
Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



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SpiderTag, Nails, and Abstract Geometry in Madrid (VIDEO)

SpiderTag, Nails, and Abstract Geometry in Madrid (VIDEO)

Madrid-based Street Artist Spidertag is one of the new crop of young artists using yarn in their work; a genuine departure from aerosol and wheatpaste that once was an anomaly is now widespread enough to call a trend. Let’s call it New Folk Street Art – at least until next week when someone coins another term.

He’s done his share of aerosol bombing, but perhaps because one of his first loves was sculpture, Spidertag was looking for a new way to do interventions back in 2008. Coupled with an interest in abstract and geometrical design he began to experiment with materials that he could physically manipulate to sharpen shapes… and to interact with.


Spidertag. Madrid, Spain. 2014 (photo © courtesy Spidertag)

Pounding nails into walls of abandoned buildings (and many other surfaces) was very satisfying and he began constructing and defining spaces with yarn around the iron post constellations. It was a good way to study in geometry and space and one that he continues to experiment with . After discovering the abstract geometrics and symbol-based work of fellow Street Artist and urban interventionist EC13, Spidertag knew he had found a kindred spirit to work with to call out, create and define spacial and planular dimensions in the man-made and natural environment.


Spidertag. Madrid, Spain. 2014 (photo © courtesy Spidertag)

Today we look at community garden space Spidertag was drawn strongly to in downtown Madrid in the neighborhood of Lavapies, and the squatted garden called Solarpiés. “This is an abandoned place in the city center that was squatted by local people. Like many empty lots I saw in New York, people in my area have converted it into a free urban garden,” he says.

Brooklyn Street Art: You have done installations in abandoned places with nails and yarn previously. What characteristics are you looking for when selecting your next wall?
Spidertag: The location is almost everything to me. I look for special places that inspire me. That´s what I think Street Art is all about.


Spidertag. Madrid, Spain. 2014 (photo © courtesy Spidertag)

Brooklyn Street Art: You speak about a new minimalism in your work – Does this refer to the amount of empty space that complements the occupied space?
Spidertag: More or less, yes. It´s about being more simple in the creation and composition. With this artwork, I think that I have started a new era for my work. What I´m doing now is more like the red parts of my piece; less of the green….

Brooklyn Street Art: Who are some of your favorite artists whose work influences this direction for you?
Spidertag: More than being influenced by other artists I would say I was more influenced by my collaborations with other street artists, especially EC13 that have brought me to this place.


Spidertag. Madrid, Spain. 2014 (photo © courtesy Spidertag)


Spidertag. Madrid, Spain. 2014 (photo © courtesy Spidertag)


Spidertag. Madrid, Spain. 2014 (photo © courtesy Spidertag)


Spidertag. Madrid, Spain. 2014 (photo © courtesy Spidertag)


Spidertag. Madrid, Spain. 2014 (photo © courtesy Spidertag)

For more Spidertag please click HERE.

For more EC13 please click HERE.

Spidertag in Madrid: “Mucho Verde, Nuevo Rojo”


Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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