BSA Film Friday 02.14.20

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

Now screening :
1. “Who is TAKI183?”, Jim Prigoff and Cedric Godin
2. ESPO: A Love Letter For You
3. Exquisite Waste Of Time – Telmo Miel

BSA Special Feature: “Who is TAKI183?”

Graffiti writers were going hard in New York City in the mid-late 1960s but it wasn’t until the elite cultural avatar The New York Times did a story on the prolific TAKI183 in July of 1971 that many felt that the graffiti scene was somehow validated. From that point forward, the writer’s reputation as being all-city and unofficial representative of taggers everywhere was gold plated among his peers, and competition to get up all-city was suddenly on fire.

Writer, photographer, author, lecturer and storied nonagenarian Jim Prigoff, who published Spraycan Art with Henry Chalfant in 1987, has just produced a new video with Cedric Godin that more closely examines this tagger/standard-bearer and lets the camera roll on stories from him and others inside his family’s car repair shop.

“A lot of the earlier graffiti was scratched or done with paint brushes. There weren’t really spray cans. I think because markers were available and you could do it quick,” says Taki.

“I discovered the first graffiti in NY as Taki 183. I was stunned. This determined my life direction,” says French Street Artist Blek le Rat. 

“But in New York, it was the media capital of the world,” says Philadelphia graffiti king Cornbread, who was writing in the 1960s as well. “When they had done something, it was magnified. To be honest with you, New York overshadowed me.”

The storytelling leads to stylized writing and people like Stay High 149 and the dawn of more formalized or experimental gallery spaces like Fashion Moda in the Bronx. But Taki retained his tagger status, and remained a touchpoint for an era. “I never had a relationship with the art world because I was just so removed from it.

So much of this history is lost already, mostly because our art institutions and universities have been ignorant and adamantly so about the importance of graffiti in the language of society and its evolution as the most democratic global art movement ever. Videos like this one by Mr. Prigoff and Cedric Godin act to preserve and archive the images and voices of those at the forefront of a movement that influenced so many other parts of global culture.

WHO is TAKI183 A film by Jim Prigoff and Cedric Godin

ESPO: A Love Letter For You

“To mark the 10th anniversary of A Love Letter For You, ESPO and the film director Joey Garfield held a Q & A in Brooklyn’s Night Hawk Cinema. With this documentary, Mr. Garfield captures the artist’s process while directly asking the residents of this Philadelphia community, which was once ESPO’s own hood, what they wish was painted on the walls. ESPO took the inspiration that he received from the community and went onto painting 50 walls.

Exquisite Waste Of TimeTelmo Miel

Exactly how your dad describes your interest in painting, in music, in social work – an “Exquisite Waste of Time”. Luckily, this video promo for a show by Telmo and Miel will make you drool so much to paint that you won’t care what Dad says.