GALLERY EXHIBITION “Street Legal – Gratiffyti: Seslow & Borbay on Canvas”
A notion verses the actuality of street art – two varying concepts, yet one in the same. By way of color, collage, composition and explosive impressionism; artists Borbay and Ryan Seslow delve into the pulse of “Gotham”, on canvas, on board, off the tax payers ledger. This exhibition biopsies the street art experience, with no mention of the inside, or outside, of a box.
When: January 22 – February 23
Where: The Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery Iona College Arts Center
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 22, 1:00- 3:00 pm Meet the artist Gallery Tour: Thursday, February 16, 6:30 pm
A New Project to Preserve the Additional Footage – Please Support the Kickstarter Fundraiser
Directed by Tony Silver and produced by Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant, STYLE WARS is an indispensable documentary that captured NYC Street culture in the beginning of the 1980s. Anyone who values the contribution of this examination of a moment near the birth of hip hop and graffiti culture will be familiar with the players that Chalfant and Silver profiled and the electricity that fueled a cultural movement that eventually went global.
“There is a lot of amazing and historically significant material there which never made it into the finished film”, says Chalfant today as he describes his new project to recover and restore the hours of remaining recordings and to create an outtakes reel from that 1981-82 project.
New footage of Case (above right) and Seen is expected to be preserved and presented in STYLE WARS Outtakes.
Spread the word! BSA would like to encourage you to donate to this Kickstarter campaign to make this project happen and to post this on Facebook and Tweet it. Write to your friends to ask them to throw a buck at this project that promises to deliver many new shots of trains not seen since ’81 and some surprising masterpieces rescued from oblivion.
New trainyard images and adventures like this still for STYLE WARS Outtakes.
They have cool stuff for various pledges – we’re hoping to score the “Art is Not a Crime” poster designed by Mare139.
But even if your stocks of green are low right now, you can forward this to one of your buddies. Style Wars is for everybody, and this history is yours.
Rock Steady Crew and friends at Shafrazi Gallery in Soho – a still from the new footage to be restored.
One trend these days in the world of Street Art is to go lavishly large, big with a bang, gargantuan with gusto! Copius expanses of epic walls, scissor lifts, cases of cans and buckets of wheat-paste, an assortment of assistants, photographers, a public press release, and a panting play-by-play on social media as the Street Artist progresses across the cinder blocks. The desire to think big is a historical human inclination, from the pyramids to the Great Wall of China to Burj Khalifa to the works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude , we love gigantic work.
Due to its completely democratic nature, the Street Art practice also includes the simplest, least showy, and anonymous pieces. Often we find little one-layer stencils, sprayed in ten seconds, to be just as interesting, and sometimes more powerful than the largest mural. Hidden, tucked away on the bottom of a doorway or a lamppost, the stencil is a fast way for an artist to get up and run, as fast as a sticker slap and just as effective. This collection of stencils recently collected in a few cities reminds us of those days when a lot of Street Art was not conspicuously installed and the works were small. The artists here are unknown to us but maybe you have seen them.
That dude Doodles completed his piece at “Living Walls : Albany” in this hidden alley of the state capitol after all the camera-packing explorers and six-packing parties ran out of town. Out behind of storehouse Doodles had a lot of time to himself and he created this ode to shaking off the burdens of life with a progressive story across a cinder-blocked wall. The Street Artist explained to us that in one interpretation the figure represents an average modern person accumulating possessions in a materialistic world. But the metaphor he likes best is about shaking off the mounting burden of fear. The final frame, inspired by the artist’s recent trip to the wilds of the Adirondacks in upstate New York, shows the figure freeing himself from those fear and making a break for the woods. Off the grid! Here we go!
Thanks to Samson Contompasis for photos of the finished piece.
Overunder stays after class at “Living Walls” and gets extra credit
Street Artist Overunder just completed his astounding tiled installation this weekend in Albany on the wall of L’esperance Tile Works, a local tile maker with a special 1920s “dust press” that the artist also worked into the piece. For an artist with such a fluid and freewheeling figurative style with a spray can, it is surprising to see it interpreted with such permanence and cogitative consideration. As part of “Living Walls : Albany”, Overunder had already smashed a few walls around the city in the weeks leading up to this opportunity, but after touring the small tile press facility with co-owner Donald Shore, he fell in love with the idea of tiles as medium. “A lot of these tiles were in the backyard up north at our other facility – he and White Cocoa were standing in the pouring rain digging through these boxes of discards and overruns and he brought these back with him,” explains Shore.
“I think collaboration is a huge part of being an artist. That being said, I was excited when I learned I was doing a mural on a tile manufacturers building. I had never used tile for a mural let alone doing a full out mosaic but now the opportunity was right in front of me. Don was more than willing to teach me as I went and I was more than willing to experiment with this crazy, new medium, ” says Overunder.
“I particularly like the way he’s marking the tiles with his spray can for us to cut,” says Shore, who owns the business with his wife and founder, Linda Ellett.
With assistance from a number of young helpers who live in the neighborhood, the project took a little more than a week to complete, and the results take his stuff to a new level. With a patterned face like an Alexander McQueen model, the figure’s limbs get added dimension with Overunder’s mastery of the can. Small details let you know you shouldn’t be too serious about this, like the painted toenails. As the materials are all discards and overruns from other projects, it’s interesting to note that a number of these same tiles are actually in buildings right now, including the Kol Isreal Synagogue designed by Robert Stern in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the Lt. Governors building in Albany, and even the home of Bill Gates.
“The patterned tiles are created using the encaustic method – an inlaid clay where you take a plaster impression using clay and it leaves a reservoir that you fill with different colors and you plain it smooth and it gives you a very nice two dimensional image — that’s a technique we believe was developed in the medieval period and it was reindustrialized in the 1860’s,” explained the enthusiastic as he gave us a tour of the mural while Overunder and his assistants Roberto and Messiah worked.
It’s not often that Street Art has this heft, and certainly it’s pretty rare to take this much time to complete a piece and manage to include the participation of the community at this level. In fact, certain arts critics and public arts academics might want to reclassify this work as something other than Street Art, but we grant wide berth to the term. One thing is for sure, the resulting piece is no less than a tribute to everyone involved and as a business owner in Albany during the first year of Living Walls, Mr. Shore is sold, “I totally support this thing”
1. Abstract Art on the Street
2. “Abstractions” open at Opera Gallery
3. “Contemporary Abstractions” at Mighty Tanaka
4. “Abstract Graffiti” – The Book
5. Art Show and Charity Auction at FUTURE TENSE (Dallas)
6. Please Support “Electric Projected” TODAY
7.MISSED the SHOW? See “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” in VIDEO
8. VIDEO -Street and fine Artist Peat Wollaeger
9. VIDEO Mr.Klevra Vs Omino71 – The Secret Spot 2011
10 VIDEO STEN & LEX at the ATTACK FESTIVAL 2011
“The more frightening the world becomes, the more art becomes abstract”~ Wassily Kandinsky
The street provides a forum from all dialogue and Street Artists can be sometimes divided into categories after you survey the expanse of expression. We’ve been tracking the geometry of abstraction for the last decade as an aesthetic counterbalance to the more free form gestural markings that are it’s more prevalent neighbors. The abstract direction continues to garner attention and you can get a good look at it’s past and present at two New York shows opening today, and learn more about it’s global movement in a recently published book by Cedar Lewisohn.
“Black and Violet”, Kandinsky, 1923
“Abstractions” open at Opera Gallery
The Opera Gallery new show in Manhattan titled “Abstractions” opens today to the general public. This show will examine the abstract movement from the 1940s through present day with artists that range from Miro and Matta to Bast and Saber.
Image of Saber courtesy Opera Gallery
Abstractions will be open to the public starting on September 23 at 11:00 am
September 23 – October 16
Free admission: 11:00 – 7:00 daily
Further information on this show please click on the link below:
Mighty Tanaka Gallery in Brooklyn continues the theme with some names familiar to BSA readers and a couple of new talents at their show “Contemporary Abstractions” tonight, with the opening reception at their temporary location in the Power House Arena in DUMBO starting at 6:00 pm.
We’ve really been enjoying the schooling and the photography from Cedar Lewisohn in this new book “Abstract Graffiti” and can recommend it wholeheartedly. You’ll recognize a number of these artists from being on BSA, including MOMO on the back cover.
Art Show and Charity Auction at FUTURE TENSE (Dallas)
Saturday September 24 in Dallas, TX the Future Tense has curated and impressive line up of artists for a worthy cause. An Art Show and Charity Auction to benefit The MTV Staying Alive Foundation. Opening reception and live auction at the Goss-Michael Foundation starts at 7:00 PM.
Lee Baker, Shepard Fairey, Harland Miller, Adam Ball, Katrin Fridriks, Polly Morgan, Peter Blake, Christopher Gascoigne, Gerard Rancinan, Billy Childish, Pam Glew, Rankin, D*Face, Haroshi, Stuart Semple, Brian Adam Douglas, Pieter Henket, Jamel Shabazz, Elizabeth Eamer, Damien Hirst, Benjamin Shine, Ben Eine, Jeremy Kost, Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Joseph Loughborough, Dan Witz, Faile, James Marshall and Russell Young.
For more information regarding this event please click on the link below:
And our friends at Open Space in Beacon New York are seeking your help to save their project “Electric Projected: Reboot”
Dan and Kalene have been on the Street Art scene for a decade, have opened many doors to and championed Street Artists with their Electric Windows project. Today we are asking you to pledge their “Electric Projected: REBOOT” Kickstarter page. They got seriously rained out last month for this exciting project in Beacon, New York – a huge projection show on the side of a factory building. With your help, they are going to do it right next weekend.
“We still need your help to makeElectric Projected REBOOT a reality. Since our last email (only 5 days ago) we have received over $2500 in pledges to our kickstarter campaign. Over 100 people have already contributed to this campaign and we are so grateful for this generosity and support. Not a day goes by without people telling us how excited they are for the REBOOT event on October 1st. We are excited for it too, but here is the reality of the situation. If we do not meet our kickstarter funding goal by Saturday Sept 24th at 6pm Electric Projected REBOOT will not happen on October 1st.
This weekend in Albany very important Street Art presentations were made at the New York State Museum during “Living Walls: Albany”, including one from Street Art duo Broken Crow, pictured here in custom made aluminum foil head gear that reflected light rays all around the Clark Auditorium.
There were so many moving parts in this large and easy going cultural festival this weekend, and we were really happy to meet so many people in the street, at the Marketplace encampment, in St. Joseph’s Church, at the tile factory, and during our keynote lecture at the New York State Museum Saturday. Thanks to Samson Contompasis for asking BSA to partner with him for LWAlbany and a quick shout out to other local partners James Shultis at Grand Street Community Arts, Sivan Shimoni, the staff at NYS Museum, and local blogger KC Orcutt at KeepAlbanyBoring.com along with photographers Andrew Franciosa, Bob Anderson, MC3, Frank Whitney, and Ken Jacobie. Also big ups to Monica Compana, who c0-spearheaded Living Walls Atlanta, which we covered a lot when it began last year. For all the locals mentioned, they are just the tip of the iceberg of a large committed creative and professional community in the Upstate New York region who helped to pull this thing off with almost zero dollars and tons of planning and hustling. For the first year, it is/was a major achievement.
Of course our main focus is always the Street Artists and the creative spirit that is alive and well on the streets so it was a total honor to see the artists and see brand new stuff going up, like the last one before catching a train last night – Broken Crow’s ram under a bridge. There are still some pieces being finished by NohJColey, Clown Soldier, Doodles, and one we missed from Michael DeFeo. Also coming up should be Hellbent and possibly some other artists this fall, so we’ll get back to you on that. Not all these pics are from Living Walls : Albany by the way — when you are combing the streets you find all kinds of stuff you didn’t expect.
For the last 10 months this initiative to bring Street Art and public art to the forefront of the conversation in New York’s capital has been a boon to discourse, unusual during a period of retrenchment and an ongoing financial crises that is rocking every segment of society in the US. After years of incremental cuts to arts programming in public schools and cultural institutions at every level, it is a perfect opportunity for artists to re-assert their voices as this Street Art movement continues to evolve and develop in an organic way. Ironically this scene with roots in graffiti has shape-shifted and its emergence looks like a democratic movement, messily yet constructively filling a creative void for this new generation while the budgetary axes continue to fall around them.
As Street Artists have been installing their new works on walls around Albany these past 10 days or so, the common story one witnesses is the level of engagement of adults and kids stopping on the sidewalk, in their cars, watching the process, photographing and discussing the art, and exploring the creative process. Some folks have even become assistants to the artists, creating a sense of ownership, and yes, community. There is obviously more to this evolving story, and we’ll continue to track it.
Below are photos from photographer Jaime Rojo to give you an idea of the wealth of creativity that is alive in Albany at the moment. And we commence with our weekly interview with the street this week featuring Broken Crow, Chris Stain, Gaia, How and Nosm, Joe Iurato, LNY, Nanook, ND’A, NohJColey, OverUnder, Radical! ROA, Shin Shin, and Wing. First, we go to church with Joe Iurato.
Within moments of ROA’s arrival on site to his designated building for “Living Walls : Albany,” he spotted a recently departed squirrel, took it as a sign and it became quite clear what he was going to do next.
The squirrel population in Albany is (somewhat) jokingly of a “different” breed – they are as tough as they are territorial, while still somehow managing a natural presence and a non-intrusive interactivity with passer-bys. Squirrels are everywhere in Albany, making it a more-than-fitting subject for ROA’s large-scale contribution to the Living Walls project.
Cosmically or maybe even comically enough, as ROA was working up in the lift adding detail to the animal laying on its back, a man associated with the building’s owner shared an anecdote of how a couple years back a pesky squirrel’s nest almost resulted in the same building burning down, with firefighters called to the scene and all.
During ROA’s time creating the piece, people stopped by to inquire more about the wall and what was going on, with many lingering on the “why a squirrel” question.
“People are bored with simple messages,” said ROA “they want something deeper.”
With the inspiration of the piece still laying off to the side, ROA entertained the public’s curiosities with a grin saying, “Its for you to figure out if it’s dead or alive and the meaning behind it. It’s a very simple message – just a squirrel on it’s back,” as another onlooker proudly repeated his take on ROA’s work in succession, “that symbolizes something!”
With Marketplace Gallery transformed into what is best classified as a sleep away art camp — complete with scattered sleeping arrangements, wheat pastes hung up on the gallery walls ready to greet the outside world, in progress portraits of some of the participating artists by White Cocoa and a healthy buzz of street art-fueled conversations late into the night — the past couple of days and nights have blurred together leading up to the debut of the Living Walls project in Albany, officially launching this weekend.
Away from the hustle and creation taking place both in the street, at the gallery and St. Joseph’s church, a conductor of sorts sits under a bridge in Rensselaer at the Art Park, overlooking Albany. The piece, as created by Clown Soldier, puts a figure in command of the happenings of the city from a detached control station. One can’t help but picture the happenings in Albany in relation to the Living Walls as beneath the futuristic bubble Clown Soldier created. The tag line that organically manifested surrounding the Living Walls in Albany — “This Is Happening In Your City” — is setting in.
Kitty corner to the Clown Soldier piece is another Living Wall where Shin Shin and Wing collaborated under the massive support of the bridge in Rensselaer. The pair got to work using a bright palate environmentally fitting for the open industrial space, creating a natural and whimsical balance on the surface of the bridge’s support.
NohJColey, Depoe and N’DA also got down in Rensselaer, working over the course of several days on large-scale pieces, bordering existing (and aging) public murals, while also bouncing in between St. Joe’s church, where Living Walls installations are coming into form from a multitude of artists, local and beyond.
Saturday, September 17th Located in the Clark Auditorium of the New York State Museum
3:30-4:45PM KEYNOTE LECTURE
“Street Art Stories: A New Direction on the Street”
Presented by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, founders of Brooklyn Street Art
In Street Arts’ latest chapter, the storytellers are hitting up walls with all manner of influences and methods. More than ever before, formally trained and self taught fine artists are skipping the gallery route and taking their work directly to the public, creating cultural mash-ups and highly personal stories of their own, altering the character of this scene once again. Eclectic, individual, and as D.I.Y. as you can imagine, these Street Artists may have knowledge of who came before them or not, but they are determined to be a part of one art scene that is perceived as authentic, relevant, and alive.
Join Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, authors (“Brooklyn Street Art”, and “Street Art New York”, published by Prestel/Random House) and founders of Brooklyn Street Art (BrooklynStreetArt.com) and contributing Street Art writers for The Huffington Post ARTS, as they show and compare examples of work from New York’s streets today. Then join a lively discussion in a Q&A session to help explore this storytelling practice and discuss how it may be evolving what we have been calling “Street Art” for the last decade.
Hosted by “Living Walls : Albany”, Samson Contompasis, Director, and Grand Street Community Arts, James Shultis, Executive Director.