Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! Today is PRIDE DAY in NYC and Father’s Day in many parts of the world. Congratulations to us all, queer and/or fathers. We’re happy to show you what we’ve been finding as the spring now stretches into Officially Summer. At night in some neighborhoods, you’ll hear a smattering of fireworks as youthful hooligans are already lighting them – anticipate the 4th of July holiday. A sign of our crazy summer ahead; behold the bang-pop-ratatat-tat-bang-bang-swizzle-shizzle-pop now erupting regularly in empty lots and dead-end streets.
It’s great to see so many kids and youth and adults on bicycles now that the City has made myriad networks of safe pathways throughout the five boroughs. If we could get the police to hand out tickets to car drivers, even school bus drivers, sometimes using the bike lanes to circumvent others and put riders in danger.
The street art and graffiti scene are thick, and you don’t want to miss it here this time of year. While some complain that “vandalism” is reaching 1970s levels, many are happy to see a rotating display of artworks on the city skin at a time when so much of our local cultural and entertainment options have been killed or neutered. The institutional and commercial arts will all come back to New York, we have no doubt. Often, the renaissance begins in the streets.
Aliens, robots, skulls, femme Fatales, cats, cartoons, nationalism, existentialism – the new are runs the gamut and if it upsets the audience, it doesn’t run for long. Catch it while you can
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Acne, Adam Fujita, Captain Eyeliner, City Kitty, Degrupo, Demure, Eugene Delacroix, Jeremy Novy, Lunge Box, Matt Siren, Modomatic, One Rad Latina, Plannedalism, Raddington Falls, Royce Bannon, Russian Doll NYC, SacSix, Sara Lynne-Leo, Save Art Space, Sticker Maul, The Creator, and Vy.
This week we wandered off the streets onto the train tracks to catch some graff in the wild. As we did we thought about photographer Jim Prigoff and how he told us that he relied upon the “graffiti gods” to lead him in the right direction to catch photographs. He was so right when he shared that jewel – an adviso to follow one’s intuition and trust your instincts. It was during this same adventure on the tracks that we learned of Jim’s passing, which was a very sad addendum to the exploration, at first. Then we realized that Jim is now one of those “graffiti gods” and he will lead us to find the next piece, burner, paste-up, sticker, poetry on the street.
May Jim and his instincts always be with us.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
– Mae West
Take it from Brooklyn’s own Mae West to give us the dry-eyed wit that pushes us further forward, boldly and without reservation.
So New York graffiti and street art continues to run apace – from Red Hook to Ridgewood to Williamsburg to Chelsea in Manhattan – we are dumb-founded by the new work that is covering Gotham. It is also notable the preponderance of LETTER-based street art and graffiti there is everywhere. Letters and their deconstruction, reconstruction, re-imagining have always been a part of the graff tradition of course, but it looks like many artists are talking at you from the wall right now.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: 2 Much, Adam Fujita, Al Diaz, Aneko, Healer, Jeff Roseking, Jet, Jowl, Lunge Box, Mega, Panic, RAKN, Riisa Boogie, Sac Six, Seo, Timmy Ache, UFO 907, and Wokem.
What the hell just happened? Has it been a year? Or has it been 10 years? Or just one long nightmare/daymare? Or has it been 10 years? Did we already ask that?
In March 2020 we awoke to a world that was transforming before all of our eyes, yet we felt so cut-off from it and each other. The first days seem so long ago as we mark the first anniversary of the pandemic. Still, the initial shock of those days resonates in our chests so strongly that we confidently talk about a collective global trauma that has indelibly marked a generation.
From Stockholm to Mexico City to Barcelona to Bethlehem to New York to LA, BSA brought you street art that was responding with fear, derision, critique, hope, and humor to the never-static, always evolving barrage of Covid news. Stuck inside and afraid to expose ourselves to each other, we New Yorkers became accustomed to experiencing the outdoors only through our windows, connecting with neighbors we’ve never met who were also banging pots and pans or clapping and waving and yelling.
We listened to ambulances screaming past our windows every half hour or so during those first weeks, imagining the torn families, the terrified fellow New Yorkers now being rushed to the hospital and separated from their loved ones without a goodbye, gasping for air. We wondered if we would be next.
When we did go to the streets, they were empty – or nearly. In New York this was unheard of. In this bustling, noisy metropolis, we experienced a daily disconcerting quiet. That is, until the killing of George Floyd by cops finally pushed the anger/anxiety into the streets all summer.
The deadly hotspot of New York quelled, but the fires of Covid spread west, grabbing communities who thought they would avoid impact. At the same time, local, state, and national leaders fumbled and argued or famously callously ignored the desperation of citizens, occasionally admirably filling the shoes they were elected to occupy, often misstepping through no fault of their own.
We have no particular wisdom to offer you today beyond the obvious; this pandemic laid bare inequity, social and racial and class fault-lines, the shredded social net, the effect of institutional negligence, the ravages of 40 years of corporate privatization, and the power of community rising to the occasion to be in service to one another in ways that made us all more than proud.
Here are some of our favorite Covid-themed street art pieces from over the last year, a mere sampling of the artistic responses. Interspersed we paste screenshots of the daily events (via Wikipedia) in 2020 that shaped our lives, and our society.
We mourn the losses of family and friends and the broken hearts and minds in all of our communities. And we still believe in the power of art to heal and the power of love to balance our asymmetries.
As NYC went on complete lock-down and New Yorkers were ordered to remain in their homes in complete isolation the city’s residents organically joined together in a collective 7:00 pm ritual in support to the first responders. To the nurses, doctors, paramedics, trash collectors, public transportation, police, fire fighters, supermarkets workers etc…with their services and sacrifices we, the residents of this megalopolis were able to keep out hopes for brighter days to come.
Video of four former presidents urging people to “roll up your sleeve and do your part” and get the vaccine.
Some hard news seems to great us every day, yet New Yorkers don’t give up so easily. And by the way, banging bright and crispy fall weather we’ve been having, right?
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week including Adam Fujita, Crash Floor, Disgusting is Good, Drop Dead Grace, Eye Sticker, Labor Camp, Mad Vaillan, Par, Save Art Space, Server Up, Specter, Texas, and Vayne.
They are not staying quiet. If you had doubted the inclination of street artists to join the socio-political fray in 2020, don’t. Among the cute and decorative pieces out there, we are steadily discovering that artists are using the public sphere to take risks, addressing issues that are thorny and puzzling. As ever, the streets are a reflection of our society and all its fabulous dysfunction – a refreshing take on free speech that often makes much more sense than the disinformation war raging hourly right now on corporate media.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fu, Blood and Soul, Clint Mario, Faust, Gazoo to the Moon, Jarus, Maia Lorian, Pure Genius, Raddington Falls, Sticker Maul, Stikman, TV Head ATX, Will Pay, and Winston Tseng.
The winds of change are gathering force and weaving together – social, political, financial, environmental… and it is all being reflected in street art today. Ironically, because media in the US is addicted to money and misdirection and is completely disinterested in the poor and working class as a whole, thoughtful analysis that pops off city walls seems unadulterated, capable of giving you more truthful assessments of what is missing, what is out of whack, and who’s gotta take action. Your face here.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fu, AJ LaVilla, Antennae, Black Ligma, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, De Groupo, Hearts NY, Novy, Pork, Surface of Beauty, The Greator, Winston Tseng, X Rebellion NYC, and Zuli Miau.
What a week – as bad news is replaced by horrible news. But seriously, the summer has been beautiful in the streets of New York in so many ways, and we feel lucky here – even though there appears to be an exodus? Yeah we remember it from the 60s and 70s too but it was called “White Flight” then. Wonder who’s leaving now? Kitchen too hot? Please, gurl, go home. The rest of us will be just fine here because we’ve always loved New York in good times and in bad. These are the Golden Years.
The DNC 2020 infomercial this week looked like the 1996 RNC one but with “diversity” – as we get pulled/pushed further and further toward the right. This weeks’ RNC infomercial broadcast from White House grounds will march us off a cliff, no doubt. Speech writers are searching now to set the reich tone. Austerity for all! War is Peace! Suburban Karens Will Crush You!
Let’s see what the streets are telling us.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 7 Line Art Studio, Adam Fu, Billy Barnacles, CB23, Cern, Gee Whiskers, One Rad Latina, and Rar Grafix.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. The weather has been beautiful in NYC and the organic art popping up on the streets is still forcefully advocating for social and political solutions amidst great upheaval, even while…
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Almost Over Keep Smiling, Billie Barnacles, Black Lives Matter, Bosko, Detor, Downtown DaVinci, Eric Haze, Fumero, Insurgo, Marco Santini, Marina Zumi, Praxis VGZ, Sara Lynne Leo, and Who is Dirk.
The New York street artist who works under the moniker “Almost Over Keep Smiling” reinterprets slightly this Boston warning poster telling anybody who was black in a “free” state like Massachusetts or New York to stay away from the police because the federal government had passed a law empowering people to capture them and return them to slavery.
The Act was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a “slave power
conspiracy”. It required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be
returned to their masters and that officials and citizens of free states
had to cooperate. Abolitionists nicknamed it the “Bloodhound Bill,” for the dogs that were used to track down runaway slaves.
The Act contributed to the growing polarization of the country over the issue of slavery, and is considered one of the causes of the Civil War.
The streets are alive with street art and pointed political protest. NYC citizens are joining the cities and communities across the country who are demonstrating furiously over the newest examples of systemic, latent, and explicit racism and police brutality that have characterized our society for so long. Of course it’s just one fire that has been waiting to spark as economic conditions run parallel with social inequity. In the face of sky-high unemployment, unpaid rents, increasing food insecurity, a “rescue” program that gave the store to the rich, and the ever-growing gap between hyper-rich and the chronically poor/ newly poor, the summer here looks like it could be torrid.
We won’t need or see a large number of street art festivals for a while. This show of politically/socially inspired artworks and text messages is probably just warming up on the streets and you can imagine that artists won’t find it appealing to be sitting on panels and pontificating about the genesis of mark-making, the original roots of punk anarchy, or how they are incorporating being woke or inter-sectionalism into their “street practice”. The creative class, however you define it, has suffered a huge blow and many are out of work, and patience. Based on what we have been witnessing here these past few weeks, you may predict that the more aesthetically inclined will seize the opportunity to make art for the city, on the city.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UP Crew, Adam Fujita, Almost Over Keep Smiling, Billy Barnacles, Combo-CK, Denis Ouch, Indecline, Jason Naylor, Lunge Box, Matt Siren, Mr. Toll, and Woof Original.
Such a New York sentiment and at the heart of it we believe in our fellow New Yorkers and people in general to pull through this series of cavalcading catastrophes that are befalling us as many of our would-be leaders stand by and watch.
“Times are tough..” – It’s also a new piece this week on BSA Images of the Week from Captain Eyeliner. Let’s look for common ground, fundamental fairness and a common dream – without being tricked into fighting each other.
Meanwhile here’s some of the genius and humorous works this week on New York streets (and one from Tel Aviv), as we nurse our wounds and mourn our dead, and praise our nurses – and so many others. Hang tough people!
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Almost Over Keep Smiling, Billy Barnacles, Captain Eyeliner, CRKSNK, Lunge Box, Maya Hayuk, Merk, No Sleep, Praxis, Quasar, Sac Six, Tag, and You Go Girl!
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fujita, Alexcia Panay, Anthony Lister, Below Key, BK Foxx, Bobby Hundreds, Downer Jones, Dragon Art, Hops Art, Maia Lorian, Mastro NYC, Muebon, Pricey Alex, Shiro, Sinclair the Vandal, VKrone, and Want.
Meanwhile the art on the streets that we keep finding in NYC tells us that a lot of people are in love, in lust, or looking for some sort of tenderness. Call it early spring fever but the feels are out there in some of these new pieces this week.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring #Dysturb, Adam Fujita, Bunny M, Dead Bradshaw, Jax and Dean, Kai, LMNOPI, Mr. Djaul, Pers Anders-Petterson, Pop Artoons, Rime MSK, The Hypsit, Theodoru, Vitruvian Truth, and Vondom Labs.
Dysturb is a collective of photojournalists, writers and artists formed in 2014 to promote their own work and to highlight contemporary global issues around the world such as women’s rights, the environment, equality etc… A lofty endeavor with its heart in the right place which we support wholeheartedly. The group brought their new campaign to the streets of NYC this week. The issue this time is female genital mutilation.
The group uses the streets as their vessel to disseminate the information and to create awareness but in the process they ignore a basic tenet of the rules of the street: Respect the art that already exists on the walls. We spotted a couple of their billboard sized prints wheat pasted on top of long running murals by respected artists like Iranian brothers Icy & Sot, shown above and American/Berlinian painter James Bullough below. These are rather careless placements from visitors who don’t respect the local culture – especially in a city that has so many construction sites with plenty of available empty plywood walls. We’re sure you are all fabulous, but you are not the only ones.