All posts tagged: Al Diaz

Art In Odd Places 2022: Story. Open Call For Proposals

Art In Odd Places 2022: Story. Open Call For Proposals

We’ve been supporting the work of the New York organization Art In Odd Places (AiOP) for years and are always intrigued and inspired by their productions and the artists they select to offer their proposals. Mounted outdoors along and below 14th Street in Manhattan, we’ve seen works by performing artists, painters, sculptors, conceptual artists, dancers, and a myriad of artists who defy categorization and refused to be boxed in. This is what makes this a unique art event in the city; its ability to be inclusive, fearless, and unconventional. We look forward to being surprised once again this year.

Al Diaz for AiOP 2021 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Art in Odd Places (AiOP) 2022 will be present with the theme of “Story” this September and curated by Atlanta artist Jessica Elaine Blinkhorn, who asks “Will the story of your existence endure the test of time?”

Today, public personal merit is based on the number of followers on social media – and relevance changes with the shifting weather. True identity and community are where words are genuinely heard, truths shared, stories told, and perceptions possibly changed.”

AiOP 2022: STORY seeks imaginative proposals by artists from the Disabled, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and Allied communities that tell her, his, their “Story”

Click HERE to apply.

Angela Muriel for Art in Odd Places 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jessica Elain Blinkhorn (photo © courtesy the artist)
Matthew Burcow & Carmen Rodriguez for Art In Odd Places 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gretchen Vitamvas. Modern Plague Doctor. Art In Odd Places 2021. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Gretchen Vitamvas)
Yeseul Song. Invisible Sculpture. Art In Odd Places 2021. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Ninad Pandit)
Marissa Mickelberg – Goat Walk (photo © Courtesy of the Artist)
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History On View and On Sale: “1970s / Graffiti / Today” at Phillips, New York

History On View and On Sale: “1970s / Graffiti / Today” at Phillips, New York

It may be a challenge to identify the through-line when it comes to curation of artworks at an auction house exhibition. Selections are predicated on the availability of artworks at the moment and the exigencies of the market. And 30 additional variables.

You will however see a warm confirmation of greater themes in the new exhibition at Phillips auction house that opened last week entitled 1970s / Graffiti / Today, and you’ll leave enriched by the experience. With the works of 30 or so artists on display for approximately a month, it is not intended to be a comprehensive survey, yet it manages to spread a wide net over a number of scenes, practices, and personalities working on US streets during the previous five decades.

1970 S / Graffiti / Today sign with two canvasses by Eric Haze beneath. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)

There is a vastness to this scene, its people, its practices, its histories, its quality variations. As evidenced by a show like this, there is now a general acceptance of the street-born form of visual expression called graffiti, its various hybrids expressed broadly as street art, and the onward march of certain forms of both toward acceptance as contemporary art. As suggested by the title, you’ll probably see a good representation of each here, and one or two will strike you as quite impressive.

Swoon. 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Curator Arnold Lehman is a recognized champion of that march forward, most notably for when he shepherded the “Graffiti” exhibition as Director of the Brooklyn Museum in 2006. That show, one of the first museum shows dedicated to the movement, featured 20 large-scale canvasses by graffiti artists that were donated by the estate of famous mid-century New York gallerist Sidney Janis, who had shown a number of them in the early 1980s.

A native New Yorker, Lehman grew up with graffiti on the trains and easily recognized the contributions it was making to his city and the culture. When he had an opportunity to introduce the works as an exhibition, he says he faced much opposition, despite the fact that it came from the collection of a gallery owner who was celebrated for introducing most of the emerging leaders of abstract expressionism, the Fauves, the Futurists – and later the proponents of Pop.

“He began showing graffiti in his gallery in 1981 or 1982,” Lehman says of Janis when speaking of the canvasses he organized in the Graffiti show at the Brooklyn Museum. “A number of my colleagues were quick to write and say, ‘Have you lost your mind?’ “

Arnold Lehman gestures toward canvasses by “TKid 170” and King Saladeen as the show’s curator gives a tour of the exhibition. 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Five of those same canvasses provide an anchor in the timeline here, supported with early photos and light ephemeral documentation of the burgeoning graffiti scene on subway trains and elsewhere in New York. This city and its streets and culture figure prominently into this collection of about 150 pieces, with Mr. Lehman estimating for us during a recent tour that the mostly US-focused show is divided into two-thirds New York and one-third Los Angeles.

“The artists we are showing really deserve a presentation like this,” he says as we walk through an exhibition of individual expressions that are as varied as the kind of people who’ll typically ride a subway car; drawings from sketchbooks (Al Diaz), stenciled canvas (Chaz Bjorquez), photographs (Martha Cooper, Gusmano Cesariti, Steve Grody, Cheryl Dunn), elaborate “wood paintings” on welded steel sculpture (Faile), canvasses by early generation graffiti pioneers (Fab 5 Freddy, NOC, Daze, Lady Pink, Toxic, Haze), repurposed metal subway signs (Julius “T. Kid” Cavero), a slickly painted motorcycle (Crash), mixed media collage (Augustine Kofie) a refurbished ice cream truck (Mr. Cartoon), a repurposed bus stop poster (KAWS), an acrylic painting on scrap metal (Margaret Kilgallen), a mounted neon sculpture (Risk), paper cutouts pasted on found wooden doors (Swoon) and a heavily tagged Fun Gallery refrigerator hit up in the early 1980s by people like Basquiat, Haring, and Futura.

Mr. Cartoon. 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The newly completed Phillips gallery is ironically and literally underground. Its thousands of square feet lie just below the Park Avenue street level, lending a hidden secretive quality to it. Nevertheless, the massive venue sports triple-height ceilings and a vast marble spaciousness that allows for mounting and lighting a variety of gallery sizes, shapes, and volumes. It’s also free.

A large backdrop cloth with tags by Futura, Dondi, Fab 5 Freddy, Phase2 and others. 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)

One piece caught our eye and the eye of our companion, the photographer Martha Cooper, whose photos of 1970s-80s graffiti on subway trains places her squarely at the center of the scene. It’s the large fabric canvas/backdrop that commands one of the walls in the gallery – not only for its dynamism of placed elements and handstyle-vibrance but because of the history of the piece and the cross-section of writers and performers who intersect on it. Attributed to Futura 2000, it also contains work by Dondi and a tag by Phase2, at least. It also pays tribute to the musician and performer Afrika Bambaataa, the Rock Steady Crew, a number of possibly British graffiti writers and crews.

When posted on social media by people like Futura and Ms. Cooper this week, discussion of this piece lit up like a fire – with people surmising different venues where it may have been displayed, arguing about the propriety of selling such an item, conjecturing about who owns it, and spotting it in the background of photographs by Janette Beckman and David Corio.

The backdrop cloth shown above appears in this photo taken in London in 1982 with Afrika Bambaataa in the foreground. (photo © David Corio)

Mr. Corio allows us to show his images here of that event, which he identified as being part of the London stop of the NY City Rap tour, November 23rd, 1982. Assessing photos and the relic itself, one surmises that it was not signed by all the persons named necessarily since its function was a marquee naming of participants of the tour as well as a vehicle of visuals.

The backdrop cloth shown above appears in this photo taken in London in 1982 with Afrika Bambaataa in the foreground. (photo © David Corio)

Corio later posted images from the event on his Instagram with his current recounting, but we like this older one from his website, as it is lyrical.

“Welcome to the future. This was one of the first hip-hop shows in London and it was at my favourite place to shoot gigs. Bam had brought with him vibrant visions of the New York street in the form of graffiti legends Fab Five Freddy and Futura 2000. While he played, they spray-painted the backdrop. Londoners had never experienced any gig like this before – with break-dancers from Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation and a team of skippers doing the double-dutch. ‘Planet Rock’ and ‘Looking For The Perfect Beat’, two singles of 1982, along with Grandmaster Flash’s ‘The Message’, gave notice of a new musical force breaking out of New York – hip-hop and electro – and it was all rising straight off the record decks. It was amazing to witness this revolution in person.”

This photo shows Dondi painting on the backdrop cloth in London in 1982. (photo © David Corio)

As you stand before the piece, you may better appreciate the human scale of some events that have stepped into a golden storied past. Without these antecedents, many would not have known the art, music, and dance world as it evolved – nor appreciate the components that Hip Hop grew and evolved from. Looking at this unnamed banner, you remember again that once in a while a piece of art transcends itself, and becomes a historical document.

1970s / Graffiti / Today is an opportunity for fans and historians to see some of these works before they disappear into private collections. That alone is worth the trip.

This photo shows Dondi painting on the backdrop cloth in London in 1982. (photo © David Corio)
This photo shows Dondi painting on the backdrop cloth in London in 1982. (photo © David Corio)
Fab 5 Freddy, whose tag also appears on the backdrop was part of the New York City Rap Tour at The Venue in Victoria, London in 1982. (photo © David Corio)
Al Diaz. 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Steven P. Harrington takes a photo of Martha Cooper taking a photo of Al Diaz at 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Martha Cooper before her photos at 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Crash. 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Faile. 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)
King Saladeen poses before his canvas at 1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)
1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)
1970 S / Graffiti / Today. Phillips, New York City. (photo © Martha Cooper)

1970s / Graffiti / Today at Phillips Auction House in Manhattan, NY is open to the public until February 20, 2022.

Our sincere thanks to photographer Martha Cooper for contributing her photos to this article. Her Instagram is @marthacoopergram

Thank you as well to the photographer David Corio for allowing us to use his historical photos here. To learn more about him and his work please go to www.davidcorio.com and his Instagram is @david.corio

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.19.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.19.21

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week.

For all the flooding of our street art consciousness by the mural movement during the last handful of years, we’re still impressed by the completely organic personality of New York’s scene. New York has the ability to absorb countless graffiti and street artists from around the world and still retain its own particular attitude regardless. Prickly, preening, pensive, or ready to throw a punch, you are never quite sure what you will end up with the art on the streets here. However, you are guaranteed to see something unique — and you’ll never have time to be bored.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Al Diaz, Alex Ferror, ATOMS, Billy Barnacles, Brooklsey Dark, Carlitos Skills, Don Rimx, Drecks, Duel1, Gane, Hiss, Jowl, Little Ricky, London Kaye, Lucky Rabbit, Praxis VGZ, Skewville, Smells, and UFO907 .

Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“Abolish ICE” by Praxis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gane (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Billy Barnacles (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Little Ricky (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Little Ricky (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Duel1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Smells (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lucky Rabbit (photo © Jaime Rojo)
London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Carlitos Skills (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Drecks (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jowl (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Brooksey Dark (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Alex Ferror (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hiss, Bastard Bot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Atoms (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Say No Sleep (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.25.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.25.21

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week!

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.

Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
It’s A Living (photo © Jaime Rojo)
2 MUCH (photo © Jaime Rojo)
HEALER – RAKN (photo © Jaime Rojo)
2 MUCH . HEALER . RAKN (photo © Jaime Rojo)
PANIC . SEO (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Adam Fujita (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Riiisa Boogie (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jowl (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mega . UFO907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jet (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Timmy Ache (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lunge Box (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sac Six (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sac Six (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sac Six (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sac Six (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sac Six (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sac Six (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bus shelter takeover (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rapper DMX honored on the Williamsburg Bridge. Yesterday was his public memorial at Barclay Center in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jeff Roseking (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Aneko (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wokem (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.14.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.14.21

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. 新年快乐! Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Ox, and there was a lot of celebration during this snowy week in New York, although it appeared to be subdued by the standards of pre-Covid times definitely.

Also, Happy Valentines Day to you! We love you more every day! Don’t change a thing; you’re perfect the way you are.

Finally, the 2nd Impeachment of Donald Trump took place this week and it was on every television, radio, laptop, and phone screen it seems.

“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” is the quote attributed to Voltaire that the Democrat from Maryland Jamie Raskin spoke this week at the 2nd Impeachment trial of the former president in the Senate. It ranks as one of the more memorable.

It would be a stretch to call it a trial when many who voted in this verdict were also witnesses, victims, judges, jury, and/or co-conspirators of the accused. Still, it appears to be the only available way to hold a president accountable for their actions in the U.S.

We would say that it was a good show, but it was not a good show…

Finally, he has been acquitted by a vote of 57 to 43 in the Senate. A two-thirds majority was needed. One outcome is he can run for office again if he wishes. No matter the result of these events, it was inevitable that there would be a pervasive feeling of unrest.

One question remains: Was the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol the end of an era or the beginning?

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 7 Line Arts Studio, Al Diaz, Awol Erizcu, BK Foxx, Clown Soldier, Fire Flower, Goog, Pear, Queen Andrea, Riley Gale, SAMO, and Seung Jin.

BKFoxx helps usher the Chinese New Year in China Town, NY. This is the year of the OX. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
7 Line Arts Studio showing love… (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Queen Andrea for today’s Valentine Day. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Queen Andrea (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Clown Soldier makes a come back with this bus shelter take over in NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
GOOG (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Al Diaz tribute to Basquiat on Basquiat’s old studio in NYC. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Al Diaz tribute to Basquiat on Basquiat’s old studio in NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pear (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Awol Erizcu (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Riley Gale (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fire Flower (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Seung Jin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Seung Jin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. February 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“Cash Is King II” is Rolling In It at Saatchi in London

“Cash Is King II” is Rolling In It at Saatchi in London

Now that corporate and global debt has surged to an all-time high, posing unprecedented risk to the value of all money, it’s a sweet and sour nostalgia that drives you into your purse or wallet to pluck out a thin colorful slice of that rumpled paper fiat currency to buy yourself a beer at your local pub.

Bitcoin may be coming, and plastic is fantastic but in some parts of the world, cash is still king. And it rules everything around you.

Icy & Sot. Last Supper Five Dollar Bill (photo courtesy of the curators)

Right now you can see a collection of these banknotes from around the world developed as a series of canvasses at London’s Saatchi Gallery – mutated and defaced and adorned by graffiti and Street Artists, along with a series by Iranian born Aida Wilde, who uses banknotes from Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria.

Penny. Picasso Ten Pound Note (photo courtesy of the curators)

Cash is King II, a sequel to last years Cash is King – the brainchild book and exhibition of artists Robert Osborne and Carrie Reichardt, the show opened this week to an appreciative crowd who appeared to really enjoy seeing bills reimagined.

Jef Aerosol. Arts Can’t Buy Me Love (photo courtesy of the curators)

Curators Susan Hansen and Olly Walker share these images here with us and tell us they’re also happy that Ms. Wilde’s sales are going to benefit the Help Refugees organization so they are able to continue their work around the world. Not surprisingly perhaps, “Many of these banknotes represent some of the countries that have seen the highest numbers of people become refugees in recent years,” says Hansen.

Olly Walker. Process shot. (photo courtesy of the curators)
Aida Wilde. And We Walk Eritrean. Process shot. (photo courtesy of the curators)
Al Diaz. Samo Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
1 UP Crew. Tag Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
Anthony Lister. Zero To One Hundred Real Quick Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
Bortusk Leer. Art Is Not Serious (photo courtesy of the curators)
Caroline Caldwell. Oil Money Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
John Fekner. Greed Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
Cash Is King 2: Money Talks. Opening night. (photo courtesy of the curators)

Aida Wilde’s work will available for sale on the Saatchi website from 2pm on Tuesday the 20th of August. All proceeds will go to support Help Refugees’ work around the world.

Cash is King II: Money Talks features works of art executed on banknotes, an exhibition curated by Olly Walker of Ollystudio.

Cash Is King 2: Money Talks is currently on view at the Saatchi Gallery in London installed in the Prints and Originals space until September 8th. Otherwise, click HERE to view and purchase available works of art.

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Sneak Peek of “Beyond The Streets” Now Mounting in Brooklyn

Sneak Peek of “Beyond The Streets” Now Mounting in Brooklyn

Hammering the display walls, sanding off the plaster bumps, the whirring and popping of construction drills: Two assistants are helping 1970s NYC subway writer Lee Quinones lay out a #2 train-car-length canvas on the floor while you are distracted by the Empire State building puncturing the Manhattan cityscape across the East River, a sweeping vista through the glass walls of this new high-rise in Williamsburg.

“Hello?” Martha Cooper takes a phone call at Bill Barminski’s fantasy installation in progress where each object has been crafted from paper and cardboard. Beyond The Streets, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nearby Cornbread’s notebook hangs next to his signature, a potent visual reverberation across five decades from graffiti’s Philly roots.

Elsewhere there are the sounds of woodsaws and metal clanging accompany the one-line drawings of freight-writer buZ blurr as historian Bill Daniel is completing his comprehensive mini-exhibition within this massive exhibition. With trains and photos and modern relics of American rail lore on display, this crucial antecedent of modern-day aerosol “writing” emerges and blows its chimes as well. This is a particular slice of the graffiti story that Mr. Daniel may describe, as he does in The Secret History of Hobo Graffiti, as “the dogged pursuit of the impossibly convoluted story of the heretofore untold history of the century-old folkloric practice of hobo and railworker graffiti.”

Vintage anti-graffiti posters from a private collection. Beyond The Streets Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s an apt descriptor for Beyond The Streets as well. This multi-artist graffiti/Street Art-influenced exhibition directed by the discerning shepherd and seer Roger Gastman that is now mounting over two floors and 100,000 square feet in North Brooklyn tackles an endlessly convoluted evolutionary path. He says the size and composition of the exhibition has slightly changed since its first mounting last year in Los Angeles, and he is acutely aware that its location is in the city that claims a huge part of the graffiti genesis story, carrying perhaps a steep level of expectations.

Not that he has reason to worry: there are more hits here than a blowout at Yankee Stadium.

Lady Pink. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Like the blast of colors and pieces at a sunny Saturday afternoon Meeting of Styles jam, this show of many writers, photographers, documenters, collectors, painters, vandals, and attitudes won’t disappoint. You can see and construct your own version of a celebratory story that illustrates and reveals surprising ways that the street subculture has left its mark indelibly on the mainstream, yet often stayed separate.

From the Beastie Boys wigs worn in the “Sabotage” music video to the camera Joe Conzo used to shoot the Cold Crush Brothers, to the MDF and cardboard pay phone by pop sculptor Bill Barminski, and Dash Snow’s hi-low societal slumming photographs depicting sex, drugs, rhyming and stealing, visitors easily will have a flood of images and histories to author their own convoluted version of the graffiti and Street Art tale.

John Ahearn with a detail of Swoon’s wallpaper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Swoon. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dabs of DabsMyla at work on their installation in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper discussing the options to hang her photos with a production assistant. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Aiko. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mr. Cartoon installation in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Beastie Boys…there’s more here…much more… (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Detail of Shepard Fairey’s 30th Anniversary retrospective installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.

“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”

Style Wars Car by NOC 167 with Door Open, Man Reading Newspaper, 96th Street Station, New York, NY, 1981. (photo © Martha Cooper)

He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.

Guerrilla Girls at Abrons Art Center, New York, 2015. (photo © Andrew Hindrake)

“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.

The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.

Lil’ Crazy Legs during shoot for Wild Style, Riverside Park, NY, 1983. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi Murakami. 

More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.

“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.


BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM

Curator: Roger Gastman

Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente

Producer: Ian Mazie & Pressure Point Creative


Tickets and hours of operation can be found at: BEYONDTHESTREETS.COM


FEATURED ARTISTS INCLUDE:

A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André ​Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER

The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.04.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.04.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! The clocks fell back last night, which means it gave NYC marathon runners a much needed extra hour to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling thinking about the race. Speaking of race, people of different colors are accused of vandalizing in New York with hate crime messages like the anti-semitic messages in a Brooklyn synagogue and anti-African American messages at an African  burial ground. We publish a lot images of Street Art and graffiti here and sometimes people call the pieces vandalism, but let’s be clear – this is a different situation altogether.

It seems like everyone is on edge right now as the mid-term elections this Tuesday are causing dark money and vile candidates to gin up feelings of racism, xenophobia, classism, homophobia, you name it. Friday it even caused one rageful white guy in a Cadillac SUV to punch another driver because he nabbed his parking space. Oh, wait, that was just Alec Baldwin. “What kind of example are you setting for your kids with your little temper tantrum?” asked a New York Post reporter as the Trump impersonator left the police precinct, according to the paper. “Can’t you afford a garage at this point with all the money you make?”

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Ad Tumulum Arts, Al Diaz, Anthony Lister, Claw Money, Duke A. Barnstable, Grimm The Street Kat, Invader, Jeffrey Beebe, JR, Kobra, Raf Urban, and Tomokazu Matsuyama.

Top Image: Raf Urban with Duke A. Barnstable joining in on the side with a somewhat related serenade (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Raf Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jeffrey Beebe #trumprat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR. Houston/Bowery Wall with a forced collaboration that wrote the number “11” as a reference to the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday. They also splashed red paint across the area of the image where people are holding rifles. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR. Houston/Bowery Wall with a forced collaboration. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tomokazu Matsuyama and Snoopy and his little bird friend Woodstock. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tomokazu Matsuyama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra’s invocation of immigrants who came to New York through Ellis island. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Janz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lister (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Claw Money (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Undidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Grimm The Street Kat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ad Tumulum Arts lambastes the comedian Louis CK “for repeated sexual harrassment of women”. He has denied certain claims made against him. Here’s an article about the claims. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Undidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. November 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.21.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.21.18

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Spooky! Days are getting shorter in Brooklyn.

The winds of change are blowing, but few can discern the direction they’ll go in the upcoming elections as the city is going full tilt into fall and a twisted neoliberalism grinds us to into a frenzy of automated stock trading and market swings that make you nauseous, ever higher rents and food costs, forever-stalled wages, food banks that serve 1.5 million hungry New Yorkers annually and yet a brisk business at Tiffany’s…

— and there are delays on the 1,2,3,4,5,6,N,R,Q,M,L,G,E,F,J,W, and Z subway lines. Every day.

There is word that attendance at the upcoming Village Halloween Parade may be down this year because it’s a daily freakshow at the White House so the novelty is worn thin. Zombie here. Zombie there. Zombie everywhere.

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Al Diaz, BB Bastidas, Bob Floss, Captain Eyeliner, Danielle Mastrion, Groose Ling, Invader, Just Paint, Kenor, Lil’ Kool, Michel Velt, Pop Artoons, Sara Erenthal, Sean9Lugo, Subway Doodle, The Postman Art and Vanessa Powers.

Top Image: Girl, I got an attitude. Bowie flips in this intensely colorwashed wheatpaste by The Postman Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sean9Lugo. Detail. For Just Paint. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sean9Lugo for Just Paint. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Subway Doodle for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Thank you Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vanessa Powers (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Space Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Michel Velt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lil’ Kool (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lil’ Kool (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Groose Ling (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Captain Eyeliner (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kenor (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidientified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BB Bastidas for The Lisa Project NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Danielle Mastrion (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pop Artoons (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sara Erenthal. Bob Floss forcing himself on Ms. Erenthal (as in forced collaboration). (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. October 2018 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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“Beyond The Streets” Exhibition : Gastman’s Train Pulls In to LA

“Beyond The Streets” Exhibition : Gastman’s Train Pulls In to LA

A steel-wheeled graffiti train with Roger Gastman at the controls roars into LA’s Chinatown for a two-month stay at this station, a 40,000 square foot warehouse that houses “Beyond the Streets.” Originating at the streets and train yards of the 1960s and 70s, this express survey carries with it 100 or so artists and writers from across the last five decades as practitioners of graffiti, Street Art, and mural painting. Somehow, everyone gets represented.

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Opening night featured many of the names associated with its earliest beginnings of the New York /Philadelphia graffiti scene like Cornbread, Taki183, Futura, Lady Pink, filmmaker Charlie Ahearn, among many others, including photographer Martha Cooper, who in addition to being an artist in the show, shares these photos with BSA readers. She also extensively shares her photos for the accompanying show catalog,  providing documentation from the scene that exist nowhere else.

Retna. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A diverse and almost overwhelming series of displays present the works in a way that can only hint at the thousands of artists who built this story, necessarily viewed through a wide lens: sculpture, photography, installations, and multi-media all join the canvasses and ephemera and Gastman’s collection of vintage paint cans. Smartly planned for the selfie generation, large pieces are presented almost as backdrop ready to be Instagrammed; a direction coming from the “Photos Encouraged” sign that is next to the wall covered with Retna’s original alphabet near the entrance.

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Somewhat of a rejoinder to Art in the Streets, the eponymous graffiti and Street Art exhibition in 2011 at LA MoCA, Beyond the Streets takes a focused look at the multitudinous peoples’ art movement from the perspective of one of that first shows’ original curators, Roger Gastman. When arranging the two month exhibition that closes July 6th, Gastman says that his focus was to celebrate those with street cred, in terms of individual practice, and to combine that requirement with a respectable semblance of a studio practice.

Ultimately he looked for artists who have used their particular approach to expand the definition of art in the streets in some way. That definition by now has become quite wide and it’s also a tall order for any curator to find the common themes here and present them in a cohesive manner.

Beyond The Streets, compiled by Roger Gastman.

Both the accompanying catalog and exhibition take a welcome stance toward educating the audience in many ways, helping the viewer to decode this freewheeling graffiti and mark-making history with basic vocabulary terms, historical events, pop culture inflexion points and examination of tools of the trade all adding context. Catalog essays and interviews are incisive and enlightening, including wit, sarcasm and even the occasional admonishment – notably in the essay by author, filmmaker, and curator Sacha Jenkins, who has been documenting the graffiti scene for a least a couple of decades.

Studying the move of some artists from street practice to commercial gallery that began in earnest with early NYC train writers transitioning to canvasses in the early 1980s, Jenkins upbraids a disgruntled faction among old-school graffiti writers who he characterizes as perhaps intransigent in their stylistic evolution and unwilling to adapt with the game. Later in his essay he lambasts the overtly pleasant and narcissistic cultural newcomers who he sees as milk-toasting the scene with their adoration of pretty murals and shallow sentiments, obtusely ushering in gentrification and “leading up to hearing about how my mother’s building is going to get bulldozed for a hip residential building that has a hot tub in every apartment.” He also may be the only writer here so openly addressing race and class distinctions present during the evolution of the scene and now.

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The selection of artists and writers in the book and exhibition, many of them friends and colleagues with whom Gastman has worked with in the past, offers a rewarding and accessible panoply of styles and views. With some study the visitor understands connections in a widely dispersed multi-player subculture that coalesced and continuously changed its shape and character. But even if they don’t, they still get an amazing amount of eye candy.

The catalog offers extensive sections like those devoted to The History of Spraypaint and Graffiti in Galleries, and offers petite exegesis on influencing factors and benchmarks that shaped the art form’s route like Mobile DJs, The ’77 NYC Blackout, the European graffiti scene and graffiti’s role in gang culture, hip-hop and hardcore music. The compilation aids and supports the fullness of a story that frankly requires many voices to tell it. Gastman even gives forum and exhibition space to activist and defiant guerilla gardener Ron Finley and the holistic urban horticultural oases that he creates in South Central LA, calling it his form of graffiti in empty lots of the city.

Martha Cooper with Taki 183. Beyond The Streets. (photo courtesy of Martha Cooper)

With insightful interviews of artists in the exhibition from talented writers like Caleb Neelon, Caroline Ryder, John Lewis, Alec Banks, Evan Pricco, John Albert, Shelly Leopold, and Gastman himself, there are enough colorful anecdotes and decisive signposts en route to help tell the stories of the artists and their individual approaches to the street.

“The artists do not share a singular style, since they are primarily united by a common element of their personal biographies – the fact that they once made their art in the streets,” says self-described novice to the Street Art / graffiti world, Adam Lerner, the Director and Chief Animator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. “There are, however some threads that run through the works.”

Beyond the Streets will help visitors find some of those threads for themselves and undoubtedly they will forge their own interpretation of art in the streets.

Faile. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Invader. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Slick. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Takashi Murakami with Madsaki, Snipel, Tenga One and Onesker. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Lady Pink. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Charlie Ahearn . Futura . Lady Pink. Crash. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mr. Cartoon. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Futura. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Futura takes a photo of Haze’s art work. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Niels Shoe Meulman. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ron Finley’s Gansta Gardener installation. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Corn Bread. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Corn Bread. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

Crash . Daze. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Katsu. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bill Barminski. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Faith XLVII. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Shepard Fairey. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jenny Holzer, Flashlight (In Collaboration With A-One). Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Blade. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Aiko. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Al Diaz. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Barry Magee. Beyond The Streets. (photo and video below © Martha Cooper)

 

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)


For more information please visit https://www.beyondthestreets.com/

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Basquiat Through The Eyes Of Fellow Artists on the Street

Basquiat Through The Eyes Of Fellow Artists on the Street

The response to our pieces on BSA and Huffpost yesterday has been sort of overwhelming – with people writing to us and commenting and sharing the article in large numbers on social media. Last nights pre-opening party at the museum was also enthusiastic, and although we don’t do the name-dropping thing much, we were gobsmacked to see members of his family at the dinner as well as many of the “Downtown” crowd from that era who were charming and celebratory as we listened to Director Arnold Lehman and the two curators describe the show and the process of putting it together.

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Jeff Aerosol on a rooftop in Brooklyn. January 2010 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

If this personal and virtual traffic is any indication, the new Notebooks show is already a huge hit. Of course Jean-Michel Basquiat AKA ©SAMO AKA Basquiat continues to be an inspiration to a number of artists on the street as well. To mark the upcoming exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum Basquiat The Unknown Notebooks officially opening tomorrow April 3rd, here we present you with a handful of images from our archives with tributes to the influential Brooklyn graffiti writer/ street artist / contemporary artist.

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Zimad in Bushwick, Brooklyn. December 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tomoo Gokita on the streets of Brooklyn. April 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KOBRA on the streets of Brooklyn. October 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Al Diaz remembers his writing partner as SAMO© at “21st Precinct”. Manhattan. August 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Collectivo FX. Sassuolo, Italy. September 2013 (photo © Collectivo FX)

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TYNK. Manhattan. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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