All posts tagged: Alexandre Keto

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.24.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.24.16

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Vote for the one candidate who does not need this job,” intoned one of the many speakers who are receiving a trust fund from DJ Trump this week at the RNC convention. That’s convincing, isn’t it?

Blonde Women’s Lives Matter. Make America Salem Again. I am the Law.

The Donald didn’t let us down again this week – and for those of you who think we’re being partisan, we’re not. This dork has been doing this stuff in New York since the 80s – and we are all used to his grandiose claims and mid-speech reversals.  But this week the RNC looked like it was going to devolve into Lord of the Flies crossed with the Salem Witch trials.  No wonder the Street Art we keep seeing is approximately 10 to 1 against him – and still he’s like a gushing geyser of humor, comedy gold! Except for the violent parts.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alexandre Keto, Astro, Coloquix, Cyrcle, Dee Dee, Elle, Funquest, Lapiz, Leipzig, OverUnder, Patch Whisky, Uncut Tart, and You Go Girl!.

Our top image: Elle for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Elle for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thankfully there IS a light at the other end of the tunnel. Astro for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter took over a billboard to great effect (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Coloquix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexandre Keto for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in West Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexandre Keto for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in West Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexandre Keto for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in West Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Patch Whisky for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in West Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lapiz for Urban Art Festival Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Lapiz)

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You Go Girl! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Overunder (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Overunder for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Funqest (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rabi of Cyrcle (and friends) for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uncut Tart remembers the power and style of Run DMC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uncut Tart. Michael Jackson. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uncut Tart. Notorious BIG. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Uncut Tart. Bob Marley (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marina Zumi for #NotACrime in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy in East Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist. Something about freedom of religion restricted under communism? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. East River. Brooklyn, NYC. July 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Queens Hit “Top To Bottom” by New Mural Project in L.I.C.

Queens Hit “Top To Bottom” by New Mural Project in L.I.C.

The spirit of New Yorks’ 5 Pointz graffiti/Street Art holy place has popped up in the same Queens neighborhood where it was demolished in 2014, and since last summer more than 50 local and international aerosol artists have been hitting a new project “Top to Bottom”.

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The choice of “Top to Bottom”, a graffiti term that recalls 1970s trains painted their entire height, is no mistake as creative director James P. Quinn reveres the classic style and histories of those original writers like internationally and institutionally celebrated artists Crash and Daze, who have collaborated on a mural here.

Additionally, in yet another sign that the celebration of art on the streets is ever more ecumenical, Quinn and his project lead Geoff Kuffner are bringing the newer Street Artists who are expanding and  defining the current era for art in the streets like Case Ma’Claim and Rubin 415. Not surprisingly, both of these artists started in graffiti, as did nearly every name here.

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Case MaClaim (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I felt like a comfortable amount of space should be allocated to certain styles,” says Quinn as he describes the process of parceling out spots for the façade and roof of  the 124,000-square-foot former warehouse. Truthfully, he tells us, not all the surfaces and shapes are attractive to graffiti artists, so a variety of styles is best.

“I tried to fit them in where I felt that graff writers could enjoy themselves and do something expansive. There are only a couple of spaces here that fit the epic, horizontally spaced forms of style writing. There are a lot of strange shapes to navigate as a painter here, rather than easy space to develop style as a writer.”

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Cern (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Quinn and Kuffner give a couple of visitors a tour around the entire block on a gray day where heavy fog hangs in the air obscuring the top half of Manhattan and they excitedly recall stories about the many installations in this first project of their newly formed Arts Org NYC. Using the word “garden” often, Quinn reiterates that this project for them is a “proof of concept” for bigger projects that will spread further through the city. “Ultimately I’m approaching it as a mural project,” says Quinn, who has organized mural programs a number of times since the 1990s. “It’s just a beginning.”

Street Art has evolved into districts of murals in cities as a gentrification device in the last five years and despite the critique that it is often used for economic development, many urban art watchers would also agree that we’re in the middle of a renaissance of public/private art. Quinn says he wants to capture part of the public’s new interest and make it grow. “I’d like to leverage the current hype and acceptance of mural painting to open up doors to people – old women, young kids, everybody.”

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Cern (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The neighborhood itself feels like it is in transition but it is not clear where it is heading. With Silvercup Studios and the number 7 subway line nearby and MoMA PS1 within a 10 minute walk, a quick survey reveals mixed light industry, sweatshops, corner delis, and the occasional strip club. Below the off-ramp of the Queensboro Bridge, which sweeps past the “Top to Bottom” exhibition, you will see first and second generation immigrants from the areas’ latin and African communities walking by, and Quinn reminds you that the Queensbridge Projects where Hip-Hop storyteller NAS grew up is just a short walk from here.

Conversation turns to plans for more focused programming on the walls in Phase II, possible fine art shows with local gallery spaces, and ultimately a city-wide mural project that offers art and art-making to greater audiences, including school kids.

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DMOTE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I do feel like murals get focused in certain locations but I feel like the entire city as a whole is still suffering. Huge demographics aren’t getting the painting,” he says, invoking the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. “I feel like my ‘I Have a Dream’ speech about this project is that I hope it gets to the point where 10 year-olds can have as much access to a neighborhood as developers.”

Does he think that projects like this are pawns for business interests to draw investments into the neighborhood and push poorer populations out? “You can debate whether or not we are opening the way for more shiny condos… but that shit is happening whether we do this or not. For me the importance is keeping us here; So we’re not totally pushed out 30-45 minutes away from here”

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DMOTE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Because of its proximity to the now destroyed 5 Pointz, where hundreds, perhaps thousands, of urban artists painted a much larger block repeatedly for two decades, we ask Quinn if he’s concerned with comparisons.

“I’ve always managed other projects like this in my own style and my own way. There are comparable aspects and I have nothing but a huge sensitivity and respect for Meres and 5 Pointz,” he says, referring to the artist and de facto director of the hallowed spot. “It’s comparable only because it’s a building and it’s in Long Island City. But this is only a jump-off. I want to do way more projects like this across the city.”

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DMOTE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the business partners walk past new pieces by DMote, Li-Hill, Icy & Sot, and Jick, the topic of the historically strained relationship between graffiti writers and Street Artists appears to be addressed head-on by the project by the inclusion of all manner of painter. The guys say that it is less of an issue than some people would have you think. As a long-time artist and muralist and curator of projects like this, Quinn says he’s over the supposed rivalry of the two camps, and sees mainly just one camp these days.

“I don’t know what the fans of graffiti or Street Art have any problem with. To me it’s all awesome.”

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DMOTE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexandre Keto (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EGS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Binho (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Binho (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cekis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NEVER and Dirty Bandits (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sean9Lugo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zumi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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PORK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin415 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin415 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Key Details (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li Hill (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li Hill (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Yes Two (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pixote (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kans115 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze . Crash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Erasmo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

For more about ArtsOrg please go to www.artsorg.nyc.
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This article is also published on The Huffington Post 

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