All posts tagged: Ann Lewis

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.26.19 – Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ*

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.26.19 – Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ*

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! – we are smack in the middle of it today.

Colloquially thought of as the first weekend of summer in the US, it is also the first weekend when there are lifeguards at the beach. Since New Yorkers love to head to the Jersey Shore (no offense Coney Island) we thought we’d regale you with some fresh shots this week of cool murals on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Most of these are part of the “Wooden Walls” a program created by Jenn Hampton, co-director of Parlor Gallery, who tells us that it was inspired by the destruction of a hurricane here that pulled up so much of the wooden boardwalk that is iconic to the shore experience here.

Haculla . Mike Shine . Porkchop. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I started doing it after Hurricane Sandy because they were all these boards up from the devastation,” she explains. “It kind of reminded me of when you go into an artists’ studio and there are little excerpts of paintings that the artist is working on. Some may feel sad because they see unfinished  paintings – but for people who are creative it creates excitement because it is about ‘what’s to come.’”

Haculla . Mike Shine. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

She’s always trying to bring art to the public space, so this devastation prompted her to write proposals to start the program and it worked. “It’s weird that it took a natural disaster for me to get funding for an art project!” she laughs. Five years of steadily growing the list of artists, the project now includes local, national, and internationally recognized street artists.

Wooden Walls producer Angie Sugrim says that this project is as personal as it is public. “Jenn and I both feel a deep sense of stewardship in our community and this project and all it entails are our way of giving back and helping to grow what we love about our town. We both are eternal believers in the power of art and seeing it help to transform Asbury Park.”

Haculla . Porkchop. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I try to curate it from the eyes of a six-year-old and a 20-year-old and a 80 year-old – because we get such a diverse crowd on the boardwalk,” says Hampton. “I just want to make sure that there is art in that spirit of creation next to the ocean. I think that there is something really poetic about.”

Time and the elements have begun to fade and weather the walls, but she thinks it just adds character.

“I think people get too attached to public art,” she says. “The impermanence of it makes it really special and you have to see it and engage with it – Mother Nature will take it back when it wants!”

Ann Lewis AKA Gilf!. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So here’s our weekly interview with the street (or boardwalk), this time featuring Ann Lewis, Art of Pau, Beau Stanton, Dee Dee, Fanakapan, Haculla, Hellbent, Indie 184, James Vance, Jessy Nite, Joe Iurato, Lauren Napolitano, Lauren YS, Logan Hicks, London Kaye, Porkchop, RC Hagans, Rubin 415, and Shepard Fairey.

Hellbent. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
James Vance. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rubin 415. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lauren Napolitano. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lauren YS. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jessy Nite. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dee Dee. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fanakapan. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fanakapan. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Art of Pau. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Art of Pau. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Joe Iurato. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Joe Iurato. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shepard Fairey. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Indie 184. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Beau Stanton. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Logan Hicks. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
London Kaye. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
RC Hagans. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
RC Hagans. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
RC Hagans. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Asbury Park, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

*The classic 1973 album from Bruce Springstein, “Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ” – more HERE

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INDECLINE Mounts “People’s Prison” Inside Trump Hotel

INDECLINE Mounts “People’s Prison” Inside Trump Hotel

An ingenious pop-up installation of politically charged art and performance arrived at a Trump hotel in Manhattan yesterday and departed just as fast, with the anonymous Street Art troupe INDECLINE declaring the exhibition “The People’s Prison”.

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The clandestine and complex staging inside the belly of the commercial beast was completely legal and very temporary, leaving behind a pristine suite for the next guests to enjoy, but the interim concrete prison was darkly lit and gave off a cool, dank aura.

Open for invited guests for only a short window of time, the full-scale mise en scene gave a sordid and dark view of present and past politics and power, featuring the leader of the free world in a chandeliered prison with McDonald’s fast food wrappers and live rats at his feet.

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The seated central performer stares out between the bars at the vertical red and white bars of American flags hung as canvasses with new paintings by invited artists like Street Artists Ann Lewis aka GILF!, LMNOPI, and Jesse Hazlip, and studio artists like dark pop queen Molly Crabapple and the multi-disciplinary Panik Collective.

While you take in the completely temporary scene, helpful but quiet INDECLINE members in black ski masks shuffle furtively in your periphery, ready to answer questions or preemptively admonish you not to touch anything. In a time of repeated accusations of “fake news”, demagoguery and disinformation, this real-life fabrication of a dire prison reality is jarring when mounted as it is inside another garishly shiny hotel fabrication of reality.

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each painting is a portrait of an outspoken historian, linguist, political scientist, academic, activist, or philosopher of some renown – a group of current and past thinkers and speakers who collectively would blow the roof off a building with their common sense and de/constructively radical ideas.

But these ideas from people like Noam Chompsky, Betty Friedan, Howard Zinn, Erica Garner, and Edward Snowden rarely make it into the White House or are given voice by the infotainment screen media or newspapers. “History is bigger than any given season, and historically, the greatest heroes have stood for something deeper than politics,” say the artists of INDECLINE in a statement.

“Our biggest concerns is that we, as American citizens – but also on an even deeper level, as Global Citizens – not forget that we are all stranded here on this rock together, and that the greatest crime committed by President Trump is his attempt to profit from and exacerbate the kind of divisiveness that safeguards a true and natural democracy, one that attempts to protect all of its members equally, not draw lines that become margins where those least-represented financially can be quietly swept away.”

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you have come to expect from this inventive and risk-taking troupe, the execution and attention to detail here is as impressive as the sentiments are powerful. This time the location of their intervention is integral to the message.

We interviewed INDECLINE to understand more about “The People’s Prison”

BSA: You chose a number of influential thinkers and philosophers to highlight in a place where they probably wouldn’t even be recognized. Have the wheels completely come off the cart?

INDECLINE: Some of these celebrated figures will most certainly be recognizable here in America and abroad. We did specifically choose a handful of lesser known activists and freedom fighter, but that was simply to shine the light on their efforts and educate the masses to their existence and fighting spirit.

 

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: The concept of trespassing is central to Street Art and graffiti practice. In this case you are not illegally trespassing but perhaps culturally or intellectually?

INDECLINE: While the room was booked using the traditional steps, the installation was still completely unauthorized. We’re also pretty sure snuggling rats into the property violated a number of laws.

 

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Some say that Trump the man is a Trojan Horse to get these insidious ideas inside the halls of power. Is this project a trojan horse of a different color?

INDECLINE: We would agree with that wholeheartedly. Trump is certainly a Trojan Horse. However, he has waged a war with millions of creative and fearless soldiers who risk everything to practice radical thinking, provocative protest techniques, poetic dissidence and subterfuge. The war started a longtime ago and INDECLINE believe it will be the people, not the powerful who will stand victorious.


The second half of this two-part exhibition will replicate “The People’s Prison” in a Pasadena art gallery next month with the sales benefiting a range of organizations from the Native American Rights Fund to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Organizers say part two of this coast to coast show will open April 11.

More details after the video at the end of this posting.

 

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE. “The People’s Prison.”. Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. March 30th 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INDECLINE: The making of “The People’s Prison”

 

Website: www.thisisindecline.com


Below is a list of the participating artists in “The People’s Prison” show along with the figures they painted and chosen charity information related to the April 11th art show.

Anna van Schaap – Betty Friedan – The Sasha Center

Ann Lewis – Erica Garner – Young New Yorkers

Anthony Aspero – Edward Snowden – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

AWARE – Noam Chomsky – Help International

Bandit – Rodolfo “Corky Gonzalez” – Children’s Center for Cancer

Danny Green – Hunter S. Thompson – Alexandria House

Gabe Larson – Muhammed Ali  – Southern Poverty Law Center

Jesse Hazelip – Cornel West – Indigenous Environmental Network

LMNOPi – Lyla June Johnston – Red Willow Farm

Molly Crabapple – Angela Davis – New Sanctuary Bond Fund

The Panik Collective – Howard Zinn – Common Cause Education

Randy Janson – Leonard Peltier – Native American Rights Fund

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Ann Lewis + StudioSpaceNYC Leave Things “Unspoken” in Manhattan

Ann Lewis + StudioSpaceNYC Leave Things “Unspoken” in Manhattan

Some existential thoughts and questions are left UNSPOKEN in our lives. A new collaborative exhibit in a 14th Street pop-up space offers you the opportunity to engage with some of yours. Of course, you need not say anything.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist/conceptual artist Ann Lewis has been working with the design team of studioSPACEnyc to create and interactive an experiential installation incorporating linear digital rainstorms of light-mapped emotion and memory for you to lay beneath and look up into as it glitters and trickles and flickers across your mind. You may also just wish to walk around them as they flicker in geometric masses, easily punctuated by your hand or body.

Lewis invites you to contemplate weightier (or loftier) matters of impermanence and infinity with toe tags hanging at the end of these 115,000 feet of reflective strings. To further engage with the immersive installation, you can leave your mark on one of the toe tags by filling out short answers to some of life’s magnificient and somehow elusive questions.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with the artist and the curator, Zahra Sherzad, of Killer Media, who produced the exhibition that runs through February 15th.

Brooklyn Street Art: You have used toe tags previously in your work. What do they symbolize for you.
Ann Lewis: Toe tags carry the weight of our lives on them. As much as their 5 or 6 lines can define a person they’re so impersonal but infer this inevitability to the living. I have used them in the past to humanize the data surrounding those who have lost their lives to police brutality, or drug addiction. They have, up until this point, symbolized a finality.

Brooklyn Street Art: As an interactive exhibit, viewers are invited to contribute their answers to rather existential questions like “ Do we actually exist” and “What is the ultimate freedom?” How did you arrive at these questions?
Ann Lewis: While developing this project the curator Zahra Sherzad and I lost a mutual friend to drug addiction. I spent a lot of time considering her death and began to recognize for the first time that the only reason I’ve ever feared death is because of the loss I associate with it when others have passed. Then I began to consider what if death is an amazing adventure? Just because it’s an unknown doesn’t mean it has to be feared. I went down a meta wormhole wondering if we’re even alive right now! It’s so great not to have the answers

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Immersive exhibitions usually have to strike a balance between leaving you alone and engaging you to participate. How do you plan for the variety of responses?
Ann Lewis: In my opinion good installation art must really consider how a participant will flow through the space. It must offer space and time for reflection as well as opportunities to engage. I like to offer those opportunities at the beginning of the experience and if possible create a movement throughout the space that is nonlinear which lends itself to personalized, unique experiences that in turn become strong memories that stay with the participant long after she leaves the space.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: When you work on the street do you ever think of elements or people in public space as part of your exhibition?
Ann Lewis: That’s the first thing I think of even before I know what the work will be. A good percentage of the work I’ve put outside has been site specific. Scouting is such a fun part of the job. One must recognize the context in which the work will be viewed in order to really have the opportunity to create an impactful experience for the viewer.

Brooklyn Street Art: What would be a good outcome for you if you could chose a viewers experience at this show?
Ann Lewis: I think having a participant leave the space questioning her understanding of her own perception of our world would be very exciting.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you select Ann Lewis and studioSPACEart for this exhibition?
Zahra Sherzad: We wanted to create an interactive art installation, around the conversation of dying with dignity for the TV series “Kill Me”. We chose Ann as a multidisciplinary activist artist using painting, installation, and participatory performance. She has an ongoing work called “…and counting”, an interactive installation made with hung toe tags.  We brought the StudioSpaceNYC boys in with their projection mapping strings to add a cinematic experience and as a way to transport people into another world.

Brooklyn Street Art: Your projects have a social mission that runs parallel to your exhibits you curate. Are there particular symbols here that resonate with that mission?
Zahra Sherzad: “Unspoken” is a way to provoke thought around how we view death, which is what the series “Kill Me” is about.  We are not telling people what to think nor are we asking them to take a definitive position on the issues around mercy killing and dying with dignity. The viewers of the exhibition are asked to participate by filling out a questionnaire tailored to the shows script on the toe tags that asks questions about their relationship and experience with death.  As the days tick forward the installation grows as participants add new tags.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


UNSPOKEN

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc

January 18 – February 15, 2018

Killer Impact, a Killer Content company, is pleased to present “Unspoken” – a collaborative exhibit between artists Ann Lewis and studioSPACEnyc, curated by Killer’s Director of Visual Art, Zahra Sherzad at
149 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011.

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.28.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.28.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Stumbling and slipping and dancing through January here in New York requires dexterity and a tolerance for dry skin and flattened hat-hair and the occasional sore throat.  Thankfully there are great indoor activities sometimes like the huge trippy balloon installations by suave art dynamo Jihan Zencirli at her opening exhibition inside the NYC Ballet atrium Friday night. Hundreds of thousands of balloons, free bourbon, and a DJ after a surprisingly post-post-modern program of envelope pushing dancing on the mainstage by amazing pros! Gurl, that ballet is ballin’.

Elsewhere in art news the Guggenheim’s Nancy Specter offered a gold-plated toilet to the White House after turning down their request to borrow a VanGogh, people lined up to see “One Basquiat” at the Brooklyn Museum this week while they streamed by many Basquiats on New York Streets without looking in the 80s, and New York magazine announced a “public art” campaign with 50 artists (Yoko Ono, Barbara Krueger, Marilyn Minter) this year that sounds a lot like it is borrowing heavily from Street Art techniques “throughout the five boroughs and in a variety of formats, such as on street lamps or “wild postings” on walls around the city.” Wild postings?

One more indoor exhibit totally worth your time is Ann Lewis’s installations at a no-name popup in Manhattatan.  The conceptual Street/gallery activist artist continues to push her own boundaries, and many of ours, with her work addressing difficult social and political issues like police brutality, institutional bias against women, racism, the Resistance. At a time when we need women’s voices to rise, she collaborates with StudioSpaceNYC at a pop-up at 149 West 14th Street (shots from the installation below).

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Ann Lewis, Atomik, Jihan Zencirli, Obey, Pet-de-None, Shepard Fairey, Studio Space NYC and Tona.

Top Image: TONA in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

OBEY in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis and Studio Space NYC  exhibition/collaboration “Unspoken”. Stay tuned for more on this exhibition. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis and Studio Space NYC  exhibition/collaboration “Unspoken”. Stay tuned for more on this exhibition. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pet-de-None in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cinza in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Atomik in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hasta la vista B2B in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DON’T EAT ME in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We couldn’t read this tag…help anyone? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA Geronimo at the NYC Ballet installation. Detail. More to come shortly… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA Geronimo at the NYC Ballet installation. Detail. More to come shortly… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan and the East River from the Williamsburg Bridge. January 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.05.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.05.17

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

We had a chance at Spring this week, and then it blew away. We’re back to the Antarctic for a few days.

NYC was inundated by art fairs as well, which was swell. Volta, Scope, Clio, Spring/Break – which was surprisingly not political or contentious, given its rather outsider status. Fair talk was glum, attendance was actually light at times, and most people where blaming you-know-who.

Perhaps that’s why Thursday’s opening of Trumpomania was packed and rather sweaty, although when you have 30 countries and 30 artists represented, you will probably fill the place. Even so, the energy was palpable, and guests freely “voiced their concerns”, as your high school guidance counselor might say, about a seemingly corrupt cabal that is practicing shock and awe on/upon the country daily.

One portly fellow at the show with a perspiring red face, beige cardigan, overcoat, and a backpack possibly containing an anvil, accosted us forcefully with champagne flute in hand to nearly yell for 10-12 minutes straight about Russians, cabinet heads that want to destroy their departments, Goldman Sachs, Exxon, the wall, book burning, impeachment, recusals, Jewish cemetery vandalism, teleprompter scripted calmness, possible alzheimer’s, and general viciousness. It was a Greatest Hits album minus the catchy hooks and clever phrasing – but with all the drums and guitar solos. (For you kids, an album was this flat wax disc that contained 9 songs you didn’t want and 1 song you did… oh never mind.) Just before he ignited into flames or triggered the heart attack which appeared to be imminent, we were mercifully interrupted and led away to look at OLEK’s pussy
art and Icy & Sot’s crocheted barbed wire fence piece.

Out on the streets of New York and elsewhere, artists are nearly yelling as well with their text based and figurative Street Art work. There appears to be no rest right now, and everyone is losing sleep or fighting or shaking their heads or “finding healthy strategies to achieve a sense balance” in a chaotic gritty abrasive beautiful city that somehow keeps racing forward no matter what the hell is going on.

City that never sleeps? We hear that.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Ann Lewis, Beast, BustArt, El Sol 25, Empty Boy, Epic Uno, Felipe Pantone, Icy & Sot, Jerk Face, King, Koralie Supakitch, Mikael Takacs, Nico Panda, OLEK, Sen2, Smells, Stinkfish, and UFO 907.

Top image: UFO907 . Smells (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist on the street. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sen2 at Trumpomania. Salomon Arts Tribeca. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot at Trumpomania. Salomon Arts Tribeca. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Olek at Trumpomania. Salomon Arts Tribeca. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mikael Takacs at Trumpomania. Salomon Arts Tribeca. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

King (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Empty Boy . Stinkfish in Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Stinkfish)

Felipe Pantone (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nico Panda . Beast (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BustArt. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © BustArt)

Jerk Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Koralie Supakitch (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Koralie Supakitch. Deatil. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Epic Uno (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Epic Uno (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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WAGMAG Benefit Tuesday – Supporting Brooklyn Artists for a Decade+

This Tuesday night the annual benefit with work donated by 100+ artists will keep WAGMAG free for everyone. The local art guide started around the same time as the current street art explosion did in the early 2000’s – and the handy guide existed solely as a way to get the word out about openings at art collectives and galleries in the then-artist-neighborhood of Williamsburg. While gentrification has chased most of the artists out of Williamsburg now, Brooklyn continues to boom with some of the freshest ideas and talents and WAGMAG’s maps help you to find shows in 15 neighborhoods all over the borough.

The brainchild and labor of love of Brooklyn artist and gallery owner Daniel Aycock in those early years, WAGMAG now is run by Daniel and his artist wife Kathleen Vance. Together they own the Front Room gallery and regularly work with most of the players on the Brooklyn art scene, keeping it real and accessible. They are also big Street Art fans and have allowed the walls on the front of their gallery to be painted and pasted many times over the years by a parade of Street Artists.

Street Artist Noah Sparkes donates work to the WAGMAG Benefit (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In celebration of all the good work they do to enable artists to receive exposure for their work, and to encourage you to go to their fundraiser Tuesday, BSA talked with Daniel and Kathleen about WAGMAG and Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Street Art: How long have you been in Williamsburg?

Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance: WAGMAG, started in 2001 as W(illiamsburg) A(nd) G(reenpoint) M(onthly) A(rt) G(uide). Eventually the demand for listings in other neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn made it necessary to expand to include all of the art districts in Brooklyn. Then we dropped the Acronym and became WAGMAG, Brooklyn Art Guide.  We now serve the communities of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Bushwick, Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Gowanus, Greenpoint, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Red Hook and Williamsburg.

Brooklyn artist Scott Chasse donated this piece “Keep Smiling” to the WAGMAG Benefit.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe what WAGMAG is?
Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance:
It’s a free monthly art guide that promotes art venues and exhibitions in Brooklyn with a free listing service of art exhibitions and events, with locations and times, community maps and critical reviews.

Art venues are listed in community networks with adjoining maps and alphabetical listing of exhibitions updated monthly and circulated throughout New York. Guest writers present recommendations of exhibits to visit, with critical reviews for additional reference. WAGMAG, a Brooklyn Art Guide, is online at wagmag.org and in print with a free 16-page printed guide that is circulated throughout New York and surrounding areas.

 

Street Artist Gilf! donated this piece “Empower Equality” (62/200)  to the WAGMAG Benefit

Brooklyn Street Art: You have had street artists on your wall outside the gallery like Noah Sparkes, C215, Nick Walker. How do you look at street art in Brooklyn? 

Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance: The offices of WAGMAG are in The Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg, in a building that has historically been a fertile ground for street artists.  We love the public access to art, made available 24hrs, 7 days a week by street artists, which is unexpected,  sometimes challenging, and innovative in process and placement.

Street Artist Chris of the collective Robots Will Kill donated this piece “We are 138 ” to the WAGMAG Benefit.

Brooklyn Street Art: Are there any Street Artists donating to the WAGMAG benefit this year?
Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance:
Yeah, absolutely. We have Chris (RWK), LOL,  Gilf!, and Noah Sparkes.

Brooklyn Street Art: Why is Brooklyn such a vibrant lively place for artists to work and live?
Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance:
Brooklyn has been a magnet for artists for decades. The availability of studio space and relatively lower rents creates an oasis outside of Manhattan – making it into a huge artists’ mecca.  Brooklyn builds strength from its communities – which have a friendly and open attitude that fuels creativity and expands the boundaries of art-making today.

Here’s a piece in Bushwick Chris (RWK) did a couple of years ago (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WAGMAG benefit committee member and artist David Kesting was doodling the rules on a piece of paper during one of the organizing meetings and he came up with the de facto WAGMAG Benefit guide!  Good job David!  This makes it so much easier to understand how the benefit works. (© David Kesting)

Brooklyn Artist Ward Shelly is one of the better known names who have contributed art to the WAGMAG benefit. This print is called “the History of Science Fiction” (© Ward Shelly)

Street Artist LOL donated this “Love Soldier” to the WAGMAG benefit and will be happy to install it for you (photo © LOL)

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See a full list of the artists works and purchase tickets here:

The WAGMAG Benefit will be at The Boiler (191 North 14th Street) in Williamsburg. Additional info is at www.supportwagmag.org

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