All posts tagged: Arrested Motion

Fun Friday 06.08.12

Hey!  It’s Friday!!!  What’s for breakfast? Oatmeal and Hamlet!  IF you are brave enough to go all the way down the stairs, that is.

1. “City of Fire” Sparkles in Beverly Hills (CA)
2. Stencil Bastards (Zurich)
3. “20:12” in London
4. Figment 2012 (NYC)
5. 2012 London Gymnast by #CodeFC (VDEO)
6. Voice of Art with Enik One. Los Angeles and the crackdown on murals (VDEO)
7. Conor Harrington Will “Meat” You on the Street and in the Studio (VIDEO)
8. YO! It’s ND’A Up on a Roof in Bushwick, BK Baby! (VIDEO)

“City of Fire” Sparkles in Beverly Hills (CA)

“City of Fire” is a group exhibition that includes some of your favorite Street Artists skewing decidedly uptown and curated by Arrested Motion.

Artists include: Cyrcle, Thomas Doyle, Ron English, James Jean, Kid Zoom, Dave Kinsey, Mars-1, Patrick Martinez, Pedro Matos, REVOK, Rostarr, SABER, Andrew Schoultz, Jeff Soto, Judith Supine, TrustoCorp, Mark Dean Veca, Nick Walker, and Adam Wallacavage. You can look forward to rockin’ art and cool rocks.

Judith Supine on the streets of Williamsburg (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Stencil Bastards (Zurich)

Christian Guemy curates “Stencil Bastards”, a group exhibition that showcases a select group of artists who work with stencils. Opening tonight at the Starkart Exhibitions Gallery in Zürich, Switzerland, these are some of Europe’s best at the moment.

Artists included in the show are: Epsylon Point (FR), C215 (FR), Eime (PT), Btoy (ES), Orticanoodles (IT), Kris Trappeniers (BE), Leckomio (DE) and Snik (UK).

C215 on the streets of Baltimore. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“20:12” in London

The show “20:12” at The Curious Duke Gallery in London, UK is now open in time for the Olympics with a solo show by #codefc. The artist has been creating stencil art as a commentary on the imminent games to be inaugurated momentarily in London, using his signature image of a camera to play with traditional images of athletes shown performing various sport disciplines. Check out the multimedia video near the end of the posting.

#codefc “Cyclist” (photo © #codefc)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Figment 2012 (NYC)

It’s back!  Take the boat to Governor’s island this weekend and play in the grass and the trees and see art, installations, and performances. Figment 2012 in New York City opens this Saturday at 10:00 AM – A multidisciplinary art festival that welcomes all regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation and body fat index.

If you would like to spend two full days (no nights) on a beautiful Island on the East River taking in all sorts of art and experiences and meet the artists who make it first hand then this is the event of your dreams. Go! You’ll have fun.

Deborah-Yoon “Hive Mind” Figment 2009 (photo © Michael-Dolan)

For further information regarding this event click here.

2012 London Gymnast by #CodeFC (VIDEO)

Watch the Street Artist create a stencil and watch 50 other graphic elements fly, flicker, and shimmer across the screen at the same time.  It’s the Gymnastic Minority Report!

Voice of Art with Enik One. Los Angeles and the crackdown on murals. (VIDEO)

It’s weird how they disguised his voice and face on this, like he’s an international extraterrestrial terrorist of some sort. Dude, he’s smacking up some wheatpastes. Calm yourself.

Conor Harrington Will “Meat” You on the Street and in the Studio (VIDEO)

Giving us the lowdown on his formative graff years and his subsequent transition into fine art and his continuing love for both games – a promo from his show at Lazerides.

YO! It’s ND’A Up on a Roof in Bushwick, BK Baby! (VIDEO)

Dan Gingold and Andrew Morton shot and produced this very atmospheric time-lapse video of ND’A just off the train tracks of the JMZ – a ghostlike shimmer on a rooftop. Well done.

On a side note, we hear that the primary goal of this video is to bring fame to the participants, which hopefully will result in a yacht filled with whiskey and strippers.  If you are invited I would wear my life preserver the entire time just in case. Nothing else, just the life preserver.

 

 

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Fun Friday 11.25.11

Today is traditionally a day of shopping here in New York but we don’t have much coin to spare, so what’s next on the agenda? It is sunny and fresh outside right now so we’re thinking of going to take a walking tour of the neighborhood – if only to process yesterdays Thanksgiving feast and the 2 pieces of pumpkin pie and whipped cream that were piled on in a Jack Daniels-induced stupor deep in the night. You could go to MoMA to see the DeKooning retrospective and at the same time the murals Diego Rivera made for the museum in the early ’30s, but that will cost you an entrance fee unless today is one of their Free Friday nights. Sometimes it is just as fun to hit the gallery of the streets, to stretch you legs and employ a bemused attitude as busy shoppers are buzzing in and out of stores keeping the economy going.

Here’s some cool stuff you may also be interested in:

1. LUDO in a Solo Show at The Garage “Super Discount” (Amsterdam)
2. “East West Connection”, curated by Arrested Motion (Hong Kong)
3. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda Solo Show Now Open (Barcelona)
4. Cryptic Solo on Saturday Night at Hold Up (LA)
5. David Walker “Brides on Fire”
6. “Contemporary Istanbul” An Urban and Contemporary Art Fair
7. “Surface Tension” at Ambush Gallery in Sydney
8. “Peeled, Pasted and Posted” at Gift to Gab Gallery
9. The Bishop, Augustine Kofie and Remi/Rough by Agents of Change (VIDEO)
10. “Outside In” Movie Trailer: The Story Of Arts In The Streets (VIDEO)
11. Blek le Rat 30 Years Later By Spencer Keeton Cunningham (VIDEO)

LUDO in a Solo Show at The Garage “Super Discount” (Amsterdam)

French Street Artist LUDO is having a solo show in this cool private space in Amsterdam, opening today.

LUDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here

“East West Connection”, curated by Arrested Motion (Hong Kong)

Tanley Wong tells us about this curatorial project for an art show that he and Arrested Motion are throwing in Hong Kong. Featured in the show at Above Second Gallery is a lineup of fresh artwork from artists such as Shepard Fairey, Faile, Tomokazu “Matsu” Matsuyama, Akino Kondoh, Nick Walker and more.

Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Participating Artists: Luke Chueh, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Evah Fan, Stella Im Hultberg, Tat Ito, Akino Kondoh, Travis Louie, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Brendon Monroe, Edwin Ushiro, Nick Walker, and Yoskay Yamamoto.

For further information regarding this show click here

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda Solo Show Now Open (Barcelona)

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda Solo Show at the Galeria Ignacio De-Lassaletta in Barcelona, Spain opens today to the public after the official opening last night. “Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada is a founder of the New York Culture Jamming movement and an innovator in the international urban art scene. Since the late 90´s he has been replacing the faces of cultural icons chosen by advertisers with the faces of anonymous people to question the controls imposed on public space.”

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda (image © courtesy of the gallery)

For further information regarding this show click here

You can also check out a fine interview on Fecal Face with Mr. Rodriguez-Gerada.

Cryptic Solo on Saturday Night at Hold Up (LA)

Street Art collective Cryptic is having a solo show in Little Tokyo tomorrow night,  “Sacred Syllables” at Hold Up Art.

Cryptik (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here

Also happening this weekend:

David Walker “Brides on Fire” opens today to the public at the Rook and Raven Gallery in London. Click here for more information.

“Contemporary Istanbul” An Urban and Contemporary Art Fair taking place this weekend in Instanbul, Turkey.  Click here for more information.

“Surface Tension” at Ambush Gallery in Sydney, Australia. Click here for more information.

“Peeled, Pasted and Posted” at Gift to Gab Gallery in San Jose, CA. Click here for more information.

The Bishop, Augustine Kofie and Remi/Rough by Agents of Change (VIDEO)

 

“Outside In” Movie Trailer: The Story Of Arts In The Streets (VIDEO)

 

Blek le Rat 30 Years Later By Spencer Keeton Cunningham (VIDEO)

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Above Second Avenue Gallery Presents: East West Connection. A Group Exhibition Curated By Arrested Motion (Hong Kong)

East West Connection
Nick Walker. Image Courtesy of Arrested Motion

Above Second Gallery is pleased to present East West Connect, a group exhibition curated by Arrested Motion (www.arrestedmotion.com) featuring the work of Luke Chueh, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Evah Fan, Stella Im Hultberg, Tat Ito, Akino Kondoh, Travis Louie, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Brendon Monroe, Edwin Ushiro, Nick Walker, and Yoskay Yamamoto. The exhibition will run from November 25th until January 12th with an opening scheduled for Friday November 25h (6-10 pm).

The showing, East West Connect, brings together thirteen participants chosen carefully from a diverse selection of artists covered by the online art magazine for their inaugural curatorial feature at the Hong Kong showspace. Each artist, despite differing ethnicities and nationalities, can either claim an Asian heritage and/or have utilized imagery inspired by the Far East in the past. Most of those included, although they have a common interest in the region, have not had major shows in Asia. By bringing their collective work back to its geographic “source,” so to speak, the exhibition hopes to deal with themes of identity for those who have dual cultural allegiances, explore the melding and fusion of artistic influences, and foster the discussion of the work when brought into local context when comparing audiences in the East and West. The vibrant city-state of Hong Kong, long considered to be the gateway between East and West, and now the epicenter of a booming art market in the region, seemed to be an appropriate location for this exhibition.

About Arrested Motion (http://www.arrestedmotion.com):

Arrested Motion is an art culture hub started up in 2008 by a group of collectors who saw the opportunity to share their love for artists they knew through extensive online and onsite coverage.  Along with the associated Artchival Forum (http://artchival.proboards.com/), the website has grown from its humble beginnings to over half a million hits a month while reporting on the contemporary, street/urban, and so called low brow art scene in all the major art centers of the world. Their goal is to provide unique and exclusive content while demonstrating that art is for people of all ages and socioeconomic groups.

About The Gallery (http://blog.above-second.com/)

Above Second is an artist-run gallery and studio space existing as a catalyst for the expanding new contemporary art movement exploding forth from the streets / art schools / design studios from around the world. Located near the Central District of Hong Kong Island, the gallery has cultured a network of local emerging young talent and international artists whose work is rarely exhibited in Asia.

Their Art Residency programs are designed to provide a space for the visiting artists, without any limitations, as a setting to be progressive and innovate. They are proud to have collaborated with artists from Denmark, Italy, Australia, USA, UK, Mexico, China, and locally. One of the most successful examples of this is their POW WOW (http://welovecampfires.com/powwow/) event series. The first POW WOW was held in Hong Kong (http://welovecampfires.com/powwow/2010/12/pow-wow-hong-kong-press/) and then most recently in Hawaii in February of this year  (http://welovecampfires.com/powwow/2011/04/pow-wow-hawaii-press/).

To RSVP or to be placed on the preview list, please email info@above-second.com. Further questions can also be directed to Hung-Hei Yung (hunghei@arrestedmotion.com) and Tanley Wong (tanley@arrestedmotion.com). Address: Above Second Gallery, 31 Eastern Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong.

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OBEY MARTHA: Shepard Fairey Pays a Large Tribute to Martha Cooper and “Defiant Youth” in New York

OBEY MARTHA: Shepard Fairey Pays a Large Tribute to Martha Cooper and “Defiant Youth” in New York

Sidewalk Philosopher Fairey Talks about New York, LA, Hype, May Day and this country of immigrants while pasting a building-sized ovation to a photographer and her work.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey and Team begin placement of large new piece in Soho.

Street artist Shepard Fairey was out on the streets of New York again yesterday in advance of his Saturday opening at Deitch Projects.  This time it was to put up a large portrait based on a black and white photograph by Martha Cooper called “Defiant Youth”.

"Defiant Youth", by Martha Cooper (©)

“Defiant Youth”, by Martha Cooper (©)

While the original photo presented a group of young boys aligned in a semi-militaristic configuration, the Fairey version slightly altered the number and postures to achieve his graphic sense of balance.  Cooper’s images have served as inspiration for many artists over the years and also have been re-interpreted. Read our interview with her about the subject HERE.

Martha Cooper (foreground) Shepard and Tanley from Arrested Motion (background)

Martha Cooper (foreground) with Shepard and Tanley Wong from Arrested Motion (background) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ms. Cooper, an ethnographer, was also on hand to capture the moment yesterday, snapping many photos and happily reflecting on what it was like to be a female on the scene running around with graffiti writers in the 70’s.  While she could see how some female photographers might have run into sexism in a predominantly male enterprise, Martha said that most of the writers thought little of her gender. They were taking photos of their work anyway and were happy to have a photographer around capturing their stuff before it disappeared.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey holding one of the roses soon to be stuffed in the end of a gun (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey  (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

During a break from the job, Mr. Fairey talked to BSA for a couple of minutes:

Brooklyn Street Art: What’s the difference between putting work up in LA and putting up in New  York

Shepard Fairey: Well, in LA you have to do everything big because everybody’s in a car. In New York there is a lot of foot traffic so even the smallest sticker is going to get seen by people walking around. I think also in New York  you want to integrate your stuff into the landscape in a way that makes sense with all the other art and architecture. LA is more sort of a wasteland – you know it’s built on top of a desert and there are a lot of flat spaces and a lot more open spaces.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I think New York has got more character and you can really put your work up in a way that makes sense with the other structures and the other art.  LA is more of a free-for-all; You’ve got billboards and walls and fences and boarded up things that are always changing.  Other than that it’s just the scale. For years I didn’t put anything up in New York. I just put up stickers and stencils on the lamp bases, which were a perfect canvas. And then later on I started to go a little big bigger with posters and then even bigger so I could do roof tops because getting yourself higher up where it’s harder to get to makes it run longer.  I just enjoy walking in New York – and you’ve gotta do everything driving in LA.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How about the reception from the public? Do you think there’s more hype in LA? Are people warmer in the way they relate to your work – or do you see any difference?

Shepard Fairey: I think people are more aggressive and caustic in New York in general. It’s more dense. There’s more of an old-school sort of proprietary nature to all of culture and sub-culture in New York: whether it’s an old landlord or an old graffiti writer, people are sort of full of piss and vinegar in New York. But I think the challenge of doing things in New York against all these elements is one of the great things about it.  It’s a little more laid-back in LA.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As far as hype – there is hype everywhere.  In LA I think, recently street art became more of a popular thing so all sorts of young actors and people like that who don’t know that much about the culture latch onto it so it trends in a way that’s a little bit different but…. You know, there is hype everywhere.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey at work against a clear NYC sky. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard with his assistants

Shepard with his team at the end of the job (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: As May Day approaches, people have been talking about the current anti-immigration laws in this country, specifically in Arizona, which are very draconian and harsh. Are you going to do a campaign in response to it, or how do you feel about the topic?

Shepard Fairey: You haven’t been looking at my website. My immigration reform posters that I actually created last year for May 1st are back up.  I’ve printed up a new batch and collaborated with my friend Ernesto, who I worked on stuff last year with also.  I’m working with some different organizations.

From the Obeygiant.com website, "The continual persecution and exploitation of immigrants continues to grow in the United States of America. Anti-immigrant laws like Arizona’s SB1070 and national initiatives like Secure Communities and the 287(g) program have set this country back 60 years to a civil rights crisis. Hate crimes and racial hate groups are on the rise targeting latinos and immigrants, blaming these communities for the ales of society. On May 1st 2010 the voices of this community will be heard once again throughout this country denouncing the anti-immigrant sentiments. The purpose of these images and prints are to gain awareness and action to help change and improve immigration policy and perceptions. All the proceeds from these prints will go towards community based projects. "

From the Obeygiant.com website, “The continual persecution and exploitation of immigrants continues to grow in the United States of America. Anti-immigrant laws like Arizona’s SB1070 and national initiatives like Secure Communities and the 287(g) program have set this country back 60 years to a civil rights crisis. Hate crimes and racial hate groups are on the rise targeting latinos and immigrants, blaming these communities for the ails of society. On May 1st 2010 the voices of this community will be heard once again throughout this country denouncing the anti-immigrant sentiments. The purpose of these images and prints are to gain awareness and action to help change and improve immigration policy and perceptions. All the proceeds from these prints will go towards community based projects. “

Yeah, I’m an immigrant.  My family is originally from Europe. Everybody in this country other than the Native Americans are immigrants so to me it’s really ridiculous to not treat people like human beings just because they are not citizens.  It’s a country that’s really founded on the idea of pursuing a better life and so it seems very ridiculous to not respect that ambition today but respect it from a hundred or two hundred years ago.  It’s a complex issue because populations are growing and we are running out of space and resources but I think the way it’s being handled – it’s not aligned with the ideas about human rights that I think this country was founded on so I’d like to see it done a little differently.

Obey!

Obey! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper’s Influence: Inspiration, Imitation, and Flattery

Martha Cooper on 12 oz. Prophet

Obey Giant Website

New York May 1 Coalition

May Day Shepard Fairey Exhibition

Arrested Motion Website

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Fun Friday 02.12.10

Fun-Friday

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FOR all you Valentines:

Copulation Dancing MEETS Extreme Sports

And AMAZING Art & Vector Insanity …MAJOR LAZER

Directed by Eric Wareheim

Edited and Animation by Zachary Johnson & Jeffery Max fatalfarm.com

Art and Vector Insanity by Kevin O’Neill & Karisa Senavitis willworkforgood.org

Produced by Clark Reinking

Says Will Work For Good, “We worked with Eric Wareheim on the aesthetic direction for his video for Major Lazer’s “Pon De Floor” featuring some of NY’s raddest dagga dancers. We wanted to take them off the typical club floor and put them on more mundane floors in an imaginary neighborhood where they could go about their business in private. All of the home environments were created as large paintings which were then photographed and transformed into a bizarre real estate fly-through by the dudes at Fatal Farm. Additionally we created a series of vector patterns used for the “otherworlds” featured throughout the video. All in all a sick mix of low/high tech and Eric’s always awesome visions.”

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FOR all you Would Be Valentines:

I’m sure you kids don’t remember this but WAAAYYYY BACK in the day before Virtual Lovemaking Suits, we had to Hook Up using CHAT and our imaginations

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Local Salsa Orchestra covers TV On the Radio

Hear their version while viewing this slideshow that features street art in Brooklyn

Not sure if we caught all of the street artists but I saw Gaia, FKDL, C215, Katsu, Poster Boy, Dude Co, Mark Cavalho… who else?

The Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, based in Brooklyn NY, plays “Wolf Like Me” by TV On The Radio. Produced and arranged by percussionist Gianni Mano from forthcoming album, “Keys To The City”. Slideshow of local pics and street art are by Miss Heather at newyorkshitty.com.

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Hand-made Animation and Stop Action Camera Work

Early Animators used this same technique for experimenting with new stories (I just made that up. I’ve never seen this stuff before)

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“The Dirty Show” in Detroit for Valentines

s

courtesy Arrested Motion

“The Red Light Exhibit” is comprised of tantalizing talent including Shawn Barber, Paul Booth, Scott G. Brooks, Vincent Castiglia, Colin Christian, Molly Crabapple, Camilla D’Errico, Ewelina Ferusso, Michael Hussar, Michael Mararian, Dan Quintana, Celeste Rapone, David Stoupakis, The Dirty Fabulous, Brian Viveros, Tony Ward, & Jasmine Wort. Curated by Genevive Zacconi, in association with Last Rites Gallery, the show will be held at The Dirty Show in Detroit.

See more images and learn more at Arrested Motion

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The Sexy “Street Crush” Show from Brooklyn Street Art a year ago.

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Very Sad to Hear the News of the Passing of Alexander McQueen

What the heck does this have to do with street art and graffiti art? Hang out till the second part of this video. We won’t likely forget his famous robotic spray-painting of a white dress in ’99.

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James, Karla and Billi Kid talk about Mom & Popism: Open to Public Saturday

James, Karla and Billi Kid talk about Mom & Popism: Open to Public Saturday

Manhattan is turning into a Mall. There I’ve said it.

In the 80’s when I first got to NYC my best friend guided me through the canyons of Manhattan lamenting the pace of change, the cultural cornerstones gone, the new soul-lessness that was going up in new buildings and neighborhoods. I said, “Get over it, are you kidding? This place is amazing!”

Making a call while Billi Kid looks on (photo Jaime Rojo)

Hi De Hi, Hi Di Ho! Making a call while Billi Kid looks on (photo Jaime Rojo)

 

Now the pace of “progress” that has turned every small and mid-sized city in America into an interchangeable power strip of Olive Gardens, Radio Shacks, and OfficeMaxes has gradually infiltrated the culturally vibrant and wacky island. But it isn’t only Manhattan, it’s true in almost every neighborhood in the city – In fact, the chains are shackling most of our culture to a homogenized dullness that preys on low-paid workers elsewhere and creates low-paid workers here.  How many Mom-and-Pop stores have been wiped out by the undercutting prices and special tax considerations that Big Box stores have?

Ask James and Karla Murray.

They started taking pictures of New York’s Mom-and-Pop stores a decade ago when they were out shooting graffiti. By definition, a Mom-and-Pop is a family-owned and usually family-run business with roots in it’s community, providing needed goods or services and jobs and wealth to it’s small ecosystem. The Murrays noticed that they were disappearing, rapidly.  It alarmed them and they published a book featuring those businesses call “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York”, featuring 250 images of these Mom and Pops.

Buildmore, Morgan Thomas, and Blanco (photo Jaime Rojo)

Buildmore, Morgan Thomas, and Blanco love pasta! (photo Jaime Rojo)

 

A new show, open to the public this Saturday, features images from that book blown up almost to their original size in a “streetscape” and installed on a gorgeous rooftop. The twist with this show of storefronts is it also includes the work of 28 artists all over it, thanks to the curating skills of Billi Kid, street artist and entrepreneur.  We went to the opening of the event (read here) and then we had the pleasure of interviewing the authors and the curator of the show to get more of the backstory:

Brooklyn Street Art: How did the opening party go?

Karla Murray: The opening party was a huge success. We have to thank Liz and Genevieve at Gawker Artists for helping launch such a great event as well as Billi Kid for planning and curating the event. We have never seen our Store Front photos so big before, let alone be decorated by many talented graffiti and street artists. Lots of media and artists were there to celebrate the unveiling of the exhibit. We also want to thank Bear Flag wines who donated the wine.

Ticky/Underwater Pirates, and Celso with guests (photo Jaime Rojo)

Ticky/Underwater Pirates, and Celso with guests (photo Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you come up with this unusual idea and then convince Jim and Karla to help make it happen?

Billi Kid: Jim and Karla’s book had been sitting on my coffee table for quite a while and of course, triggered the original idea. MOM & POPism was my fourth collaboration with J&K, our second in which other artists work over their images, so it came down to a matter of trust and love for the concept. To be honest, they jumped right in. No arm twisting on my part. If anything, we three held our breath while waiting for Gawker Artists, who presented the exhibition, to decide whether they wanted to commit their time and resources to the event. Liz Dimmit, our champion and curator of Gawker Artists, fought our battle hard and flipped the POWERS THAT BE over to the dark side.

Royce Bannon monster takes a bite (photo Jaime Rojo)

Royce Bannon monster takes a bite (photo Jaime Rojo)

Birds on a ledge by Cern (photo Jaime Rojo)

Birds on a ledge by Cern (photo Jaime Rojo)

David Cooper and Ralph's (photo Jaime Rojo)

David Cooper and Ralph’s (photo Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe the process and materials you used to print these large scale repicas of storefronts?

James Murray: The process began by Billi Kid selecting the photos from our “STORE FRONT” book that he thought would have enough “negative” space for artists to paint directly on top of the photo but still maintain the integrity of the store. After Billi Kid told us his initial selection of images, we worked with him making the final selection. We based this decision on the actual image size because we wanted to use photos that we knew would be able to be blown up to that large size and remain clear. We then gave all the image files to Billi Kid so that he could do the math on every one of them and figure out how large the image would print. He also figured out what spaces the artist would paint on and assigned every artist a particular area to paint on. Billi Kid then printed out our photos in segments of 4 feet wide by 9 feet high on matte photo paper rolls using his wide-format printer. If it wasn’t for Billi Kid owning such a large printer, this project would never have gotten off the ground because it would have been too expensive to print at a local lab.

 

Ideal Dinettes, in business from 1953-2008 Brooklyn, 2004, by James and Karla Murray from “STORE FRONT- The Disappearing Face of New York”

 

Brooklyn Street Art: Were you ever afraid it wasn’t going to work out?

Billi Kid: Only in so far as the weather was concerned. When we kicked off the planning phase of MOM & POPism, the last thing we figured was a rainy July/August season. Who knew? We had considered the tremendous amount of work involved in getting this to look just right. I mean, Liz Dimmit actually committed to building 9 walls on the roof of Gawker Media HQ so that we could cover them with James and Karla’s beautiful photography. On top of that, we had to figure out the blown-up dimensions of each image and how to layer them up as wallpaper slices. It was definitely touch and go for most of the process, but the stars finally aligned in our favor.

Lady Pink (photo Jaime Rojo)

Lady Pink (photo Jaime Rojo)

 

Brooklyn Street Art: Isn’t Billi Kid rude and difficult to work with?

Karla Murray: Billi Kid is one of the nicest and most generous guys as well as a talented artist. This is the 3rd time we have collaborated with him on an exhibition. The first was a graffiti/street art/photography hotel room installation at the Carlton Arms Hotel in Manhattan and the second was an exhibition called Underground/Overground at the Artbreak Gallery in Williamsburg. We also selected him to be part of an exhibition we are curating during Art Basel Miami called GRAFFITI GONE GLOBAL presented by SushiSamba Restaurants. His work, including the panel he painted as part of MOM and POPism, will be shipped down to Miami and included in the show that takes place from Dec 3-6, 2009.

Brooklyn Street Art: How important is community in a project like this?

Billi Kid: As curator, my first concern for MOM & POPism was to bridge the gap between graffiti/street art and how it is exhibited in a gallery environment. I wanted the public to experience it in it’s pure form, exactly how I see it when I walk the city streets. Secondly, I wanted to continue James and Karla’s “Store Front” conversation along with the sadness felt by all as we watch the disappearing face of New York along with the economic and artistic implications involved. And last, it was all about community. Bringing all of these talented artists to this roof was a dream come true. When working together, the community can go a lot further in spreading the love as far as I’m concerned.

Shiro and her buddy by her piece (photo Jaime Rojo)

Shiro and her buddy by her piece (photo Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What conversation do you hope to spark about the significance of these businesses, and their disappearance?

James Murray: We hope to open people’s eyes to the disappearance of these mom-and-pop businesses and encourage people to shop in them and support them. Since we began the project of documenting these stores over 10 years ago, over half of the images which appear in the book have now closed. With the economy doing poorly even more businesses are threatened. These mom-and-pop stores are what makes each neighborhood in the 5 boroughs unique. They are the backbone of the community and when they close a little piece of history is lost.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think people are beginning to make the connection between corporate power, globalism, big box stores, and the killing off of Mom-and-Pop’s?

Karla Murray: We hope that people do make the connection between corporate power and big box retailers and the killing off of Mom-and-Pops. People often have the misconception that shopping at a big box is cheaper then going to a local store but it’s not true! Many store owners have told us that their prices are actually lower and the quality of their goods are better. These mom and pop store owners take pride in what they sell and stand behind their product whether its food or clothing or whatever. Many of these businesses have been handed down from generation to generation and the owners are proud to have their name attached to their store.

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes when you stretch your mind to combine art and artists in a new way, you can reach a new audience. Maybe you are letting more people know about these artists…
Billi Kid:
Whenever I have a willing ear, I’m always talking about preaching beyond the choir. The work deserves and demands a wider audience. It’s beautiful to see and read how people outside of the graffiti and street art world reacted to MOM & POPism. Hallelujah!

Zoltron took the signs to a new street (photo Jaime Rojo)

Zoltron took the signs to a new street (photo Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Now that the family owned stores are gone, do you see any hopeful signs in the development of the cityscape?
James Murray:
Many family-owned businesses are still in existence so we remain hopeful that the cityscape will not change too drastically.

Infinity says he liked the garbage bags piled there

Infinity says he liked the garbage bags piled there because it looks more realistic (photo Jaime Rojo)

 

Brooklyn Street Art: What was the biggest surprise of the whole installation?
Karla Murray: The biggest surprise was all the rain we got while doing the installation. We knew going into this that the weather was not something we could control but we really were subjected to extremes. The boards were even blown over by a heavy wind/rain storm and had to be secured more tightly. When the artists were painting on the photos we had to erect “tents” out of tarps to keep them covered from the heavy rain storms. We even had to change the date of the opening party under threat of rain. Despite all this, everything worked out well and the photos and artwork held up remarkably well to the elements.

David Cooper signing a copy of Jim and Karla's book (photo Jaime Rojo) 

David Cooper signing a copy of Jim and Karla’s book (photo Jaime Rojo)

 

Brooklyn Street Art: Work and logistics aside, it looks like you had fun putting this one together!
Billi Kid:
OK, scratch everything I said so far! Hell yeah!!! It was all about having fun! Seeing how much pleasure each artist had working and looking over each other’s shoulder was my finest moment in bringing MOM & POPism to life. At the end of the day, we ALL have to enjoy what we do, because it shows.

Here’s a piece by videographer Greg DeLiso:

MOM & POPism include Blanco,  Buildmore, Cake,  Celso, Cern, Chris  (RWK), Crome, Cycle, David Cooper, Destroy & Rebuild, Enamel Kingdom, Goldenstash, Infinity, Kngee, Lady Pink, Matt Siren, Morgan Thomas, Peru Ana Ana Peru, Plasma Slugs, Royce  Bannon, Shai R. Dahan, Shiro, The Dude Company, Tikcy, Under Water Pirates, Veng (RWK), Zoltron and Billi Kid.

MOM & POPism will be open to public on Saturday, August 15th from noon to 4 p.m. Additional exhibition viewings are available by appointment throughout August.

MOM & POPism Public Viewing Invite.jpg

Previous projects that combined the talents of James and Karla and Billi:

An article James and Karla wrote about Billi in Peel Magazine

The room Billi did at Artbreak Hotel with James and Karla

Underground Overground with Billi, James and Karla and Cern


Great Photos at the opening of Mom&Popism from talented photographer Joe Russo at our friends Arrested Motion

See an exhibition of photos from the book at the Clic Gallery now through September 27, 2009

Billi Kid

James and Karla Murray

Gawker Artists

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