All posts tagged: BAMN

Toilet Seats and Mirrors : Gilf! and BAMN Create “TIXE”  (VIDEO)

Toilet Seats and Mirrors : Gilf! and BAMN Create “TIXE” (VIDEO)

Urban exploring and sustainable art-making are not such strange relations in this new project by Gilf! and BAMN, two of the new socially conscious breed of Street Artists we continue to see. Known for her various installations of “Gentrification in Progress” tape across homes, businesses and cultural touchstones that are slated for destruction in favor of luxury condos, Gilf! shares this purely sustainable art project she and BAMN did in an abandoned hotel in suburbia recently. They call it “TIXE”.


A play on the ubiquitous signs for egress throughout public buildings as well as the abandonment of the building. Gilf! and BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

“We wanted to show how something that has been left for dead actually has so much potential still left in it,” says Gilf!, and indeed many of these shots reveal spaces that look  perfectly usable – but she says they have been left to rot. As an artist, she assesses and sees a lot of promise, “There is such an opportunity to share beauty, to see beauty differently, to see consumption and waste differently.”


Gilf! and BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

Using only materials that were found on site, both artists created installations that you could easily imagine in a gallery setting, fêted with white wine, hors d’oeuvres and sparkling conversations. Suspended under a skylight above a glistening pool, Gilf!’s gently turning abstract sculpture becomes a beacon of postmodern with nods to both Duchamp’s urinal “Fountain” and El Anatsui’s art inspired and drawn from “huge piles of detritus from consumption“.

Or, it is simply a cluster of used toilet seats hanging from the ceiling.


Gilf! and BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

“I’ve never been more filthy in my life,” says Gilf!, “but it was definitely one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever completed. I find I am most creative in abandoned, alternative spaces without constraints, expectations, or deadlines- I guess that’s not shocking- freedom is the ultimate facilitator of creativity.”


Gilf! and BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

Less easy to see in these images are the installations by BAMN that consist of full length mirrors and medicine cabinets that, when arranged in hallways and courtyards in parallel  or constellation formation, serve to draw the light and magnetize it, shooting shards of light across and through a moribund commercially artificial man-made environment.


Reflected sunlight shot across mirrors into the deadened pool. Gilf! and BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

We spoke with both artists and asked them to describe TIXE and what they discovered in the process of exploring, arranging, and installing it. Not surprisingly, both describe their work in the context of larger political and social themes, casting the work as part of a greater activism as much as aesthetics.

Brooklyn Street Art: What connections did you draw between the waste normally associated with toilet seats and the waste of western society that allows entire buildings to fall into disrepair like this?
Gilf!: When we first came across this shuttered hotel we were amazed at how many useable items were just left there to rot with two brand new chain hotels just down the street. As I’ve discussed with my previous gentrification work this opportunity really exemplifies the wealth disparity in our country. Two big chain hotels moved in and priced out this small business, unable to compete with such low rates they were forced to shut their doors. The rich get richer- the small businesses struggle and succumb to our American Ponzi scheme of an economy.

Ultimately the homogenization of our cities and the monopolization of our consumer choices can really be likened to shit. We started out with all this diversity and now through the bowels of our top down economic system everything is pretty nauseating and all looks the same. This system only works for a select few- I hope this project can highlight to my fellow plebeians that we need to start looking at things differently. The opportunity to find value in what we’re told is valueless is where our power lies.


Gilf! and BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

Brooklyn Street Art: This project is as much about sustainability as it is aesthetics. Can you tell us about the philosophy of using existing waste as material for new art?
Gilf!: The idea of using existing waste as materials for my work is something I’ve spent the last couple of years really reflecting on. I’m curious about how we can transform items deemed “worthless” by the general population and create inspiration through their newfound meanings. This project is a direct reflection on the involuntary, almost robotic, rhythms of our society’s absurd extravagance.

We chose to use the materials we found in the space to shine a light on the ideas around perceived value and wastefulness. What happens when an artist uses items that are deemed worthless and turns them into a gigantic work of art? Are they still worthless if their collective meaning changes? Do the toilet seats now have value because they are “art”? I wanted to show that even the most foul of objects and spaces can be appreciated when reconsidered.


Gilf! . BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

Brooklyn Street Art: What does a re-capture/re-use art installation tell us about the stuff we throw away?
BAMN: It tells us we got our priority’s mixed up. It’s all good to be a fun-employed artist running around making stuff, but most of the world is pushing an idea of progress that looks more like suicide. I get it, we’re all consumers/zombies, but do we have to be so g-damned wasteful about it? There’s gotta be a better way.

Brooklyn Street Art: Urban exploring can have some pitfalls – including safety. Do those considerations enter your mind when exploring an abandoned space?
Gilf!: Absolutely- entering all those hotel rooms by myself one by one was incredibly unnerving. I never knew what I was going to come across. As a woman I have that added layer of vulnerability – which always infuriates me. But getting over those fears is just part of urban exploration. The freedom I had to create in that space trumped my fear of the bogie man who was only living inside my mind.


Gilf! . BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

Brooklyn Street Art: The rows of mirrors echo the colonades in the way you arranged them. Were you thinking of Greek gods when you were creating light ant reflection?
BAMN: I was mostly thinking of Prometheus (because there just aren’t enough references to Western culture in art). Anyways, the dude was persecuted by Zeus for restoring fire to humanity. This fire can be a metaphor for truth or light, and there are plenty of people today being persecuted for doing what’s best for humanity.

Brooklyn Street Art: What or who was your inspiration as an artist to do these pieces?
BAMN: I just wanted to be spontaneous going into to this post-modern carcass. So I kept to what was available in the hotel. The first thing I noticed walking in was the darkness. Even during the day this place was totally devoid of life.

About 30 mirrors later I had an installation that bounced sunlight into the hotel, down a bunch of dark hallways, into a rec room where the beam of light ends on a live bush that was planted in the middle of a swimming pool that had a few feet of this stuff that can only be described as toe-jam flavored oatmeal.

The paint was found in a supply closet and all the mirrors were propped up by fire extinguishers…I’m just glad I decided not to do anything with those 200 urine-stained mattresses.


Gilf! . BAMN ‘TIXE” (photo © gilf!)

Brooklyn Street Art: How was the air conditioning?
Gilf!: Let’s just say that working 25 feet in the air in a massive room that was more or less a greenhouse was brutal. The scaffolding was built in a cesspool so there was a certain precariousness up there that I’m sure it added to the feeling of sweat-soaked madness. Coupled with handling used, anonymous toilet seats – it took more than one shower to feel completely clean again. I’ve never been filthier, or more inspired.


Gilf! will present SHATTERING, the second of a three-part series of participatory actions centering on destruction and transformation, May 7, 2015 in New York.

See more BAMN Here


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


This article is also published on The Huffington Post.


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Images Of The Week: 01.05.14

Images Of The Week: 01.05.14



It’s been weeks since we had an “Images of the Week” posting with you, due to the end of the year spectacular we presented  for 13 days; a solid cross section of the talented photographers who are documenting this important moment before it passes.

As a collection 13 From 2013 exemplified the unique and eclectic character of Street Art and graffiti photography today. Each person contributed a favorite image and along with it their insight and observations, often personal, very individual, and with a real sense of authenticity. Each day we were sincerely grateful for their contributions to BSA readers and to see the street through their eyes.

Thank you again to Yoav Litvin, Ray Mock, Brock Brake, Martha Cooper, Luna Park, Geoff Hargadon, Jessica Stewart, Jim Kiernan, Bob Anderson, Ryan Oakes, Daniel Albanese, James Prigoff, and Spencer Elzey for 13 from 2013. Also if you missed it, that list kicked off just after our own 2013 BSA Year in Images (and video) were published here and on Huffington Post, all of which was also a great honor to share with you.

And so we bring back to you some documentation of moments before they passed – our weekly interview with the street, this week including $howta, Appleton Pictures, ASVP, BAMN, Chase, Dceve, Doce Freire, EpicUno, Hot Tea, Jerkface, Judith Supine, Leadbelly33, LoveMe, Meres, Olek, Rambo, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Square, and Swoon.

This weeks top image is a reprieve from the winter we’ve been enduring – a small hand cut frog clinging to a verdant fern – created by Swoon and snapped during a visit to her studio over the holidays. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EpicUno (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rambo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Leadbelly33 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


LoveMe (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BAMN (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Judith Supine (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ASVP and Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)


$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)


JerkFace (photo © Jaime Rojo)


HotTea (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Olek’s very latest piece completed on New Year’s Eve in Vancouver, Canada.  (photo © Olek)


Olek. “Kiss the Future” detail. (photo © Olek)


Meres has a message for Gerry. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Meres (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chase (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Doce Freire in Sharjah City, UAE for the Al Qasba Festival. (photo © Doce Freire)


Dceve (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Appleton Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ramiro Davaro-Comas (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Manhattan, December 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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13 from 2013 : Jim Kiernan “Snowden – Eyes Are Watching”

13 from 2013 : Jim Kiernan “Snowden – Eyes Are Watching”


Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image from a Street Art or graffiti photographer that brings a story, a remembrance, an insight or a bit of inspiration to the person who took it. For the last 13 days they will share a gem with all of us as we collectively say goodbye and thank you to ’13.



The intersection with culture and politics and the street is not always evident in Street Art in an explicit way, but photographer Jim Kiernan will be glad to show you more than just a pretty mural or happy face if it means there is a dialogue to be had. 2013 was the year that some of the veil regarding domestic spying by our leaders fell from American eyes, and of course that theme was visited by art on the street. In his choice for image of the year Jim shares one he shot in ’13 that he values because it raises awareness, takes a position, and transcends aesthetics in the service of a larger message.


BAMN. Queens, NYC 2013 (Photo © Jim Kiernan)

Snowden – Eyes Are Watching

~ Jim Kiernan

“Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American… If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.” – Edward Snowden

There are a number of reasons why I like this image. The composition is straight forward and self-explanatory which is something I typically like. I enjoy simple things that appear clear on the surface.

Beyond that there are several levels to this image for me. The first and most obvious is the political message. I am personally appalled by the surveillance state which has been exposed that are we are living under and even more so by the nearly complete apathy from the American public and the lack of outrage.

Another level for me is that this piece was part of the inspiring Welling Court project that Garrison & Alison Buxton put on every year. They’re friends of mine and I love what they’ve been doing, dating back to the Ad Hoc days.

Finally, the coolest thing was seeing the beginning of this mural. The artist showed up towards the end of one of the final days to begin working on it. When I first saw this work, the pulldown was just being whitewashed/prepped for the piece. I had no idea what was going up here but when I returned the next day to see the finished piece I loved it.

A huge motivation for me & my photography is to highlight social justice issues and to shine a light on places, people, ideas and events that otherwise might go unnoticed. This pieces hits all of these marks for me.

Artist: Bamn

Location: New York City, 2013.




Check out our Brooklyn Street Art 2013 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo here.


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



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The 2013 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

The 2013 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

Here it is! Our 2013 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.


Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year, snapped one second before he was singled out of a New York crowd, handcuffed, and stuffed into a police car – sort of like the Banksy balloons he was capturing.

“Among all the thousands of photos I took this year there’s one that encapsulates the importance of Street Art in the art world and some of the hysteria that can build up around it,” he says of his final shot on the final day of the one month Better Out Than In artist ‘residency’ in NYC this October. It was a cool day to be a Street Art photographer – but sadly Rojo was camera-less in a case of mistaken identity, if only for a short time.

Released two hours later after the actual car-jumping trespasser was charged, Rojo was happy to hear the Chief Lieutenant tell his officer “you’ve got the wrong man”, to get his shoelaces back, and to discover this photo was still on his camera. He also gets to tell people at parties that he spent some time in the holding cell with the two guys whom New York watched tugging down the B-A-N-K-S-Y.


What’s everybody looking at? Jaime Rojo’s favorite image of the year at the very end of the Banksy brouhaha. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now, for the Video

When it came to choosing the 112 images for the video that capture the spirit of the Street Art scene in ’13, we were as usual sort of overwhelmed to comb through about ten thousand images and to debate just how many ‘legal’ versus ‘illegal’ pieces made it into the mix. Should we include only images that went up under the cover of the night, unsanctioned, uncensored, uncompromised, unsolicited and uncommissioned? Isn’t that what Street Art is?

Right now there are a growing number of legal pieces going up in cities thanks to a growing fascination with Street Art and artists and it is causing us to reevaluate what the nature of the Street Art scene is, and what it may augur for the future. You can even say that from a content and speech perspective, a sizeable amount of the new stuff is playing it safe – which detracts from the badass rebel quality once associated with the practice.

These works are typically called by their more traditional description – murals. With all the Street Art / graffiti festivals now happening worldwide and the growing willingness of landlords to actually invite ‘vandals’ to paint their buildings to add cache to a neighborhood and not surprisingly benefit from the concomitant increase in real estate values, many fans and watchers have been feeling conflicted in 2013 about the mainstreaming that appears to be taking place before our eyes. But for the purposes of this roundup we decided to skip the debate and let everybody mix and mingle freely.

This is just a year-end rollicking Street Art round-up; A document of the moment that we hope you like.

Ultimately for BSA it has always been about what is fresh and what is celebrating the creative spirit – and what is coming next. “We felt that the pieces in this collection expressed the current vitality of the movement – at least on the streets of New York City,” says photographer and BSA co-founder Rojo. It’s a fusillade of the moment, complete with examples of large murals, small wheat pastes, intricate stencils, simple words made with recycled materials or sprayed on to walls, clay installations, three dimensional sculptures, hand painted canvases, crocheted installations, yarn installations etc… they somehow captured our imaginations, inspired us, made us smile, made us think, gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it.

Brooklyn Street Art 2013 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

A Dying Breed, Aakash Nihalini, Agostino Iacursi, Amanda Marie, Apolo Torres, Axel Void, Bagman, Bamn, Pixote, Banksy, B.D. White, Betsy, Bishop203, NDA, Blek le Rat, br1, Case Maclaim, Cash For Your Warhol, Cholo, Chris RWK, Chris Stain, Billy Mode, Christian Nagel, Cost, ENX, Invader, Crush, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Dase, Dasic, Keely, Deeker, Don’t Fret, The Droid, ECB, el Seed, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Faile, Faith 47, Five Pointz, Free Humanity, Greg LaMarche, Hot Tea, How & Nosm, Icy & Sot, Inti, Jilly Ballistic, John Hall, JR, Jose Parla, Judith Supine, Kremen, Kuma, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Love Me, Martha Cooper, Matt Siren, Elle, Mika, Miss Me, Missy, MOMO, Mr. Toll, Nychos, Okuda, Alice Mizrachi, OLEK, Owen Dippie, Paolo Cirio, Paul Insect, Phetus, Phlegm, Revok, Pose, QRST, Rambo, Ramiro Davaro, Reka, Rene Gagnon, ROA, RONES, Rubin, bunny M, Square, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swoon, Tristan Eaton, The Lisa Project 2013, UFO 907, Willow, Swill, Zed1, and Zimer.

Read more about Banksy’s last day in New York here and our overview of his residency in the essay “Banksy’s Final Trick” on The Huffington Post.



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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Images of the Week: 02.17.13

Guess it shouldn’t surprise us when we find out that the sticker, wheat-paste, or mural we published of “Street Art” or graffiti actually turns out to be a logo or promotion for someone who is selling sneakers, t-shirts, lip-gloss, tampons, or toe fungus spray. That’s how people pay the rent, yo!

After all, we get press releases all the time from “Street Artists” who purport to get up all over the place in their home city of New Jesusville – but nobody we talk to has heard of them. Eventually word gets around and its not our business to trash people. And we all know at least one or two fine artists who have used the strategy of putting their stuff on the street to add some sort of “cred” to their “brand”. Fine. And look at the countless corporate names that have been inserting (or “integrating”) themselves into all manner of social/electronic media and “stories” in the last couple of years – just to leach off grassroots D.I.Y. culture and make the money and get the clicks but not actually support the art community that birthed it. It’s a complex story.

But it’s hard not to feel a little bit like you just got punked when you walk into a store and find the stuff you shot in a putrid garbage strewn alley is now silk-screened across a cheap flask or frisbee or truckers cap, giving it about as much meaning as a Kardashian wedding ring.

What are we going to do? Oh probably nothing – there is no purity test or reliable scale for measuring when someone has “sold out” and we don’t like pompous peeps who pretend otherwise. We’re just keeping an eye out, sister, and trying not to get fooled again.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alinic, ASK, BAMN, Chris & Veng RWK, Gilf!, Icy & Sot, Lambros, Meer Sau, Mosstika, MUDA, Pixote, Tripel, and WD.

Top image > ASK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lambros (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tripel (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meer Sau “I Love Porno” in Salzburg, Austria. (photo © Meer Sau)

Meer Sau “Art is not a Crime” in Salzburg, Autria. (photo © Meer Sau)

MUDA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! Her tribute to Malala Yousafzai (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris, Veng RWK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bishop 203 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BAMN does a memoriam for Aaron Swartz. Pixote on top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mosstika (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alinic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WD in Athens, Greece. (photo © Philipp Gor)

Untitled. Brooklyn, NY. Februray 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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