All posts tagged: BEN WOLF

What’s New in Bushwick: A Quick Street Art Survey

As you may have heard, New York’s young artist community has been in a rather fast migration away from Manhattan for this entire century.

And so has most of its Street Art.

As the neighborhood of Bushwick assumes the role of new art nerve center (and hard charging, chatty hormone-infused bohemia), the Street Art that began in Williamsburg at the turn of the millenium is without question a natural companion for the trip. This weekend Bushwick celebrated its 6th official Open Studios program (BOS) and gave Street Art it’s genealogical due as major influencer to the whole scene by inviting a number of the newer names to exhibit indoors for the opening party. Naturally, if not ironically, the streets walls had work by many of same.

Always in flux, the current Street Art scene reflects the players as much as the chaotic and diversified D.I.Y. times we’re in. As the more designed multiples of Fairey and the repetition of Cost have given much ground to the highly labor intensive one-offs with a story today, you can see that this narrative style may have been set into motion by people like Swoon and Elbow-Toe in the intervening wave.

To give you a sense of the complex visual ecosystem that influences the fine art/ Street Art continuum in 2012, here’s some eye candy from inside, outside, sanctioned and freewheeling that were on display during BOS this year.

We start with this new piece by Swoon inspired after her recent visit to Kenya. She incorporated drawings into the portraits of the two girls from an organization called 160 girls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon’s reprisal of a piece we’ve seen in Boston, LA, and New Orleans – newly colored for Bushwick (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Relative newcomer Gilf! In the Garden of Good and Bushwick. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! does a stripped back road sign satire as part of the installation that she curated for BOS 2012 official opening party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Yok as part of the installation curated by Gilf! for BOS 2012 official opening party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Willow as part of the installation curated by Gilf! for BOS 2012 official opening party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sheryo as part of the installation curated by Gilf! for BOS 2012 official opening party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hellbent as part of the installation curated by Gilf! for BOS 2012 official opening party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ND’A as part of the installation curated by Gilf! for BOS 2012 official opening party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bishop203 as part of the installation curated by Gilf! for BOS 2012 official opening party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

QRST as part of the installation curated by Gilf! for BOS 2012 official opening party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

QRST in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holy BOS! Housed in a former Lutheran church Bobby Redd Project Space invited artists to do site-specific installations in the actively decaying house of worship. Artists included Abel Macias, Andrew Ohanesian, Ben Wolf, Billy Hahn, Brian Willmont, Don Pablo Pedro, James Keul, Peter Bardazzi. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holy BOS! @ Bobby Redd Project Space: Don Pablo Pedro (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holy BOS! Holy peeling paint! @ Bobby Redd Project Space (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The backyard space @ Bobby Redd Project Space had this flowing installation by Phoenix entitled “Bushwick Forest” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holy BOS! @ Bobby Redd Project Space: Phoenix. “Bushwick Forest” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An entrance @ Bobby Redd Project Space featured Street Artist Deeker with a backround by David Pappaceno. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bobby Redd Project Space: Deeker with background by David Pappaceno. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cassius Fouler @ Bobby Redd Project Space (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DarkClouds @ Bobby Redd Project Space (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A street installation by an Unknown artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Avignon at Bushwick 5 Point Festival (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist Specter is also a conceptual artist and sculptor. He painstakingly hand-painted this Bodega facade as an homage to the New York street scenes that are disappearing. Bushwick 5 Points Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A collaborative mural by Sheryo, The Yok and Never at Bushwick 5 Points Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sheryo stands on a sketch. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Set KRT and Cost at Bushwick 5 Points Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Priscila de Carvalho, Maria Berrio and Miariam Castillo at Bushwick 5 Points Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Klub7 at Bushwick 5 Points Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daek1 at Bushwick 5 Points Festival. (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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Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann: A Night Wall in Williamsburg

You don’t often find a Street Artist doing an installation at night, unless it is followed by a siren..

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You also don’t often find Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullman pirouetting and dancing with their shadows under blasting klieg lights, casting long shadows and painting a pointy Elizabethan finger. Call it luck or a curse to be creating in Williamsburg after the fall of Williamsburg, where the last vestiges of Street Art are being politely expunged and the 10,000th flat screen is being hung in the 30th glass box building. An apparition of the early settlers, the duo enact a painting play to be captured by curious cell phones on the way to clever cocktails.

In the morning sunlight, the brightly primitive pointer could be a rude gesture, slightly indicting, or merely a helpful directional signal for the wandering mistaken artist in search of Bohemia – pointing east to yonder Bushwick, Bed Stuy, and Ridgewood.

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann (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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Images of the Week 05.20.12

The streets are alive again with all manner of styles from wheat-pastes to stencils, painting, murals, weaving, sticking, slapping, pop appropriation, comic parody, memorial outpouring, collectivism, mavericks, fantasy, pattern, geometry, photography, and yes, beef! Call it what you like, it looks like art is in the streets.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alec Monopoly, Bast, Ben Wolf, Bishop 203, Dain, Danielle Mastrion, Don’t Fret, Enzo & Nio, Heidi Tullman, Hot Tea, Jason Woodside, Klub7, KRSNA, Michael DeNicola, Mr. Clean, and Sonni.

Bast (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullmann. This is a work in progress and we’ll have more on this installation later in the week. Also, a Faile prayer wheel is in the foreground. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Klub7 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Klub7 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Clean. Mary is such a good spokesperson isn’t she? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don’t Fret is a wild thing in Chicago. (photo © Don’t Fret)

Don’t Fret in Chicago with this parody of Edward Hopper’s 1942 painting “Nighthawks” (photo © Don’t Fret)

Original painting of Edward Hopper’s 1942 painting “Nighthawks”.

Michael DeNicola welcomes the new residents of Gentriburg (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bishop 203 with loving assistance by Elle. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

There have been a number of great tributes on the street to the Beastie Boys in reference to the painful loss of Brooklyn’s MCA on May 4th. This one is by Danielle Mastrion. If you’d like to send us others, maybe we can collect them all into one posting. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alec Monopoly adorns the fake facade of a new night life venue to open this Fall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Krsna’s take on “The Scream” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Enzo & Nio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The acrylic box screwed onto the wall was originally an audio device for people to plug in their own earphones and learn more about Jason Woodside’s mural (shown here on last week BSA Images of the Week) in collaboration with the New Museum project titled CNNCTD+100. The box was partially destroyed and an unknown artist stenciled the earphones later.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sonni’s new installation “Music Machine” on the back of the old CBGB’s curated by Keith Schweitzer and produced through FABnyc’s ArtUp program in collaboration with MaNY Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sonni “Music Machine” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled (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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Swoon in Studio : A Warm Welcome on a Cold Night

Swoon in Studio : A Warm Welcome on a Cold Night

A visit to Swoon’s studio is a full immersion into her passions; meditations on humanity, the process of collaboration, and sculptures you can inhabit.


Swoon adding color to the busy streets of  “Cairo” (Sunday Afternoon) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the rustic warm light of a triple height cavernous space that might have served as a town hall a score of printed artworks on paper lay scattered across the wooden floor. Tiptoeing between the images to cross the formerly grand chamber, the familiar faces of children and adults who you’ve met on walls across the city look up at you. Together these figures, a de facto retrospective of Swoons’ last few years on the street in NYC, are burned into the retina of many a Street Art fan, and yet they lay here on this whitewashed wood-slatted floor without any ceremony at all. brooklyn-street-art-swoon-jaime-rojo-12-10-web-9

Photo © Jaime Rojo

Around the rooms’ periphery a handful of assistants listen to music, straddle ladders, and attentively stroke warm earth tones on pieces taped to the wall. A rustling cold wind from the black New York night outside is blocked by clear plastic stretched across the windows, buffeting the draft. Swoon, one of Brooklyn’s  most celebrated street artists, sits on her knees in the warmly lit room, jar in hand, adding shades of ochre to her piece, “Cairo  (Sunday Afternoon)”.

Swoon: So can I just be over here painting?
Brooklyn Steet Art: Yep, wherever you like to be.



Swoon is at ease and at home here in the studio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Within a couple of days she’ll fly to the west coast to plan her installation of a large interior sculpture, possibly housed in it’s own room, for the upcoming “Art in the Streets” exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art with it’s new director and her former gallerist Jeffrey Deitch. Days later, while New York suffers one of it’s worst snowstorms in years, she’ll return with a team to Haiti to begin laying the foundation of the first Konbit House for a woman named Monique and her two daughters as part of the second installment of the Konbit Shelter Project. But tonight she is relaxed and buoyant in this homey hearth of communal activity. This is the beehive environment that she invokes repeatedly throughout her creative life and processes, and one that buzzes with easy conversation.


An assistant works on “The Girl from Ranoon Province” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Thai food’s just been ordered for the team and in a few minutes everyone will sit at a long makeshift table happily trading stories about the rumored ghosts living in this old building, the Underground Railroad that ferried slaves through Brooklyn, and the coming Wikileaks revolution. But for now we both crouch low on the creaking boards, sometimes kneeling, sometimes sitting cross legged, and talk about whatever comes to mind.

Brooklyn Street Art: I was thinking about how you talk about this internal world in your work being a world that you have dreamt about or you do dream about. And I was thinking about the fact that a lot of peoples work is autobiographical. What part of you is in here?
Swoon: Well you know it depends with each piece. This one is very literally “I went for a walk and I drew it”. Some pieces are much more about bringing together various symbols and some pieces are very much an impression transferred. Sometimes they can be a little bit like a travelogue. This is kind of a sensory recording of a place. And I think that in the form that I bring them together it is a little in that layered, kind of confusing state of dreams. Otherwise I think it’s pretty straight-forward.

As she speaks and dabs the brush in a tub of hand-mixed hue she appraises the urban pathways she has created in the robes of the woman in the piece.

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes places are confusing anyway on their own.
Swoon: Totally.
Brooklyn Street Art: So maybe you capture some of that confusion too.
Swoon: Yeah (chuckles), and I really am attracted to those places; Those kind of winding labyrinth-like cities and all of those places. I feel like I’m always kind of looking for them.


Three of Swoon’s street pieces in the process of hand coloring (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What are you dreaming about these days?
Swoon: Hmmm, well I guess I’ve started a lot of dreaming about building things. Which is unusual I guess finally because…
Brooklyn Street Art: Maybe it’s because you’ve been building things!
Swoon: (Laughs) Yeah like it’s finally coming through! No, but really like the problem-solving process. Like, “I’m trying to put this roof on!”– which weirdly never happened.

She refers to the first Konbit Shelter she and a team completed in Haiti as part of an art installation/ sustainable housing project she spearheaded in 2010 as a response to the earthquake which shook the nation one year ago.


An assistant works on “Sambhavna” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The conversation quickly reminds her of word she’s today received that gives her the go-ahead for a brand new project of a similar nature in Brazil.

Swoon: I just got news yesterday that there is a new project, that I’m pretty excited about, is going to be possible.
Brooklyn Street Art: Excellent! Congratulations.
Swoon: There’s these people in Brazil who are organizing this project with this museum and one of the things that was sort of part of the goings-on in this neighborhood is this train station. It is getting cleared out because there are a lot of homeless people living in this station. And I was like, “What’s happening with the train station? What’s happening with everyone?” And the guy was like, “ Well, they’re going to a shelter”. And then I was thinking about how sometimes people don’t like to go to shelters.
Brooklyn Street Art: Right, a lot of times they avoid them.
Swoon: And so I remembered that I had seen this place in Miami called Umoja Village – it was a thing where this group of activists had found a law on the books in Miami that (said) you cannot be arrested for taking care of your basic life necessities. And so they took it one step further and said, “We’re going to organize people to take care of their basic life necessities together” – so you don’t have the vulnerability of sleeping outside by yourself, you don’t have access to services, you don’t have access to healthcare, all of these things. So they organized people together into this village and they were still sort of independently living in their houses that they had put together. – But they had access to counseling, and they cooked meals together ..


“Sambhavna” and “The Girl from Ranoon Province” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So city services eventually did enjoin them at some point?
Swoon: Not really, no, it was pretty much an independent initiative and it had some resistance, and then some support. And I actually haven’t, I need to find out for curiosity, found out what their current status is. So anyway, I think that we are actually going to join up with some people in Sao Paulo and actually work on creating a crazy sculpture which at the same time can function as optional housing for people who are getting moved out of the train station. And they said they would bring on some community organizers, some mental health people, and build a kitchen.
Brooklyn Street Art: Thank God.
Swoon: And there will be like..
Brooklyn Street Art: Fire codes, little things like that?
Swoon: Actually fire was a really big problem with Umoja so that was a really good thing that you bring up because that thing burned down. So that is something that we really have to consider.


Detail of “Sambhavna” (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“Sambhavna” in the wild. A street birthday gift to a friend that lives nearby. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The introduction of a new project that includes a sculpture that people can live in? A collective that coalesces around constructing it? Why does this new project sound so familiar? Her street art figures are often singular, but Swoon’s process for creation is more often than not colorfully collaborative. The thought of getting an approval for this new idea frightens her a bit, as the beginning of any huge public/private art initiative can summon fears of complications and quagmires. After talking for a few minutes Swoon notes that she’ll have help from many differently talented individuals for this new live-in scultpure, and that makes her happy.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think it might serve as a model for something else in the future?
Swoon: I think everything you do does, for better or worse. I mean, it will, if it works. It depends on what happens. I mean it could serve as a model that says, “Okay that was a total disaster”
Brooklyn Street Art: Here’s something to avoid!
Swoon: Don’t ever do that again! Or it could be, “this thing worked and let’s think about it some more”
Brooklyn Street Art: Well, it seems like it is kind of like the Konbit Shelter Project idea, right? You’ve completely put it into place with the collaboration of a number of different people and talents.
Swoon: Yeah.
Brooklyn Street Art: And it is serving as maybe a template for this future work?
Swoon: I think maybe so, as far as small groups working in a certain way. And of course you know we took a template from someone else.
Brooklyn Street Art: I see.


Swoon Konbit Shelter. Bigones Village, Haiti. Photo courtesy Upper Playground © Tod Seelie

Swoon: We borrowed this engineered architecture style and so it’s like we took some working processes and we wanted … I think ours was almost a thought process too. Like, how can you, as an artist who isn’t a big NGO, that isn’t an aid organization, still be involved in a way that is offering something permanent?
Brooklyn Street Art: Have people from NGOs taken an interest and inquired about the project in Haiti?
Swoon: I think a little bit. Yeah, not a ton.
Brooklyn Street Art: Those buildings you created look like beehives to me. Where does “Konbit” come from?
Swoon: That word is an awesome word that is apparently pronounced like “Coom bee” and it
Brooklyn Street Art: I think I understand, is it like a combination?


Swoon Konbit Community Center Inside. Haiti.  Photo Courtesy Upper Playground © Tod Seelie

Swoon: No, I think it’s a Creole, or I think it’s a Haitian word, and what it means, what it refers to is the time when the harvest is ready and there is usually too much work for any one person to do, people will cooperatively harvest each others farms together. So it is the word that means working together cooperatively when things need to get done. And we were like, “That’s beautiful. That’s really what we want to try to do.”
Brooklyn Street Art: You had like thirty people working together.
Swoon: Totally. And I think it’s about the US and Haiti, and starting to make that partnership that way as well.
Brooklyn Street Art: You feel like it’s been a good partnership so far with the US and Haiti?
Swoon: Well…. (laughs), with us and that village – it’s a really good partnership. I don’t mean that in the political boundaries sort of way.


Photo © Jaime Rojo


Swoon. One of her most popular pieces on the street. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So it occurs to me that with so many of your large expansive art projects what you have been doing is creating giant sculptures that people can live in or interact within.
Swoon: That’s starting to happen, yeah
Brooklyn Street Art: Well even in the Swimming..
Swoon: Oh, the boats!
Brooklyn Street Art: Yes the boats, and in these shelters, and when one is walking into your exhibits, like the one at Deitch – you feel like you are walking through sculpture and around it, interacting with it, seeing through it. And then I think of the work of Gordan Matta-Clark and those buildings that he turned into sculptures and it is amazing how no matter how many different projects you are doing there is a narrative thread that goes through all of them.
Swoon: Yeah, I sometimes get that crisis of ; “How is this related?”, but I don’t really live in that for very long. I’m just like, “whatever”, it will become apparent. Because it doesn’t really matter, it doesn’t have to be related. And then in the end it’s related anyway.


A view from above (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: A lot of Street Artists, as you know, prefer to work singularly. – They like to hide out in caves and do their work, secretly run out, put it up, and run back in. But this room has many people working in it. You are always working collaboratively.
Swoon: Yes a lot of the time. My drawing, I do by myself. This, what we are doing, is the painting, the sort of “afterwards”. But the drawing I have to do by myself for sure. It’s more focused. I can’t really get to that kind of focus if I’m around other people.
Brooklyn Street Art: Do you draw daily? Weekly?
Swoon: It depends on what’s happening. Daily if I can, and then sometimes I won’t draw for two months.
Brooklyn Street Art: Did you get a lot of drawing done when you were in Haiti?
Swoon: None. We were like, dead tired every single day. You know, it was like, “Up with the sun”, and then you would get home and you’d be like, “Oh my God Paypal has frozen our funds!” And then you would email for four hours figuring out how to deal with that crisis, and then try to put a picture up on your blog and fall on your face and sleep, so I didn’t do drawing.

Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: It is back breaking work, but you had your creature comforts…
Swoon: We did actually, at that place. This next time around we’re going to be living in the place where we built. It’s now a community center so right now no one is actually living there at night. So I think that will be better because before we were staying at this nice house a little bit outside of the village, which was nice because we had the Internet. But I’m looking forward to staying in the village.
Brooklyn Street Art: Is the first Konbit Shelter going to be used as a community center? Is that still being debated about what to use it for?
Swoon: I think that it is slowly… because there isn’t any furniture in it, and we didn’t paint it. It can be used. But I feel like it’s not fully embraced yet. So I think once we go back and really put the finishing touches on get started on another house then it will be a little more.

Brooklyn Street Art: I haven’t seen much of your work on the street recently.
Swoon: I haven’t done anything on the street in the City in a long time.
Brooklyn Street Art: Maybe in the spring time?
Swoon: I’ve gotten into a weird thing where I neglect New York entirely.
Brooklyn Street Art: You’re done with it maybe?
Swoon: No, maybe it’s because when I’m home I’m so busy. There’s definitely something going on though, there is some neglect.
Brooklyn Street Art: When you come to New York you are all about work, no play.
Swoon: Kind of. In a bit of a sad way actually. I don’t really have friends here anymore. I just kind of blow through.


A large collaboration in the Wynwood District of Miami with Ben Wolf in 2009 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What about Florida?
Swoon: No I just go to the ocean when I’m there, and hang out with my little brother. Otherwise Florida is my little zone home.
Brooklyn Street Art: Well that piece that you did in the Wynwood District last year is still there.
Swoon: Yeah that big mural?
Brooklyn Street Art: On that rounded corner of a building…
Swoon: It’s pretty weird. It was fun doing that, I mean it was fun learning. It’s a bizarre mural in every way, but I’m glad we did it.
Brooklyn Street Art: Me too, I’m glad it still looks good, wasn’t destroyed.

Conversation quickly turned to the Thai food delivery that presently arrived. Everyone jumped from their perches on ladders and stools and knees to arrange themselves around a table to share a meal and many lively stories. With Swoon in attendance, there will surely be many stories to come.

With very special thanks to Heather Macionus.

Read more about the new Swoon print for the Konbit Shelter from Upper Playground.

Follow the events in Haiti as Swoon is there now working on the second phase of Konbit Shelter (see the blog)

Konbit Project on Facebook

Donate the the Konbit Shelter Project via Paypal


Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Fun Friday 09.03.10


Fun Friday 09/03/10

C215 and Eelus are in Brooklyn This Weekend


Brooklynite Gallery, deep in Bedstuy, creates a certain lively tension with  two Street Art tricksters in this duo Euro show.

Parisian C215 continues to exceed expectations, which isn’t easy because he has already set them pretty high as a world class urban stencillist with  portraits that glow from within uncannily, summoning more empathy than a Jerry Lewis telethon.  The vastly more light-hearted Eelus guards the class impudent role – combining youthful humor, technologic fantasy, and a bit of antsy-lad sexual tension in his starkly popish compositions. A rewarding and rich show, “Paradise Lost” is another solid and smashing Street Art /gallery show that doesn’t compromise either one.

Kid Acne “Stabby Women” New Zine and Video

Word the heck up.The Stabby invasion is here…

Image Courtesy of the Artist

STABBY WOMEN – 52 Page Fanzine & Postcard Set, edition of 250

Stabby Women”  – a project of serendipity that started in São Paulo includes the female battalion of over five hundred Stabby Women now patrolling our streets amongst the hustle and bustle of New York, Paris, Barcelona, Munich and London – peering from the bottom of doorways, subtly patrolling their domain.

Learn more about this Kid Acne project directly from the artist here

Countdown to FAME

FAME Festival Begins This Month in Italy

A stunning array of street artists from around the world have been gathering over the summer to do large-scale and high quality installations leading up to the FAME Festival, starting September 25. Included in the lineup are JR , ERICA IL CANE , SAM3 , NUNCA , BLU , OS GEMEOS , BORIS HOPPEK , ESCIF , 108 , DALEK , NICOLA TOFFOLINI , LUCY MCLAUCHLAN , SWOON , SLINKACHU , CYOP E KAF ,DAVID ELLIS ,VHILS , BEN WOLF , WORD TO MOTHER , MOMO , and BASTARDILLA.

As told by our friends at, “The festival now is in it’s third year and is set to be bigger and better ” Read more at      (image of MOMO ©


Shepard Fairey in San Diego for Viva La Revolucion

“The thing with Street Art is you can’t be too precious about it.  It’s ephemeral.”

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Swoon: From Haiti With Love

Brooklyn based Street Artist Swoon has been in Haiti for the last few weeks helping re-build the community and bring in alternative ways of constructing housing and shelter. The project involves the residents of the village of Barriere Jeudy in the process.

To get the work done Swoon is there with a small team of friends and like minded individuals; Tod Seelie, KT Tierny, and Ben Wolf.

Photo © Tod Seelie

Photo © Tod Seelie

In a brief dispatch she just sent, Swoon talks about the project:

I’m writing from Haiti. I’m here with Tod Seelie, KT Tierny, and Ben
Wolf. For the last three weeks we have been building a community
center/hurricane shelter with the participation of the village of
Barriere Jeudy.

This first structure is being created to give a meeting place to the
mango growers, and other local residents, as well as to introduce some
alternative building styles as Haiti rebuilds itself after the

So far, we’ve been able to provide temporary jobs for about 60 people,
as well as train three teams of builders in the earthbag technique. If
all goes well, we’ll be finishing within a week or two, and returning
to build some houses in the fall.

If you have interest in the project and would like to learn more about it and MAKE A DONATION please go here:

Photo © Tod Seelie

Photo © Tod Seelie

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SWIMMING CITIES is a diverse group of artists, builders, and performers who come together each year and embark on a challenging large-scale project. Originally united through the international artist Swoon, the group traces its roots to the DIY raft project on the Mississippi River, the “Miss Rockaway Armada.”

From their press release:

Taking a new waterway each year our projects create a vivid community of artists floating into towns to present an interactive environment which encompasses art, sculpture, music and performance. The uncommon talents of our members interact in an organic design process in a unique form of living art. Our previous projects include THE SWIMMING CITIES OF SWITCHBACK SEA on the Hudson River for Deitch Projects and THE SWIMMING CITIES OF SERENISSIMA across the Adriatic Sea for the Venice Biennale.

Below THE SWIMMING CITIES OF SERENISSIMA at The Grand Canal in Venice.


Image courtesy Imminent Disaster
This image is from The Grand Canal in Venice, during the most recent Swimming Cities tour across the Adriatic Sea to the Venice Biennale. © Tod Seelie

For Swimming Cities upcoming project, they will construct a fleet of small sculptural river craft at the foothills of the Himalayas, in a cultural exchange with local South Asian artists and artisans. The hand-crafted boats will traverse the Ganges River from Kanpur to the holy city of Varanasi stopping at towns and villages along the way to meet locals and commission crafted embellishments for the boats in the local styles. Upon arrival in Varanasi the boats will merge together into a great floating island stage. In collaboration with local artists and musicians they will produce a performance inspired by their adventure and the immense cultural history of the Ganges.

Street Artist Imminent Disaster will have the piece below up for auction to benefit the “Ocean of Blood” project.

Imminent Disaster. "Curled Web" Image Courtesy of the artist.
Imminent Disaster. “Curled Web” Image Courtesy of the artist.

Complete list of artists to be included in the auction:

Swoon, Tom Beale, Imminent Disaster, Tod Seelie, Ben Mortimer, Ben Wolf, Ero, Andrew Poneros, Tony Bones, Jeff Stark, Isaac Aden, Ariel Campos, Greg Henderson, Doyle S Huge, Leslie Stern, Lopi LaRoe, Katelan Foisey, Iris Lasson, Spy, Sarah Atler, Matt Curtis, Petric Seeley, Zev David Deans, Elizabeth Bentley, Hannah Mishin, Orien McNeill, Ksenija, Angie Kang, Ben Devoe, Czak Tucker, Heather Jones, Noah Sparks, Porter Fox, Tim Treason, A’yen Tran, Dan Sabau, Virginia Reath, Clair Huntington, Kara Blossom, Martina Mrongovious

For information about this organization go here:


56 Walker St, Tribeca
7pm-1am, $10 Door, Open Bar
DJs Small Change and Shadetek

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Fun Friday 11.13.09


President Burning Man

Faster than a bike messenger on blow, the insurance company lobbyists are busy paying Senators to write the “Public Option” out of the new health-care legislation while the President packs his suitcase for a trip to meet China’s President Hu Jintao next week.

Before you start YUANING from intellectual incuriosity about the rest of the world (that is SO 2007), you have to see the art on the streets that is welcoming Obamau. If you’ve HUNG around Chinatown in NYC you know that cultural differences can produce quizzical results.

Watch those scissors!
Watch those scissors!

New York City school students come from homes speaking 150 different languages but every 13 year old kid will still crack up and fall on the sidewalk when they see this sign.

So, in another example of cultural differences, Beijing artist Liu Bolin will be showing his bronze sculpture of Obama next week featuring the president on fire.  But it’s a tribute. Because Obama is so, like, hot.

Never mind that various protesters around the world burned President Bush in effigy during his eight years in office as a sign of utter contempt.  In this case, the artist intends the fiery bronze sculpture as a big high-five!


>if you can’t see the video click HERE

and in other Fun Friday News……

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Local Brooklyn Gallery supports Civil Unions

Jenny Morgan and David Mramor: “Civil Union” at Like The Spice Gallery in Williamsburg opens tonight

“I want to paint on your painting”

A true collaboration resulting from trading the canvas back and forth between their studios. “If I held your marks too highly I would be afraid to go over them” – Jenny

The aesthetic conversation on the street between artists are frequently intentional and many times disrespectful, falling into the category of beef or acrimony, or just obliviousness.  One puts up a piece, then it gets tagged, then it get’s wheatpasted, then someone slaps a sticker next to it, or a stencil upon it.  Maybe it’s collaborative, but not consensual.

A very interesting collaboration on view at Like the Spice Gallery opens tonight that clearly references the same conversations you can see on the street, but this time it’s fully consensual.

He had to throw on pearls and hat and lipstick just to be vulnerable with us
“He had to dress himself up in order to be vulnerable with us”- Portrait of New York performer Justin Bond

Recent grad school art classmates Jenny Morgan and David Mramor admired one another’s work when in studio together, and felt drawn to each other’s very different styles.  With his David gestural, abstract background and graffiti instincts and Jenny’s detailed realism portraiture, you would not think they could be complimentary – But clearly the results are stunning, wild, and wildly entertaining.

dfg“We’ll sit and look at our art for hours waiting for an answer”

Street art fans will reference Irelands’ Conor Harrington immediately, as he has built a jolting vocabulary of realism and punk chaos in his compositions.  What makes this show so much fun is the relationship it speaks of, as well as the process of trading a canvas back and forth until it is deemed complete.

Big Ups to Brooklyn powerhouse gallerist Marisa Sage for finding this eyepopping duo and listen to her interview with the artists to learn why this partnership works so well for them on Like the Spice’s first podcast.

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– Swoon & friends @ SPACE Gallery

Last month Brooklyn street artist Swoon went north with friends to Portland, Maine to do an installation at Space Gallery.

Some have used the word “Breathtaking”

SPACE Gallery, Portland, Maine
10.15.2009 – 12.18.2009
A collaborative art installation by Swoon, Monica Canilao, Conrad Carlson, Ryan C Doyle, Ben Wolf, Greg Henderson, and friends.

Visit for more information

Thanks to Inspire Collective for the heads up

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Brooklyn’s in Da Huset: Nuart Update 09.07.09

Avoiding Mutiny at Skur2

It's peaceful setting and appearance belie the action inside (photo Logan Hicks)
Nuart Main Gallery: It’s peaceful setting and appearance belie the great struggles of humanity inside (photo Logan Hicks)

What is it with that Norwegian air that makes some people so fresh?  Or maybe that’s the beer…

One off-handed reference to Empires and before you know it, some closet soldiers start falling into character and spouting military metaphors and going off about seiges and skullduggery.

We aren’t completely positive what our in-the-field reporter is talking about but until they have a live blogging tent at Nuart this is what we can pass along your way, dear reader…. (The apparent rift between Baltimore and Non-Baltimore contingents has been independently verified however)

In the field, Chris Stain breathlessly relates the events as they unfolded;

“Yesterday BK converged in Stavanger at 1200 hours and planned a city-wide assault under the guise of NUART.   During the meeting Skewville and Chris Stain were informed by Swoon that Stockholm and Copenhagen were not in Germany. ”

Lessons in geography.

Lessons in geography.

“Swoon and accomplice Ben Wolf formed a plan to conquer the eastern wing of SKUR 2 by setting up an ambush in an adjacent alley.” (photo Chris Stain)

“Infantryman Logan Hicks wasted no time breaking into a full war cry with a new tactical approach on stenciling” (photo Chris Stain)

Leon Reid IV
“…while the diabolical Leon Reid got busy drafting his piece for installation to take out a bank in the city center.” (photo Chris Stain)

Infantryman Logan Hicks wasted no time breaking into a full war cry with a new tactical approach on stenciling
“David Choe was meet with resistance when attempting a mission in allied territory.” (Photo Logan Hicks)

Finally, it was brought to the attention of NUART commander-in-chief Martyn Reed that two of the BK artists were originally from Baltimore and subsequently were made to ride in the back of the bus and eat at separate lunch counters to keep from contaminating the rest of the troops.

End apartheid in Stavanger! I’m putting this on my Facebook profile and if you really cared you would too. (Now, Baltimore is in Sweden right?)

“But seriously folks this sh*t is gonna be a classic!” – Private Stain

Thanks to Chris for keeping us posted!

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Stavanger Norway Celebrates Brooklyn Street Art! The NuArt Festival

Stavanger Norway Celebrates Brooklyn Street Art! The NuArt Festival

The Nuart Festival runs

The Nuart Festival runs September 10 – October 9, 2009


Stavanger Norway meet Brooklyn New York.

Some of the worlds leading street artists are flying for a week or two to Norway to participate in a street art festival that celebrates the Brooklyn Street Art with many of the same artists you’ll find right here. Leon Reid arrived yesterday, Chris Stain tomorrow, both to prepare to hold workshops with creatives and Norway National TV’s main cultural program “Safari” will be interviewing and following Swoon on the streets.

The roster includes;

As you know, New York is a city of immigrants, and the first Norwegians launched for New York 184 years ago and established their largest colony in the BK – creating a neighborhood of 200K plus people speaking Norwegian in bars, stores, and streets of Brooklyn.

The Nuart festival calls back the Brooklyn Flava by importing some of the greats from the streets of Brooklyn to exhibit, teach, and revel citiwide with panel debates, talks, film screenings, and fundraising.  It’s all BROOKLYN, all the time.

Over the next few weeks BSA will keep in touch with events in our Sista City, Stavanger and get you some insight into the cool stuff that happens there for the Nuart Festival.

Know Hope straightens out a line of tears.

Previous Nuart festival artist Know Hope straightens out a line of tears.

Stencil work from D*Face

Stencil work from D*Face

Chris Stain on the wall at NuArt

Chris Stain on the wall at NuArt

Heracut at Nuart

Herakut at Nuart

Nuart Festival

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