This summer New York has been crazily, sometimes chaotically overlaid with tons of graffiti, Street Art, and murals – a testament to the enduring passion of a public that wants to see this organic patterning of the city skin, and the unquenchable thirst that artists and writers in New York have for showing their work to the public without intervening forces. Some of it is illegal, some of it is legal – all of it is part of the New York conversation.
Additionally, and in concert with, this ongoing conversation is a private pop-up exhibition called “Beyond the Streets” that pulls back from this moment and looks at pertinent and fundamental slices of the first 50 years of art in the streets from the perspective of a handful of sharp-eyed curators who have done their homework.
Presented in the context of historians defining a view of the scene with an eye toward private collectors of contemporary art, the vast show features paintings, sculpture, photography, site-specific installations, commercially branded environments, a large gift shop, historical ephemera – and a 30th anniversary Shepard Fairey exhibition within the exhibition.
“Beyond the Streets” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was originally a three-month show that ran through August, it has been extended to September 29th – as they say – by popular demand. In addition, to celebrate and thank the community for their support, BEYOND THE STREETS will host free admission day on Thursday August 29th.
We’re excited because today we get to spend a few minutes on stage with one of our hometown heroes, the artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Leveraging her artistry with her politics with her desire to support women and others who are harassed, its a special kind of gold that she creates.
By putting these images of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ folks on the street with their blunt-force sentiments addressed to would-be harassers, she not only stands with them, but Tatyana has also used her work and vision to give them the courage to stand proud, assert their voice and to take public space.
After all, it belongs to the public.
Please join us this evening for a special BSA TALKS program with Tatyana Fazlalizadeh at the Beyond the Streets exhibition in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC.
More info about the artist and event;
“Women are not outside for your entertainment”, a startling truth for some guys that pointedly highlights abusive behavior toward women on the streets of Brooklyn and many cities around the world. Brooklyn Street Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh has been targeting daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people with her campaigns of art on the streets – and in the gallery.
Addressing themes of social justice, racism, LGBTQ+ rights, and sexist street harassment, her beautifully drawn campaigns on wheat-pasted posters and painted murals across the globe have brought attention to issues sorely in need of addressing during hostile rhetoric from some men in the highest offices.
Profiled in major media from The New York Times, NPR and Time Magazine and asked to speak at universities and museums like the Smithsonian, the New School and the Brooklyn Museum, Tatyana’s work can currently be seen on Spike Lee’s Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It.
Come join Tatyana as she shares her experiences,
observations and perspectives with Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo from
Brooklyn Street Art in this riveting discussion on Street Art as change-making
You are invited Thursday to join BSA Founders Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo for a very special BSA TALKS program with the conscience-raising and conscious Street Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh as we look at her work and talk about her campaigns addressing catcalling and marginalization, invisibility and intersectionality, “America is Black” and “Stop Telling Women to Smile”.
We know it will be a lively and LIVE talk at this summer’s blockbuster exhibition Beyond the Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Curated by Roger Gastman, Evan Pricco, David “Chino” Villorente, and Sacha Jenkins, this massive 150 artist, 100,000 square foot exhibition traces the graffiti/Street Art scene from the last 5 decades as wells as the Kings and Queens who claim the mantels of many titles in this global grassroots D.I.Y. arts scene in the streets.
join us Thursday as we welcome one more!
BSA TALKS with Tatyana Fazlalizadeh at BTS July 25th
A limited number of free tickets are available to BSA TALKS with Street Artist and activist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh at BEYOND THE STREETS this Thursday 7/25 at 7 pm in Brooklyn.
1. Go to Beyond the Streets website (button below) 2. Enter “1” General Admission ticket 3. Click “Get Tickets” 4. Scroll down to “Have a coupon?” section 5. Enter this code BSATF to get your free ticket
UK based Irish painter and muralist Conor Harrington was in New York City for the last month with stirring new works inside the gallery space and outside on the street. His signature forms and flying garments were there: indistinctly heroic, Bacon-blurred men in an epic struggle, each wearing richly hued militaristic finery. His dramatic heroes and saboteurs race now across two canvasses on display at the massive Beyond The Streets exhibition in Brooklyn as well as across one daunting five-story walkup on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
The bigger one was probably harder.
Set aside the mercurial, blasting sun and drenching rains and otherwise sticky conditions in Gotham’s gritty summer, Harrington may not have realized that the wall was so huge. Done in concert with the L.I.S.A. Project NYC and the BTS exhibition, Conor crushed it with so much color and dramatic action across the surface (his first mural in NYC in a decade or so) that observers will be stultified by its scale and the mysterious storyline that animates it for a long time to come. The subject of the painting might be of an officer with the British army during the American Revolutionary War. If one were to imagine the piece of art differently by changing the garments and closing our eyes the figure as it is in action could very well be of a matador in a bullring confronting and taunting the bull with his cape. With a background in graffiti and a truly painterly command of the cans, you can imagine the feeling of revelation observers felt as Conor daily revealed this gripping piece in this city of immigrants, of struggle, of dreams.
Hammering the display walls, sanding off the plaster bumps, the whirring and popping of construction drills: Two assistants are helping 1970s NYC subway writer Lee Quinones lay out a #2 train-car-length canvas on the floor while you are distracted by the Empire State building puncturing the Manhattan cityscape across the East River, a sweeping vista through the glass walls of this new high-rise in Williamsburg.
Nearby Cornbread’s notebook hangs next to his signature, a potent visual reverberation across five decades from graffiti’s Philly roots.
Elsewhere there are the sounds of woodsaws and metal clanging accompany the one-line drawings of freight-writer buZ blurr as historian Bill Daniel is completing his comprehensive mini-exhibition within this massive exhibition. With trains and photos and modern relics of American rail lore on display, this crucial antecedent of modern-day aerosol “writing” emerges and blows its chimes as well. This is a particular slice of the graffiti story that Mr. Daniel may describe, as he does in The Secret History of Hobo Graffiti, as “the dogged pursuit of the impossibly convoluted story of the heretofore untold history of the century-old folkloric practice of hobo and railworker graffiti.”
It’s an apt descriptor for Beyond The Streets as well. This multi-artist graffiti/Street Art-influenced exhibition directed by the discerning shepherd and seer Roger Gastman that is now mounting over two floors and 100,000 square feet in North Brooklyn tackles an endlessly convoluted evolutionary path. He says the size and composition of the exhibition has slightly changed since its first mounting last year in Los Angeles, and he is acutely aware that its location is in the city that claims a huge part of the graffiti genesis story, carrying perhaps a steep level of expectations.
Not that he has reason to worry: there are more hits here than a blowout at Yankee Stadium.
Like the blast of colors and pieces at a sunny Saturday afternoon Meeting of Styles jam, this show of many writers, photographers, documenters, collectors, painters, vandals, and attitudes won’t disappoint. You can see and construct your own version of a celebratory story that illustrates and reveals surprising ways that the street subculture has left its mark indelibly on the mainstream, yet often stayed separate.
From the Beastie Boys wigs worn in the “Sabotage” music video to the camera Joe Conzo used to shoot the Cold Crush Brothers, to the MDF and cardboard pay phone by pop sculptor Bill Barminski, and Dash Snow’s hi-low societal slumming photographs depicting sex, drugs, rhyming and stealing, visitors easily will have a flood of images and histories to author their own convoluted version of the graffiti and Street Art tale.
Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.
“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”
He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.
“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.
The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.
Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an
additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along
with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys
installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary
Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large
scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi
More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.
“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.
BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM
Curator: Roger Gastman
Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente
A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER
The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Broken Fingaz Animates Video by Beck & U2 2. ResistanceX in Bilbao, Spain
3. Jeremy Fish: “The Whine Train”
4. Dan Witz: “Punk And Freedom” from “Beyond The Streets”
5. Manifiesto #FaltenPintades
BSA Special Feature: Broken Fingaz Animates Video by Beck & U2
Israeli graffiti/Street Art/multi-dimensional art crew Broken Fingaz comes out swinging with this new fully animated video by U2, as remixed by Beck. Just goes to show you how graffiti is frequently a gateway drug to other creative pursuits. Beware!
“We used two animation techniques we never tried before,” they say as they describe the top shelf story-telling here, “the classic animation is made up of 1,200 (!) acrylic paintings and for the stop-motion we teamed up with the amazing ZAZ animation studio to create a world from plasticine.”
An instant animation classic, this is the first time the Tel-Aviv base Broken Fingaz Crew have used animation on any of their projects. Some how they managed to entangle love, death, sexuality, yearning, and hope into their narrative tale – breathing life into everything.
ResistanceX in Bilbao, Spain
The Basque country as depicted in Bilbao here is glitch-trippy and light-footed with a bucket full of sexy public art and murals. Produced to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of SC Gallery. They call it ResistanceX and this festival has brought over the years artists like Aryz, Axel Void, Fefe Talavera, Laguna, Remed, Eltono, Michael Grudziecki, Size Paredes, SpY, Suso 33, Velvet, and Zoer Frederick Battle.
Jeremy Fish: “The Whine Train”
Artist Jeremy Fish breaks it all down for you about the multiple references that were running through his mind and whiny heart when he created this commission for the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Dan Witz: “Punk And Freedom” from “Beyond The Streets”
Somehow they manage to jam his entire career into one minute. Did they mention he is a genius with oils and with light? Dan Witz is all of this and much much more.
Art and activism meet in the name of free expression in Spain in the next few days as a number of Street Artists, graffiti writers, and muralists join together for an upcoming action on July 21 and 22 to paint and protest. ‘No Callarem’ is the call in response to censorship – “We will not shut up”.
The collective says that “the only walls we can and want to admit are the ones that can be painted on, with freedom of action and expression, using criticism and satire.”
Here is a video announcing their manifesto and the upcoming days of paint and protest.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. Banksy in Paris 2. Art Meet Milk III – Zeso – Carl Kenz
3. UDANE: 12 + 1 Project.
4. Beyond The Streets Presents: Felipe Pantone
5. Beyond The Streets Presents: Lee Quinones
BSA Special Feature: Banksy in Paris
A quick overview to catch you up on the 7 most recent pieces attributed to Banksy in Paris. He’s said to be creating work more attuned to the plight of migration, but others have observed it is a return to the classic Banksy sarcastic sweetness that has characterized the clever sudden missives he has delivered since he began. See Butterfly Art News’ coverage here: Paris: Banksy for World Refugee Day
Art Meet Milk III – Zeso – Carl Kenz
Zeso and Carl KENZ are splashing about in that white liquid you are all familiar with. The title leads you to believe there have been two more graffiti/Street Art murals meditating on this as well, and in fact it is a campaign. Not sure what its about.
The temptation for the typical young buck who is hitting up a wall with cans is to completely cover it in as much paint as possible and leaving the view reeling with combustible imagery. UDANE decides that strength is in restraint, leaving part of the wall uncluttered, giving room for you to think and consider and wonder what this guy with the backpack is thinking about.
A sneaker brand has sponsored some of the Beyond the Streets exhibition currently running in Los Angeles and following are a couple of brief artist spotlights. The first is the Spanish Argentinian master of visual glitch and kinectic/op-art Felipe Pantone.
A steel-wheeled graffiti train with Roger Gastman at the controls roars into LA’s Chinatown for a two-month stay at this station, a 40,000 square foot warehouse that houses “Beyond the Streets.” Originating at the streets and train yards of the 1960s and 70s, this express survey carries with it 100 or so artists and writers from across the last five decades as practitioners of graffiti, Street Art, and mural painting. Somehow, everyone gets represented.
Opening night featured many of the names associated with its earliest beginnings of the New York /Philadelphia graffiti scene like Cornbread, Taki183, Futura, Lady Pink, filmmaker Charlie Ahearn, among many others, including photographer Martha Cooper, who in addition to being an artist in the show, shares these photos with BSA readers. She also extensively shares her photos for the accompanying show catalog, providing documentation from the scene that exist nowhere else.
A diverse and almost overwhelming series of displays present the works in a way that can only hint at the thousands of artists who built this story, necessarily viewed through a wide lens: sculpture, photography, installations, and multi-media all join the canvasses and ephemera and Gastman’s collection of vintage paint cans. Smartly planned for the selfie generation, large pieces are presented almost as backdrop ready to be Instagrammed; a direction coming from the “Photos Encouraged” sign that is next to the wall covered with Retna’s original alphabet near the entrance.
Somewhat of a rejoinder to Art in the Streets, the eponymous graffiti and Street Art exhibition in 2011 at LA MoCA, Beyond the Streets takes a focused look at the multitudinous peoples’ art movement from the perspective of one of that first shows’ original curators, Roger Gastman. When arranging the two month exhibition that closes July 6th, Gastman says that his focus was to celebrate those with street cred, in terms of individual practice, and to combine that requirement with a respectable semblance of a studio practice.
Ultimately he looked for artists who have used their particular approach to expand the definition of art in the streets in some way. That definition by now has become quite wide and it’s also a tall order for any curator to find the common themes here and present them in a cohesive manner.
Beyond The Streets, compiled by Roger Gastman.
Both the accompanying catalog and exhibition take a welcome stance toward educating the audience in many ways, helping the viewer to decode this freewheeling graffiti and mark-making history with basic vocabulary terms, historical events, pop culture inflexion points and examination of tools of the trade all adding context. Catalog essays and interviews are incisive and enlightening, including wit, sarcasm and even the occasional admonishment – notably in the essay by author, filmmaker, and curator Sacha Jenkins, who has been documenting the graffiti scene for a least a couple of decades.
Studying the move of some artists from street practice to commercial gallery that began in earnest with early NYC train writers transitioning to canvasses in the early 1980s, Jenkins upbraids a disgruntled faction among old-school graffiti writers who he characterizes as perhaps intransigent in their stylistic evolution and unwilling to adapt with the game. Later in his essay he lambasts the overtly pleasant and narcissistic cultural newcomers who he sees as milk-toasting the scene with their adoration of pretty murals and shallow sentiments, obtusely ushering in gentrification and “leading up to hearing about how my mother’s building is going to get bulldozed for a hip residential building that has a hot tub in every apartment.” He also may be the only writer here so openly addressing race and class distinctions present during the evolution of the scene and now.
The selection of artists and writers in the book and exhibition, many of them friends and colleagues with whom Gastman has worked with in the past, offers a rewarding and accessible panoply of styles and views. With some study the visitor understands connections in a widely dispersed multi-player subculture that coalesced and continuously changed its shape and character. But even if they don’t, they still get an amazing amount of eye candy.
The catalog offers extensive sections like those devoted to The History of Spraypaint and Graffiti in Galleries, and offers petite exegesis on influencing factors and benchmarks that shaped the art form’s route like Mobile DJs, The ’77 NYC Blackout, the European graffiti scene and graffiti’s role in gang culture, hip-hop and hardcore music. The compilation aids and supports the fullness of a story that frankly requires many voices to tell it. Gastman even gives forum and exhibition space to activist and defiant guerilla gardener Ron Finley and the holistic urban horticultural oases that he creates in South Central LA, calling it his form of graffiti in empty lots of the city.
Martha Cooper with Taki 183. Beyond The Streets. (photo courtesy of Martha Cooper)
With insightful interviews of artists in the exhibition from talented writers like Caleb Neelon, Caroline Ryder, John Lewis, Alec Banks, Evan Pricco, John Albert, Shelly Leopold, and Gastman himself, there are enough colorful anecdotes and decisive signposts en route to help tell the stories of the artists and their individual approaches to the street.
“The artists do not share a singular style, since they are primarily united by a common element of their personal biographies – the fact that they once made their art in the streets,” says self-described novice to the Street Art / graffiti world, Adam Lerner, the Director and Chief Animator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. “There are, however some threads that run through the works.”
Beyond the Streets will help visitors find some of those threads for themselves and undoubtedly they will forge their own interpretation of art in the streets.