All posts tagged: Blek le Rat

Blek Le Rat Tours the US South

Blek Le Rat Tours the US South

Tennessee and Texas Sample a Certain Street Savoir Faire

Look out for Le Rat!

He’s getting up in places down south that you wouldn’t normally associate with a French Street Artist, much less the one who started stenciling in a style and manner unusual on Paris walls in ’81 – an antecedent for much of what we later would call ‘Street Art”. 

Blek Le Rat. Houston, TX. (photo © Brian Greif)

Thanks to gallerist and collector Brian Greif, Blek Le Rat made a run for it through Texas in cities like Waco, Austin, and Houston – after spending a week teaching students at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville how to create stencils in his distinct style.  

It was a unique experience for the artist roughly 40 years after he first began doing these same activities illegally and under cover of night – and Greif tells us that the artist was so moved by the large audiences and appreciation by new fans that he is even encouraged to return.

Blek Le Rat. Houston, TX. (photo © Brian Greif)

“I think its time now to go back to the real sources of street art by painting real walls in real cities and not just the major cities around the world,” says Blek in an interview with Greif. “We need to touch people by painting walls in cities that have not experienced this movement.”

Blek Le Rat. Nashville. (photo © Brian Greif)
Blek Le Rat. Nashville. (photo © Brian Greif)
Blek Le Rat. Nashville. (photo © Brian Greif)
“So two cats walk into a bar…” Blek Le Rat. Nashville. (photo © Brian Greif)
Blek Le Rat. Nashville. (photo © Brian Greif)
Blek Le Rat. Austin, TX. (photo © Brian Greif)
Blek Le Rat. Austin, TX. (photo © Brian Greif)
Blek Le Rat. Waco, TX. (photo © Brian Greif)
Blek Le Rat. Waco, TX. (photo © Brian Greif)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.24.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.24.16

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Happy blizzard weekend New York! Who knew it would be so much fun to run free literally in the streets thanks to a travel ban on all non-emergency cars. It’s a bit of genius really, because if you DO get hit by a car, its probably an ambulance.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Anser, AX, Blek le Rat, BK Foxx, Cern, Domenico Romeo, Horace Panter, Key Detail, LMNOPI, Marthalicia, READ, Sean9Lugo, Solo Selci, This Is Awkward, and WERC.

Our top image: BK Foxx does a black and white mural based on a photograph by Brenda Ann Kenneally for JMZ Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI for Top To Bottom. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Solo Selci in Sabina, Italy. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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A restaurant uses David Bowie to sell food in Manhattan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Horace Panter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cern heating things up for “Top To Bottom.” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marthalicia for “Top To Bottom“. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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READ (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blek le Rat for Wunderkammen Gallery. Rome, Italy. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Blek le Rat for Wunderkammen Gallery. Rome, Italy. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Blek le Rat for Wunderkammen Gallery. Rome, Italy. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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This Is Awkward (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Key Details for “Top To Bottom“. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anser for Top To Bottom. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bathroom graffiti in layers (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Domenico Romeo. Monza, Italy. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Sean9Lugo for Top To Bottom. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sean9Lugo for Top To Bottom. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ax on the streets of Chicago. (photo © AX)

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WERC for Top To Bottom. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Brooklyn, NY. January 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Technology, Festivals, and Murals: 15 Years on the Street Art Scene

Technology, Festivals, and Murals: 15 Years on the Street Art Scene

It’s good to be asked to write an essay once in a while as it makes us take a step back and more fully examine a topic and appreciate it. On the occasion of Nuart’s 15th anniversary and it’s accompanying print publication last week Martyn Reed asked us to look at the street art / urban art / graffiti scene and to give an analysis about how it has changed in the time that the festival has been running. The essay is a long one, so grab a cup of joe and we hope you enjoy. Included are a number of images in and around Stavanger from Jaime Rojo, not all of them part of the festival, including legal and illegal work.

Technology, Festivals, and Murals as Nuart Turns 15

Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo

Nuart is turning 15 this year and like most brilliant teenagers it is alternately asking you challenging questions, finding you somewhat uncool, or is on your tablet ordering a new skateboard with your credit card. Nuart started with mainly music and is now mainly murals; an internationally well-regarded venue for thoughtfully curated urban art programs and erudite academic examination – with an undercurrent of troublemaking at all times. Today Nuart can be relied upon to initiate new conversations that you weren’t expecting and set a standard for thoughtful analysis of Street Art and its discontents.

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Pøbel (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We are in the thick of it, as it were, this great expansion of a first global grassroots people’s art movement. Give it any title you like, the flood of art in the streets that knocks on BSA’s door daily is unabated. We admit that we often get caught up in the moment and forget to study our forebears, Street Art’s progenitors and contributors – and that we sometimes are unable to appreciate the significance of this incredible time. So we are happy when the Nuart team asked us to take a long view of the last fifteen years and to tell them what we see.

As we mark Nuart’s milestone, we see three important developments on the Street Art scene while it evolves: Technology, Festivals, and Murals.

And just before we discuss these three developments in Street Art we emphasize what has stayed the same; our own sense of wonder and thrill at the creative spirit, however it is expressed; we marvel to see how it can seize someone and flow amidst their innermost, take hold of them, convulse through them, rip them apart and occasionally make them whole.

What has changed is that the practice and acceptance of Street Art, the collecting of the work, it’s move into contemporary art, have each evolved our perceptions of this free-range autonomous descendant of the graffiti practice that took hold of imaginations in the 2000s. At the least it hasn’t stopped gaining converts. At this arbitrary precipice on the timeline we look back and forward to identify three impactful themes that drive what we are seeing today and that will continue to evolve our experience with this shape-shifting public art practice.

 

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Technology

Hands down, a primary genesis for the far flung modern embrace of Street Art/Urban Art/Graffiti/public art lies in the booster rocket that propelled it into nearly everyone’s hands; digital communication and all its sundry technologies. From the early Internet websites and chat rooms accessed from your desktop to digital cameras and photo sharing platforms like Flickr in the early-mid 2000s to ever more sophisticated search technology and its accompanying algorithms, to blogs, micro blogs, and social media platforms, to the first generations of laptops and tablets, iPhones and Android devices; the amazing and democratizing advance of these communicative technologies have allowed more of us to access and share images, videos, experiences and opinion on a scale never before imagined – entirely altering the practice of art in the streets.

Where once there had been insular localized clans of aerosol graffiti writers who followed arcane codes of behavior and physical territoriality known primarily to only them in cities around the world, now new tribes coalesced around hubs of digital image sharing, enabling new shared experiences, sets of rules, and hierarchies of influence – while completely dissolving others.

 

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Tilt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As old guards re-invented a place for themselves or disappeared altogether, a new order was being remixed in front our eyes. There were a lot of strangers in the room – but somehow we got used to it. Rather than making street art pieces for your local peers, artists began making new compositions for somebody’s phone screen in London or Honolulu or Shanghai.

Cut free from soil and social station, now garden variety hoodlums and brilliant aesthetes were commingling with opportuning art collectors, curious gallerists, unctuous opinionators, punctilious photographers and fans… along with product makers, promoters, art-school students, trend watchers, brand managers, lifestyle marketers, criminologists, sociologists, journalists, muckrakers, academics, philosophers, housewives, and makers of public policy. By virtue of climbing onto the Net everyone was caught in it, now experiencing the great leveling forces of early era digital communications that decimated old systems of privilege and gate keeping or demarcations of geography.

Looking forward we are about to be shaken again by technology that makes life even weirder in the Internet of Everything. Drone cams capture art and create art, body cams will surveil our activity and interactions, and augmented reality is merging with GPS location mapping. You may expect new forms of anonymous art bombing done from your basement, guerilla image projecting, electronic sign jamming, and perhaps you’ll be attending virtual reality tours of street art with 30 other people who are also sitting on their couches with Oculus Rifts on. Just watch.

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Swoon and David Choe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Festivals

Thanks to the success of festivals like Nuart, myriad imitators and approximaters have mushroomed in cities everywhere. Conceived of philosophically as a series of stages for the exhibition of artistic chops with the proviso that a cultural dialogue is enriched and moved forward, not all festivals reach those goals.

In fact, we have no reason to expect that there is one set of goals whatsoever and the results are predictably variable; ranging from focused, coherent and resonant contributions to a city to dispersed, unmanageable parades of muddy mediocrity slammed with corporate logos and problematic patronage.

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MCity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Some festivals are truly grassroots and managed by volunteers like Living Walls in Atlanta or MAUI in Fanzara, Spain. Others are privately funded by real estate interests like Miami’s Wynwood Walls or business improvement district initiatives like the L.I.S.A. Project and LoMan Festival in Manhattan, or are the vision of one man who has an interest in Street Artists, like the now-discontinued FAME festival in the small town of Grottaglie, Italy and the 140 artist takeover of a town in Tunisia called Djerbahood that is organized by an art dealer.

In some ways these examples are supplanting the work of public art committees and city planners who historically determined what kind of art would be beneficial to community and a public space. Detractors advance an opinion that festivals and personal initiatives like this are clever ways of circumventing the vox populi or that they are the deliberate/ accidental tools of gentrification.

We’ve written previously about the charges of cultural imperialism that these festivals sometimes bring as well where a presumed gratitude for new works by international painting superstars actually devolves into charges of hubris and disconnection with the local population who will live with the artwork for months and years after the artist catches a plane home.

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Dotmasters (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nonetheless, far from Street Arts transgressive and vandalous roots, the sheer number of Street Art/Urban Art/Mural Art festivals that have popped up – either freestanding or as adjuncts to multi-discipline “arts” festivals – is having the effect of creating a wider dialogue for art in the public sphere.

As artists are invited and hosted and scissor lifts are rented and art-making materials are purchased, one quickly realizes that there are real costs associated with these big shows and the need for funding is equally genuine. Depending on the festival this funding may be private, public, institutional, corporate, or an equation that includes them all.

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Faith47 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you may expect, the encroachment of commercial interests is nearly exhaustive in some of these newer festivals, so eager are the merchants to harvest a scene they had little or no hand in planting. Conceived of as vehicles for corporate messaging, they custom-build responsive websites, interactive Apps, clouds of clever #hashtags, company logos, Instagram handles, branded events and viral lifestyle videos with logos sprinkled throughout the “content”.

You may recognize these to be the leeching from an organic subculture, but in the case of this amorphous and still growing “Street Art Scene” no one yet knows what lasting scars this lifestyle packaging will leave on the Body Artistic, let alone civic life.

 

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stylistically these festivals can be a grab bag as well with curatorial rigor often taking a back seat to availability, accessibility, and the number of interested parties making nominations. While some festivals are clearly leaning toward more traditional graffiti schools, others are a hodgepodge of every discernable style from the past fifty years, sometimes producing an unpleasant sense of nausea or even tears over regrettable missed opportunity.

Clearly the quality is often uneven but, at the danger of sounding flip or callous, it’s nothing that is not easily remedied by a few coats of paint in the months afterward, and you’ll see plenty of that. Most art critics understand that the metrics used for measuring festival art are not meant to be the same as for a gallery or museum show. Perhaps because of the entirely un-curated nature of the organic Street Art scene from which these festivals evolved in some part, where no one asks for permission (and none is actually granted), we are at ease with a sense of happenstance and an uneven or lackluster presentation but are thrilled when concept, composition, and execution are seated firmly in a brilliant context.

 

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TUK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Murals

Finally, murals have become big not just in size but popularity. Every week a street artist is exclaiming that this mural is the biggest they have every made. It is a newfound love, a heady honeymoon, a true resurgence of muralism. Even though you can’t rightly call this legal and sanctioned work true Street Art, many former and current Street Artists are making murals.

Un-civically minded urban art rebels have inferred that Street Art has softened, perhaps capitulated to more mainstream tastes. As Dan Witz recently observed, “Murals are not a schism with Street Art as much as a natural outgrowth from it.” We agree and add that these cheek-by-jowl displays of one mural after another are emulating the graffiti jams that have been taking place for years in large cities both organic and organized.

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JPS . Mizo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From illustration to abstraction to figurative to surreal and even letter-based, this eclectic injection of styles won’t bring to mind what one may typically associate with the homegrown community mural. Aside from the aforementioned festivals that are festooning neighborhoods, the growth in mural-making may be attributable to a trend of appreciation for Do It Yourself ( D.I.Y.) approaches and the ‘makers’ movements, or a desire to add a personal aspect to an urban environment that feels unresponsive and disconnected.

Philadelphia has dedicated 30 years to their Mural Arts Program and relies on a time-tested method of community involvement for finalization of designs and most municipal murals have a certain tameness that pleases so many constituencies that no one particularly cares for them.

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Herakut (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The New Muralism, as we have been calling it, that is popping up is often more autonomous and spirited in nature than community mural initiatives of the past with their ties to the socio-political or to historical figures and events. Here there are few middlemen and fewer debates. Artists and their advocates approach building owners directly, a conversation happens, and a mural goes up.

In the case of upstart community programs like the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, one trusted local person is ambassador to a neighborhood, insuring that community norms about nudity or politics are respected but otherwise acts purely as facilitator and remains hands-off about the content.

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JPS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On that topic, effectively a form of censoring often takes place with murals – another distinguishing characteristic from Street Art. Given the opportunity to fully realize an elaborate composition, normally wild-eyed and ornery aerosol rebels bend their vision to not offend. Sometimes an artist can have more latitude and you may find a mural may clearly advocate a political or social point of view, as in recent murals addressing police brutality, racism, and inequality in many US cities, anti-corruption sentiments in Mexico, and pro-marriage equality in France and Ireland.

This new romance with the mural is undoubtedly helping artists who would like to further explore their abilities in more labor-intensive, time absorbing works without having to look over their shoulder for an approaching officer of the law. It is a given that what they gain in polished presentation they may sacrifice as confrontational, radical, contraventional, even experimental. The resulting images are at times stunning and even revelatory, consistent with the work of highly skilled visionaries, as if a new generation of painters is maturing before our eyes in public space where we are all witness.

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Moving Forward

Despite the rise in festivals and mural programs and the growing volume and sophistication of technology for sharing of the images, Street Art is still found in unexpected places and the decay of neglected spaces. As before and well into the future these self ordained ministers of mayhem will be showing their stuff in the margins, sometimes identified, sometimes anonymous, communicating with the individual who just happens to walk by and witness the work. The works will impart political or social messages, other times a simple declaration that says, “I’m here.”

Whatever its form, we will be looking for it.

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Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Niels Show Meulman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nafir (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Fekner (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blek le Rat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Site of an old piece by BLU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dieche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HUSH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dolk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The remnants of a Phlegm piece from a previous edition of Nuart. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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Søren Solkær: “Surface” Reveals What’s Below

Søren Solkær: “Surface” Reveals What’s Below

“At first it seemed like a closed community, but one artist would lead me to the next and before I knew it, I had entered into an amazing new world  a very tight knit community of artists, many of which live like creative nomads.,” says photographer Soren Solkaer in the foreward to his new collection called Surface. A three year project that has led the Dane to 13 cities capturing 140 artists whose practice lies along the graffiti-Street Art continuum is a revelation on many levels  who knew that you could convince so many of these undomesticated ferocious coyotes to pose? Who would have guessed that they would agree to be in staged photographs as well?

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Søren Solkær: Surface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Influenced by the Czech tradition of photography of including staging and symbolism that he studied in the mid 1990s, Solkaer brings in distinctive elements of each artists style or process to inform the orchestrated environments in these images, instantly telling you more about the subject and their work.

It is a very successful method that turns the photographer into biographer and makes the viewer into student and possibly a fan.  Naturally, this world-traveled photographic artist has also developed his own formal techniques and distinctive style so the resulting images are crisp and on-point, the ingenious surroundings and ambiance often lifting the subject into another realm.

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a personal history that includes break-dancing as a teen in a small village in Denmark, Soren tells us that his rediscovery of the modern Street Art scene was reawakened only recently after he had long ago shifted interest away from street culture. After a successful career shooting most of the largest names in rock and popular music, he had the freedom to discover a new project where he could innovate in the space of a still evolving scene. After an introduction to Shepard Fairey and some other street artists and with a few rewarding photo shoots of personalities from this genre of autonomous art making in the public sphere, Solkear says he was hooked.

The New York launch of Surface is tonight at Allouche Gallery in Soho and a number of artists and special guests will be in attendance. When you see Soren, ask him the name of his high school breaking crew.

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Lee Quinones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. The London Police (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Borondo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Tilt (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Don John (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Blek le Rat (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Borondo (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface. Slinkachu (photo ©Søren Solkær)

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Søren Solkær: Surface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Søren Solkær: Surface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Søren Solkær: Surface published by Gingko Press.

Søren Solkær: Surface Opens today at the Allouche Gallery in SOHO. Click HERE for more details.

 

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

Here it is! Our 2014 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.

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Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year: Ask Jaime Rojo, our illustrious editor of photography at BrooklynStreetArt.com , who takes thousands of photographs each year, to respond to a simple question: What was your favorite photo of the year?

For 2014 he has swift response: “The Kara Walker.” Not the art, but the artist posed before her art.

It was an impromptu portrait that he took with his iPhone when the artist unveiled her enormous sculpture at a small gathering of neighborhood locals and former workers of the Domino Sugar Factory, informal enough that Rojo didn’t even have his professional camera with him. Aside from aesthetics for him it was the fact that the artist herself was so approachable and agreed to pose for him briefly, even allowing him to direct her just a bit to get the shot, that made an imprint on his mind and heart.

Of course the sculpture is gone and so is the building that was housing it for that matter – the large-scale public project presented by Creative Time was occupying this space as the last act before its destruction. The artist herself has probably moved on to her next kick-ass project after thousands of people stood in long lines along Kent Avenue in Brooklyn to see her astounding indictment-tribute-bereavement-celebration in a hulking warehouse through May and June.

But the photo remains.

And Rojo feels very lucky to have been able to seize that quintessential New York moment: the artist in silhouette before her own image, her own work, her own outward expression of an inner world. 

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Jaime’s personal favorite of 2014; The site specific Kara Walker in front of her site specific installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in May of this year in Brooklyn. Artist Kara Walker. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

Now, for the Video

And our holiday gift to you for five years running, here is the brand new video of favorite images of graffiti and Street Art by Brooklyn Street Art’s editor of photography, Jaime Rojo.

Of a few thousand these 129 shots fly smoothly by as a visual survey; a cross section of graffiti, street art, and the resurgence of mural art that continues to take hold. As usual, all manner of art-making is on display as you wander your city’s streets. Also as usual, we prefer the autonomous free-range unsolicited, unsanctioned type of Street Art because that’s what got us hooked as artists, and ultimately, it is the only truly uncensored stuff that has a free spirit and can hold a mirror up to us. But you have to hand it to the muralists – whether “permissioned” or outright commissioned, some people are challenging themselves creatively and still taking risks.

Once again these artists 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. We hope you dig it too.

 

Brooklyn Street Art 2014 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

2Face, Aakash Nihalani, Adam Fujita, Adnate, Amanda Marie, Andreco, Anthony Lister, Arnaud Montagard, Art is Trash, Ben Eine, Bikismo, Blek Le Rat, Bly, Cake, Caratoes, Case Maclaim, Chris Stain, Cleon Peterson, Clet, Clint Mario, Col Wallnuts, Conor Harrington, Cost, Crummy Gummy, Dain, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Damon, Dan Witz, Dasic, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, Eelco Virus, EKG, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Etam Cru, Ewok, Faring Purth, Gilf!, Hama Woods, Hellbent, Hiss, Hitnes, HOTTEA, Icy & Sot, Jana & JS, Jason Coatney, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, JR, Judith Supine, Kaff Eine, Kashink, Krakenkhan, Kuma, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Mais Menos, Mark Samsonovich, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Miss Me, Mover, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nenao, Nick Walker, Olek, Paper Skaters, Patty Smith, Pixel Pancho, Poster Boy, Pyramid Oracle, QRST, Rubin 415, Sampsa, Sean 9 Lugo, Sebs, Sego, Seher One, Sexer, Skewville, SmitheOne, Sober, Sonni, Specter, SpY, Square, Stay Fly, Stik, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swil, Swoon, Texas, Tilt, Tracy168, Trashbird, Vexta, Vinz, Willow, Wolfe Works, Wolftits, X-O, Zed1.

Read more about Kara Walker in our posting “Kara Walker And Her Sugar Sphinx At The Old Domino Factory”.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Film Friday: 11.07.14

BSA Film Friday: 11.07.14

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. “Circle of Abstract Ritual” Jeff Frost
2. Blek le Rat in NYC via Complex
3. Narcelio Grud: Free Roses
4. HotBox: Clamo’s Secret Cubby Hole by RTST

BSA Special Feature: “Circle of Abstract Ritual” by Jeff Frost

A little over a year ago on BSA Film Friday we asked you to contribute to the Kickstarter for this film and today we can report that it was worth it.

“This film took 300,000 photos, riots, wildfires, paintings in abandoned houses, two years and zero graphics to make. It changed my entire life,” says Jeff of this environmental cinematic stadium full of eye candy and awe.

“This film is art for the sake of art. It was made with much generosity, from the people who let me crash on their couches to the people who backed the Kickstarter to people who just wanted to pitch in: thank you. This would not have been possible without your help.

Every spare cent I make goes back into creating art.”

Play it full screen, and it may change your life as well.

 

Blek le Rat in NYC via Complex

Blek le Rat takes the train out into Bushwick and talks about his work, his history, and some of the Street Art folks on the scene he enjoys.

Narcelio Grud: Free Roses

Mr. Grud is back with a new 3D gift for people in a park. His mobile intervention is part art, part sociology, all heart.

 

HotBox: Clamo’s Secret Cubby Hole by RTST

 Chicagos RTST creative collective are known for their box truck art shows, as well as the creative sense of community that is built into their events. As summer turns to fall and winter, nights like this will keep you warm.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.12.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.12.14

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Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Bishop203, Blek le Rat, Caratoes, Cone SP, Cost, Dasic, Eelco “Virus” van den Berg, ENX, Enzo Sarto, Jerk Face, Nemo’s, Ripo, and Trash Bird.

Top Image >>Eelco “Virus” van den Berg (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wanna taste of this? NemO’s new site specific installation in Sicily, Italy. (photo © NemO’s)

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COST. ENX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Veteran New York Street Art/graffiti artist COST was in the news this week after being nabbed for putting up illegal work, and as you might expect, is instantly a hero to some because of it. Literally the same day as the police press release about the arrest we noticed a fellow artist mask taping some letters on a buffed portion of this legal wall where COST and his fellow artist ENX have been riding for a while. We returned a day later to find the message below.

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COST . ENX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic new wall for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Trash Bird shows how the evolution of man has been affected by cellphones.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blek le Rat in collaboration with Low Brow Artique. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blek le Rat in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Enzo Sarto (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Enzo Sarto (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Caratoes for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cone SP (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RIPO for The L.I.S.A. Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jerk Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bishop203 for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Afternoon Prayer. SOHO, NYC. August 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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Unbridled Berlin Street Art : Spencer Elzey in Europe

Unbridled Berlin Street Art : Spencer Elzey in Europe

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Berliners are hard to crack, they say, but probably not for New Yorkers. We “get” them because of their no-nonsense frankness, sometimes sharp tongues, and because their “creative types” are unhinged in a way that New Yorkers have been historically.

When it comes to the volume and variety of art that is being loosed in Berlin these days, they are setting some standards that many are still catching up with. Right now when you look at the freewheeling expression that bolted out from a broken wall more than 20 years ago and never looked back, you realize that Street Artists in Berlin are not hard to crack, they may simply be a little bit cracked.

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

In the third city of our series this week for Spencer Elzey’s residency on BSA, we visit Berlin, which some argue is the preeminent scene for urban art right now. It does appear to have a perfect mix for vibrant arts growth – a creatively permissive atmosphere and affordable lifestyle prevails in this city of design. And while uncommissioned public art is not legal, it is also not verboten.

The kids may come for the music and the art collectives and the dance parties, but they stay for the aerosol and the expressive faces and figures that accompany you while you walk. So far, people seem happy to let this arts scene continue to evolve and not surprisingly, tourists are magnetically drawn to it.

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Victor Ash (photo © Spencer Elzey)

As you walk through certain neighborhoods you may prepare to have your pre-conventions subverted and inverted. Awash with a decade plus of unbridled art, the scale, style, influences, and techniques of pop, illustration, and graffiti are all truly playing with each other.

Where a large spate of legal mural work has monopolized creative energies of many Street Artists in New York recently, some players have commented that the content is being tamed and neutered and the resulting scene is less risk-oriented stylistically. As you look at the work Elzey found in Berlin, you are reminded what it looks like when art laborers don’t have to self-censor or look over their shoulder. Also, it is still affordable for artists. Oh, wait, did we already mention that?

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Robi The Dog (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Out of the cities I visited the one that contrasted the most with NY was Berlin. It felt like a beautiful lawlessness with graffiti and rollers everywhere,” says Elzey as he tries to put his finger on the attitude of exploration and discovery that floods large areas of the city.

“Berlin by far had the most graffiti and Street Art in its most raw and authentic form, which is how I think it should really be experienced. It felt more free and genuine. Besides RAW and Urban Spree, which are commissioned areas, Berlin felt like a giant playground. There was graffiti and rollers everywhere and lots of abandoned factories to explore and have fun in.”

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Berlin has been an international draw for artists and arts institutions for the last decade at least and many of the Street Art world make sure to head here at least once, sometimes staying months and couch surfing and partying an staying out all night.  Since the graffiti scene and the Street Art scene are not so polarized in the minds of people here there is also a freedom to experiment without fear of upsetting your peer group.

Luckily for BSA, local Street Artists Various & Gould were very hospitable and more than helpful and willing to tour Spencer around some of the hot spots and to give him some background on the Berlin streets. “Meeting someone you admire, be it an artist, musician, or actor, is always a special experience,” he says about being with V&G, “It feels a little different when that person is a Street Artist, or at least it does to me. The fact that part of their job means that they do illegal things, being trusted enough to be welcomed into their inner circle has deeper meaning.”

 

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Blu. Detail. (photo © Spencer Elzey)

So he was in good hands with these two who have deep roots with the artist community and who frequently challenge themselves to look at their own work with new eyes – and to find new ways to engage with passersby with their art and a bit of theater. “In the case of Various & Gould in Berlin and C215 in Vitry I was able to meet these artists on their own turf. They showed me some of their new work in their studios and then toured me around the neighborhoods that they know best,” he recalls with some delight.

“While seeing art on the streets is one thing, getting the first hand history behind it makes it more meaningful,” he says. “You get more history and depth that way.”

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

How long Berlin will continue to be a petrie dish for experimentation and discovery? Forever. Just kidding. But for the moment this ephemeral art movement is fiercely alive and more independent than many cities. Artists have always made life a bit of a moveable feast. Today its Berlin, tomorrow it could be Mexico City, or Lima, who knows?

“I think I would recommend it if you were a younger artist who was trying to break into the game and establish a name for yourself,” says Elzey.

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Alaniz (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Herakut (photo © Spencer Elzey)

 

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Os Gemeos (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Nunca (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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JR (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Cooked (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Vhils (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO gives Alias a shout out. (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Klone (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Neurotitan (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Vidan The Weird (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Tafe (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Reaktor and Paulo Ito (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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G (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Inti (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Ema Jones (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Klub 7 (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Broken Fingaz (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blek le Rat (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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BLO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Maclaim (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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ROA (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Otto Schade (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Nychos (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Our sincere thanks to Various & Gould for their hospitality and time.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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: 09.08.13

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First there was Labor Day, then the Jewish New Year, so it was easy to get a seat on the subway, and sometimes next to a model who’s here for Fashion Week and who got a room in Brooklyn on Air BnB (thinking BK is just steps away from Manhattan). Now everybody’s getting ready to vote in the mayoral primary on Tuesday and all the students are gearing up to start the new school year, and most people you meet on the street and on stoops are talking distrustfully/quizzically about O taking us to war in Syria. Meanwhile no humidity and lots of sunshine means  every day seems nice for painting, pasting, or dissing somebody else’s work – depending on your frame of mind.

The big Calligraffiti show in Chelsea was packed Thursday night, where you could see some of your favorite artists in person like El Seed, Niels Shoe Meulman, Rostarr, and Olek, and you could catch work from Haring, Basquiat, and a room full of LAII. Out in Bushwick you could even catch Blek Le Rat, one of the originators of this kind of work, putting up some new pieces as he prepared for his opening last night at Jonathan Levine. And yesterday Faile started a monstrous new wall in Hells Kitchen that will create a swarm of fans and cameras on the street (more on that later). New York is spoiled, yo.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week including Bast, Bishop203, Blek le Rat, Dede, DZIA, El Kamino, Faile, GIJ Van Hee, Icy & Sot, Pastel, Palladino, QRST, Skuzz, Wonky Monky, and You Go Girl!.

Top image is by Blek le Rat (photo © Jaime Rojo).

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Blek le Rat at The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blek le Rat at The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE . SKUZZ (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A surprise to find this new small sculpture, and even more surprised to find that it was made by QRST, a Street Artist we have been bringing you since he first hit the streets a few years ago. Gonna keep our eyes open for more of these… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreco for Dolomiti Contemporanee. Belluno, Italy. (photo © Andreco)

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Andreco for Dolomiti Contemporanee. Belluno, Italy. (photo © Andreco)

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Andreco for Dolomiti Contemporanee. Belluno, Italy. (photo © Andreco)

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Chin up darling, you know it’s a bright future. Artist who wishes to remain unknown. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Kamino on the side of a semi. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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You Go Girl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pastel is back in Buenos Aires, Argentina after a trip to Atlanta and NYC. (photo © Pastel)

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Bast got a visit from Israel’s DEDE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bishop203 & Icy & Sot can be seen from a distant Bushwick Rooftop. Also, Wang Globalnet. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wonky Monky (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Palladino (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DZIA . GIJ VAN HEE. Detail. Harmoniepark. Antwerp, Belgium. Summer 2013. (photo © Dzia)

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DZIA . GIJ VAN HEE. Detail. Harmoniepark. Antwerp, Belgium. Summer 2013. (photo © Dzia)

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DZIA . GIJ VAN HEE. Detail. Harmoniepark. Antwerp, Belgium. Summer 2013. (photo © Dzia)

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DZIA . GIJ VAN HEE. Harmoniepark. Antwerp, Belgium. Summer 2013. (photo © Dzia)

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

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Black Book Gallery Presents: “Knock it Out” A group Exhibition And Fundraiser (Denver, CO)

Black Book Gallery is using art as a platform to support Love Hope Strength Foundation’s (LHSF) mission of saving the lives of people with cancer. Cancer took the life of Co-owner Thomas Horne’s twin brother, Tim, as well as millions of others world-wide each year. The show titled, “Knock it Out” is Tom’s tribute to all the families,patients, and victims of this devastating disease. (www.knockitout.org). Everyone, in every corner of the world, knows someone affected by cancer, and on the evening of Friday, April 5th, 2013, Black Book Gallery invites us all to come together to celebrate the lives of our loved ones.

Horne and his partner, Will Suitts, at Black Book Gallery, have been working tirelessly to put together an amazing group of both national and international artists; many of whom are creating original works specifically for this show. These artists are leading the way in supporting LHSF’s “Get On the List” campaign, as well as LHSF’s Children’s Cancer Center in Tanzania. The night will be filled with art, music, fun, and a bone marrow drive which will allow you to register with the Get On the List Campaign. Black Book Gallery hopes to make a donation of $10K from original artwork sales that will help fund a Doctor at the Love Hope Strength Children’s Cancer Center in Tanzania.

Featuring

Bask, Miss Bugs, Shepard Fairey, Doze Green, Retna, Lucy Mclauchlan, Faile, Rich Jacobs, Niagara, Mr. Brainwash, Mel Kadel, Travis Millard, Alex Pardee, Rowdy, Cope2, Dean Zeus Colman, James Reka, ROA, Swoon, Judith Supine, Handiedan, Greg Lamarche, Mike Stilkey, Eelus, Dave Kinsey, Pure Evil, Jason Thielke, CEPT, Alex Lukas, Souther Salazar, The London Police, Titi Freak, Lisa Solberg, Blek Le Rat, Dabs & Myla, Indie 184, Pose, Luke Chueh, ESPO, Adam Wallacavage, Sam Flores, Hush and more!!!!!!

DETAILS

OPENING RECEPTION:
April 5th, 2013
6-11PM
Free & Open to the public

http://www.theblackbookgallery.com/knock-it-out/

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Maquis Art et Cornette de St Cyr. “Art Urbain Contemporain” (Bruxelles, Belgique)

Maquis-art prépare sa 9ème vente aux enchères d’Art Urbain Contemporain
avec l’étude Cornette de Saint Cyr à Bruxelles le 27 mai 2013Fiers de leurs succès précédents, Maquis Art et Cornette de St Cyr s’associent à nouveau en 2013 et s’étendent à la Belgique. La vente aura lieu à Bruxelles le lundi 27 Mai 2013. La Belgique séduit de plus en plus de collectionneurs, et son régime favorable aux exilés fiscaux entraîne les marchands et les maisons de vente de l’Hexagone vers la capitale artistique qu’est Bruxelles. C’est le pari fou de les suivre qu’ont prit Maquis Art et Cornette de St Cyr.
Dondi, Rammellzee, Futura 2000, Zephyr, Lady Pink, Taki 183, Bill Blast, Blek le rat, DFace, Nick Walker, Bando, Speedy Graphito, Invader, Inti, Ronnie Cutrone, Fenx, L’atlas, Mist, Pro 176, Miss Tic.

Vente “Art Urbain Contemporain” Cornette de St Cyr / Maquis Art @ Bruxelles

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