Last week during our interview with Patrick and Patrick from Faile in Miami we discussed with them the many layers of meta that have always characterized their art-making since first putting their handmade screen prints on New York streets in the late 1990s. Not only would Faile photograph their own prints after putting them up on walls and fences and garbage dumpsters, they would convert those same photos into another screen print, and go out again to install those on the street.
This back-and-forth between studio and street is not exactly common, but it does solidify the importance of experimentation and play in their work, and the use of the street as laboratory for many street artists over the years.
During this summer a related project took place in Ibiza that rings with that same echo. Photos of children making their own games and toys that were first shot on the streets of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1970s were printed and displayed directly on the streets here. Part of an 11-year-old street art festival called BLOOP Festival IBIZA, the photos were attached to historic cobblestone walls and flown banner-like from posts along the main thoroughfare.
Never previously done at this free festival called BLOOP, these photos of Street Play, so-called for the book she published with them in 2005, were part of an open-air exhibition for photo-journalist Martha Cooper. Known perhaps by many for her photos of New York’s graffitied subway trains from the same era, these pictures focus instead on a different segment of children making their own toys and environments in an atmosphere of urban blight.
Somehow these areas of The Port and the Dalt Vila are imbued with a new spirit briefly as they become settings for these black and white photos of Alphabet City in New York. The images bridge the locations, and the locations likewise become a bridge for the photographs.