A year ago NYC went into complete lockdown. Spring went on without us. Holed up in our homes we missed the burst of new life such as the myriad of flowering trees of New York, pear trees, peach trees, cherry trees, magnolia trees, the empress tree, dogwoods…
We missed the daffodils and the tulips on the sidewalks and the wisteria vines climbing on the front of brownstones. The burst of color and fragrances that permeate the city during the Spring is unmistakable. Nature comes alive and with it our desires to go out and celebrate the new beginnings.
Spring is also a cultural season. New exhibitions open and with that, the cultural life of the city begins in earnest. Indoor and outdoor cultural offerings abound with you presented with many choices to select from.
Now there’s an optimistic feeling of a renaissance after a year of sacrifices and suffering, loss and despair.
Most of the city’s museums, gardens, and parks are open to the general public in a limited capacity. Please always check with the institutions’ guidelines and policies before you go. Most if not all of them have requirements that must be observed prior to visiting. So please plan your visit and have fun.
Greece, Mexico, Poland, Detroit, Brooklyn, Tennesee, Texas, Asbury Park in New Jersey. Your favorite BSA stories were not limited to geography. Aerosol, wheat-paste, yarn, soldered steel, cut stencils, rollers, photography, even plants; Nor were they contained by technique or materials.
Giving live plants away in a refugee camp, queer pride phone
booth takeovers, a floriculture bus stop, a windswept installation constantly
in motion at a seaside resort. We paid homage to foundational documentarians of
graffiti and Street Art culture, watched an early 1980s French stencil
originator travel through the US south, and provided a platform for one of New
York’s most elusive writers who blasted apart definitions with his texts and
sculpture – all while keeping his own profile on the serious DL.
The creative spirit appears wherever we look on the street,
and luckily you love to observe and learn and get inspired by other’s work as
much as we do.
Based on the traffic to the website, on social media, and in
our email box, here are the top 10 stories that you loved the most in 2019 on
The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer”
Who writes your history? Who would gladly suppress it?
By reviving and celebrating those who the mainstream historically underplays, undercuts, neatly overlooks, and otherwise de facto silences, a new takeover campaign on NY streets helps write the history of LGBTQ struggle, and keeps it just as relevant as this moment.
Photographer and journalist The Dusty Rebel now curates the same streets he documents and shares with BSA readers today his determined campaign to revive, preserve, propel forward the significant players and events that have fought in their myriad ways, with the admonishment to keep fighting. With “Resistance is Queer” he uses his images and his respect for LGBTQ history to ensure that the full spectrum of people are recognized for their contributions to this civil rights struggle for equality.
We’re grateful that he has taken the time to explain in detail the people behind the images and their significance to him personally as well as their role in a people’s history.
The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer” Phone Booth Campaign in NYC. Continue reading HERE
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 Tours The US South continue reading HERE
“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico
“Martha Cooper isn’t only a
photographer, she’s a historian as well and you are here with us today
to pay homage to her work. Martha is my teacher and she taught me more
than graffiti, she’s taught me the way in which we live with art every
day. When we see a piece of art on the street we bring it into our daily
lives. That’s precisely Martha’s contribution to our lives”
Edgar Sánchez, co-founder of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival.
Under the magical spell of the Jacarandas in full bloom, a spirit of
Pax Urbana flowed through Queretaro’s lush public park Alameda Central
this weekend as dignitaries from the city, including the honorable
Andrea Avendaño, the Minister of Culture of the City of Queretaro, and
the Nueve Arte Urbano team hosted the opening of an outdoor exhibition
by famed photographer Martha Cooper.
The 101 photographs spanning four decades were enlarged and mounted
in weather resistant vinyl throughout the park, representing the full
range of Ms. Cooper’s continued focus on art in the streets.
Icy & Sot: Giving Plants and New Life to Refugees in Greece
Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.
People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and
Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as
countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last
decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named
Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but
With a goal of softening the hardship for people living here, Icy and Sot raised money through a print sale online and with the proceeds purchased fresh flowering plants to give away. “It was wonderful to see that actually put a smile on peoples’ faces for a moment,” they say in a press release.
Icy & Sot: Giving Plants And New Life To Refugees In Grece continue reading HERE
“Martha: A Picture Story”. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review
First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:
Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.
Martha A Picture Story. Shots From The Premiere And Movie Review continue reading HERE
Riding the Rails in the Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977 – 1987”
“We may have lost the trains, but we’ve gained the whole world.”
That’s a quote on the wall in the new exhibition at the Bronx Museum spotlighting the work of Henry Chalfant. The quote comes from Mare 139, one of the early graffiti writers of 1970s-80s trains in New York, referring to the now-scrubbed subway cars that once functioned as a mobile gallery for the young masters of cans throughout a metropolis that was in the grips of financial and social upheaval. Thanks to the work of artists and documentarians like Mr. Chalfant, the ephemeral works were captured, cared for, preserved, and spread throughout the world in the intervening years, in some ways helping to spawn a global interest and practice among burgeoning artists.
Riding The Rails in The Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art VS. Transit 1977 -1987 continue reading HERE
F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA by Freddy Alva
“Graffiti ain’t something you do, it’s something you live,” says the text above a wildly lettered REVS piece in a 1996 photo taken in El Paso. If there is a New York graffiti/Street Art icon that you would identify with a credo like this, he’s definitely one. Self-secreted away from the limelight and distrustful of many of the characters that are on the graffiti/Street Art “scene” today, REVS is nearly a New York folk hero, despite appearing to be completely firm in his anti-establishment, anti-commercial views – rooted in punk and hardcore music and those values that helped form his sometimes shape-shifting character since the the 1980s.
F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA By Freddy Alva continue reading HERE
“Nostalgia” Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Łódź, Poland.
As we move further from graffiti and mark-making in public
art-making, is it a revelation that the desire to be seen, to have your
voice heard, is the common denominator again, regardless of the form of
this case, a tram shelter in Poland preserves the natural world in resin,
a mix master, the artist here samples someone else’s handiwork and remixes it,
adding a filter, chopping it up and repeating it.
Nostalgia Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Lodz, Poland continue reading HERE
Banksy X Mercedes: Is This a Parody??
Yes, of course.
This artists’ interpretation of a car ad that features Banksy’s work is a parody, a farce. No one would try to take one of Banksy’s Street Art pieces to help sell their luxury cars, claiming that his work is in public domain and therefore fair game for any use.
Similarly, if it was a mural on the street by Brooklyn Street Artist KAWS, whose fine art canvas sold at auction this week for $14.7 million dollars at Sothebys Hong Kong, Mercedes wouldn’t simply grab it and run the art behind their newest off-roader on Instagram to infer that “Urban” edginess.
Or would they?
“And now they have filed a lawsuit against me trying to strip away all of my rights. I feel like I am being bullied and intimidated,” says graffiti/street artist artist Daniel Bombardier (a/k.a DENIAL) in a statement regarding the luxury brand that is instead suing him along with three other artists, apparently for having the temerity to demand to be paid, according to an article by James David Dickson in The Detroit News .
Bombardier’s mural and the artworks of the other artists – James Lewis (a.k.a. Olayami Dabls), Jeff Soto, and Maxx Gramajo appeared in published advertisements for the company’s cars, apparently without permission. The artists hired a lawyer to contact the carmaker to seek redress, according to news reports, social media postings, and emails that fairly flooded us yesterday.
Banksy x Mercedez: Is This a Parody? Continue reading HERE
Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation in Asbury Park
They designed the Ritz, the Vanderbilt, the Ambassador and the Biltmore hotels in Manhattan, along with townhouses for the Astors, the Yacht Club, and apartment buildings on 5th Ave and Park.
They were also architects on the team for Grand Central Terminal, that Beaux-Arts centerpiece of Gotham with its high marble walls, majestic sculptures, and lofty domed ceiling.
Also, Whitney Warren & Charles Wetmore designed the Casino Building here in Asbury Park, New Jersey a celebrated historical magnet for thousands of tourists escaping the heat and seeking buffeting breezes. The soaring glass paned windows may remind you of Grand Central, but also of that illustrated postcard on the cover of the Bruce Springsteen album, and of colorful resort town living.
You’ll also see 5,760 pieces of colored yarn hanging from the beams above, forming a shape-shifting brick of radiating color that appears to levitate. The brand new installation by Street Artist Hot Tea is lifted and pulled and choreographed by the ocean air, dancing to the sounds of waves crashing, emulating the currents of the sea. 17 rows define the physical boundaries, but your imagination can go much further with it in a matter of minutes.
Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation at Asbury Park HERE