All posts tagged: Brooklyn Museum

Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

FAILE may be a religious experience this summer at the Brooklyn Museum, but only one of the hallowed installations is called Temple. The seedier, more dimly lit venue will surely have the larger number of congregants by far, bless their sacred hearts.

Celebrating the duality and appropriation of words, slogans, and images has been the baliwick of the duo since they first began hitting Brooklyn streets at the turn of the century with their stencils and wheat-pastes on illegal spots and neglected spaces. In FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, their new attention commanding/refracting exhibit organized by Sharon Matt Atkins at the Brooklyn Museum, these guys pour it on, compelling you into a complex panoply of possible re-imaginings of meaning that reference pop, pulp, myth, art history, 50s sci-fi, 60s advertising, comics, punk zines, consumer culture and their own pure artistic and branded fiction.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For fans of this collaboration between artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, Savage/Sacred is a joyride swerving through the visual vocabulary and terminology they’ve been emblazoning across walls, doorways, canvasses, stickers, sculptures, prayer wheels, wood blocks, paintings, prints, toys, and a museum façade in their steady ascendance from anonymous art school students and Street Artists to a highly collected top tier name in contemporary art.

Offering you a full immersion and opportunity for titillating interaction, this show provides an unambiguous sense of the industry that is backing the Faile fantasy. Throughout their work and your imagination and assumed role, you may be villain, distressed damsel, wolfman, fairey, vandal, wrestler, hot-rodder, madonna, whore, supplicant, avenger, surfing horse or simply an arcade hero who is whiling away windowless hours punching buttons, popping flippers and pumping Faile tokens into tantalizing art machines.

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FAILE. FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Central to the formative Faile story is an image of the teenage Patricks piecing together clues about the world in these dark dens of possibility and teenage angst, awash in fantasy, aggression, testosterone and communal alienation.

Miller talks about the arcade atmosphere with a certain reverence, “All through Middle School, especially on the weekends, you’d just get dropped off at the mall and be there all day. There is something about the idea of this being a somewhat sacred space as a teenager in arcades. They are sort of a “Candyland” – a magical space mixed with a little seediness. You had kind of a large age range in there. You could get in trouble if you wanted but through the video games you could live out these crazy fantasy experiences. Historically arcades have been like that – very much with the Times Square notion. They’ve always had that connection to an underbelly of things.”

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Do you think New York is still seedy?
Patrick Miller: It seems like it is getting harder to find, in a way.
BSA: So really you might say that this is a public service, this installation.
Patrick Miller: There are so many young people who have never had this experience today. Not only are we trying to share what that was like, it is something that shaped the way we are inspired as artists and the way we make imagery, the way we make icons. The roots of video-game culture are there and now that has sort of bled out today – but also we’re interested in the shared experience because so much of the video game experience is now mobile or is just had on your couch, I think people have forgotten that there used to be these places were you congregated to do this.

For the 5th public offering of FAILE BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade and the first in a museum setting, Faile extends the scope and adds a handful of new NYC-centric scenarios to the mix and again partners with fellow Brooklyn street artist and spin-cycle collage mutator-in-chief BÄST, whose stylistic counterplay alerts undercurrents of tension with a punk-naïve primal hand painting and humoristic Dada collaging.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Can you describe the working dynamic with Faile and BÄST?
Patrick Miller: We’ve always been really inspired by BÄSTs work because we start from a similar place but we end up totally differently.
BSA: Yeah the end result is very different
Patrick Miller: Ours are probably more structured and narrative.
Patrick McNeil: I think over time we have tried not to step on each others’ toes. He generally controls the half-tone territory and we control the line-drawing territory.
BSA: So his are more photography-based and yours tend more toward the illustration.
Patrick McNeil: Yep
Patrick Miller: I think the work comes from the same place but his is just turned up to “11”.
Patrick McNeil: Yeah his is more put into a blender.
Patrick Miller: But that has always been what makes us work well together, the styles mix and marry really well and they kind of bring the best out of both.
BSA: And he has become even more abstract recently – more lo-fi outsider artish…., although you guys have delved into children’s coloring books for inspiration as well
McNeil: I think BÄST would like to call it more “outsider art”.
BSA: Why has it been important to keep Deluxx Fluxx a Faile-BÄST collaboration over the last five years thoughout its various iterations?
McNeil: We started this project as a collaboration and we’ve been collaborating with BÄST for fifteen years. We’ve always enjoyed working with him because we just love the friendship and we love the product of our collaborations. I think having the opportunity to be at the Brooklyn Museum and to do it together with him is really special.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Twenty-two in all, the custom designed variations on arcade video and pinball games from the 1970s and 80s alert competitive urges and quests for domination alongside more mundane tasks like alternate side of the street parking and completing atypical digital art-making sessions where “winning” is defined entirely differently.

Social, sexual, comical, criminal, and environmental concerns all pop and parry while you nearly mindlessly and repetitively punch buttons and fire guns at herky-jerky 2-D motion graphics that transport you to the hi-charged arcade experience rumbling in malls and sketchier parts of town before the Internet. Get a taste for those darkened caves where you racked up points while quarters were sucked from your pockets; you are the favored hero at home in this seductive lair, surrounded by an ear pounding audio-musical triumphalist barrage of hypnotic hormonal victory and id-shattering explosions.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The adjoining cavernous black-light illuminated fluorescent foosball room is papered with mind-popping illustrations derived and sutured from comics, pulp and smarmy back-pages advertising that once stirred secret desires. Walking in on this teen temple you may feel like looking for dirty magazines sandwiched between mattresses; surely a hyped up juvenile would choose these alternating graphic “floor tiles” in radiation yellow, sugar coated pink and neon orange, giving your footsteps a spongey depth perception test on your way to a round of table football.

The floor-to-ceiling hand painted posters took four people six months to complete, both Patricks tell us, and they all compete for your attention, each a narrative re-configured and augmenting secret storylines, myths, and plenty of white lies.

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FAILE’s Patrick Miller demonstrates an art experience where you rip posters off the wall to reveal yet more Faile posters underneath, which you can rip further. FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Somehow it is here in the day-glo madness that we see the closest approximation to the original Street Art experience passersby had in the early 2000s with Faile’s work when they were still a trio that included artist AIKO and in those years just after her departure. These are the bold, familiar graphic punches thrown in a direction you weren’t expecting and can make you laugh.

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FAILE’s Patrick McNeil demonstrates how to tag subway walls before the “Bast Ghosts” come after you. FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In a media- and advertising-saturated society our tools of discernment and reason are compromised, deliberately so. Faile is recognizing some symptoms of this compromise and is examining the stories and the narratives that are told, crafting their own dramatic nomenclature from the pile. You might say that their stories are melding with an idealized simplification of North American white dude history, a heroic paranoid absolutism that lays bare the prejudices behind it.

A simple survey of words illustrates the perspective: prayer, bitch, horse, rainbow, sinful, Jesus, warriors, forbidden, Indian, hero, poison, brave, strong, boy, guilty, pleasure, bedtime, cowboys, hotrods, savage, gun, trust, stiletto, tender, hotel, confessions, fight, wolf, saved, girls, lies, vanity, inexperience, restless virgin, innocent, willing, heartbreak, torment, stories.

These are Faile stories, reconfigured with a slicing knife down the middle of the belly, an idiosyncratic collaged pop/pulp style that owes as much to the Dadaist Hannah Höch and pop collage originator Richard Hamilton as it does to Lichtenstein’s sense of storybook romance and Warhol’s repetitive emotional distance.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the book accompanying the exhibit, Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, who organized the exhibition, says the presentation of the arcade in a museum setting “highlights how the present work relates to the art of the past and expands our expectations of the use of public spaces dedicated to art.” Here, she says, “Deluxx Fluxx’s arcade machines, which are simultaneously sculptures and functioning games, may call to mind Surrealism, Dada, and Fluxus, as well as the enigmatic boxed assemblages of Joseph Cornell.”

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Similarly, the signature Temple project has not been presented in its entirety in museum settings previously, and it feels like it is a bit of inspired genius when you are standing in its shadow beneath the soaring sky light at the Brooklyn Museum. The full scale church in ruins was presented out of doors in Praça dos Restauradores Square in Lisbon in conjunction with Portugal Arte in 2010. Echoing its surroundings in Lisbon, the Temple here is also a willful remix of the epic and the rather lesser so.

Culture-jamming at its height, it’s a punk subversion in ceramic, marble and iron that simultaneously genuflects and gives the finger to antiquity and to our soulless consumer culture. By casting reliefs of stylized font-work, romance novelette themes, and ads for call girls in puzzling non-sequitors, the Temple ridicules vapidity while honoring connections to age-old themes, sort of humbling all involved. Here again Faile is questioning the received wisdom of art history, religious customs, and tales of great societies we’ve learned to be reverent of, or maybe just questioning our true knowledge of history altogether.

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

During the last months while it was being unpacked and assembled we heard the Temple also called a tomb, a mausoleum, a chapel – the differences shared by their ties to the architecture and sculpture and tiled mosaics and ceramic under one roof. The roof in this case is destroyed – possibly because it caved in or because it was ripped off by an angry god who said, “You have missed my point entirely!”

In any case it is a formidable structure allowing meditation, reflection, confusion. In an act of ultimate bait and switch, Faile has deliberately played with what you are supposed to be paying attention to, substituting the associated original intended and inferred meanings of a religious institution and its power. You approach with reverence, looking perhaps for an allegorical means to access the transcendental, but expected symbols have been supplanted by the shallow relics of a culture you may have intended to escape.

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ultimately Faile is not unlike a lot of the world’s great religions; Comforting, reassuring, challenging, mysterious, inpenetrable. Sometimes you have the feeling that there are other people who understand it much better than you. Oh, ye of little Faile. Lean not upon your own understanding. Failes ways are not necessarily our ways. Whether these words and narratives are written by man or handed down from a higher power, why sweat it? It’s a holy good show.

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds the Brooklyn museum is once again meaningfully invested in the present and jumped ahead in the examination of what clearly is the first global grassroots art movement, giving the stage to the current century’s voices of the street – perhaps because it has engaged with the city’s artists and communities.

With an enormous new Kaws sculpture in the lobby, Basquiat’s notebooks and Kehinde Wiley’s exhibition in the same year, Faile adds an important voice to the local/global narrative and to the dialogue about the appropriate role of art in the public sphere and major institutions in the cultural life of the community they a part of.

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Fantasy Island.  “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Wolf Within. Detail. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Ripped canvases. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Ripped canvases. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at the Brooklyn Museum will open Friday, July 10th. Click HERE for further information.

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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 Images Of The Week: 06.28.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.28.15

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Yo sis the joint was rockin this week in the USA with public healthcare snatched from the jaws of defeat, Same Sex Marriage approved by the Supreme Court coast to coast, and Obama singing Amazing Grace at a heart-breaking memorial after the racist shootings in Charleston. Locally we were happy to work with Chip Thomas (Jetsonorama) to get into Brooklyn and put up his new powerful piece on Black empowerment commemorating the 50 year anniversary of the Selma marches, the huge 30 piece Coney Art Walls project officially opened Wednesday night, and Brooklyn’s Maya Hayuk is suing Starbucks for stealing her art to sell coffee.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Andreco, Barlo, Ben Eine, Biella, BR, Brolga, Crisp, Denton Burrows, Eva Mueller, Gaia, Kaws, Oji, Old Broads, Lungebox, Praxis, Pyramid Oracle, and UFO907.

Top image above >>> Denton Burrows, Crisp and Praxis collaboration. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Denton Burrows, Crisp and Praxis collaboration. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia in Kingston, NY from 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Barlo in Hong Kong. June 2015 (photo © Barlo)

Barlo made this mural on the island in Lamma, Hong Kong. It is meant to recall a simpler way of living that is now eclipsed by rapid modernization. “It talks about a traditional practice (using long sticks to propel your fishing boat) that the main city of Hong Kong seems to have lost. It is in these small islands and villages where you can still find elements of this lifestyle, ” says Barlo.

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Barlo in Hong Kong. June 2015 (photo © Barlo)

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Two wolves at the dentist. Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lungebox (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This new KAWS sculpture was just gifted to the collection at The Brooklyn Museum and is on display in the lobby of the museum until December. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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UFO 907. This sculpure was originally made by the 907 Crew for an exhibition at BAM in Brooklyn. HERE is the coverage of that exhibit. We were pleasantly surprised to have seen it on this field someplace in the country side of this vast state. The UFO has landed indeed. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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UFO907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Oji (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Oji (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eva Mueller. Be Free – Be You (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brolga (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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These posters advertising a downtown party bring some nostalgia of years past when things were simpler but hidden. Today’s world might be more complicated but many things are more open and accepted in public. This is the spirit in which this weekend celebrations are based on. Inclusion and acceptance.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Old Broads. Speaking of acceptance. Artist Old Broads has been painting and pasting her drawings of women of a certain age embracing life and their bodies as a thing of beauty…the way it should be. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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We have been spotting this character on the streets of NYC for some weeks now. At first glance it looks like a molar with a life on its own. We don’t know who is behind them UPDATE: It is LUNGEBOX – but this one caught our eye for its well rendered simplicity. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreco. Pistoletto Foundation. Biella, Italy. (photo © Andreco)

Andreco is back on BSA with this “Living Mural” a project he has had in his mind since 2010, he says. when “I was doing my PhD in environmental engineering on the environmental behavior of green technologies, green roofs and green walls in particular. At that time I decided to combine the Artistic with the Scientific research when doing a mural with an integrated vertical garden. The wall painting is ephemeral and it will change over the time with the plant growth,” Andreco tells us.

Part of the “Hydra Project” at the Cittadellarte-Pistoletto Foundation in Biella, Italy, Andreco used Natural paint, aluminum strings, climbers plants, soil, dry rocks wall, and an irrigation system for this piece.

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Andreco. Pistoletto Foundation. Biella, Italy. (photo © Andreco)

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Untitled. Study in red, green and white. Brooklyn, NYC. June 2015. (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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Streets at the Table for Artists Ball at Brooklyn Museum

Streets at the Table for Artists Ball at Brooklyn Museum

Five years into it, The Brooklyn Artists Ball has become a glittering spectacle that speaks to the traditional, the contemporary, and the beat on the street. This years greatest hits collection not only features new elaborate installations by three of Brooklyn’s celebrated Street Artists of this century, Swoon, Olek, and Faile, the custom created environments from equally charged modern thinkers like Jennifer Catron & Paul Outlaw, Fernando Mastrangelo, Duke Riley, SITU Studio, Dustin Yellin and Pioneer Works all speak to the undeniable emergence of the Brooklyn influence on the contemporary art scene.

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Man of the hour amidst an explosion of color; This Dr. Arnold Lehman cut-out from the museum’s photo archive will be displayed in multiples and will probably be the visual element that generates the highest number of selfies. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The sky-lit Beaux-Arts Court hosts the dinner that serves as fundraiser, exhibition, and aesthetic theme park, with each artist or collective given tables to adorn and transform. With the guests touring the tables, meeting the artists, watching the awards ceremony and placing bids on the live auction, some guests may forget to eat. This crescendo of course is a celebratory tribute to the museums’ retiring director Arnold Lehman, who effectively has opened the doors to wider audiences and welcomed participation and collaboration during his nearly 20-year tenure – boldly taking risks and diplomatically shepherding the enormous institution into a contemporary relevance envied by some and which now routinely makes guests and patrons enthusiastic, engaged, and dare we say it, proud.

Here are some behind the scenes preparations for the dinner that will honor Lehman and artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Takashi Murakami, and Kiki Smith. In addition to the dinner there is a temporary exhibition of 125 exceptional works of art collected during Lehman’s tenure and a full-on dance party with more installations and which is curated by Fool’s Gold, the independent record label based in Brooklyn. We visited the museum early in the week to catch up with the artists as they were creating their tables – below are shots of the works in progress. None of the tables were completed yet so the images reflect the tables in process.

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Swoon’s display includes the original models used for many of her projects, including these two for her Submerged Motherlands exhibit last year at The Brooklyn Museum (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

People dining at this Swoon table will see maquettes of the three boats she sailed with merry Brooklyn anarchists across the Adriatic to triumphantly arrive at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A view of the Braddock Tiles model from Swoon and her project in Braddock, PA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn’s Olek is transforming two tables with her signature crochet vocabulary to incorporate elements paying homage to honorees Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kiki Smith and Takashi Murakami.

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Olek and Basquiat, whose notebooks are currently on exhibit here. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek and Murakami (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Oh, they’re calling that a soul now? Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crochet Goddess Olek at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn’s Faile illuminate: Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller have a concept for their tables that includes turning them into giant light boxes where patrons are going to dine while looking at iconic film from their silk screen work. Street art followers will recognize many of these images from their work on the street.

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Patrick and Patrick constructing their light table (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Z Behl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Z Behl’s table is a multi-part female trickster and her chariot – is one of three tables being presented by Pioneer Works/Dustin Yellin.

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Z Behl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Z Behl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brooklyn’s Duke Riley, whose waterborne performance projects around New York have frequently landed him in trouble with the authorities, will send some guests out to sea. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Duke Riley (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Duke Riley (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A surrealistic “collaboration” between a reflective Arnold and the gilded Olek. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Tickets for the Ball are sold out. There are still tickets available for the Dance Party.

 

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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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Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

As lines continue to blur in fields of art and technology (and everything else) it is easier to see Street Art as an online/on-street diary, a forum for speech making, a laboratory for testing ideas, a publishing platform for the dispersing of truths and lies and theories and maxims and slogans and aphorisms. A timely new exhibition of personal notebooks by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat further affirms the direct relationship between the personal and the public voice of one New York expressionist, revealing lesser-known aspects of him as artist and individual.

A teenage poet on New York streets, Basquiat used his own brand of graffiti to pursue his own brand of fame. His text was intended in part as a visual element but unlike graffiti writers who produced ever more expressive tags during that heated moment in New York graffiti history, Basquiat also sought an audience who may be hip to his cerebral wordplay of poetry that puzzled and enticed – a foxy style of William Burroughs-inspired automatic writing he adapted for his own uses.

 

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Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.

 

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Untitled. Circa 1987. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The art collector Larry Warsh lends these eight notebooks that span 1981-1987, 160 pages in all, for you to scan and contemplate. New to most audiences, they also feel familiar. While they do not provide a play-by-play account of his daily affairs, they do provide insight into his state of mind, interests, and creative process. Knowing his reputation for being very aware of his public perception, you may wonder how private these were in his mind if he was at least partially writing for a greater audience here sometimes as well.

But these are definitely his voice. Even in lengthier poetry pieces, Basquiats’ reductive approach to writing produces the same clipped cadences that appeared on walls and gallery paintings, a process of addition and subtraction that he could eventually pare down to one word that would command a canvas.

“Famous”.

 

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Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A two sided, free standing piece from 1982 midway through the gallery space gives a bittersweet focus to one of his aspirations, as well as to his application of photocopies of his own work in multiples on the canvas – a replication/repetition technique from commercial wildposting that was popularized on walls and lamp posts by graffiti writer/street artists like Revs and Cost in New York in the 90s.

“I think this show points out that the conceptual and poetic side of JMB’s work is central to and integrated with his more overtly visual and expressionistic paintings,” says Tricia Laughlin Bloom, who worked in collaboration with Dieter Bucchart, Guest Curator in organizing this exhibition. “He enjoyed exploring the play between text as visual sign or symbol and the layers of historical, sociological, personal meaning that words activate.  Some of the very restrained word drawings and notebook entries are intensely expressionistic, for instance, without the use of gesture or color.”

 

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Famous. 1982. Detail. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The notebooks are part of a larger offering of paintings, drawings, and moving image in this well balanced show that keeps the focus on the writer and painter of text while placing it in the greater context of all his work. Included here are drawings of his fictional character Jimmy Best, for example, who appeared in early SAMO© street writings and elsewhere as an ongoing and developing narrative that hinted at his self image.

Most riveting for the new generation of writers may be the film clips shot in 1980-81 during the filming of New York Beat (released in 2000 as Downtown 81). Not true documentary footage, it nevertheless captures the artist outside mark-making in a determined, self-aware, sometimes hesitating manner across walls with letters and lines of simple black aerosol.

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Famous. Verso. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Moving into “the City” from his middle class Brooklyn home as a teenager in the late 70s, you have to wonder how or if his street practice with friend Al Diaz had been influenced by the students and workers who wrote slogans, epigrams, maxims, in black aerosol letters during the Paris uprisings of 1968. Quick passages on the street then like “Sous les paves, la plage” (under the paving stones, the beach) also played with text and sometimes cryptic meaning in ways similar to his on city walls and in these notebooks. Neatly penned, his was a deliberate meditation and experiment with words – a process that allowed you to see the deletions and additions, fully part of the finished product.

“We were presented with the rare opportunity to exhibit Basquiat’s notebooks, which offer fascinating access to his thoughts and process,” says Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, when talking about the decision to mount Notebooks.

 

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Untitled. 1980. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of course its not the first time Street Artists have been featured meaningfully here. Under the guidance of Director Arnold L. Lehman the Brooklyn Museum has shown a serious and committed interest in highlighting the contributions of artists whose practice comes directly from the streets of New York and its graffiti/Street Art traditions; including the huge Basquiat show a decade ago, the Graffiti show in 2006, the more recent Keith Haring show, Swoon’s Submerged Motherlands last year, Olek’s display at the annual Artist’s Ball, and the upcoming Faile exhibit this July, which will also feature their collaboration with Bäst. For Matt Atkins, this show is in perfect alignment.

“The Brooklyn Museum has had a commitment to showing artists whose work embraces contemporary culture. Basquiat seamlessly synthesized the world around him in his art, including elements culled from the streets, music, literature, history, and more,” she says.

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Untitled. 1986. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It has been 27 years since Basquiat died at the age of 27. Somehow you can imagine that mathematical equation appearing here on one of the larger canvases; dense with symbols, sentence fragments, lists and formulas. Sifting through the tenuously connected word constellation it occurs to you that people like Basquiat and Burroughs and the Beats were forebears of the post-Gutenberg dislocation of text from its moorings  one that we all swim in  with passages and words and texts floating to us and past us from multiple screens of varying sizes throughout each day.

As this stream of messages blurs from the intensely personal to the public spheres, this show confirms how the art-making process for the street has always been rich with storytelling, even if not evident at first. A show of this moment, seeing these notebooks first hand will complete a cycle for many.

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Untitled. 1986. Detail.. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had an opportunity to speak further with one of the curators, Tricia Laughlin Bloom, about Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks.

Brooklyn Street Art: Often we think of the work we see on the street as part of a continuum, a conversation back and forth between the artist and the passerby. How does this exhibition illustrate the continuum that extends from private neatly penned journals to public aerosol missives?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: Going through the exhibition you find a lot of similarity between the voice he used in his street writing and in his notebooks, that also extends to his word paintings. Fragments of SAMO text recur in larger scale works that we have included, and many of his notebook passages read like they could have been SAMO texts.

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Untitled. 1986. Detail. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe the dynamic between yourself and the guest curator Dieter Buchhart and how it informed some of your joint decisions for presenting the work?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: Dieter brought the initial checklist together as Guest Curator, and we shaped it together from there. We both felt it was important that the show be about the notebooks—that the paintings and drawings should be carefully selected to compliment the notebooks and not overwhelm, and to highlight Basquiat the poet and thinker AND visual artist. Getting the right number of works and the precise balance was a long process, and many conversations.

Brooklyn Street Art: How has preparing this exhibition changed or affected your perception of his work in the intervening ten years since the “Basquiat” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, if at all?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: I was always a fan, and I loved the 2005 show, but I feel I understand him better and my admiration has deepened after the opportunity to work with the notebooks. It’s more intimate in scale and the whole experience feels more personal.

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All Beef. 1983. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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All Beef. 1983. Verso. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. 1982-83. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. 1982-83. Detail. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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From left to right: Untitled (Crown) 1982. Tuxedo. 1982. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Famous Negro Atheletes. 1981. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Antidote. 1981. Untitled (Ego) 1983. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo taken from the video Downtown 81 Outtakes. 2001. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo taken from the video Downtown 81 Outtakes. 2001. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks is organized by Dieter Buchhart, Guest Curator, with Tricia Laughlin Bloom, former Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum and current Curator of American art at the Newark Museum.

With special thanks to Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Sharon Matt Atkins, and Sally Williams.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum opens on April 3, 2015 to the general public. Click HERE for further 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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA’s Piece on “Submerged Motherlands” Acclaimed for Year

BSA’s Piece on “Submerged Motherlands” Acclaimed for Year

BSA with Swoon at Brooklyn Museum Sited by Huff Post Editors as Proud Moment of 2014

We’re very pleased and thankful to be included in this short list chosen by the editors of Huffington Post Arts & Culture as a story they are most proud of publishing last year.

In her introduction to the list, editor Katherine Brooks writes:

“It turns out, 365 days is hard to summarize in anything but a laundry list of seemingly disparate phenomena, filled with the good — woman-centric street art, rising Detroit art scenes, spotlights on unseen American art– and the bad less than good — holiday butt plugs, punching bags by Monet, Koonsmania. But, as a New Year dawns, we found ourselves just wanting to focus on the things that made us beam with pride in 2014. So we made a list of those things, a list of the pieces we’re proud of.”

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Describing why we thought this was an important story for us we wrote:

“We loved a lot of stories this year, but this hometown Brooklyn one about a street artist with humanity mounting her first solo major museum exhibition was a special turning point — and an astounding success. For us street art is a conversation, a continuum of expression, and Swoon is always a part of it. From following her street career to her transition to international fame to witnessing this exhibition coming to fruition in person in the months leading up to the Brooklyn Museum show, it is easy to understand why Swoon still remains a crucial part of the amazing street art scene and continues to set a standard.”

-Jaime Rojo & Steven Harrington, HuffPost Arts&Culture bloggers and co-founders of Brooklyn Street Art

In fact, we wrote 48 articles that were published on the Huffington Post in 2014, and as a collection we hope they further elucidate the vast and meaningful impact that the Street Art / graffiti / urban art movement continues to have on our culture, our public space, and our arts institutions.

Together that collection of articles published by BSA on Huffpost in ’14 spanned the globe including stories from Malaysia, Poland, Spain, France, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, New York, Arizona, The Navajo Nation, Philadelphia, Sweden, Istanbul, New Jersey, Lisbon, The Gambia, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Rome, India, Italy, Delhi (India), Montreal, San Francisco, London, Coachella, Chicago, Kabul (Afghanistan), and Kiev (Ukraine).

Here on BSA we published another 320 postings (more or less).

We thank you for allowing us to share these inspirational and educational stories with you and we are honored to be able to continue the conversation with artists, art fans, collectors, curators, academics, gallerists, museums, and arts institutions. Our passion for Street Art and related movements is only superceded by our love for the creative spirit, and we are happy whenever we encounter it.

Our published articles on HuffPost in 2014, beginning with the most recent:

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.14.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.14.14

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The street appears in the living room when you visit some artists homes or those of hard core collectors. “Brooklyn is in da house!” suddenly takes on additional meaning. So imagine rolling through a heavily graffitied section of Bushwick this week to find someone’s living room is on display on the street. It’s like a set for a TV show, or a theater stage; The couch, the coffee table, a lamp, paneling, even a hard wood floor comprised of, well, not really hard wood.  A hunter’s lodge maybe? A cabin in the Adirondacks? Without a back story, this looked like a stage had been built but you couldn’t be sure what for. Just as our intrepid photographer raised his camera to his eye, the woody indoor scene became exactly that – a stage.

“As I was taking the above photo a fast and furious dude came like a flash out of nowhere on his bike, stopped abruptly, and threw his bike on the floor,” says Jaime. “I didn’t know what to expect and watched him fish a spray can from a plastic shopping bag and step up on the sofa and write his tag upon the living room wall. The actor muttered something I couldn’t hear as he sprayed over another’s tag and then stepped down, leaving just as quickly as he has appeared. It was as if the fourth wall really did exist and he didn’t see me, the audience. I did want to ask him about the tag and about his very fashionable French chignon.  But really, I wasn’t even visible.”

See him in action in the photo below.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring C215, Dain, Damon, Dope, Dotmasters, Jamie Paul Scanlon (JPS), Marilyn Minter, NRG US Crew, Pøbel, Richard Best, Stefan Ways, Wolfe Work, You Go Girl!, and Østrem.

Top Image >> The living room set in the street. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A stage set in the street with an impromptu live tagging performance. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pøbel and Østrem in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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Artist Unknown. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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Wolfe Work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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C215. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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You Go Girl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jamie Paul Scanlon AKA JPS. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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NRG US Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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Dotmasters. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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Damon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A fox by an artist from Chile. Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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DOPE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stefan Ways in front of his Warner Mural in Baltimore. Detail. (photo © David Muse)

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Richard Best. Warner Mural in Baltimore (photo © David Muse)

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Untitled. I took this photo from a Marilyn Minter video commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum for the current exhibition “Killer Heels” curated by Lisa Small. Brooklyn, NYC 2104. (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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Swoon Across a Red Corrugated Wall in Red Hook

Swoon Across a Red Corrugated Wall in Red Hook

If you have been in New York this spring or summer we hope you have had the opportunity to see Swoon’s site specific installation “Submerged Motherlands” currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum until August 24. She has taken part in a number of programs with the museum during this time including speaking with us in April and inviting all BSA fans to a special viewing of the exhibit afterwards. If you haven’t seen it please do yourselves a favor and go visit the museum before it closes.

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But of course museums are not the only places where you can enjoy Swoon’s art. She loves the streets of NYC and she has been gifting all New Yorkers with her work free of charge on the streets of the city, including this installation with a long metal wall in Red Hook that she adorned late in the Spring with her unique, hand tinted lino prints. Many of these images will be familiar to her fans and rarely do you have the opportunity to see so many of them together at once on the street.

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (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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BSA Film Friday: 05.23.14

BSA Film Friday: 05.23.14

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

Now screening :

1. “Free Graffiti” with a Mystery Man by Farewell
2. BSA in Conversation at Brooklyn Museum
3. Talk Of The Sea from POW! WOW! Hawaii
4. Decolonizing Street Art: Teaser for August in Montreal (unceded territory)
5. The Tower, a film by Erik Vestman & Nils Petter
6. Banksy’s Acceptance Speech at Webby Awards
7. JANZ Artist in Time (Trailer)

BSA Special Feature: “Free Graffiti” with a Mystery Man by Farewell

A parody of thousands of graff videos which portray the can-carrying outlaw, this one takes an unexpected turn in a Pink Pantherish sort of way.

BSA in Conversation at Brooklyn Museum

Part II of the Brooklyn Museum: In Conversation with Brooklyn Street Art night. This video features the second part of our talk after the multimedia presentation at the Brooklyn Museum on April 24 where we invited guests onstage for a discussion and Q&A about personal engagement with works on the street and the storytelling that lies behind the work; Swoon, Luna Park and Keith Schweitzer with Sharon Matt Atkins of the Brooklyn Museum as moderator.

Talk Of The Sea from POW! WOW! Hawaii

“It’s about reviving this knowledge and also about passing on this knowledge, keeping the culture alive,” says Kamea Hadar as he describes the mural and the educational training that enables students to become navigators.

“The final installation of POW! WOW!’s three part project with Hokulea and the Polynesian Voyaging Society was a mural created by Kamea Hadar and the young artists of the POW! WOW! School of Art and 808 Urban.

“In order to be a navigator, you have to be fierce.” ~ Papa Mau Pialigug

Decolonizing Street Art: Teaser for August in Montreal (unceded territory)

This August a new gathering will converge to further the street art conversation while putting a focus on activism. It’s goal of turning attention to the decolonization of Turtle Island and reminding people who live in Montreal of the city’s colonial history continues the work of people like Jetsonorama and LMNOPI and others on the street. It will be also interesting to see how the discourse of the current street art movement expands itself to include these voices.

Check out their Indiegogo link below:

 

Please click on their indiegogo page to help with their crowdfunding campaing: http://www.igg.me/at/decolonizingstreetart

The Tower, a film by Erik Vestman & Nils Petter

The Tower, a film by Swedens Erik Vestman & Nils Petter  is now showing at Moderna Museet Malmö’s entrance hall between May 20 and June 1. With this project, the film makers take a large advertising sign from the noisy city environment and position it in an idyllic setting in the country side. The structure then undergoes a transformation and becomes a… The two have created a number of projects receiving critical acclaim that question public space and who has the right to use it. This film draws the contrasts effectively by throwing the acceptance of commercial messages in our built spaces into a new context.

 

Banksy’s Acceptance Speech at Webby Awards

Not really an acceptance speech and not really an award, this self-produced overview of his one month installation last October in New York also features a shot of the Deitch Gallery when referring to street art galleries who were visited by the police. Since that gallery closed three years earlier, perhaps they taped their “card” to the metal grating? You’ll recognize the narrating voice over as one from his answering machine, and you’ll die when you see the dead animals in the meat market, but mostly you’ll just be happy that you were here and blessed to be in the loving glow and embrace of Ban-sky.

JANZ Artist in Time (Trailer)

“Everything is transient, period. Everything.”

Follow Street artist Robert Janz as he goes through the street and his studio, narrating his experience and philosophy. If someone knows, its probably Mr. Janz.

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Join BSA @Brooklynmuseum with SWOON April 24th (Open Late!)

Join BSA @Brooklynmuseum with SWOON April 24th (Open Late!)

| #BSAatBKM | @BKStreetArt | @Brooklynmuseum |

In Conversation: Brooklyn Street Art

Hello BSA Readers!

We’d like to invite you to join us at the Brooklyn Museum for “Street Art Stories”,
a presentation and conversation with Swoon on April 24th.
It’s going to be a scintillating, entertaining and fun night
and the museum is staying open late for us so you can see
the brand new Swoon: Submerged Motherlands installation
in person with other BSA friends and fans.

We look forward to meeting you there!

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Along with Swoon we are excited to welcome as our guests photographer and graffiti/street art enthusiast Luna Park and curator Keith Schweitzer, who will lend us some of their expertise and insights for our “Street Art Stories” theme.  We are honored that our event will be moderated by none other than Sharon Matt Atkins, the Managing Curator of Exhibitions at The Brooklyn Museum and the curator of Swoon: Submerged Motherlands.

The reception will be regaled with the eclectically funky musical stylings of DJ Sleptember!

In Conversation: Brooklyn Street Art, April 24th

 539
Brooklyn Street ARt
Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington,
Brooklyn Street Art Founders

On Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m. the Brooklyn Museum presents

In Conversation: Brooklyn Street Art. Brooklyn Street Art founders Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo lead a dynamic, multimedia conversation that explores the evolution of street art stories as told by the earliest graffiti writers to today’s D.I.Y. artists. They’ll reveal secret backgrounds, show what stylistic themes are recurring today, and hint at the future of street art in New York.
They are joined in conversation by artists Swoon and Luna Park, and curator Keith Schweitzer.
A reception with a DJ, cash bar, and a guest-inclusive art-making project will follow. Presented in conjunction with the site-specific installation Swoon: Submerged Motherlands, on view from April 11 to August 24 in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery on the 5th Floor.

Tickets are $12; include Museum general admission and can be purchased at www.museumtix.com. Free for Museum Members; to reserve please email membership@brooklynmuseum.org.

About the participants

Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo are the Founders of the influential art blog BrooklynStreetArt.com. Proud New Yorkers, artists, and cultural workers for more than twenty-five years, both are experts on the evolving street art scene in New York as well as globally. With daily postings on Brooklyn Street Art (BSA), over 175 articles on The Huffington Post, and tens of thousands of followers on social media, the two have shown and discussed street art, graffiti, murals, and public art in more than 100 cities over the last few years.

Swoon, born Caledonia Dance Curry, currently has an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, Swoon: Submerged Motherlands. Swoon studied at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn before bringing her art to the streets in 1999, wheat pasting her large linoleum and woodcuts on the sides of industrial buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Her art is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Tate Modern, among others.

Katherine Lorimer (aka Luna Park) is a Brooklyn-based graffiti and street art enthusiast, photographer, curator, librarian, and co-founder and regular contributor to The Street Spot blog. Her photographs have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago and have appeared in leading street art books and magazines.

Keith Schweitzer is the Co-Founder/Director of MaNY Project (Murals Around New York) and the Co-Founder/Director of The Lodge Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He is also Director of Public Art for Fourth Arts Block, the non-profit leadership organization for Manhattan’s officially designated Cultural District in the East Village.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Admission:
Contribution $12; students with valid I.D. and seniors $8. Free to members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult. Group tours or visits must be arranged in advance by calling extension 234.
Directions:
Subway: Seventh Avenue express (2 or 3) to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum stop; Lexington Avenue express (4 or 5) to Nevins Street, cross platform and transfer to the 2 or 3. Bus: B41, B69, B48.
On-site parking available.
Museum Hours:
Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; first Saturday of each month, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
200 Eastern Pkwy, New York, NY 11238

From BSA: “Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum

 

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Images of the Week: 04.13.14

Images of the Week: 04.13.14

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Street Artists have been exhibited in museums before so Swoon’s “Submerged Motherlands” doesn’t break ground because of its presence inside a grand institution, even if said institution also holds one of the largest collections of Egyptian art, and is also hosting the largest US exhibition of Ai Weiwei next week, for example.

What surprised us most this week as the Brooklyn Museum threw open its doors to a seven story installation that includes a tree, a gazebo, and two boats that sailed the Adriatic was the rapid rate that this artist has gone from running the streets under cover of night of Brooklyn plastering her linotypes to being invited inside to spray the walls of the Brooklyn Museum with a fire extinguisher. The total time elapsed between her first hand cut paper wheat paste on tattered walls and Friday’s opening was a decade and a half. That is noteworthy in itself, and worthy of someone’s exhaustive examination, but suffice to say that you have to have vision and commitment to pull this off.

Here are new images from the exhibit along with our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Cost, Elbow-Toe, London Kaye, Myth, Nick Walker, Paul Richard, Swoon, and Tava.

Top Image >> Swoon “Submerged Motherlands” exhibition now open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Submerged Motherlands” exhibition now open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Submerged Motherlands” exhibition now open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Submerged Motherlands” exhibition now open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read our interview with the artist this week – “Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum.

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Elbow Toe goes over himself and he feels a bit nostalgic. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nick Walker. Dona Isabel is a member of the undead. She is coming home after a night of blood hunting on the LES.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. A new tribute to SAMO and Andy Warhol. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye calling it right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Have You Seen Me? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Paul Richard. Discuss (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tava (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Her face carried some unseen burden as she swallowed down her shot and our eyes connected from across the room,” Eduardo Jones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lord have mercy. COST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Save the bees peeps! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled.  NYC Winter 2013 (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!

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum

Six years ago these boats of salvaged materials were floating down the Hudson, teaming with twenty-something sea-worthy souls and bohemian performers in costume aiming for the dock at Deitch Studios. This week they are beached up against the base of a massive seven story soft sculpture tree for the opening of Swoon: Submerged Motherlands at the Brooklyn Museum. In between these events each vessel has travelled down the Mississippi River and also crossed the Adriatic Sea from Slovenia to ceremoniously crash the Venice Biennale.

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The view of the top at “Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Newly arrived through U.S. Customs on New York shores from Italy, the seaworthy works of art have returned “home” to Brooklyn as Swoon, the Florida native who came to New York as an art school student, has called it for seventeen years. A singular Street Artist who once wheat-pasted her hand cut portraits anonymously in hidden city doorways, she is also known for her fervently collaborative projects that have carried her to galleries, museums and socially-rooted arts activism in places like Kenya, Haiti, London, Oaxaca, New Orleans, Miami, Braddock (Pennsylvania), Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

No matter where Caledonia Dance Curry goes, there is usually a cadre of handsome and delightful crafters and co-creators in tow; talented friends and valued confidants who help bring her ideas and vision to fruition. While she is clearly at the helm, this dynamic exceeds the typical artist and her studio paradigm; hers is rooted in a regard for collaboration, community, experimentation, and discovery. Oh, and a bit of theater.

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Fire extinguishers in the foreground and rear during the multi-layered preparation of the exhibition for “Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We are pouring so much into this show and for me I think part of the reason I’m willing to do it is because it is my home. The museum has been awesome and they have given me as much as they can and I have just thrown everything at it because I’m like ‘I’m home, this is my place.’ For me this show is different from installations I have done in other museums and other places,” Swoon explains.

Managing Curator of Exhibitions at the museum, Sharon Matt Atkins, talks about the command of the space and its transformational effect. “Swoon did not hold back in fully utilizing our grand rotunda gallery. She has been working for three and a half weeks at the museum with a large team to get the installation ready. Much of the work involved assembling parts made in the studio, but then bringing it all together with the finishing details onsite,” she says.

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail of the top of the tree. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Sharon brought me in here and said, “What is interesting to you in the building?” and I really love that because the thing about working on the street is that you are always thinking site-specifically. And so that thinking has to translate into your work in all places. For me if I make something in a museum I want it to be very site-specific and this is probably one of the most site-specific pieces I’ve ever done,” explains Swoon.

Under the advice and guidance of an engineer, the artist also modified her design process to allow for foundational considerations like truss sections and lift points. “I showed him an initial model and he showed me an engineered system and then I built another model based on the system that he engineered.”

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is probably unusual for a grand museum to be so amenable to the requests of an artist for a site specific piece that literally inhabits the furthest reaches of a space, and Swoon says she recognizes the leeway she received. “You know, they have been really adventurous in letting us create this. We’ve been sort of pushing a lot with the creation of this piece.”

For Matt Atkins, the opportunity to bring an internationally known street artist and neighbor into the museum has been the result of just over two years of planning. “It’s been so wonderful working with Swoon to realize her vision for this project. This is the first time we’ve really used the full height of the 72-foot dome, so it’s quite spectacular. I am thrilled to see her boats back in New York and for them to have this new life. The underlying ideas about climate change in the installation also make this project an appropriate tie in to the Museum’s focus on activism with our other exhibitions and collections,” she says.

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Guests who walk into the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery on the fifth floor will need to crane their gaze upward to see the full expanse of the tree that reaches to the cupola, now embroidered across the sky’s light with her lace patterning. Softly gnarled limbs are clustered with outsized and filigreed leaves that cast shadows on the maritime layers of sprayed blue washes streaming to the floor.

Looking up at the multi-textured and tinted bark that skillfully, if playfully, emulates the trunk of a tree, Swoon talks about the demands of production. “We worked it all out in the studio and then we just spent weeks tearing and shredding and dying the fabric, cutting out paper leaves, and building up these kind of “roots”, crocheting pieces, putting dyed fabric on them, sewing sleeves for the rings to put dyed fabric on – It’s just been immense! It’s one of those things where I’ve never built something on this scale so I really don’t realize how much energy it absorbs when it is that size.”

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” The fabrics used to build the bark of the tree trunk were custom dyed and are shown here at the studio drying. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

To contemplate the rotunda installation and the finer details of the rough rafts Swoon provides an equally festooned gazebo to rest on and nearby linotype images of caretaking and motherhood to see — including a more recent portrait of the artists’ own mother that has also been spotted wheat-pasted in the street.

“So I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘home’ and this installation is about home and the loss of home in a lot of ways. When I decided on ‘Submerged Motherlands’ I was thinking about climate change and thinking about “Sandy”. Also my own mother passed away while I was in the ideation stage for the installation so I was thinking about the loss of my own mother and that relationship and it all just kind of merged together,” she says.

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail of the bottom part of the gazebo. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: When you speak of your mother passing during the ideation and the title of the show I look at your work and I think of it as a kind of maternal act, of caretaking, of providing shelter. I wonder if there is any relationship between this concept of motherhood and caretaking that feels true to you.
Swoon: I guess the thing that I think of is almost an impulse to build a safe space in the world for myself and my community; some place to be a little bit different from the norm. Then also that same impulse kind of extended outward to projects like working in Haiti after the earthquake and trying to create literal shelter.

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Thinking about site-specificity and its importance in your work, many of your installations on the street are in the unpolished, eroded areas of town. Contrast that with a museum environment like this where everything is clean and crisp – it occurred to me that you created that same unpolished environment by taking the fire extinguishers and blasting them across the walls.
Swoon: Oh my god the funnest tool ever!

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you used fire extinguishers before?
Swoon: You know what? I never have. Honestly it was just one of those things where I was just like, “How do I get a lot of paint up quickly?” – and I just thought about the fire extinguishers. I mean people use those – it is such an amazing tool. Big props to Craig (Costello), to Krink, who is such a pioneer with that. I never had used it before. I usually take care not to simulate the street environment but maybe that kind of just happened.

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: And when it comes to your work and this installation, you don’t like to talk about metaphors.
Swoon: Well, its not that I don’t want to talk about them – its that I think you can get too literal. I think that part of the strength of the arts is that you try to leave a little openness for the parts of our minds that are a little bit less rational and that don’t have this strict linear codex of how you interpret something. Like in the way that the Motherlands theme has so many different kinds of interpretations and layering – I think it is important to keep that kind of richness.

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The artist Swoon at work on the installation. “Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail of one of the boats. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail of one of the boats. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail shot of the interior wall of one of the boats. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” View through one of the boats. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail of the gazebo ceiling. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A portrait of the artist at the base of the tree for “Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Swoon: Submerged Motherlands runs April 11–August 24, 2014 at The Brooklyn Museum. For more information visit the museum website HERE.

Join BSA and Swoon on April 24th
In Conversation: Brooklyn Street Art
Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
For more information go HERE.

 

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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 was also published on The Huffington Post

HUFPOST-SWOON-BrooklynMuseum-Submerged-Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 954 AM

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Fun Friday 09.07.12

Happy Friday! Not much to do this weekend, sorry – Aside from these eighteen possibilities.

1. Maya Hayuk at Cooper Cole (Toronto)
2. NohJColey “In the Midst of Living” Friday (BKLN)
3. Judith Supine at Jonathan Levine Saturday (Manhattan)
4. Swoon Opens Pearly’s Beauty Shop Sat (Long Island City, Queens)
5. Brooklyn Busts Open Studio Doors for “GO” Courtesy Brooklyn Museum
6. “Epilogue” at Hold Up (LA)
7. “Disamiguation” at Carmichael (LA)
8. Mind Trip with ETAM at Inoperable (Vienna)
9. Bien Urbain Festival (Besancon, France)
10. Graffitimundo “Walls of Buenos Aires” at Newcastle Project Space
11. ESPO “A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures” at Joshua Liner (NYC)
12. TRXTR “Lucked Up” at Get Up Gallery (Vegas)
13. Group show “This Art is So Street” (Philadelphia)
14. “Public Display” at Agnes b. (NYC)
15. “100 Story House” with Leon Reid IV at JJ Byrne Park
16. RERO Image Not Available at Fabien Castanier in Studio City, CA
17. RONE at White Walls (SF)
18. Ben Frost at Shooting Gallery (SF)

Maya Hayuk at Cooper Cole (Toronto)

Street Artist, Fine Artist and Brooklyn resident Maya Hayuk has a solo show at the Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, Canada is now open to the general public. Ms. Hayuk paintings are saturated with color, catching the prism from the crystal and permuting it into a multitude of geometrically inspired patterns and shapes, realize on canvas and walls across the land. Crisply precise, or improvised and free wheeling, Hayuk let’s her mind and her palette run with enthusiasm for the raw creative spirit.

Maya Hayuk on the streets of Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Maya Hayuk will also be featured in GEOMETRICKS September 22nd in Brooklyn, curated by Hellbent and presented by BSA.

NohJColey “In the Midst of Living” Friday (BKLN)

NohJColey first solo show “In The Midst of Living” opens tonight at Weldon Arts Gallery in Brooklyn. Come and see in person NohJ characters and stare at their eyes. See who blinks first.

NohJColey. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

To read our preview and for more images click here.

Judith Supine at Jonathan Levine Saturday (Manhattan)

Judith takes over the project room at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in Manhattan for a triple header with Audrey Kawasaki and Jeff Soto sharing the bill. Get there early because the line will be long so you can see them all and appreciate this opportunity to see why Judith Supine is “Too Much for One Man”.

Judith Supine. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

To read our interview and studio visit with JS as he prepared for this show click here.

Swoon Opens Pearly’s Beauty Shop Sat (Long Island City, Queens)

Nails done by a painter? Hair diorama by a sculptor? Makeup by a conceptual artist? When was the last time that at the SPA you got pampered by a bevy of talented, happy, fun, funny and not shy fine artists? Never?

A fundraiser for the Braddock project, Street Artist and fine artist Swoon has dreamed a perfect SPA party for you, inviting and recruiting many of her close artists friends to make you feel special and to look glorious. “DJ’s Roofeeo, Dirtyfinger, Manhate, and 3 Kings International Sound will make your body move and your fresh coat of glam shine while you explore indoor and outdoor dance parties, music, installations and performances by Lady Circus’ Anya Sapozhnikova, Marshall LaCount, Shenandoah Davis, Audra Pace, and Yea, Well, Whatever all situated in a stunning visual landscape.” This Saturday pick your outfit and be prepared to have the experience of a lifetime.

For further information regarding this event click here.

Brooklyn Busts Open Studio Doors for “GO” Courtesy Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum continues to plug into community and show love for the blossomed artists neighborhoods that are transforming Brooklyn into the true creative powerhouse rivaling Manhattan, which is looking so “last century” across the river. BAM is a loved museum that regularly gets “it” by bringing community in, thanks to the efforts of many, including the talented curatorial team headed by Sharon Matt Atkins who opens the conversation and knows how to listen to the beat on the street and make a huge institution relevant to a new generation.

This time Ms. Atkins and the museum’s Chief of Technology, Shelley Bernstein are taking  inspiration from the thousands of artists who work and live in Brooklyn, creating the largest open studios event we’ve heard of in DUMBO, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Greenpoint, Gowanus, and Red Hook this weekend. You can vote for your favorites by nominating three artists for inclusion in an exhibition at the museum. The museum’s curators then will visit the ten artists who received the most nominations and they will select two or more artists to have their work shown at the Brooklyn Museum for and Exhibition opening on December 1.

1735 artists have responded to this call. How many can you visit? You have this Saturday and Sunday to GO AND SEE ART.

For further information regarding this project click here.

“Epilogue” at Hold Up (LA)

“Epilogue” is a trio exhibition opening this Saturday in Los Angeles at Hold Up Art Gallery with Street Artists Eddie Colla, Hugh Leeman and V Young D have combining talents to explore themes of their vision of a coming collapse of society. Fun times!

“Epilogue” (photo © Taylor Morgan)

For further information regarding this show click here.

To read our preview for this show and to see a video click here.

Also happening this weekend:

  • The Carmichael Gallery in Culver City, CA is hosting Carlos Mare, Rae Martini, Remi/Rough, Sixeart in a group show titled “Disambiguation” opening tomorrow. Click here for more details on this show.
  • ETAM, the Polish duo open a new show, “Mind Trip” at Inoperable Gallery in Vienna, Austria is now open to the general public. Click here for more details on this show.
  • BIEN URBAIN the Art Festival being held in Besançon, France has begun and it will continue until early October. With a great inclusion of Street Art in its abundant program this year they invited Mark jENKINs et sandra FERNANDEz (USA), hYURO (Argentine), MOMO (USA), ElTONO (France), EsCIF (Espagne), sAM3 (Espagne), Agostino IACURCI (Italie), Guillaume BERTRAND (France), pascal RUEFF (France), Graffiti Research lab (France), pascal RUEFF (France), jIEM (France), Caroline AMOROs & Co (France) to paint murals. Click here for more details on this festival.
  • The walls of Buenos Aires have moved to London with Graffitimundo show “The Talking Walls of Buenos Aires”. Interested to hear what they have to say? Head over to the Newcastle Project Space and put your ear to the walls and your eyes on the art. This show is now open. Click here for more details.
  • “A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures” is the title of the new show by Stephen Powers AKA ESPO now open at the Joshua Liner Gallery in Manhattan. Click here for more details on this show.
  • TRXTR is in Vegas, with a new show titled “Lucked Up” at the Get Up Gallery. Now open, click here for more details on this show.
  • Curly’s curatorial debut takes place in Philadelphia with a group show titled “This Art is So Street” opening tonight at the Stupid Easy Gallery. With the inclusion of a certain Mr. Brainwash is in the line up of artists with talent and skills, Curly might be sending a secret message. Let us know if you decode it. The artists are: LNY, NoseGo, Don Pablo Pedro, Darkclouds, The Yok and Sheryo. Click here for more details .
  • The fashion label and store(s) Agnès b is on “Public Display” with a group show curated by ASVP opening Saturday at their store on Howard Street in Manhattan. The participating artists include: D*Face (London, UK), Faile (Brooklyn), Gaia (Baltimore), Hellbent (Brooklyn), Invader (Paris, FR), Miss Bugs (Bristol, UK), ND’A (Brooklyn), QRST (Brooklyn), and ASVP (New York). Click here for more details on this show.
  • Artists Leon Reid IV and Julia Marchesi‘s new public art project “100 Story House” will be open to the public on Saturday at the JJ Byrne Park, 5th Avenue btwn 3rd & 4th St. Park Slope, Brooklyn. Bring Books if you go! Click here for more details on this exhibition.
  • French artists RERO is a wordsmith with an extensive experience as a graffiti artist. His new solo show titled “RERO: Image Not Available” opens on Saturday at the Fabien Castanier Gallery in Studio City, CA. Click here for more details on this show.
  • Australian Street Artist RONE new show “Darkest Before The Dawn” at the White Walls Gallery in San Francisco opens on Saturday. Click here for more details on this show.
  • Ben Frost is in San Francisco at the Shooting Gallery with his new show “See Inside the Box for Details“. Click here for more details on this show.

 

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