Last week we brought you the first annual Jersey City Mural Festival with generously scaled murals and unbridled color. Muralism isn’t new but mural festivals are now a dominant vehicle or platform of expression on the streets where artists get up and create community. We have always championed the cause of the artist and cheer when they are given the opportunity to work – better even if they get properly paid for the work that they do.
That said, we still admire the small, uncommissioned, one-off pieces, and we’ve always documented that in whatever city we go to: In a way, that is what we actually consider to be street art. Unsanctioned and undercover, you’ll discover the most curious missives as you hike from mural to mural. Don’t miss them! Enjoy.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 7 Souls Deep, Adrian Wilson, Below Key, Drecks, Early Riser NYC, Ghaston Art, Hiss, Lunge Box, Miyok, Modomatic, Mort Art, Night Owl, Outer Source, Timothy Goodman, Tyler Ives, and Turtle Caps.
It comes as no surprise that the explosion of new graffiti in New York is evident across the river in Jersey City, where we have been hanging out the last few day for the Jersey City Mural Festival. And for those who know their history, it will also come as no surprise that we always dig the illegal unapproved organic graffiti and street art as much as that which has received official approval from our city fathers and mothers.
So here’s new pieces and tags from under the bridges, passageways, and inside the abandoned buildings in JC. The looseness of line and exuberance of color combinations tell us that graff kids are feeling at liberty to get up wherever necessary to get out their name. In the oceanic metaphor of ebbs and flows – this wave is flowing, bro.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Acro, Amore, Carbo, Chaos, Chees, Dzel, Gear, Hugo Girl, Jinx, Loser, Manik, MES, Nate Paints, Pesco, Reato, Rozr, Sean 9 Lugo, Serbo, Short, Sophie Xeon, Sugar, and Visit.
The volume of Street Art has picked up full steam with more graffiti on walls than many OG graff fans can remember were on the trains in the 80s. Competition for spots large and small is more fierce than a Saturday afternoon rush at the nail salon. The quantity of pieces and tags and stencils ebbs and flows, as does the quality and freshness. But looking at it as you walk makes you feel like New York street and cultural life is in full bloom. Large-scale and small, the works appear like mushrooms popping up in the urban forest after a late-spring rain storm.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Conse, D. Scribblings, Damien Mitchel, False, Fhake, Kest Gak, Lorenzo Masnah, Matt Siren, Menace Resa, Michael Zelehoski, Mort Art, Royce Bannon, Shiro, Smells, Swif, The Yit Foreward, Toxic, UFO 907, and Zexor.
This wooden sculpture installed in McCarren Park in Williamsburg is made from recycled wood from boarded-up windows. It will remain in place until October 2021.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week, where we are keeping our minds expanded and eyes wide open as the transformation of society and its fabric is happening right before us. We’re living in a bubble, or on one – an everything bubble at the end of a boomer age that will pop. Institutions compromised, media compromised, social net torn, leaders purchased and adrift. Late spring romanticism buoys us, as does the removal of masks out doors and sometimes inside them. New York is back, but its not sure.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: Aaron Hauck, Bastard Bot, Goog, Matt Siren, Mel, Mort Art, Neckface, Royce Bannon, Sac Sic, Samantha French, Stay Busy, Stikman, TNAW, and Winston Tseng.
These two images are part of Winston’s new series, we’ll talk about this new series later on BSA.
Welcome to Brooklyn, where the lilacs are in bloom and people are smoking weed in the park, like it was 1985 or something. Remember summer of ’85 in Washington Square Park with rambunctious teens backward skating in the dry fountain on roller skates and people were blasting “Shout” by Tears for Fears on their boxes?
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: 7 Line Art Studio, Acne, Cabaio, Freakotrophic, G Money NFT, Jet, JJ Veronis, Jowl, Luke Dragon 911, No Sleep, Save Art Space, and Zephyr.
Nomadland won the Oscar for the best movie this year, a fact that you may not know because A. The Oscars are nearly completely irrelevant, and B. Covid era-awards programs have been the equivalent of watching your dad unclogging the kitchen drain. An unvarnished story about a growing ecosystem of Americans living in cars, trucks, and RVs in parking lots across the country, Nomadland toes a line between blaming neo-liberal vulture capitalism/ de-industrialization of the last 40 years and dipping into the American myths of people who just want to live their life free and unencumbered.
Meanwhile, in New York more people are finding the rent to be too high and are moving into RVs, according to The Daily News this week. In the article they speak with Giovanni, a first responder whom we were probably clapping for last year when he was saving lives from Covid.
In the article Giovanni says, “I was an EMT… you want to talk struggling‚ that was really rough,” he explained. “I had to have somebody rent out my living room just to be able to cover the rent. That’s how hard it was. After doing that for three, four years, I was like, I’m done with this. I quit. I’m over it.”
“I went to college, I did pretty much everything that I was told I was supposed to do in order to have a good life. And it didn’t turn out that way,” he explained.
As the moneyed Real Estate kingpins are fighting against extending a rent moratorium in the city to August 31 and to end moratoriums across the country, you have to wonder where everyone will go once the stimulus checks have dried up, inflation kicks in, and landlords evict people.
Meanwhile, we’re following the street art in a number of neighborhoods in New York this week – and wondering where the topical or political works are. The current generation who are putting work on the streets may venture into politics, but only identity politics. BLM, trans rights, that sort of thing.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: 2 Much, Armyan, Cautious5, Cekis, City Kitty, Cramcept, Denton Burrows, GIZ, Healer, Homesick, Leviticus, LNE Crew, Lunge Box, MalincheArt, MeresOne, MrBbaby, No Sleep, Paul Richard, Ponzi, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Smart, and Stikki Peaches.
Hooray Hooray, first of May!” chanted your cousin Felix, “outdoor fucking starts today!”
You both broke out in peals of laughter while your mom was walking out from the kitchen with a basket of garlic bread for your Saturday night spaghetti dinner. “What did you just say??”
It’s hard to believe it’s May already, and the smell of lilacs and aerosol paint and pot smoke is in the air in New York again. Ahhhhhhh. Duck between the skateboards and the hellions delivering Chinese on electric bikes, and you’ll see the chess players are setting up again in the park.
For the 12th week in a row, the President of the United States hasn’t tweeted something glorifying violence or attacking faith in public institutions, and people are beginning to mention the “H” word in reference to the rate of Covid-19 vaccinations in New York.
Keep squeezing your silver and keep your eyes open and don’t get hit by any NFTs. They seem to be dropping everywhere
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: 2 Much, Andrea Carlson, Banksy, Bastard Bot, Bueno, Free Britney, Homsick, Marcos De La Fuente, Myles, Posterboy, Resop, Same PPP, Tom Bob, Vanessa Alvarez, WGE, and ZigZag.
This week we wandered off the streets onto the train tracks to catch some graff in the wild. As we did we thought about photographer Jim Prigoff and how he told us that he relied upon the “graffiti gods” to lead him in the right direction to catch photographs. He was so right when he shared that jewel – an adviso to follow one’s intuition and trust your instincts. It was during this same adventure on the tracks that we learned of Jim’s passing, which was a very sad addendum to the exploration, at first. Then we realized that Jim is now one of those “graffiti gods” and he will lead us to find the next piece, burner, paste-up, sticker, poetry on the street.
May Jim and his instincts always be with us.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
– Mae West
Take it from Brooklyn’s own Mae West to give us the dry-eyed wit that pushes us further forward, boldly and without reservation.
So New York graffiti and street art continues to run apace – from Red Hook to Ridgewood to Williamsburg to Chelsea in Manhattan – we are dumb-founded by the new work that is covering Gotham. It is also notable the preponderance of LETTER-based street art and graffiti there is everywhere. Letters and their deconstruction, reconstruction, re-imagining have always been a part of the graff tradition of course, but it looks like many artists are talking at you from the wall right now.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: 2 Much, Adam Fujita, Al Diaz, Aneko, Healer, Jeff Roseking, Jet, Jowl, Lunge Box, Mega, Panic, RAKN, Riisa Boogie, Sac Six, Seo, Timmy Ache, UFO 907, and Wokem.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! Ramadan Kareem to Muslim brothers and sisters in New York and around the world. May you have an easy fast.
We’re bowled over by the beauty in the streets and parks and rooftops right now, with performances and painting and the blossoming of flowers underfoot and on branches overhead. Fires are alit in hearts everywhere.
“All the roofs are wet and underneath smoke that piles softly in streets, tongues are on top of each other mulling over the night.”
from Gamin ~ Frank O’Hara
Yes, there is a sort of battered nervousness in conversations on the streets and as we go about our quotidian duties; a discerned increase in agitation due to economic instability, surges of new Covid strains in our hospitals, and ongoing examples of police brutality toward black and brown people is met with resistance and sometimes violence as well.
Still, consider the robin. In your heart, may hope spring eternal. Also, we learn today that summer may be returning at least one exceedingly creative and participatory public art event as the Gothamist reports that “Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade May Return In The Flesh This Summer.”
And yo! Don’t sleep on the street artists who are putting up new work right now. They are addressing our ills, regaling us with visual puns, poking at our foibles, recontextualizing and performing feats of wonder under cover of night, or while heads are turned in broad daylight. Entertaining, bragging, dreaming… onward they go.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: Absconded Project, Atakbf, Bastard Bot, City Kitty, Clown Soldier, Degrupo, George Collagi, Lexi Bella, Manik, Marka27, Matt Siren, Peachee Blue, Royce Bannon, Sonni, Teens for Press Freedom, Vexta, and Zaver.
This week we received a note from a friend in the graff/street art community urging us to encourage street and graffiti artists to create artwork on the streets that beseeches GenZ to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
They needn’t worry.
Graffiti and street artists have continued to respond to the COVID mask and vaccine issues as much as they did with the rejection of Trump and everything that came with him. During the last few years, they also have strongly responded to the BLM movement, to the topic of police brutality, to structural inequality in our economy, to last fall’s election, to indigenous people’s rights, to Asian hate, LGBTQ rights, to drug use, to anxiety, to depression, to love, to hope, to our effect on the Earth’s environment, and many social/political issues. Not always high-minded, Street artists also like pop culture icons, cute animals, and emulating successful artists who came before them and whom they admire.
It’s all part of the gig.
When we hit the streets in the pursuit of arts, we never know what we’ll find and where we’ll find it. This week we were surprised by a certain uptick in the number of sculptures on the streets. The artists used different materials, from ceramic to resin, metal, cement, and techniques associated with papier-mâché. The sculptures were mostly affixed to traffic signposts but sometimes were placed on street construction barriers. We are always happy to see sculptures on the streets as they bring back the days when sanctioned murals were definitely not the norm, and illegal street art ruled the streets in myriad small formats.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: A Cool 55, AJ Maldo, Billy Barnacles, Chris Protas, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, JJ Veronis, Mataruda, Miyok Madness, Mort Art, Mr. Triple Double, Patrick Picou Harrington, Phetus, Raddington Falls, Sibot, Spy33, Turtle Caps, Winston Tseng.
Happy Easter to all the Christians! Happy end of Passover to the Jews! – and welcome to a new spring of spiking daffodiles and spiking Covid cases in New York City even while the age for vaccinations drops to 16 this week. The graffiti and Street Art is blossoming under bridges and in empty lots, as are the much needed $1400 checks and PPP loans are blossoming as well. They are meant to keep us all barely above water, which is where many New Yorkers are financially.
Maybe the trillions that Biden and Yellen and the banksters are suddenly printing will lift us, or maybe instead they’ll just trigger hyperinflation so your savings will be worth ever less? Perhaps we could require corporations and the rich to pay their fair share of taxes – or any at all? Secular heresy to suggest such a thing!
Ahhhh, but the streets! They are still alive and well, and budding with small hand-made one-off pieces, multiples, and murals. Not quite a renaissance, but we are seeing a sincere march forward by all many of artistry in the shadows and in the broad daylight, even as Rome appears to languish.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: Bastard Bot, Billy Barnacles, Captain Eyeliner, Cucker Tarlson, Jesse Kreuzer, Kiki the Fox, Lunge Box, Mort Art, Nicholai Kahn, Nite Owl, NY State of Mind, Praxis VGZ, Puke Punk, SacSix, Trades Only Bro, and Urban Russian Doll NYC.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week as we head into Passover and Easter. If street art reflects society, and we know that it does, Governor Cuomo is in hot water and may not keep his job. But then, we thought the same about the war criminal George Bush and the grifter Trump, so never mind.
Thank you to reporter Jim O’Grady for interviewing us for a story on WNYC radio this week – along with our colleague Sean Corcoran who is the Curator of Prints and Photographs and a graffiti historian from the Museum of the City of New York.
“As Covid Ravaged New York, Street Artists Fought Back” is the name of Jim’s eight-minute exposition – and his storytelling adds so much to our appreciation of the city and the environment that gives life to our street art and graffiti scene here. Thanks for including us Jim.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: Chris RWK, CRKSHNK, Dwei, Hope Hummingbird, I Heart Graffiti, Little Ricky, Peachee Blue, Raddington Falls, Rambo, SacSix, Sara Lynne-Leo, Sticker Maul, and Technodrome.
We’ve seen an uptick of messages on the streets aimed at Governor Cuomo