Remember that time when your best friend’s boyfriend was installing a towel rack in the bathroom of their apartment, and he clumsily busted a hole through the wall, revealing a hidden room – which subsequently released a ghost who regularly appeared at the foot of their bed and slammed doors throughout their dwelling? We do. That’s why it was/was not shocking when a New York woman investigated the breeze emanating from her bathroom mirror. She took the mirror off the wall and discovered a portal to a three-room apartment.
Dude, if that happens to us, we’re not putting it on Tik Tok. We’re heading to Bed Bath and Beyond. In a space-starved city, newly discovered square footage is like finding gold bullion or bitcoin between couch cushions.
In other New York news, some street art neighborhoods are devoid of new works these days – perhaps because January and February are a frozen, mischievous purgatory that chases you inside in a normal year – doubly so when you’re on your 37th consecutive month of pajamas, Minecraft, and Chef Boyardee Beefaroni. Have faith; the next tumultuous 8 weeks of winter-spring-winter-spring weather will eventually coax the street artists and graffiti writers outside in a perennial sign of spring like the appearance of a robin on your windowsill.
Despite the paucity of prancing vandals at the moment, our Editor of Photography, Jaime Rojo, still managed to capture new art in the streets this week in Red Hook, Bushwick, Chelsea, and Bushwick – amongst the scores of closed restaurant huts that have besieged sidewalks citywide. Movie theaters will open for 25% capacity now, and perhaps the moribund restaurants will be coming back to life in this city that never quite sleeps.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adrian Wilson, Berkit, Binho, Blur, Captain Eyeliner, Colin Capernick, Comik, DYM Crew, Ethan Minsker, Know Your Rights Camp, Locs, Matt Siren, Paolo Tolentino, Sara Lynne Leo, Shark, Taboo, The Monks, and Tony De Pew.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. Happy Purim! Streets in Brooklyn were wild with Hasidic Jews in funny costumes the last couple of days, accompanied by loud music and seemingly drunk men weaving through the streets.
“The efforts of underpaid artists and arts professionals have always powered NYC, but in an ongoing crisis, NYC is turning its back on them,” Nuyorican Poets Cafe Executive Director Daniel Gallant told the Daily News this week, referencing job losses that have affected 2/3rds of New York’s creative community. We are in crisis. And national leaders have been quibbling over a $1,400 check – which is only the third check for poor and middle-class people in a 1 year period. One month’s rent can be that much.
Meanwhile on the street we have been seeing a boon of new creative displays by artists – with a broad sweep of themes and techniques.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Allie Kelley, Aya Brown, Billy Barnacles, Bobo, Elianel Clinton, Fells, George Ferrandi, George Collagi, Gianni Lee, Icebox, Megan Gabrielle Harris, Merch, Plan9, Sara Lynne-Leo, Sasha Lynn, Shoki San, and Swoon.
In collaboration with SaveArtSpace.Org Swoon and Giani Lee curated a series of billboards in NYC and In Los Angeles asking the artists involved to focus on the themes of climate change, racial justice and the places where those concerns intersect. Below we share with you some of the billboards we found in NYC.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. It’s been snowing and snowing and snowing this month in New York – providing perfect framing for graffiti and street art.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adrian Wilson, Beer, Claudia Ravaschiere, Dasu, Dos Wallnuts, Eron, Goog, Guild234, Hellbent, Magda Love, Michael Moss, No Sleep, Note, Par, Seo, Serve, Swoon, The Postman Art, and Treeze.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. 新年快乐! Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Ox, and there was a lot of celebration during this snowy week in New York, although it appeared to be subdued by the standards of pre-Covid times definitely.
Also, Happy Valentines Day to you! We love you more every day! Don’t change a thing; you’re perfect the way you are.
Finally, the 2nd Impeachment of Donald Trump took place this week and it was on every television, radio, laptop, and phone screen it seems.
“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” is the quote attributed to Voltaire that the Democrat from Maryland Jamie Raskin spoke this week at the 2nd Impeachment trial of the former president in the Senate. It ranks as one of the more memorable.
It would be a stretch to call it a trial when many who voted in this verdict were also witnesses, victims, judges, jury, and/or co-conspirators of the accused. Still, it appears to be the only available way to hold a president accountable for their actions in the U.S.
We would say that it was a good show, but it was not a good show…
Finally, he has been acquitted by a vote of 57 to 43 in the Senate. A two-thirds majority was needed. One outcome is he can run for office again if he wishes. No matter the result of these events, it was inevitable that there would be a pervasive feeling of unrest.
One question remains: Was the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol the end of an era or the beginning?
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 7 Line Arts Studio, Al Diaz, Awol Erizcu, BK Foxx, Clown Soldier, Fire Flower, Goog, Pear, Queen Andrea, Riley Gale, SAMO, and Seung Jin.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. The first day of February brought New York a blizzard – a foot and a half of snow, complete with winds and drifts and buried cars. It drives everyone outside to experience the new world, especially kids, big and small.
I am a poem of blizzards trapped in snow; paralyzed in a city of 8 million snow-poems digging out of record wind-fuelled drifts of snow; trapped in the wintery vice of its wintery vice-like grip of treachery.
–Rupert The Red Nosed, “The Language of Snow”
And like kids, we too like to stomp through the snowy streets in big boots, looking for hidden missives and pieces of poems, delighted by the mysteries buried in this cold and windy town.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Carl J. Gabriel, Chris RWK, Dare2, Eye Sticker, George Floyd, HOACS, Jeremy Novy, Par, Praxis VGZ, Roachi, Skewville, Sticky, Viler, and Zexor.
A few weeks ago we saw a populist uprising invade one of this culture’s most sacrosanct public institutions out of anger and disillusionment, among other factors; generally a repudiation of what was perceived as a corrupt cabal who ignores the will of the people. Within days the news was full of stories of the State tracking down and cracking down on the dangerous insurgents and tracing their words and actions. Alliances were suddenly severed, fingers were wildly pointed, threats were issued, straw men swiftly collapsed. An historic quake, the tremulous ground is still shifting.
We’re don’t intend to oversimplify here, but you have to admit there appear to be parallels in these stories.
In the end, we see the ripples through street art. Actually, sometimes we see the antecedents to events like these as well – but we may not recognize them as such until later. One cryptic prophet and cultural critic from the street art world, Don Leicht, passed away this week after a very trying illness. His original use of the digitalized Invader predates the high profile street artist of the same name; his comic/cutting assessments of modern hypocrisy echoed across walls of New York as early as the inception of the video game itself. A long time trusted friend and creative collaborator with street artist John Fekner, Leicht was quickly memorialized with this new installation on the street (below).
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UP Crew, Bastard Bot, Below Key, CRKSHNK, De Grupo, Don Leicht, Duke A. Barnstable, Ethan Minsker, Freedom, John Fekner, Maks Art World, Nick Walker, No Sleep, and Young Samo.
Reposted from John Fekner:
“Don Leicht (October 12th, 1946-January 22nd, 2021)Don was my fierce older Libra brother, colleague and collaborator throughout almost fifty years of friendship. Don was a passionate and devout painter who played by his own Bronx cool rules; whether as a teacher in the public school system in the South Bronx, or in his hand-written personal writings or hand-cut metal, plastic or cardboard sculptural works, all visually charged with a deep meaning and social purpose. His imagery could spark a laugh or a smile; but were intended to cause a reaction within a viewer’s heart, mind and soul.
Don was a steadfast bridge to carry me through my sometimes unwieldy behavior. He would provide answers with care, understanding and positivity; whether it was in person or through a 10-minute or hour phone call. Within our conversation (and with many of his friends), he would always repeat the message as to be sure that you ‘got the message’ and would act accordingly. Don always had a simple soothing solution: ‘Get one thing done by the end of the day.’
Don was preceded in death by his wife Annie; and he will be deeply missed by his two sons, Anthony and Nicky, who helped their father throughout his overwhelming health issues, especially in this past year.
Walk on dear friend. We celebrate your life work!”
Many people in New York and around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief this week when our native son from Queens got on that helicopter with his immigrant wife and A. left the White House and, B. flew to Florida.
But for this week anyway, the streets are saying let’s give Biden and Harris and this new administration the congratulations and the honeymoon they deserve. We wish them (and us) the best!
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Anna is a toy, Bastard Bot, CRKSHNK, Elfo, Jason Naylor, Lunge Box, Praxis VGZ, and Queen Andrea.
Now that the orange man has been censored by social media he’ll have much more time to pack his boxes and do some deep vacuuming of the living room furniture.
All tolled, this week was perhaps the most effective public demonstration of white privilege on parade for everyone to see – and one that was beamed across the world, including into the countries who once looked to the US for leadership and promise. BLM could not have made a more powerful and impactful statement about the systemic inequality that is baked into American society. Did you see all those video split screens of how police treated the different crowds?
Trump is on his way out, but as the author Thomas Frank likes to say, Trumpism is here to stay.
Ahhhh, but the future is unwritten. Where’s you marker?
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adrian Wilson, Bastard Bot, De Grupo, Ethan Minsker, Gane, Glare, HeartsNY, Lunge Box, Timothy Goodman, Wane, Winston Tseng, and You Are Loved. Yes, you are loved.
Welcome to the first BSA Images of the Week of 2021 !
We start our collection this week with an image of Christ crucified on a Facebook logo. If this is the level of subtlety that we can expect from the new year…gurl, we in trubble.
In fact, we have found that much of the organic street art that we find today has become increasingly strident in opinions expressed, especially around themes of social justice and political skullduggery. It’s all mixed in with favorites like pop figures, sports figures, cats. In a way, the artists are ahead of us, so we consider these images as the tea leaves for what is coming.
How will you interpret these messages from the street? Will you become emboldened? Scared? Or will they not have any impact on passersby?
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 7 Line Arts Studio, Bastard Bot, Calicho Art, Captain Eyeliner, Calisi Maultra, City Kity, CRKSHNK, David F Barthold, Degrupo, Elle, Jeff Roseking, Joseph Grazi, NohJColey, Poi Everywhere, Sickid, Sticker Maul, and Stikman.
Happy Hannukah to all our Jewish friends this week as the festival of lights began on Thursday night. “Chag Sameach!”
Meanwhile, the Christmas jam is in full force with lights in people’s windows and in stores and yesterday in Bushwick, Brooklyn…. those little electric lights were surrounding a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe that a small group of women crossing the street was carrying at the intersection of Broadway and Myrtle. They looked like they were holding prayer books or papers with prayers on them. For those of you unfamiliar with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 2020, it culminates in a popular Catholic feast that celebrates the belief that a man encountered the Virgin Mary, Mexico’s patron saint, in Mexico City on December 9 and 12, 1531.
Speaking of Mexico, all of our Images of the Week are flown straight here from there today – sunbaked and sweet. Colectivo Tomate is the name of the group responsible for many of these brand new historically-inspired murals in Chihuahua, Mexico – and we thought we’d share this collection of new works from this warm desert-based city of a million only 4 hours from El Paso.
The collective describes itself as an independent group of young Mexicans who seek an improvement in the way of life in the cities in Mexico. They talk about using their mural works and arts programs in terms of healing communities immersed in environments of violence, extreme poverty, or social conflicts – with artistic processes, dialogue, and community work.
Aside from the fact that Mexico is the birthplace of inspiration for the great mural movement in the 20th century, it is also important to recognize that graffiti, street art, and mural art are very personal in how you define them, but those definitions are going to vary from person to person, city to city, decade to decade. It’s good to see how art in the streets here in Mexico is also building healing and strength in the community.
So a shout out to Colectivo TomateChihuahua, who is participating in this to celebrate “Chihuahua Capital Creative” – a week where they host talks, conferences, and workshops, entirely free at the Instituto de Cultura del Municipio de Chihuahua.
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Dagoz, Ale Poire, Aleida Medina, AO, Carlos Van Frankenstein, Ely Astorga, Gear, Grimp, Joaquin Salvador Navarro, Luis Miguel Lopez, MES, MiR, Mitthu, MUDA, Raul Rojas, Renik, Terrmoto, Yanely Sara, and Zoe.
Looking for a Christmas tree? An accurate barometer of the income gap perhaps, we found two vendors on the streets of Williamsburg who each told us a 6 foot tree this year starts at $150 this year. Later in the neighborhood of Bushwick we saw a collection of 6 foot tall trees for $60 each. In Soho or 5th Ave just double it, or quintuple it.
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring City Kitty, Elfo, Exposure, Easy and Joz, Gak, Giani NYC, Kest, No Sleep, Quality Mending, Raw Raffe, Skewville, TV Head ATX, UFO907, Muk 123, Gen 2907, Oze108, and Unlok.