It’s great to see that artists on the streets are actually reaching out to help passersby with enthralling words of encouragement these days – the signs and messages we’re seeing are sentiments such as “We will persevere!” and “No Fear. Keep Going!”
Perhaps it is the vacuum of support that has been created by the Divider in Chief – as well as the acquiescent one-party corporate Demoblicans who all haven’t the slightest desire to lead or actually support you in these times of crisis for millions.
And to this we add our voice; Hang in there people! You got this! We are going to pull through this stronger and more united, despite the disinformation war that is arrayed before us. Today people are once again taking to the streets around the world in a populist fervor not seen since the ’60s when Baby Boomers hadn’t abandoned their principles yet. What a pendulum we swing on!
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Buff Monster, Dan Witz, Gianni Lee, Mtitya Pisliak, Praxi, Skewville, and Techno Deco.
Welcome to Wynwood! – A little piece of chaotic urban paradise and real estate development that has blossomed into a mini-holy city for fans of murals.
The convergence of three events during the 2010’s – cheap digital camera phones, social media, and mural festivals – have created this intense and colorful tourist neighborhood in Miami during the same time. The sheer number of happy extended families, groups of friends, and couples in love all were converging on the evolving neighborhood to see art in the streets. They also take pictures with it, pose in front of it, buy refrigerator magnets of it, and listen to tour guides speak about it.
During a recent day in the Wynwood Walls compound, which is surrounded on neighboring streets with a plethora of other murals, unsanctioned Street Art, and graffiti, we saw a number of newly painted murals that have replaced others there. We also saw that a few of the old favorites have been reinvigorated. Here is just a handful of images of the action.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Miami, and this time featuring Dasic Fernandez, Ernesto Maranje, Faile, Michael Vasquez, Buff Monster, Futura, Dan Kitchener, and Tats Cru.
In honor of the 50th
Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising in the West Village in Manhattan, we
are giving the spotlight this Sunday to the many artworks that have been
created by dozens of artists from all over the world in the city over the past
weeks. Some of them are commissioned works and others are illegally placed on
the streets, regardless of who made them or under whose sponsorship they were
created or if they were placed illegally the important thing is to realize that
the struggle for recognition, acceptance, and justice didn’t just happen
because somebody was willing to give that to us.
It happened because a lot of people before us dared to challenged the establishment and fought to change the cultural norms, the laws in the books and ultimately the perception from the society at large. People suffered unspeakable evil and pain at the hands of unmoved gatekeepers and power brokers. People died rather than living a lie. People took to the streets to point fingers at those who stood silent when many others were dying and were deemed untouchable.
People marched to vociferate and yelled the truth and were arrested and marked undesirable. Many brothers and sisters who were much more courageous than we’ll ever be, defied a system that was designed to fail them and condemn them. Restless souls confronted our political, business, media and religious leaders right in their front yards with the truth and never backed down.
So we must pay homage to
them. We have what we have because of them. We owe it to them and we need to
understand that it was because of their vision, intelligence and fearless
actions that the majority began to understand that without them and their help
we would never get equal treatment. Equal rights. Equal opportunities.
So yes let’s celebrate,
dance and sing together but let’s feel the pain of those who can’t join in on
the celebrations because today still they are on the margins, hiding in the
shadows, being cast out from their families and communities and even killed and
tortured. Let’s remember that the job isn’t done, indeed far from it. Many
countries still have in their laws harsh punishment for those that don’t
conform to their established norms. Let’s keep the fight on, the light on, the
courage on, the voices loud and the minds open. Happy Pride.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street (or boardwalk), this time featuring Aloha, Buff Monster, David Puck, Divine, Fox Fisher, Homo Riot, IronClad, Jason Naylor, Joe Caslin, JPO, Meres One, Nomad Clan, Ori Carino, Royce Bannon, Sam Kirk, SAMO, SeeTf, and Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.
From Tatyana about this piece: “Some of Us Did Not Die. We’re Still Here. – June Jordan, Black, bi-sexual, activist, poet and writer. .
Last fall I met with members of @griotcircle, a community of LGBTQ+ Black and brown elders for my residency with @nycchr. I got to speak with them about their lives and some things that came up were the challenges of being Black and gay in New York years ago, like having to travel in groups because queer folks would be attacked for walking alone. Or not being served at restaurants because they were also black. “
Just in time New York’s Pride Month events, Street Artist Buff Monster unveils a wash of color and melty characters in lower Manhattan to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village.
Over the next month a number of artists will be painting murals across the city as part of World Pride and we hope that in some way this campaign will reach those across the world who still long to be free but who are restricted by laws, even threatened, persecuted, and killed for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or otherwise queer.
We talked to Buff to see what he was thinking when he was painting this mural over 6 days.
nice to see that NYC is getting involved in what looks to be the biggest pride
celebration ever, but there still so many places around the US that are super
conservative and unwilling to be inclusive after all these years,” he tells us.
“It’s a shame that equality for all is still an issue in 2019, when we have so
many other serious issues in the world that need to be addressed. It seems like
there are news articles every day about this administrations’ efforts to
undermine the progress we’ve made; so there is no better time to paint this
BSA: What are the thematic elements that correspond to Pride and the rights of LGBTQ people?
Buff Monster: The characters have a bunch of mixed emotions, which mirrors the long journey for equality of the LGBTQ community. Putting together a diverse set of my cartoony ice cream characters, filled with the iconic rainbow, seemed like a good way to bring a bit of levity to a very serious issue.
in all though, I think the colors and the characters create a positive and
optimistic image, in line with this year’s Pride celebration and the future of
equality. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I think it’s a really
nice addition to the neighborhood.
our thanks to Wayne and Rey at The LISA Project for organizing the artists for
A lot of action in Brooklyn these last few weeks thanks to a number of artists swinging through town for the Moniker Art Fair in Greenpoint, as well as the annual peregrination of artists who are arriving in the city that begins in earnest after the last danger of frost has passed.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Brusk, Buff Monster, False, finDAC, King Amsterdam, Knox, Lady Courage, Low Key Steezo666, Lunge Box, Sonny Sundancer, Swoon, and Wellnoo.
Optically entertaining Street Artists Dalek and Buff Monster don’t typically work together and are known for uniquely different approaches although their new “Spaced Out” double-solo show at GR Gallery in NYC gives a new example of how artists can work together and compliment one another, if not integrate entirely.
In this show of original artworks, wall paintings, editions, and installations, the two find a common language of color while bringing their individual take on character to the party. With Dalek’s Space Monkey making a few appearances and Buff’s melty family popping up throughout this blended linear splatter of optic cosmos, the two personalities come together for the session in a welcoming and satisfying way.
We asked both artists about the show and how they worked together to find a common route in outer space.
BSA:Can you tell us a little about the process of creating work for this dual show with Buff Monster. Was there an effort to find a common aesthetic or approach?
Dalek: I’ve known Buff for years but we’ve really never crossed paths in shows or projects. So when GR started talking to me about this show they mentioned doing it with Buff and my first reaction was “that could be super fun”. I think there is a natural commonality to our work on a certain level so i knew it’d flow well regardless. We didn’t plan much; I’m a horrible planner with shows so i went into it just figuring I’d make it colorful and fun and get done what I could. Once I got in the space with him we definitely got rolling and although there wasn’t any particular attempt to gel everything we were definitely feeding off each others’ energy when getting in the work zone and the show felt really cohesive to me at the end.
BSA:Your alter ego the Space Monkey often is swimming through pattern and color and contemplating the rate and velocity of technological change. Is he changed or affected by this dual effort in these new compositions? What’s he thinking about?
Dalek: Space Monkey is definitely contemplating a lot – although not fully aware of what contemplation is. I’d say its more effected by my own growth and change through the years than this specific situation. But he certainly felt right at home amongst the goings on and happenings. Mostly Space Monkey is considering how to escape the confines of its 2 dimensional world. The walls are closing in and the struggle intensifies to break free of the ever shrinking constrictive planes.
BSA:When you are creating and experiencing the geometric orchestrations that you manifest, do the optics sometimes vibrate or move before your eyes? Do you ever hear or feel a rhythm when gazing upon them?
Dalek: There is definitely a Kandinsky-like approach in it for sure. Compositions are never planned out – they just go where they naturally feel the need to move. So I listen and engage and react accordingly. There is a rhythm and a flow that moves from beginning to end, sometimes switching tempo or intensity. The colors will vibrate for sure – gets my eyes all crazy and that is probably why I gotta wear glasses these days.
BSA:Buff Monster, you are working with a new color palette than your fans have seen very much in the past. What inspired you to venture into this selection of colors.
Buff Monster: I think the unique (limited) traditional Buff Monster color palette is great, but I really wanted these new paintings to have a different feel. Half the pieces in the show are very experimental for me and one of the limitations I gave myself was no black (and similarly, no gray either). When I launched the Stay Melty brand last year, I settled on a new color palette: teal, yellow and of course pink. I guess even though I live in NYC, I’ve really been into exploring a much more tropical and optimistic color palette. I even used the flattest varnish I could find (as opposed to the very glossy varnish I normally use) so that the pieces feel extra soft.
BSA:We also notice that there is a digitized aspect to some of your reappearing images – does this aesthetic draw on early computer graphics, video games, or something similar?
Buff Monster: Last year I published the Melty Manifesto, and that discusses the value and integrity of the hand made. It also discusses some of the downfalls of this modern age. I’ve always loved the old ways of doing things (in art creation and reproduction specifically) but how do I deal with this increasing digital world? All my hand-drawn lines get digitized and spread around the world, so why not just digitize them myself? I quite like painting pixels because they’re always off but that’s really appealing to me.
BSA:Was it a challenge to create a single exhibition with an artist like Dalek, whose own work could be described as more optic and kinectic in discipline?
Buff Monster: I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, which should come as no surprise. Even though he’s been at it longer than I have, I think we’ve both arrived in a similar place with our work. Namely, we created these characters that people know us for, but we’re keen to explore other things. I still make lots of character-based work, but the new work in the show doesn’t have any characters. I quite like how it all came together. The geometric nature of most of his pieces alongside the organic nature of my pieces plays really well; our similar color palette ties it all together. I’m very happy with the show!
As the US commemorates Veterans Day this weekend, we lead this weeks BSA Images of the Week with Ms. Ono’s latest public art piece, a white banner flag flapping in New Yorks’ wild winds atop Creative Time’s headquarters. Part of a multi-city installation by ONO and Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegianceprogram, this flag and others like it will fly at museums and other educational/cultural institutions across the country.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Ai WeiWei, Buff Monster, Curb Your Ego, Damien Mitchell, Disordered, Don John, Ghost Beard, KLOPS, Mina Hamada, Sac Six, Patch Whisky, Squid Shop, Turtle Caps, Vinz Feel Free, VY, Yoko Ono, and Zosen.
Since its explosion of pigment and hue on subway cars and in the streets of New York and Philadelphia a half century ago to its spread to the hundreds of cities worldwide, the truly grassroots movement of Urban Art refuses to be owned by any one city or one people, insisting upon making its own rules and traveling wherever the creative spirit leads.
As if to underscore that global nature of the Graffiti/Street Art/ Urban Art movements, Urban Nation (UN) Director Yasha Young named the origins of the guests who were attending last weeks “Secret Dinner” at the under-construction site of the museum that opens this fall.
“You came from Spain, England, Los Angeles, New York City, China, France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, every neighborhood in Berlin, from Leipzig, Munich, all across Germany, France, Switzerland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and last but not least, Russia,” she said as she stood before a large canvas by the London-based artist Word To Mother and next to Hendrik Jellema, the Chairman of Berliner Leben.
After recounting the three years of accomplishments and aspirations of the new museum to date, Young showed an animated video tour, a somewhat flying birds-eye view of the new museum projected on the wall.
In two dimly lit street-level raw and cavernous rooms were mounted a number of selected canvasses from the 10 Project M shows that have been curated in the last 3 years announcing the coming museum, each directed and refined by gallerists and cultural experts of various stripes and featuring the work of over 200 artists.
Across the street and Bülowstraße here in the Schöneberg district at the temporary UN headquarters was the grand opening of PM/11. Featuring 16 German artists curated by 3 experts in their respective scenes from Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, “Radius” points to the vast and diverse urban art community here in a this famous street scene and artists and fans overflowed onto the sidewalk swelling even further when post-dinner guests arrived.
With graffiti artists and street artists spread among the 4 long dinner tables a colorful mix of politicians, cultural ministers, academics, collectors, press, curators, ambassadors, philosophers, photographers, and friends shared dinner, drinks, opinions, and their respective knowledge about the scene and the aspirations of the nascent institution.
We don’t know what everybody said to each other, but we did talk about cooking for a family of five with one guest and the trade routes between South Africa and Cairo during the last century and the importance of fish in the Icelandic diet with another.
Young burst in the room mid-dinner, as she’s wont to do, with a microphone to show a video series of 4 street art projects showcasing artists engaged with community projects, rather dispersing the often-indulged perception that all graffiti and Street Art is transgressive and illegal. Of course a lot of the good stuff is, but most artists possess additional dimensions outside these stereotypical descriptors, including an interest in helping others.
Artists featured included Norwegian Martin Watson, the German duo Herakut, the Polish crochet artist OLEK, and the German born Brooklyn-based twins HowNosm. The projects highlighted were not necessarily UN sponsored but instead drew attention to overall goals of the museum to be engaged with communities outside the typical art-going crowd.
And so now the UN buzz has begun in earnest, with a steady run toward the opening doors of the Museum and significant involvement of international and local contingents of participants in the new institution. If anyone pretends to know how it will all look inside and outside on opening day or the months that follow, they are brave and fantastic in their willingness to prophesy. We say that because despite the much-heralded organizational skills of this land, and they are amazing, you can be sure that a vibrant and alive contemporary scene like this will continue to surprise us.
Paint drips and ice cream drips: What flavor would you like? We have strawberry, cherry, coconut…
Buff Monster Stay Melty Gingko Press. Berkeley, CA. 2015
If you haven’t seen Buff Monster and his melty crew on walls in the mid-twenty-teens then you have been looking at the sidewalk for loose change and lost earrings too much. Look up (!) on multiple walls all across the city and your find his friendly quirky sweet creamy characters cavorting and playing and melting together.
He and his fantastic army of ice cream scoops with surreal imaginations and likeable character anomalies have traveled worldwide of course; in multiple languages and on a variety of toys, posters, statues, garments, stickers and collectibles and even a select edition of Garbage Pail Kids cards called The Melty Misfits.
Buff Monster Stay Melty Gingko Press. Berkeley, CA. 2015
Pink dominates the palette and fantasy denotes the worldview for this brightly quirky hard driving globe-trotting Hawaiian native, with Buff himself tirelessly promulgating his little friends into your life and perhaps helping to take things a little less seriously for a moment, and reminding you of your childhood fun times.
Stay Melty is his hard-bound pictorial collection of three years of all action, creation, discipline, collaboration, and production, with Buff giving you an inside view of the pure glamour that goes into becoming a successful and recognized street/fine/commercial artist today. Hint: It’s about the time-honored practice of hustling, people. Also, ice cream.
Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Dresden, Moscow, Marrakesh, Detroit and Miami, photographer Jaime Rojo found that the figurative image still stands prominently in the Street Art scene – along with text-based, abstract and animal world themes.
Surprisingly the scene does not appear to be addressing the troubled and contentious matters of the political and social realms in a large way, but the D.I.Y. scene keeps alive and defies the forces of homogeneity with one-of-a-kind small wheat-pastes, stencils, sculptures, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.
Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our regular interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2016.
Brooklyn Street Art 2016 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;
1Up, Above, Adele Renault, Alaniz, Amy Smalls, George Vidas, GEN2, Apexer, BordaloII, Buff Monster, C215, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Super A, David Choe, D*Face, Duke Riley, El Sol 25, Sean 9 Lugo, EQC, Faile, Faith47, Faust, Shantell Martin, Felipe Pantone, Hueman, Droid907, Icy & Sot, InDecline, Invader, JJ Veronis, Jilly Ballistic, John Ahearn, JR, London Kaye, Louis Masai, MadC, Marshal Arts, Mongolz, MSK, Rime, Myth, Nina Chanel, Optic Ninja, Otto Osch Schade, Panmela Castro, Plastic Jesus, QRST, Reed b More, Remi Rough, REVS, Self Made, Sharon Dela Cruz, Maripussy, Specter, Stikman, Strok, Swoon, Ted Pim, Thievin’ Stephen, Farin Purth, Thomas Allen, Tobo, Uriginal, Vermibus, Vhils, Wing, Yes Two, Zola.
The artist featured on the main graphic is D*Face as shot by Jaime Rojo in New York.
We haven’t had such a frightening Halloween in years! – and we know we speak for many readers as well while we all look at the monstrous tabloid TV parade that is scaring the electorate. Boo!
Luckily we found some treats on the street! And a few tricks, but those are for our paid site, wink wink.
So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Bifido, Buff Monster, City Kitty, Dee Dee, Disto, Droid, Flood, Myth, Nychos, R2, REVS, RODA, Rusk, See True Fame, Sipros, Smells, Smith, Sweet Toof, and Texas.