Other than that we have to say to New York, we love you because of your fabulous diversity – and the fact that you prove every day that we can all get along really well even though we are all kinds of cultures and languages and backgrounds.
If only those (primarily) old white men who are legislating from Washington and from corporate board rooms could see and appreciate the richness that we have here in New York – they might realize that they have been completely and utterly foolish and blind to their own people, which is all of us.
It feels like this swing to the right is not about ideology but about protecting power and wealth – and we’re witnessing the dying Old Boy network kicking and screaming to protect the system that has served them best. How else can you explain the contingency that once called themselves the moral majority today exhibit almost zero morality – being brutal, haughty, and defiantly cynical – and still getting support?
On a happier note, how about those Yankees M-I-RIGHT ?
So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Cash4, City Kitty, d.w. krsna, Dede, Izzrad, Kobra, Mark DiSuvero, Mer, Mr. Toll Troll, Mr. Tongue, Nitzan Mintz, Nobs, Onis, Pleks, Pork, Sickid, Stray Ones, and Subway Doodle.
Boom! There it is! This is springtime and there is a lot of new stuff popping up like tulips and out like cherry blossoms. If you didn’t get to the Martha Cooper opening at Steven Kasher gallery this week it is open during the week- a great cross section of her work during the last four decades or so. Additionally the Richard Hambleton film “Shadowman” debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival Friday night and is making a lot of waves and you can see works of his at Woodward Gallery right now.
Stickers, or slaps, are small but formidable graphic and text messages, especially when massed together on a doorway or light pole. They are also fast and surreptitiously placed, as simple as a gesture, undetectable in their ease of application.
Begun exclusively perhaps as vehicles for handwritten or hand drawn missives, usually the tag of an artist, today they are often mass produced and designed on a screen, commercially printed on stock that is weatherproof, yet crumbles into pieces when you try to remove it. Personal and political are often on display, as well as that eternal graffiti impulse to simply spread your name.
Stickers and their creation, distribution, and collection are a culture unto themselves, with fans mounting massive sticker shows and books tracing historical roots and telling stories. On the street, just one sticker can alter your day. Because you know it is made and placed by an individual and not a corporation, it feels like a personal message. Because it is small enough for you to get close to, it becomes intimate.
Here is a selection of recent images of stickers caught by our editor of photography, Jaime Rojo, for BSA readers to get up close to.
Today is Marathon Day in New York City and the leaves on the trees have turned to oranges and reds and yellows to welcome the 26,000 people running through all five boroughs. In two days right here in New York City both Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton will wait at their campaign headquarters to see the results of the longest and slimiest presidential campaigns most of us can remember, with many of us reporting that it made us sick.
There is plenty of blame to go around, and hopefully these are simply the fitful growing pains of a fighting, evolving society and not the stabbing spasms of a dissolute, dying republic.
So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Amanda Wong, Atomik, Boa Mistura, BK Foxx, Cash4, Giver, Kobra, Lexi Bella, Moter, Olek, Rambo, Reverend, Rocko, Ruben Sanchez, Sheryo, Sokar Uno, Wolftits, and You Go Girl.
We asked Olek about this brand new crocheted billboard she and a small team installed this week in New Jersey. We publish her reflections and statement here for BSA readers.
“This crocheted billboard is my uncommissioned letter to Hillary Clinton, a letter from a woman, an artist, and a naturalized US citizen.
This election has been fueled by hate and negativity. Initially, I did not want to make overtly political art. But then I realized I must, as too much is at stake. I could either make a negative statement about the other candidate or a positive one about Hillary. When a piece of art has 1000 hours of hand labor invested in it, I’d rather it be a positive statement.
Hillary might not be cool, but she is qualified, experienced and competent. I don’t want to hang out with her. I don’t want to drink beer with her. I don’t want to go dancing all night with her. I want her to be our president. I want her to run this country!
This is history happening in front of you, incredible and groundbreaking. The first African-American president will pass the most important job in the USA to the first woman president. No one would have imagined this just 50 years ago. So yes, these are amazing times.
Look at what is happening in Europe. Countries are returning to a conservative stance and people’s rights are being trampled and revoked. Few believed Brexit could take place, but indeed it did. We should learn from this mistake. Hate crimes are escalating. Immigrants, and especially Polish citizens, are being beaten and even killed. We cannot let this happen here in USA. We cannot go down this path of destruction in The United States of America.
I involved people across the USA to help me with this project. It was about a community working together and making a statement. We had two main groups crocheting – one in Virginia Beach and one in NYC. The excitement was tangible as we worked together to realize this vision. Each day we gathered in my tiny studio, those outside of NYC would join via Skype, as we all crocheted around the clock, talking to each other about our commitment to this piece and to Hillary Clinton, listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Everyone involved jumped on this project because they believed in it.
We are happy that we have achieved it.
I am an artist. I am a woman. As both I must make a statement. I cannot remain neutral or silent. I wish more people would find a way make positive statements. Unfortunately, negativity sells much better these days.
It is imperative for the future of our country that we succeed in electing Hillary Clinton as President of The United States of America this November 8th.” – OLEK
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”
A lot of people thought so, and the rise of commercial festivals and commissioned public/private mural programs probably brought more artists to more walls than in recent history. Judging from the In Box, 2016 is going to break more records. Enormous, polished, fully realized and presented, murals can hold a special role in a community and transform a neighborhood, even a city.
But they are not the “organic” Street Art that draws us into the dark in-between places in a city, or at its margins.
We keep our eyes open for the small, one-off, idiosyncratic, uncommissioned, weirdo work as well, as it can carry clues about the culture and reveal a sage or silly solo voice. It also just reinforces the feeling that the street is still home to an autonomous free-for-all of ideas and opinions and wandering passions. For us it is still fascinating to seek out and discover the one-of-a-kind small wheatpastes, stencils, sculptures, ad takeovers, collages, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.
The main image above is from a vinyl subway advertisement that was high-jacked and we published it in February of this year on our Images of the Week posting. It’s small, personal, and very effective as you can see someone suspiciously similar to Batman is jumping out of the mouth of someone looking awfully similar to Hedwig of “Angry Inch” fame.
Of the 10,000 or so images photographer Jaime Rojo took in 2015, here are a selection 140+ of the best images from his travels through streets looking for unpermissioned and sanctioned art.
Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo
Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;
365xlos43, Amanda Marie, Andreas Englund, Augustine Kofie, Bisser, Boijeot, Renauld, Bordaloli, Brittany, BunnyM, Case Maclaim, Casg, Cash4, CDRE, Clet, Cost, Curve, Dain, Dal East, Dan Budnik, Dan Witz, David Walker, DeeDee, Dennis McNett, Don Rimx, Ricardo Cabret, LNY, Alex Seel, Mata Ruda, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, ECB, El Mac, El Sol25, Ella & Pitr, Eric Simmons, Enest Zacharevic, Martha Cooper, Martin Whatson, Ever, Faile, Faith47, Findac, Futura, Gaia, Gilf!, Hanksy, Hellbent, Hot Tea, How & Nosm, Icy and Sot, Inti, Invader, Isaac Cordal, James Bullough, Janet Dickson, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, John Fekner, Le Diamantaire, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Low Brow, Marina Capdevilla, Miss Van, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nafir, Nemos, Never Crew, Nick Walker, Nina Pandolofo, Old Broads, Oldy, Ollio, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Paper Skaters, Pet Bird, Kashink, Smells, Cash4, PichiAvo, Pixel Pancho, QRST, ROA, Ron English, Rubin415, Saner, Sean 9 Lugo, Shai Dahan, Shepard Fairey, Sheryo & The Yok, Sinned, Sipros, Skewville, Slikor, Smells, Sweet Toof, Snowden, Edward Snowden, Andrew Tider, Jeff Greenspan, Specter, Stray Ones, Sweet Toof, Swil, Willow, Swoon, The Outings Project, Toney De Pew, Tristan Eaton, Various & Gould, Vermibus, Wane, Wk Interact
A wild week in world geopolitics, terror, social crisis – interpret them as you may through the prism of art collecting and fandom – as Miami Art Basel and the Wynwood District were bursting with high prices, high emotions, high celebrity-counts, and people who appeared to be high almost all the time. There were also heavy rains, big name music performances, custom designed cocktails, luxury brands, brand fusions, and sponsored walls and events everywhere. Also a stabbing.
Once we can sort through the best photos we’ll definitely share some of the great work with you this week.
Meanwhile, Street Artists continue to create in cities elsewhere and while Miami is celebrating brands, logos and luxury, on the other side of the ocean Brandalism completed a 600 kiosk takeover in Paris this week skewering all of the above and the undue influence corporations are having in writing environmental/trade laws. On the aesthetic tip we’ve recently made a mental note that photo-realism is now reaching a critical mass. So there you are.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring A Pill NYC, Bifido, Buff Monster, Cash4, Dan Witz, Fuzeillear, Invader, Jordan Seiler, Knarf, LikMi, Luca Ladda, Østrem, Otto Schade, Persue, Pøbel, Rahmi Rajah, Sean9Lugo, Sipros, and Skount.
These two pieces are part of the NUART collection of murals painted for previous editions of the festival. They are not freshly painted but we wanted to publish them as they are calling our attention to a topic that is current and urgent and addressed by world leaders in Paris for the COP21 Climate Summit 2015 as well as dozens of Street Artists with the #brandalism campaign.
We first met Peter Carroll in the Spring of 2008 at Ad Hoc Gallery at an opening. He gave us a bunch of his Pet Bird stickers and talked to us as if he had known us for years, making us feel welcomed and like friends. That’s just how Peter was and how he remained over those years as we grew closer.
An honest, witty, straight shooter no-nonsense type of guy with a very clever glint in his eye. He didn’t suffer fools gladly, didn’t put on airs, and when he needed to call out the BS on some blabbermouth or poser he would do it, no problem.
He loved the graffiti scene and appreciated what Street Art added possibly because of what it didn’t require; permission, wordy catalogs, gate-keepers, pomposity, fakes. He loved Luna, cats, cars, graffiti, bicycles, science, medicine, and his friends. He knew how to value material possessions, was a loyal friend, loved good food and good music. When he was feeling well he’d offer to help you if you needed a hand. When the pain and the discomfort of his recent illness was too much to bear he’d stay home reluctantly but would strategize how to keep a good attitude, even though that could be very hard work as well. He’d ideally want to be out with you, playing and hanging out and when he was not being able to do so it bummed him out.
Peter and Katherine AKA Luna Park made a formidable and beautiful couple. You always could tell that they liked each other a LOT and they knew how to make each other laugh really hard and they were very kind to one another. They were an excellent role model for us and we cherished them as much together as on their own. Both were walking encyclopedias of graffiti and spoke about it enthusiastically, always excited to discover new ruins and railroad tracks and new cities together, camera in hand. Equally they were enthusiastic about the writers as individuals and they celebrated their skills together. We were blessed to know Peter, and we are all very lucky to have Luna.
We’re just rambling now, we are filled with sadness writing this, something we shouldn’t be writing, certainly not so soon…
He passed away on Monday evening, probably as a complication from recent illnesses. Our hearts go out to Luna and to Peter’s mom and to their families and to the many friends whose lives were touched by his. Shout out to Becki Fuller who is a strong and beautiful friend to Luna and the community of friends around them.
Please come Saturday night for A Celebration of Peter Carroll AKA Laserburners AKA PET Bird
and in support of his partner Katherine Lorimer AKA Luna Park whom he loved dearly.
Saturday October 3rd from 4pm until late
22 Waverly Avenue Between Park and Flushing
Brooklyn, New York
We will post more information on Facebook (Brooklyn Street Art), Twitter @BKStreetArt, Instagram @BKStreetArt as we learn it.
It’s not all about the murals! A sacrilegious thing to say perhaps, especially on a Sunday, especially when we are in town to see fresh new murals at the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester. But none of the artists will take us to task because everyone knows that the roots of Street Art and graffiti are in the un-permissioned work that happens underground in hidden spots that become revered; magnets for aerosol mark-making, veritable spray can galleries. These crumbling houses of the holy are foundational to the modern Street Art scene. After all, if the good Lord didn’t want teens to get high, have sex, and catch tags he wouldn’t have created urban decay.
So it was good to get to the dirty stuff with some help from an affable Roc native named Jason who showed us around some of the darker caverns in the city this week where you can get a sense of the conversations that bubble just below the surface. These places of decay feature some old school tags, rollers, characters, bubble letters, rants, political critique – the gamut. Also, homeless people, restless hoodies on BMX bikes, and funny smelling cigarette smoke wafting past you periodically.
We were really honored to speak at the museum Friday and to be introduced by the director Jonathan Binstock and Wall\Therapy founder Dr. Ian Wilson for our talk and show of a series of short films about the evolving Street Art scene globally. Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) is part of the University of Rochester and houses a huge encyclopedic collection of 12,000 works of art representing cultures from around the world and across millennia so to have the opportunity to share contemporary works from across this global grassroots art movement is especially gratifying and many in the audience came up afterward to talk about how inspiring this moment in art history is to them personally.
Typically academia and institutional support has been a few steps removed from this means of expression but the last decade and a half continues to see a shifting of perspectives by some who traditionally resisted the work in the streets. We’re just glad that we can continue to provide a platform for voices high and low, trained and self-taught, polished and in development – and the feedback we continue to get from you is that the work strikes a strong chord and we are grateful. Just to keep it real, here’s a tiny collection of work from Rochester’s organic urban art scene.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring AX, Cash4, Eder Muniz, Freedom, FUA Krew, Icy and Sot, Jeff Soto, Mr PRVRT, ND’A, OverUnder, ROA, Smear, and Thievin Stephen.
We’ve been seeing an increase in the number of politically charged pieces showing up in the street lately. It is no surprise given the rise in marches and demonstrations and discussions in our city and country about topics like racism, police brutality, and rising economic inequality. Street Art has a tradition of addressing socio-political topics, sometimes gently, sometimes yelling at the top of its lungs.
One could argue that all speech is political but you don’t recognize it when the message expresses views endorsed by the dominant culture; BP ads tell us that it is splendid to burn fossil fuels, CitiBank ads on bicycles tell us that bankers are nice community-minded people, and McDonalds ads tell us that eating meat is nutritious. Nothing political there right? Do you think the MTA would allow you to run an advertisement saying the opposite of any of those messages? Or would that suddenly be political?
The first few messages of this weeks walls are examples of speech, some of them political, some of them not. The streets will decide which get banned.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 907 Crew, Adam Cost, Anthony Lister, Balu, bunny M, Cash 4, David Shillinglaw, Defs, Deeker, FWC Crew, HA3, Icy & Sot, JR, Kaws, London Kaye, Merve Berkman, Myth, Omen, R2, Rambo, ROA, Rubin 415, SEA, Smells, Sote, and Specter.