Welcome to BSA Images of the Week and welcome to summer in NYC here on its 2nd day. Also Happy Father’s Day in the US.
Juneteenth. White Fragility.Defund the Police. How to Be an Antiracist. All of these new terms and phrases erupting on the main stage of the public lexicon today speak to a fundamental disgust with the system that’s been in effect. As uncomfortable as it may be, our better selves know that the conversations and changes that have started are vitally necessary to have if we ever want to move forward as a society.
Right now in New York people are marching, protesting, drinking on the street, setting off fireworks, and holding doors open for one another with a new sensitivity thanks to internal bruising. We also see people disregarding safety precautions in the spread of Covid-19, and honking their car horns more often.
A serious bomber and a bit of a barbed bard from Brooklyn has his first virtual contemporary art show with the Museum of Graffiti in Miami. You couldn’t write a sentence like that a decade ago.
Straddling his own chaotic line between graffiti and Street Art for a decade and a half now, this smart aleck at times is layering the abstract and hand-styling the letters like a pro sign maker. Profane and smashed imagery, nearly profound snatches of two-edged prose, and a penchant for truth-telling that gets him in trouble are all hallmarks of Cash4’s game, but this selection of new pieces is timely and searingly on-point.
We’re up to our necks in deep frosty wind-whipping winter, and yet the Street Art right now is verbose, detailed, bright eyed, distinct, political, critical, stylish, dense, richly colorful.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Miami, and this time featuring Armyan, Captain Eyeline, Cash4, China, City Kitty, COMBO, CP Won, Food Baby Soul, Glare, Jaroe, Jaye Moon, Jazi, Marameo Universe, Plasma Slug, Rodak, Sara Lynne Leo, Smells, UK WC, and Winston Tseng.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. “Word on the Street” Debut 2. INO – “Freedom For Sale” in Athens 3. Two in a Row from Alex Prager: “La Grande Sortie” & “Despair”
BSA Special Feature: “Word on the Street” Debuts
the old days. Graffiti is now!”
The last five years have been explosive for Street Art worldwide, and with “Word On The Street” you have a good indicator that the graff writing game is alive and well in New York as well – and tenaciously prolific.
Anonymous filmmakers infused the doc with vibrating audio and visual distortion and a sense of ever-present surveillance, or the implication of it cloaked in darkness. Interviews, late night runs, frozen wire fences, loose footing, bloody scrapes, and the sweet smell of aerosol lightly purring from cans across a shadowed wall. The labor of love for the filmmakers is the only thing that pushes a project like this to fruition. And fumes of course.
Featuring 143, AJES, BIO, BRAT, CASH4, CARL WESTON, CLAW, CHRIS RWK, DEK 2DX, DIVA, DSR, EDO, EL7, FAES, FLASH, JAKEE, JESUS SAVES, KLOPS, LEX, LOOSE, MERK, MRS, MUTZ, NEG, NOXER, PANIC, PLASMA SLUG, POE, SCAE, SEO, SILON, SMURFO, SPRAY, STOR, STU, and VEW.
INO – “Freedom For Sale” in Athens
Constantino Mass adds just the right amount of slickly pounding wipes and cuts to this installation by INO in Athens. We published photos from this a few days ago so have a look and enjoy the video.
Two in a Row from Alex Prager
Alex Prager debuted a new short film at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York this month, and it has piqued the interest of many in her work of disconnected, reconnected narratives. Impeccably styled, humorously shot, it’s a staged invoking of old Hollywood and street scenes, enveloped in drama and frequently suspense. Often the LA born director provides just the deconstructed portion of the scene you have seen, and keeps reworking it in surprising ways. Go to the gallery to see the new “Play the Wind”. Below are two of her short films from five and nine years ago respectively.
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.