All posts tagged: Chase

Images Of The Week: 01.05.14

Images Of The Week: 01.05.14



It’s been weeks since we had an “Images of the Week” posting with you, due to the end of the year spectacular we presented  for 13 days; a solid cross section of the talented photographers who are documenting this important moment before it passes.

As a collection 13 From 2013 exemplified the unique and eclectic character of Street Art and graffiti photography today. Each person contributed a favorite image and along with it their insight and observations, often personal, very individual, and with a real sense of authenticity. Each day we were sincerely grateful for their contributions to BSA readers and to see the street through their eyes.

Thank you again to Yoav Litvin, Ray Mock, Brock Brake, Martha Cooper, Luna Park, Geoff Hargadon, Jessica Stewart, Jim Kiernan, Bob Anderson, Ryan Oakes, Daniel Albanese, James Prigoff, and Spencer Elzey for 13 from 2013. Also if you missed it, that list kicked off just after our own 2013 BSA Year in Images (and video) were published here and on Huffington Post, all of which was also a great honor to share with you.

And so we bring back to you some documentation of moments before they passed – our weekly interview with the street, this week including $howta, Appleton Pictures, ASVP, BAMN, Chase, Dceve, Doce Freire, EpicUno, Hot Tea, Jerkface, Judith Supine, Leadbelly33, LoveMe, Meres, Olek, Rambo, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Square, and Swoon.

This weeks top image is a reprieve from the winter we’ve been enduring – a small hand cut frog clinging to a verdant fern – created by Swoon and snapped during a visit to her studio over the holidays. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EpicUno (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rambo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Leadbelly33 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


LoveMe (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BAMN (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Judith Supine (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ASVP and Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)


$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)


JerkFace (photo © Jaime Rojo)


HotTea (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Olek’s very latest piece completed on New Year’s Eve in Vancouver, Canada.  (photo © Olek)


Olek. “Kiss the Future” detail. (photo © Olek)


Meres has a message for Gerry. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Meres (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chase (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Doce Freire in Sharjah City, UAE for the Al Qasba Festival. (photo © Doce Freire)


Dceve (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Appleton Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ramiro Davaro-Comas (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Manhattan, December 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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Street Art Photographers: Capturing Ephemera Part 2

Street Art Photographers: Capturing Ephemera Part 2


We continue with Part 2 of our interview with Becki Fuller, Stefan Kloo, and Luna Park; three Street Art photographers who have reached a certain stature among their peers for their contributions to the scene.  As each describes their work and their experiences as documenters and creative artists, one can see that their level of understanding goes beyond merely academic or stenographic while including elements of both. From beginner to expert, there are artists on both side of the camera and the very nature of Street Art provides a forum for each.

Google Maps does a pretty good job at simply documenting streets. These professionals and others like them know how to discern, interpret and present the work of Street Artists in ways that can add context, meaning, breath and life. We heartily thank these three artists for their candid and insightful responses (and incisive wit!) and we look forward to including many other voices in the ongoing discovery that is Street Art today.

C215 © Becki Fuller

C215 © Becki Fuller

Brooklyn Street Art: Five years ago the act of documenting pieces by street artists was the work of a relative handful of photographers. Thanks to new technology there are more photographers today documenting it and some Street Artists document their own work, posting images on their personal Flickr pages and web sites before the photographers get to them. How do you feel about this and does it change your view of your efforts or you view of the artists?

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Becki-Fuller-competitionBecki Fuller: I say the more people who are interested in street art enough to document it, the better! But yes, it has definitely changed things. When I first started shooting street art, I easily received a lot of attention just because there was a much smaller group of people who were documenting it and sharing it. And for a while it took some of the fun out of it for me when I realized that people were trading locations with each other or getting them from artists even before the work went up, really turning on the pressure to photograph a piece within hours of its appearance. But I quickly came to terms with what I want to do and what I am willing to do in order to continue enjoying street art photography. I honestly don’t pay too much attention to much of what other people are doing, just because I need to maintain balance in my life and I need to keep my competitive spirit in check.

As far as the artists themselves photographing their work goes, well, that’s their right…but (with a few exceptions, such as JR) they also tend to reinforce where their talents lie, and it’s not in photography.

Luna Park: Street art has come of age in the era of social media. Thanks to modern technology, everyone is a photographer now and everyone has the tools with which to position himself or herself within the scene and, if desired, promote themselves within the art marketplace. Where there wasn’t a street art media or blogosphere five years ago, there most certainly is now. The speed at which images are disseminated has been amplified and the whole world is watching. That artists photograph and promote their own work is only natural – some do a better job of it than others – and that’s their prerogative. The Internet has an insatiable appetite and it constantly demands more content; as a result, I feel more pressure now than ever to continue to deliver the goods.

Cern, Cekis, Inti. © Luna Park

Cern, Cekis, Inti. © Luna Park

There are definitely more players on the documentation field, but I enjoy a little friendly competition, as it motivates me to keep on top of my game. Thanks to my relationships with many artists and my standing in the community, I am often tipped off to the locations of pieces from artists directly or others who share my interests. Five years ago I would have left the house with my camera, without any expectations of what I might find and open to discovery. Sometimes I miss that.

Today I go about following up on leads or hunches much more strategically, all the while ready to adjust my travels around the city as needed. Of course there are still plenty of serendipitous sightings – I revel in every lucky, random encounter. The downside of having achieved a certain level of recognition is that I get a ton of unsolicited email, either from artists eager to introduce me to their work or from PR flacks and marketers desperate to have me shill their products to their target audience. At times it can feel very calculated and cynical, yet by and large I remain unaffected by this type of maneuvering. I am still passionate about street art after all these years and thankful for all the wonderful people that have come into my life because of it. I am never bored, as I constantly have places to go and things to see. My enthusiasm is wholly driven by inspiration and the desire to play it forward.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-stefan-kloo-ponyStefan Kloo: I’m absolutely O.K. with others doing the same thing, patrolling the same alleys, getting the same shots. How can you not. It’s like stone soup; it just gets better with everybody contributing the missing ingredient. So you got a better shot, got it first, got the only shot before its gone? What of it? – It’s not a competition! And don’t expect anything in return, most of the artists don’t. If it chaps your hide that someone else got the same shot or got it first, it either means that you’re taking yourself too serious or that you’re a bit of a one trick pony. Just find a different angle, heck find a different subject if your doing it for the approval of others.

The artists deserve props first and are entitled to a “clean take” on their work. We know how fleeting it is and how often a photo is all you got to show for. Whenever possible it’s probably for the better not to rely on others to document your work. Flickr and the blogosphere definitely changed things for me, for the better. Where I used to practically work in a vacuum I now get to flaunt the shots to peers I didn’t know I had. What’s not to like about that?

Roa and Chase in Venice, CA. © Stefan Kloo

ROA and Chase in Venice, CA. © Stefan Kloo

Brooklyn Street Art: Today there are many websites dedicated to showcasing street art around the world. Many people who run the sites take images and post them without permission or credit to the photographer. What is your opinion of this and should photographers take any action?

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Becki-Fuller-slapBecki Fuller: Honestly, it really pisses me off when artists or people who should know better do that…I enjoy receiving a nod of recognition for my efforts as much as anyone anywhere does. I spend a lot of time, thought, and money doing what I do, often going into debt just to upgrade my camera or buy a new lens, all without receiving any monetary compensation. I can’t even tell you how many books my photographs have been included in, and it is usually rare for me to receive even so much as a free copy in return. So to directly lift my image and treat it as if it is your own is a slap in the face, as far as I am concerned.

Luna Park: I realize that in putting things online, I open my work up to being stolen, but I still believe the benefits outweigh the risks. It’s unfortunate, but there are unscrupulous sites that continue to post unaccredited photographs, including a few within the larger street art community. I am keenly aware of the pressure to break stories online, but not crediting your sources is just downright disrespectful.

I’ve also encountered an attitude from certain artists who believe that they are not only entitled to dictate what is done with my photographs of their work, but also to freely distribute my photographs without credit. I put a lot of effort into displaying work in the best possible light and always credit artists – it is unfathomable to me that some people think that photographs magically take themselves. I understand that viewers are primarily looking at the artwork depicted, but having a good photograph of it is half the battle. Aside from demanding that credit omissions be rectified, I don’t know what else photographers can do. I am opposed to watermarking, as I find them incredibly distracting. Brooklyn-Street-Art-Stefan-Kloo-dick

Stefan Kloo: That’s a kick in the taco. You can’t be happy about it. But I don’t think of myself as that important that it warrants a fuzz. I’d like to think that we (street art aficionados) are among friends. We know what everybody brings to the table and if you’re a dick about giving credit and just sponge off others efforts you’re excluding yourself from that circle of a fairly closed group, that’s your loss. It also goes to motive – if you don’t have it in you to credit someone when due, what’s it all about for you then? It’s a lot like having an “assistant” painting or pasting your work – you’re on the outside looking in. If that’s all you got, you’re missing the point. However, the photos should make the rounds, almost regardless of who took the shot.

The art and the artists who created it are the key. Which should not stop you from calling bull on the jockeys and hang them by their nut purse till death is welcome… If anyone makes a buck of a street art photo, two people should get a cut: the artist and the photographer. O.K., and the publisher if you put it in a book. Simple, no? Luckily that’s a dilemma that does not play out very often…

Dolk © Becki Fuller

Dolk © Becki Fuller

Brooklyn Street Art: Some art critics have suggested that Street Art enthusiasts, photographers in particular, lack an intellectual and artistic approach to the art that they document and are unable to truly understand Street Art. What’s your opinion on this?

Becki Fuller: At the risk of sounding like a dolt, I don’t think that it is necessary to intellectualize art in order to enjoy it. While a greater understanding of art can definitely enhance your appreciation, I believe that over intellectualizing art leads to a sterile and heartless environment. That’s the main thing that really turned me off from the Chelsea gallery scene in the 2000s and really lead me to Street Art in the first place. Everything seemed so conceptual to the point where you couldn’t enjoy an opening without reading about it first. So I would counter than anyone who believes that you need a PhD in order to appreciate and understand street art probably doesn’t know the first thing about really seeing street art in the first place. Brooklyn-Street-Art-Becki-Fuller-phd

As far as lacking an artistic approach goes, well, I guess that just depends on the individual. On one hand you have urban photographers such as Nils Müller, Mr. T and Keegan Gibbs. When I look at their photographs, the graffiti/street art becomes secondary to the fact that I am looking at a wicked piece of artwork in its own right. Then you have photographers who become better known for where they have gone, the artwork that they have photographed, and the sheer bulk of what they have to offer. Within this group there are varying levels of artistry, but I would say that all of us do it out of passion and that passion itself can become what is most beautiful about your work.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Luna-Park-capableLuna Park: Hogwash. To dismiss all street art photographers as unsophisticated fan boys is an unfair characterization and a gross oversimplification. We are as varied in our backgrounds and talents as the artists whose work we document. In discussing the quality of street art photography, one must differentiate between two issues: the work being documented and the photography itself. Regarding the work being documented, street art photographers are uniquely positioned to recognize trends, chart artistic growth, and identify influences within our own particular street art microcosms. While I’m an unabashed fan, I’m not uncritical: I’m very capable of forming my own opinions and I have distinct likes and dislikes, some of which aren’t rational. But that’s the nature of art; it doesn’t always speak to you on an intellectual level. Astute followers of my photo stream know that what I post is heavily curated, that is, what is missing from my Flickr speaks volumes. I walk past mediocre art on a daily basis; if it doesn’t engage me, I don’t waste time photographing it. If anything, I would say my taste in street art has become decidedly more refined over the years.

Blu, Erica Il Cane. Anacona, Italy. © Luna Park

Blu, Erica Il Cane. Anacona, Italy. © Luna Park

Regarding my photography, I believe it too has matured over time. It has long-since been my goal for my photographs to reflect my passion and enthusiasm for street art. I aim to capture work in the best possible light, all the while taking context, materials and possible interpretations into consideration. Over years of observation, I have developed a deep and profound understanding of this incredibly diverse subject matter. I have embraced street art wholeheartedly and internalized it. It has had a pronounced influence on my photography and, as a result, my photography has become my own kind of street art.

Being that I am so close to the subject matter, I am hard pressed to put it into any kind of larger, art historical context. Nor do I necessary see that as my role or responsibility, at least not at this point in time. We are in the midst of a truly global art phenomenon whose parameters have yet to be set. Given the right context and the proper forum, I am willing to engage anyone in an intellectual conversation about the critical merits of street art. In the meantime – and as long as I am in the position to do so – I will continue doing what I love, explore this magnificent, vibrant yet decrepit city, absorb as much amazing art as possible, and create photographs as mementos. And when I run out of steam, maybe I’ll finally sit down and write a book about it one day.

Stefan Kloo: That’s rich…and rather laughable. It’s more the other way around – the trained critic approaches street art mostly with the established criteria his academic training provides. That’s only fair but won’t buy you a drink. In street art it’s about the raw authenticity, the creative kick and the unadulterated pleasure a grievously misguided act of vandalism can provide. If you can’t grasp that a lot of it is simply about mixing things up, you probably should not get on that ride. It’s still a lot about class and that we can’t allow to consolidate the established art world and the slippery street. It’s just snobbery, mostly a vain argument, but it fills the day. I honestly don’t see a conflict between, say, a painting by Poussin or Pollock and a Faile paste or a C215 stencil. In the end it’s how it speaks to you and if there’s a challenge in it for you. Only then do you need to query how relevant it is in terms of cultural anthropology.

What does a critic reply to Banksy’s sentiment “I’m not so interested in convincing people in the art world that what I do is ‘art,’ – I’m more bothered about convincing people in the graffiti community that what I do is really vandalism.” ? Doesn’t that wrap up the whole argument?

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Stefan-Kloo-OpinionsStreet art represents a definite paradigm shift in the arts. It’s just a very liberating kick in the ass of bourgeois attitudes towards anything and the arts in particular. Most critics fail to recognize that, and can’t handle the rule bending imposition street art represents. The fact that street art gets by and continues to evolve in theory and practice without the sanctimonious blessing of the art establishment is testimony that the joke’s on them. And we already know how the wine and cheese crowd will speculate the wits out of the genre to buy back their long lost subversive streak and hipness credentials, blissfully oblivious that if you can afford to pay the prices street art commands in the galleries you are all out of street cred and are just buying a commodity. Street artists do perfectly well without the critics’ half-hearted labels and boilerplate opinions. Who needs it? When did punk ever ask for approval?

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Street Art Photographers: Capturing Ephemera Part 1

To see more of Stefan Kloo’s work go here.

To see more of Luna Park’s work go here.

To see more of Becki Fuller’s work go here.

Becki and Luna’s blog The Street Spot is here.

Read more
Street Art Photographers: Capturing Ephemera Part 1

Street Art Photographers: Capturing Ephemera Part 1

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Capturing-Ephemera-part-1We’ve got a love affair going on right now with everything Street Art. Part of the reason we know so much about it is because we can see images of it on the Internet.  And of course in books, magazines, in apps, and if you are lucky, on the street.

Conor Harrington © Stefan Kloo

Conor Harrington © Stefan Kloo

The photographs of a dedicated collection of fans, artists, documentarians, and more casual collectors spread the news all around the globe that there is a multi-lingual vocabulary of art in the public sphere developing almost daily almost everywhere. No one can doubt that photographers have played a key role in making the art form popular, helping make many names on the Street Art scene household names. Pursuing photos and putting them up on their Flickr pages, blogs and elsewhere, these photographers have been instrumental in spreading the word, educating, and generating interest in this art form among ordinary people who would have otherwise never viewed the art on the streets.Brooklyn-Street-Art-Stefan-Kloo-anecdotes

With the help of photographers who take their craft seriously and doggedly pursue the art in often off-the-beaten-path locations, an ephemeral history is recorded and preserved like never before. The Street Artists themselves have taken notice of the effectiveness of new platforms for communication and the most savvy of them have adopted new media to effectively promote and advance their work and their careers. Curators in galleries, museums, pop-up shows, myriad art festivals, and cultural institutions take notice of new names through images online and contact artists to offer them opportunities, and instant peer groups coalesce around an ever growing mound of images of work by street artists. Researchers and designers in industries from fashion to textiles to lifestyle to technology all invest time in scouring through photos and collections as resources to glean trends and make products and pitch new schemes. And of course blogs and print publications that are dedicated to documenting and tracking this art form research these growing sources of information for their arts coverage of this emerging movement.


To be sure, there are street art aficionados that have noticed the work of the photographers and are appreciative of the diligence and passion required to go after the art. It is also true that the public still needs a greater awareness of the role that photographers have played in the past and the role that they are playing now.

While many fans of Street Art are very familiar with the artist’s work, fewer are cognizant of the photographers who reliably capture and deliver the images of the work. And why would they? Many images one can see are unaccredited.  In fact there is such little regard for the authorship of images that there is a growing practice of populating sites and building a reputation as a curator by simply filching the images without crediting the photographer.


We have asked three of today’s active Street Art photographers; Luna Park, Becki Fuller and Stefan Kloo, to talk about their experiences and opinions to help us illuminate the relationship between Street Art and the photographers that document it. Together they have perhaps 25 years of shooting Street Art, thousands of miles on their kicks, and thousands of hours and dollars spent pursuing and presenting the explosion of Street Art that we have fallen in love with.

Banksy in Los Angeles © Luna Park

Banksy in Los Angeles © Luna Park

Brooklyn Street Art: You have been documenting Street Art for almost a decade now. How do you view your body of work and its relative importance to Street Art and history?

Becki Fuller: I think that street art is such an immediate and evolving form of expression that it can be easy to forget what an artist did last year, much less three or four or five years ago.  Being a street art photographer is a lot like being a historian in that we carefully and thoroughly document the evolution of an artist’s technique and style in a way that would otherwise be lost.  Each picture is then categorized and stored away, hopefully used or viewed again in the future.  I think that it should be of no surprise that the other two photographers that I am being interviewed with are librarians!  But as far as my street art photography collection goes, I have been covering the New York City area for a long enough period of time to amass a pretty comprehensive evaluation of what has been happening here.  I don’t necessarily have the time to post or share a good portion of my photographs anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t take them!  For people who are interested in putting together a book or some other project, my collection can, and has been, a good resource.  To me, any time my pictures are published, it has the duel importance of helping an artist’s work to live on and to be seen by people all over the world as well as reinforcing the importance of photography (and photographers) in the street art world.

Vhils. San Diego, CA. © Stefan Kloo

Vhils in San Diego, CA. © Stefan Kloo

Luna Park: Although I’m still a few years shy of having documented for a decade, street art has most certainly played an increasingly important role in my life over the last few years. Chronologically, my introduction to the world of street art coincided with my discovery of Flickr and the two have been inexplicably entwined for me ever since. Coming from a library science background professionally, the organizational possibilities of Flickr intrigued me from the get-go. As I began to amass more and more street art photographs, Flickr provided me with the perfect platform to both present and organize my work. It’s also been an incredible place to learn about street art and connect with the community. Although I never imagined at the time that my photo stream would one day grow to include over 7,500 images in 175 sets, it was my intention to create an archive of street art documentation from the very beginning. As an information professional, the tenets of credible and reliable sources of information are the foundations of my work.  In my travels through New York City and beyond, I have sought out what I consider the best of current street art and, to the best of my ability, identified its makers. Enriched by the knowledge of the hive mind and supplemented with lively commentary and analysis from within the community, I believe my body of work has grown to become a well-respected resource.

Stefan Kloo: I feel rather privileged that I got to take these shots. I look at my catalog of photos about the same way I cherish my record or art collection. It’s testimony to my passions, my life in these times and the people I connected to through their work. Just keeping an eye on things, my posts are my mixtapes.

I love going back and looking at photos of older pieces, and it’s a thrill to see the evolution of certain artists, styles or the genre as such, but I’d much rather be surprised by a new piece in the street than looking at photos of those that no longer exist.

I’m convinced that street art is here to stay, so why look back when there’s so much clever beauty around us anytime? To write history, there I said it.

Without the photos, or films for that matter, Street Art would be an anecdote, and I wonder of course how serious we would take it if legend and lore were all that remained.

I love the idea that we were there when that dog and pony show came of age, which I got a good shot and get to tell about it.

Dan Witz © Becki Fuller

Dan Witz © Becki Fuller

Brooklyn Street Art: Street Art has become very popular across the globe with websites, blogs, week-long festivals, installations, shows in galleries and exhibits in museums. Do you think your work has helped the artists and street art and its popularity?

Becki Fuller: I think that photography – regardless of whose it is – has played an important and necessary role in growing the popularity of street art.  If it weren’t for photography, few of us would know much about what’s going on outside of our immediate communities.  But because of the images available online and in books, street artists can have a built-in global fan base.  It was because of photography that I became aware of what Os Gemeos were doing in Brazil, what A1one was doing in Iran, or what Know Hope was doing in Israel, as I have never been to those countries.

Then there is the ephemeral nature of most street art – if you don’t document it right away, there may never be a chance for anyone to see it again.  And realistically, 20 or 30 years down the road; a well-documented body of work is your legacy.  Outside of a very small group of aficionados, few people talk about graffiti artists from the 80s who weren’t well documented and I think that the same will be true for street artists in the future.

Luna Park: While I am but one cog in the increasingly big wheel of international street art coverage, of course I’d like to think that my work has been meaningful and had an impact. I’ve been one of NYC street art’s biggest cheerleaders for the past six years, making it my business to hunt down and present the best the scene has to offer in a timely fashion. Through my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to explore the street art of other countries and in turn share these discoveries with others. I’ve developed and maintained close, personal relationships with many artists and fellow photographers, which in turn has enabled me to facilitate connections between artists and introductions to gallerists. I’ve even housed and fed visiting artists, guided them to suitable spots and arranged for wall space – I don’t think it gets any more helpful than that!Brooklyn-Street-Art-stefan-kloo-defining

Stefan Kloo: Just as much as every other photo taken, every piece put out there, every gallery show and any other conversation on the topic had – the proliferation of street art is more than the sum of it’s parts. It’s bigger than any one person, it’s the defining art form of the young millennium and hardly a fluke.

I get the nod by the artists or street fiends – that’s got to be enough. Everything else is a bit of a fantasy, nothing that alone would drive this lunacy.

In photographing street art you have to be mindful that without the piece in the street there would be no photo, but that without the photo there may be less incentive to put the piece out in the first place. Yes, in most cases the work in the street is a selfless gift asking little in return than the thrill of putting it there, but consider how much an artist would be willing to invest and risk if there’s never any feedback, no comment on the work, no compliment or critique? If that coveted dialogue in the street becomes little less than shouting in the wood? Would all your creativity and moxy not become stifled or self-indulgent?

It’s that dynamic where the photographers and bloggers come into play – they can be counted on to digest, record and promote the ephemeral efforts of the artists.

Photographers are generally the first responders, reliable observers and quasi curators of the street galleries. The concerted effort to document the art by committed photographers must be an incentive to many artists, knowing that their work will have a much larger audience and longer shelf life. That fosters that dialog that in turn encourages and motivates the artists. It’s the vanity of the vandal that pulls the cart, and the photographer tickles that fancy.

To paraphrase McLuhan – If you talk about street art and the document of it, it always comes in pairs with one acting as the content of the other while obscuring the operation of both.

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Street Art Photographers: Capturing Ephemera Part 2

To see more of Stefan Kloo’s work go here.

To see more of Luna Park’s work go here.

To see more of Becki Fuller’s work go here.

Becki and Luna’s blog The Street Spot is here.

Read more